Pinocchio is the 1940 Walt Disney classic animated feature of Carlo Collodi's wonderful fairy tale, published in July, 1881. When a lonely Italian woodcarver named Gepetto (Rub) creates the perfect puppet out of love, Pinocchio (Jones) is given life by the Blue fairy (Venable), and with the help of a cricket (Edwards), as his conscience, he must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. On his way to school, Pinocchio is lead astray by the cunning and wicked fox Honest John (Catlett), first to "a life in the theatre" and the stringless puppet in Stromboil's (Judels) Marionette Show, and then to Pleasure Island, where boys are transfomed into jackasses. Finally escaping and returning home, Pinocchio finds his father gone and he sets out to find him, saving Geppetto from Monstro, the whale. (Gary Reber)
Special features on Disc One include a fascinating audio commentary with Leonard Maltin, Animator Eric Goldberg, and Film Historian J.B. Kaufman with Cine-Explore full-motion Picture-In-Picture commentary; a music video of "When You Wish Upon A Star" sung by Meaghan Jette Martin (HD 03:15), plus four other songs from the film; an option to play the film with lyrics on-screen; Pinocchio's Matter Of Facts on-screen while you watch the film; the game Pinocchio Knows Trivia Challenge; up-front previews; and Disney View, which allows the viewer to expand their iewing experience beyond the original aspect ratio of the film by filling otherwise dark edges of the screen on widescreen displays with beautiful custom paintings by Toby Bluth, which create an appealing picture-window effect. Disc Two features Pinocchio's Puzzles hosted by Jiminy Cricket; Pleasure Island Carnival Games; the No Strings Attached: The Making Of Pinocchio featurette, a behind-the-scenes look at the magic that transformed Collodi's popular book into a beloved animated film (HD 55:58); three deleted scenes (HD 10:23); The Sweatbox traces its history as a small screening room and the part it played in Walt Disney's artistic process (HD 06:24); Live Action Reference Footage shows rare archival footage of the process of the shooting of Pinocchio (HD 09:58); art galleries; a collection of theatrical trailers; a deleted song "Honest John" (02:37); and the Geppettos Then And Now featurette on the craft of making toys from the early, simple wood-carved figures to today's high-technology creations (HD 10:57).
The restored animated picture is presented in the 1080p AVC format, and the image quality is fabulous! The Technicolor® color fidelity is spectacular, with richly saturated warm hues that are gorgeous. The palette of colors presents a wide spectrum of hues that caress the solid animated images. A delicate touch of rouge was applied to every cell of Pinocchio's face, and his cheerfully rosy cheeks are rendered perfectly in this transfer. Contrast is superb, with deep, solid, pure blacks and shadow delineation that exhibits very dimensional imagery. There is absolutely no noise, grain, or other artifacts, for an extremely pristine picture. One is mesmerized by the absolute purity of the animation and imagery that simply pops off the screen. Every drawn line is sharp edged and distinctive. The detail is amazing, revealing every stroke of the animator's brush. It is so very, very gratifying that this Walt Disney classic has been preserved and restored to such brilliance and purity. This Blu-ray Disc™ presentation far surpasses every past presentation of this 1940's film, including theatrical presentations. This is truly an animated feature with an impeccable reference-quality picture that will delight everyone in the family! (Gary Reber)
The original monaural soundtrack has been restored and remastered. As well, there is a repurposed lossless DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack that sounds wonderful. The music score is presented on a wide frontal soundstage that, at times, sounds stereoized, even though the multichannel presentation has been derived from the monaural master. The music wraps around the side and rear surrounds to provide an impressive sense of depth and dimension. Dialogue is anchored in the center channel but sounds fairly well-spatially integrated. The LFE .1 channel awakens during the scenes with Monstro, the whale, and delivers deep bass that heightens the action. Otherwise, deep bass is not heard. The fidelity, overall, is quite good for such a dated soundtrack. ADR dialogue is always intelligible and well integrated with the other sound elements. The side and rear surround channels share essentially the same signal, which effectively enhances the soundfield envelopment. This treatment differs compared to some other 7.1-channel soundtracks, which are produced with the added channels not at the sides but behind the sweet spot listening position, which then creates positioning problems for normal 5.1-channel presentations, with the surround loudspeakers located to the back sides of the prime listening position, including for surround music reproduction. In this case, it is extremely difficult to determine differences between the two sets of surrounds. Unfortunately, the creative community, the studios, and the equipment manufacturers have not dictated a spatial loudspeaker setup standard. Our preferred 7.1-channel setup is a perfect circle, with each full-range loudspeaker location equidistant from the sweet spot and equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the 360-degree circle. In this arrangement, the added mid-left and mid-right surrounds convey added surround envelopment and dimensionality. Regardless of the unsettled standards matter, this is magnificent restoration and repurposing of a classic in 7.1-channel surround. There is no other word to describe the sound experience but "Swell!" (Gary Reber)