WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

National Lampoon’s Animal House

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Thomas Hulce, Cesar Danova, Donald Sutherland

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 2
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links

The LaserDisc both include the theatrical trailer and a 15-minute documentary titled “The Yearbook”—An Animal House Reunion.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Universal Studios Home Video
(Catalog Number): 43884
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 109
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1978
(LD Release Date): 10/98
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): John Landis
(Screenplay/Written By): Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney & Chris Miller
(Story): NA
(Music): Elmer Bernstein
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): John J. Lloyd
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): George Foldey, Jr.
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Matty Simmons & Ivan Reitman

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.82:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
National Lampoon’s Animal House follows the hilarious adventures of Faber College’s Delta fraternity house. While most frat houses reek with decorum, high achievement and good taste, the Delta Chi house reeks with beer, unwashed socks and a collective determination to party as hard and as often as possible.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The dual layer anamorphic DVD is much sharper with better fine detail, clarity, and vertical and horizontal resolution, when compared to the LaserDisc. Images still appear slightly soft on the DVD. Color fidelity is generally natural, though subdued, undefined and even a bit greenish, on both versions, but the LaserDisc’s colors appear slightly plugged-up. Fleshtones are more accurately rendered on the DVD, but blacks lack true depth on both versions. There is minor noise apparent, but no distracting artifacts, on both versions. Contrast and shadow detail are mediocre, as is the overall picture quality in the best case scenario. The DVD’s anamorphic and letterbox, and LaserDisc, aspect ratios are matted at 1.82:1. The soundtrack on the DVD is undistinguished monaural spread to the two front channels with poor center imaging, while the LaserDisc, mislabeled as stereo, is proper mono, but still undistinguished. The sound is mediocre and phase problematic throughout. The low bit rate Dolby® Digital coding sounds slightly thin with hiss and noise heard throughout. This is a very poor presentation considering both are billed as "Collector’s" editions.