Friday, February 3, 2017

Pinocchio: Walt Disney Signature Collection Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Sean Ferguson
This weekend at D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures event at Walt Disney World Resort, Tyler Slater and Nicole Nalty announced the addition of Disney’s triumphant animated classic “Pinocchio” to the celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection and gave members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club the first look at the film’s all-new trailer. “Pinocchio,” which inspired the world to wish upon a star, arrives for the first time on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Jan. 10, and on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Jan. 31 with hours of new and classic bonus features.
Film (5 out of 5 stars)
Based on the novel Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, this Disney adaption has become one of the most beloved film in the studio's history. It tells the tale of a lonely toymaker named Geppetto (Christian Rub) whose prays are answered when one of his marionettes named Pinocchio (Dickie Jones) comes to life thanks to the Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable). She tells Geppetto that Pinocchio can only become a real boy by being honest and selfless and she tasks a nearby cricket named Jiminy (Cliff Edwards) to be Pinocchio's conscience and guide. 

Life is good with everyone having a good time until Pinocchio is distracted by two con men Honest John the fox (Walter Catlett) and his sidekick Gideon the cat (Mel Blanc) who try to convince him not to go to school. Jiminy does his best to keep Pinocchio on the right path, but the tales and stories of the con men entrance Pinocchio who goes with them, only to be imprisoned and forced to perform in a marionette show run by an evil showman named Stromboli (Charles Judels). Pinocchio manages to escape with the help from the Blu Fairy, who warns him again to be honest and good if he wants to be a real boy someday.

Despite his best intentions, Pinocchio is tricked again by the same two con men and is sent to a place called Pleasure Island which on the surface seems like a paradise for boys with unlimited freedom, but its true nature will soon reveal itself as it's got a much darker purpose. Pinocchio must escape from that dark place to rescue his father Geppetto who has been swallowed by a giant whale known as Monstro, when he was searching for Pinocchio. All of these tests will prove once and for all if Pinocchio is worthy enough to become a real boy.

Pinocchio is a classic for many reasons. First off, the animation is superb, the voice work couldn't be better, and and this movie offers a lot of valuable lessons that kids don't get in today's movies. Sure, it can be a pretty dark story (especially one aimed at kids), but the lessons it imparts are as relevant today as they were seventy years ago. It's easy to tell kids to be themselves and to be good and honest, but this movie actually shows the consequences when Pinocchio chooses poorly. Kids will learn by observing Pinocchio's trials and triumphs which is a great way for them to absorb these important life lessons. They just don't make movies like this anymore, which is why we should treasure ones like this even more and be grateful that they're still around and getting a first class restoration so future generations can enjoy and learn from them. 
Video (5 out of 5 stars)
Once again, Disney has delivered in every way possible by delivering another pristine restoration of one of their classics. This 1080p transfer looks amazing and it's easy to appreciate how much work must have gone into making a movie this old look so good. The colors jump out at you and the detail present is extremely impressive. The black levels solid and rich and there's no print or any other damage visible at all. This is the best I've ever seen this movie!
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
Pinocchio's DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio doesn't reach the same level of greatness that the video presentation offers, but it's probably as good as it can possibly get. The dialogue doesn't always come through as clear as it should and there's some effects that aren't at a consistent level, but overall it's a pretty good effort considering the age of the source material. 
Extras (5 out of 5 stars)
The extras included here are worthy of the Walt Disney Signature moniker as Disney has generously included most of the extras from previous releases, but also some brand new ones. Another nice touch is that the digital copy of the film also carries the extras with it there which is extremely rare but very welcome. All of the special features are in high definition.

Here's what's included:

New Extras:

The Pinocchio Project: When You Wish Upon A Star - Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.

Walt's Story Meetings: Pleasure Island - The Pleasure Island scene in “Pinocchio” had much more development than what is seen in the film. Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen. 

  • In Walt's Words – Pinocchio - Hear Walt himself discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.
  • Oswald The Lucky Rabbit In "Poor Papa" - This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.
Previously Released Extras:
  • Song Selection - The film's songs with subtitled lyrics: "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Little Wooden Head," "Give A Little Whistle," "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee," and "I've Got No Strings."
  • Audio Commentary By Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg, and J.B. Kaufman - This is the same commentary track from the previous Blu-ray release.
  • No Strings Attached: The Making of Pinocchio
  • Deleted Scenes - "Introduction," "The Story of The Grandfather Tree," "In The Belly Of The Whale," and "Alternate Ending."
  • The Sweatbox 
  • Geppettos Then and Now 
  • Live-Action Reference Footage 
  • Publicity
    • Original Theatrical Trailer 
    • Theatrical Trailer 
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • When You Wish Upon A Star Music Video by Meaghan Jette Martin 
  • A Wish Come True: The Making of Pinocchio 
  • Storyboard-To-Film Final Comparison 
Summary (5 out of 5 stars)
Pinocchio is one of Disney's best films and this new Walt Disney Signature Edition is worthy of the name. This Blu-ray offers an exceptional video presentation and the audio is very good for the film's age as well. The extras are worth the cost of the set alone as they are comprehensive and interesting. I can't recommend this Blu-ray set enough!

Order your copy today!

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