Pinocchio — Blu-ray Review
Pinocchio (2-Disc 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition + Standard DVD) [Blu-ray]
A few years ago I had a discussion with someone who told me "old movies can't be released on Blu-ray because they weren't shot with HD cameras." He was clearly wrong, since 35mm film is a higher resolution than HD to start with, and Disney proves it by releasing Pinocchio, their second animated feature, on Blu-ray 70 years after the movie was made.
I recall seeing Pinocchio a number of times, but I'm not sure I've seen the movie from beginning to end before; I think I caught bits and pieces that were shown on one of the Disney shows in the 80s. This Blu-ray release was my first opportunity to watch the entire movie, and what a treat it was.
The set includes a flawless 1080p transfer of the movie, with an aspect ratio of 1.33 (don't forget, that was the standard aspect ratio for movies). Disney has also included two soundtracks, one being the restored mono track, and a new 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. While the 7.1 track sounds nice, it won't sound as good as a movie designed to take advantage of the audio format.
The set is loaded with special features, which you can find on discs 1 and 2 of the set:
Music Video (3:25) - Meaghan Jette Martin sings "When You Wish Upon a Star" Disney Song Selection (10:15) - features all the songs in the movie, along with optional words so you can sing along.
Pinnocchio's Matter of Facts - a pop-up trivia track that plays along with the movie
Disney Smart Games: Pinocchio Knows Trivia Challenge - Answer a question right and your nose will shrink, but answer wrong and it'll grow. This is a timed trivia game that can be played alone, or with friends. The game can be played while you watch the movie in a smaller window.
Pinocchio's Puzzles - Complete puzzles by selecting the piece that fits in the highlighted area.
Pleasure Island Carnival Games - Rescue the kids from Pleasure Island by defeating the Coachman in four fun games.
Audio Commentary - Join Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg and J.B. Kaufman as they provide commentary for the movie.
No Strings Attached: The Making of Pinocchio (55:58) - This documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the work that went into bringing the popular Collodi book to the screen.
Deleted Scenes - A presentation of scenes deleted from the final film using original storyboard art.
The Sweatbox (6:24) - This featurette traces the history of the Sweatbox, and the importance it brought to Disney movies.
Live Action Reference Footage (9:58) - Rare footage showing the use of live-action reference footage for Pinocchio.
Pinocchio Art Galleries - A collection of images used in the production of Pinocchio, including some never-before-seen artwork.
Publicity Trailers (5:00) - Three trailers used to promote the film in 1940, 1984 and 1992.
Deleted Song: "Honest John" (2:37) - a 1947 promotional recording of one of the songs that was not used in the final film.
Geppettos Then and Now (10:57) - A look at the craft of making toys from the early simple wood carved figures to today's high tech creations.
Parents often complain that they only have one Blu-ray player in the house, but own multiple DVD players for watching kids movies in other rooms, or in the car when they travel. Disney has addressed this by including a DVD along with the movie on Blu-ray, so now the movie can be enjoyed in high definition on the big screen, while the DVD can be played in kids rooms, or on the road. It's a brilliant move by the studio, and hopefully one that other studios will jump on. While the digital copies included with some movies are great, I think the addition of the DVD allows more people to enjoy the movie on more devices, and without the DRM problems digital copies bring.
Pinocchio has never looked this good on home video, and Disney has done a great job with this set. The bonus material provides a wonder behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the movie, and the games are a lot of fun to play.
Which classic Disney movie would you like to see released on Blu-ray next? I'd love to see The Jungle Book.
Buy Pinocchio on Amazon.com.