on 15 December 2009
I thank Amazon for their speedy delivery of this film. It is one of my favorites and I know my Grandchildren will also enjoy it as part of their christmas box.
This film is timeless and has so many songs in it that are easy to sing along with once you have watched the film a few times, as I have you will love it too. I found that it doesn't matter how many time I watch it there is always something to make me laugh in it. I loved the butler (he is very naughty).
Like many other studios, Disney went through a series a highs and lows as the 1970's entered an age of transition, rethinking. The Aristocats was the first of three full length animations that were released during this decade, and thus marked a number of changes for the production values following Walt's passing and number of other departures.
What we see are much more light-hearted affairs that places less emphasis on any real threat, and more on the exposition of the main characters. This makes The Aristocats a safer form of entertainment for families, as was the particularly canny 'Robin Hood' (perhaps notable for an almost complete lack of threat) and 'The Rescuers', whose success was born from a more dramatic and intense underscore to the story itself.
I should make it known that I've always enjoyed The Aristocats to a certain degree, but understandably, it never really moved me in the same way as earlier Disney films (and perhaps unfairly, seemed more of a rainy day feature). Based on the quality of other restorations from this studio however, I decided to upgrade from a decidedly old VHS copy of the movie and revisit some of those memories.
In short, I'm over the moon and glad that I added this to my collection. Sure, it was never a 'risk' purchasing this product, but I don't agree with Disney's pricing and branding strategy one bit. Marketing their movies by 'Diamond' and 'Special Edition' is no more than unique than slapping on a shimmery card slipcover and suggesting that the product is automatically better than those around it on a shelf. This particular product contains more special features than a few other (supposedly "superior") Diamond Edition's, and yet it is priced exactly the same. I was also both amused and annoyed that 'Beauty and the Beast' apparently deserved a whole extra disc just for additional content, whilst the groundbreaking 'Fantasia' received a 5-minute documentary about some museum.
The mind boggles...
Of those special features, you'll find a nice 'Sing-a-long' mode for the main feature itself (I confess, I've yet to try the 'singing' aspect!), a couple of vintage TV shorts, a documentary and some other small bits and bobs that rightfully respect the quality of this movie. Perhaps being older, I have a better appreciation for the quality of the animation, the characterisation of cat-like behaviour and the wonderful music. It's a very simple story, but that's probably why it's so effective.
As for the restoration, this has had a very similar treatment to previous titles from Disney's catalogue. Whilst those released beforehand have all been pre-Xerox era (when all the line art from the animator's paper was inked onto cels, not photocopied in order to save time), this is the first Hi-Def release of the latter more scruffier looking process. As such, you notice many more untidy pencil marks popping on and off the screen around the characters, but it's nice to see the movie has been kept as authentic as possible. It by no means has the same level of detail as the movies between the 40's and 50's, but this is purely down to the type of film stock and the artwork itself - not the transfer.
Colours look nice and almost exactly as I remember them, but as expected from this period, they certainly do not pop off the screen.
5-Stars is a fair score for what is, essentially, a very carefully put together product that perhaps due to Disney's branding system, has been undervalued. Sure, The Aristocats doesn't have the same artistic prowess or powerful storytelling as those movies before it, but it offers bundles of fun and a very loose style that is sure to suit almost any animation fan; young or old. Let's hope 'The Rescuers' arrives soon!
on 30 September 2012
Lets get the boring tech stuff out of the way.... this was filmed in full frame negative but the intended ratio was 1.78:1 which means if you had the 4:3 VHS then lucky you, you saw more top and bottom than people did in 1970 at the cinema. SO , this widescreen transfer is the cinema aspect and is perfect. The audio in HD is sublime. This is the easiest 5 stars I have ever given a film. RECOMMENDED HIGHLY !!!!
on 19 February 2008
I purchased this copy to replace my current copy of the original dvd release.
Please be aware that this version has not been "Digitaly restored". They claim "Digital Transfer", but I could still see film spots etc, which are removed in a "restoration" i.e. the quality was not as good as it is when they restore.
They have also converted the movie into Widescreen format using Pan and Scan.
If you are interested in the animation side of the movie, then you will find lots of original detail missing as the top and bottom are chopped off.
If you just want the movie to fill the whole screen, then this is the dvd version for you.
on 1 June 2009
I first saw this film at the cinema, when I was a little girl with my sister who had to drag me to see this film. I am so glad she did drag me as, this film as well as Robin Hood are absolutely fantastic to watch.
The story draws you in straight away and the characters are all spot on.
My personal favourite character is Thomas O' Malley and the little mouse that Duchess and her Children are friends with Roquefort.
The songs are a joy to listen and watch too.
This film is very humorous especially concerning Edgar.
If you have not seen this film then please do as this film is fab to watch again and again.
I give this film 10/10 it's that fab to watch.
Although a Disney classic, unlike a lot of the Disney films this is one that will be appreciated more by the children than the adults, as a child I absolutely loved it. I find this film to be quite different in style to many of the other Disney films, the music in this is heavily influenced by jazz and the images are very different, presumably to copy the French theme.
I think it's difficult to give an objective view of a Disney film as an adult as the films aren't aimed at you but I remember this fondly from my childhood when I would watch it again and again.
on 15 March 2013
I sincerely wish that here in America we could purchase films that were dubbed over into other languages. I want my children to watch the same Disney films, in the same German that I watched them in while I was growing up....and you can't get them shipped over here! Amazon.co.uk has been a Godsend, as they ship to the states, and have the German audio tracks that I need. I'm hoping to get all of the Disney films I need before the next film medium becomes prevalent.
Cheers from Sarasota, Florida, USA
on 12 October 2010
I remember this film from my own childhood though, as with much of Disney, I'm not sure I ever saw the whole thing through - maybe I just cobbled the story together from lots of 'Disney Time' programmes! My three year old adores this film. Already fond of cats, she's christened it 'Dancing Cats' as the Aristocats pun is lost on her.
This is a fun film with several catchy songs and, as advertised, lots of dancing cats!