101 Dalmatians (1961) (Diamond Edition) [Blu-Ray]
Director(s): Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman
Cast: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O’Malley (VOICES)
Release Date: Now Available on Diamond Edition Blu-Ray Combo Pack
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 10/10
When a litter of dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella De Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.
Families and children of all ages can rejoice, because everyone’s favorite Dalmatians have escaped from the vault and arrived home once again. What’s even better news is that the timeless Disney classic ‘101 Dalmatians’ arrives home in beautiful high definition, available on Blu-Ray and Digital HD for the first time ever. Now you and your loved ones can join Pongo, Perdita, all of their young pups and their human owners (or pets) any time and place you wish as they take action to rescue and keep all of the adorable puppies safe from the evil and conniving Cruella De Vil who will stop at nothing to get her hands on them for her own dastardly purposes.
Not only does the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘101 Dalmatians’ deliver gorgeous high definition video and audio presentations, it also includes a number of great extras, including Disney View which fills the black bars on the left and right of the screen (due to the films 1.33:1 4X3 Aspect Ratio) with beautiful paintings by Disney artist Mike Humphries that expand and contribute wonderfully to the film. Add all of the other great bonus goodies such as a new animated short and much more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) and you can see that the Diamond Edition of ‘101 Dalmatians’ is without question a must own and fans will want to make certain that they pick up a copy of the Blu-Ray to add to their collections before it’s too late and it’s back in the vault.
The Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘101 Dalmatians’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.33:1 4X3 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic for the most part, once again living up to the top notch quality that the numerous titles Disney has recently released on Blu-Ray have mostly featured. The colors are bright, shining and gorgeous, with the animation lines and background details as smooth and beautifully displayed as one could hope for. While it doesn’t retain any of the grain surely present on the source film, it nonetheless looks pretty wonderful overall and should leave the majority of folks more than satisfied with what is surely the best video presentation we’ve yet to see for this animated classic.
The Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘101 Dalmatians’ features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack keeps the majority of dialogue and activity focused to the center channel as is to be expected, though many elements take advantage of all 7 available channels, with the films wonderful music filling every channel, in addition to dogs barking, tires screeching, thunder and rain, etc. that find their way throughout the surrounding channels and contribute nicely to the viewing experience, while never detracting from any dialogue or other elements occurring simultaneously. This is a crisp, discrete and overall impressive 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that definitely gets top marks.
As is usually the case with Disney’s wonderful Diamond Edition releases, the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘101 Dalmatians’ also contains a great collection of bonus content. The release includes the Disney View option which features artwork from Disney Artist Mike Humphries that fills in the black bars on the left and the right of the screen during the feature, replacing the bars with gorgeous artwork that fills the entire screen. Also included are a number of new extras, including a new animated short titled ‘The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt’, along with fun facts about the movie in ‘Dalmatians 101’; a look inside the world of a couple of animators, voice actors and others recounting their time at Disney in ‘Lucky Dogs’. We are also treated to ‘The Best Doggoned Dog in the World (the full 1961 version from the Wonderful World of Disney). All of the classic bonus features from previous releases are also present, including the multi-part ‘Redefining the Line: The Making of 101 Dalmatians’; a Music Video, Deleted Song, Multiple Abandoned Songs, ‘Cruella De Vil: Drawn to Be Bad’, Promotional Materials from the film and much more. As you can clearly see, there is more than enough extra goodies here to keep everyone occupied long after they finish (re)watching this wonderful animated gem for (probably) the umpteenth time.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.