on June 29, 2004
Of course this is a wonderful Disney family film. I'm in my twenties, and I can remember watching this movie since I was a toddler. Since I'm sure you know how great the movie is and can read other reviews for that, I'll concentrate on the special features of this DVD, some of which aren't even mentioned above.
• "Caught in the Act: The Making of the Parent Trap" is a good documentary (about 30 minutes), including interviews with Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, director David Swift, Joanna Barnes, and more. It provides a lot of background details on how the idea for the film came about, selecting the cast, fine-tuning the screenplay, etc.
• "Disney Legend: Hayley Mills" is a 25-minute feature all about Hayley, and it's quite good. It includes photos and home movies from her childhood as well as interviews with Hayley, Maureen O'Hara, Dean Jones, Kevin Corcoran, David Swift, Nancy Olson, and others she worked with at Disney. Hayley talks about her family, her experiences at Disney, and her departure from that Disney image in the late '60s.
• "Seeing Double" is a short feature on the split-screen technology that allowed viewers to see two images of Hayley Mills side by side at once. This technology was quite innovative and experimental at the time, but it worked beautifully.
• The Sherman Brothers featurette is a short but interesting bit of facts and trivia on two men who wrote songs for many memorable Disney films, including "Mary Poppins" and "The Parent Trap."
• "Lost Treasures: Who's the Twin?" is an interesting feature about Susan Henning, the girl who played the double for Hayley Mills in the film (in scenes with the camera over her shoulder or to her back). Now that I know to look for her, I can plainly see in several profile shots that the other twin is NOT Hayley. Watch the fight scene at the dance closely too. Henning is a warm presence and gives some little-known facts about the film and about Walt Disney.
• "Let's Get Together" is a music video of the two Hayleys singing the song from the movie.
• The Donald Duck animated cartoon, "Donald's Double Trouble," is a Disney short filmed a few years before this movie, but it's a cute bonus.
• Other special features include theatrical trailers, TV spots, radio spots, a lengthy Parent Trap photo gallery, and a 1961 Disney studio album.
• The film's audio commentary by Hayley Mills and director David Swift is also a great feature. Hayley reveals many interesting tidbits about her experiences on the film, her relationships with her costars and Walt Disney, and how she views the film today. Swift offers his own recollections on Hayley's performance and other background information on the film. For example, the scene where Brian Keith finds the bra hanging on his shower was almost censored!
The widescreen transfer is wonderful. I'd never seen this film in its original aspect ratio, so this was a treat. The abundance of special features make this DVD edition truly wonderful. (I had no problems with it playing in my DVD player, either.) This is simply a fun family film that you can watch over and over. I know, because I have for the past 20 years.
on June 20, 2004
As with most of Disney's DVD releases, they seem to have some quality control issues. I purchased this movie (which IS a wonderful movie) as part of the Vault Disney 4-movie collection.
I had to return my first set, because the case was broken on "Old Yeller". No big deal. But then...the secondary disc on "The Parent Trap" skipped and stalled, and "Swiss Family Robinson" wouldn't even load.
Having had terrible experience with Disney DVD's previously ("The Great Locomotive Chase"), I opted for a refund instead of dealing with the frustrations of another set that was defective.
Frankly, Disney's products seem to have so many problems, I doubt I will ever buy another one. Many of their movies are in the wrong ratio, some are terrible transfers ("Old Yeller" in particular, and also the Chinatown scene in "The Love Bug" comes to mind), and now I've had this set and "The Great Locomotive Chase" which have had "playability" issues.
For a company with such a great library of old movies, it is really sad that they put out such an inferior product. As I would love to include them in my DVD library. But one shouldn't have to concern themself with worrying whether a DVD is going to play or not when they purchase it.
on March 17, 2004
I love this movie so much that it's surprised me that I've taken so long to review it. But this movie is GREAT!
It's about two girls, Susan Evers and Sharon Mckendrick, who meet at summer camp, and are shocked and surprised to find out that not counting their hairstyles, they look exactly alike! The initial curiosity leads to feuding and the girl's wind up in an isolation tent alone...for the rest of the summer.
Rain, wind, and an open window eventually break the ice, and Susan and Sharon begin to get to know each other. But when Sharon shows Susan a picture of her mother, Susan instantly recognizes it as her mother, and the girls discover that they are SISTERS!!!!!!!
To make a long story short, Susan and Sharon switch places in a wild attempt to get their parents back together. But their plans are nearly crashed when their dad announces his intent to marry a vain, uppity lady named Vicky. Can Susan and Sharon rally together and get their parents back together before something awful happens? Watch this exciting movie starring the adorable Hayley Mills as Susan and Sharon, to find out!
Hayley Mills has got to be one of my favorite actresses, and this has got to be the best film ever. She is just so good!
The DVD is just filled with extras, and if you want to see another DVD with the same amount of extras, see 'Pollyanna', another one of Hayley Mills movies, which is also awesome.
A couple years ago Disney made a remake of the Parent Trap, and although the special effects are probably much better, you can't reproduce the same charm that Hayley Mills gave us when this movie first came out. The original is always the best!
Bottom line: See this movie, and I promise you, you won't regret it.
on February 18, 2004
Few movies of my childhood had more of an emotional effect on me than "The Parent Trap." My introduction to this movie was the typical one for a Gen-Xer- watching it on "The Wonderful World of Disney." I remember being enthralled with this movie and can recall feeling a little depressed when it ended. I would be absolutely drawn into the story and wonder why girls as "cool" as "Sharon and "Susan" didn't go to my grade school. (I sometimes wonder whether this movie influenced my long-time attraction to short-haired tomboys which has unfortunately led to me developing crushes on several gay women over the years.)
I know I am not alone in my fondness for "The Parent Trap." It is one of Disney's most beloved movies and for good reason- it just exudes warm-hearted sentimentality. That Disney was able to pull this off is tribute to the director, writer, and actors because there is a VERY thin line between warm-hearted sentiment and treacly, syrupy schmaltz. "The Parent Trap" sometimes comes dangerously close to falling over the edge- that impromptu performance of "Let's Get Together" always made me cringe rather than tap my feet, but it never plunges into the well of sappiness.
However, I must ask has there ever been a more cruel child custody agreement? The parents divorce with each taking one of their twin daughters and then going off to live completely seperate lives. Neither parent seemed to make any attempt to stay in contact with the child in the other's custody or inform the sisters of their twin's existence. What kind of parents are these people? Oh, who cares!! It's a pointless exercise for an adult to over-analyze one of the great children's films. As a child I loved "The Parent Trap" for what it was- one of the funniest and most endearing movies that Disney has ever made. It's a true classic that has withstood the test of time.
on December 10, 2003
This movie is so endearing when you first watch it. I was in my pre-teens when I first watched The Parent Trap and for awhile I couldn't get enough of it. Finally, when I turned 19, my parents bought it on DVD for me as a birthday present. I do not get to watch my movies much, but I love this one. It is one I never did grow out of yet and I don't think I ever will. It is the story about two twin daughters, Susan and Sharon, who meet at a summer camp and find out that they are twins. They then come up with a plan to switch places to bring their separated parents, Mitch and Maggie, back together. Susan goes to Boston and tries act like a refined young lady while Sharon goes out west to be a tom-boy girl. They run into some problems, but they are able to bring their parents back together in the end. This is a funny, loving, and a wonderful movie to watch, especially for young teenage girls. It may be some-what out-dated, but it is still a great and touching movie. Please, parents, if you are shopping for your young girl, buy this movie for them. I enjoyed it.
on September 26, 2003
Although the split-screen technique had been around for a decade or so, it was usually more noted for its failures than its success, and the actor required to play dual roles usually took tremendous heat for their failure to create two physically identical but distinctly different characterizations on screen. But with THE PARENT TRAP, with the difficult dual role resting on the shoulders of an extremely young star, Walt Disney struck gold. It would be the single highest grossing film the studio had released up to that time, and even some forty years later the baby-boomers who flocked to see it in 1961 regard it as one of their favorite movie experiences.
But THE PARENT TRAP has a lot more going for it than mere nostalgia. The cast is really, really good, featuring the ever-likable Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in leading roles and a host of great character actors (including Leo G. Carroll and Nancy Kulp) in minor roles. And then there is Haley Mills. The daughter and sister of noted English actors, Mills was no newcomer to the screen when THE PARENT TRAP went before the cameras--she had even picked up an Oscar for her earlier Disney film POLLYANNA. Even so, this was no guarantee that she could pull off the feat of double roles, something that had daunted even the legendary Bette Davis. But she did.
The story has been told so often that surely every one knows it by now. A wife delivers twin daughters--but shortly afterward divorces her husband, and each wins custody of one child. The children are raised without any knowledge of each other's existence... until they unexpectedly bump into each other at summer camp, put two and two together, and devise a scheme to get their parents back together again.
Even today, and in spite of its familiarity, it's an amusing idea, and while the actual script is weak in spots the cast, and especially Haley Mills, makes the most of it. There's plenty of slapstick, lots of laugh-out-loud scenes, and enough charm to beguile all but the most cynical viewers. And Haley Mills clearly demonstrates why she was regarded as the single most gifted child actor of her era: although she plays both Susan and Sharon with the same edge of mischievous fun, they do indeed come off as completely different personalities.
Of course, digital technology has left the old split-screen technique in the dust, and today its easy to see the flaws in the technique that weren't so obvious at the time. And the quality of the film transfer is not the best: while this isn't the worst transfer I've seen, it is full of artifacts nonetheless. Even so, the appeal of the story, the cast, and most particularly Haley Mills make up for a lot, and this Disney double DVD comes complete with a host of bonuses (including a making-of documentary and an audio commentary track by director David Swift and Haley Mills) that fans will enjoy quite a bit.
If you were a fan of the film then, you'll remain a fan of it now. And if you want to introduce your family to a truly charming movie experience, you couldn't make a better choice.
--GFT (Amazon Reviewer)--
on August 3, 2003
I'll grant you that The Parent Trap is gushy, syrupy, silly in parts and far-fetched. But none of it makes the slightest bit of difference, because this is a truly classic film! It's a microcosm of the 60's and for anyone who grew up in that crazy decade, you will adore the clothes, slang and general feel of the movie. Hayley Mills delivers her best performance in dual roles as wealthy twins who meet by chance at camp. They had been separated as tiny tots and only realize they are sisters when they compare photo of their parents. The scenes at camp are a little contrived, but they still will make you laugh.
The best parts of the movie are with Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara, still beautiful and charming in the role of the mother. The twins plot on how to reunite their parents and their vicious tricks on witchy Vicky (Keith's fiancée) are hilarious. The camping scenes are really funny and even though a little mean-spirited, who wouldn't root against the vain, frivolous Vicky? Keith and O'Hara have real screen chemistry and their scenes together are delightful.
I have seen this movie dozens of times and never weary of it. Kids of all ages should love it, and so should the seniors and anyone in between. A true Disney classic!
on March 21, 2003
I had some tears going during the parent trap. Isnt that pathetic at the age of 23? haha.. its true
I actually had tears going when I was younger and I saw this movie. When I ordered it on DVD, I thought "there is no way Im still going to get emotional at this age". I was wrong. Althought the movie starts out a bit corny, you cant help but get into Haley Mills superb acting. Many things about this movie hit a soft spot. The long lost twins coming together by fate and finally finding out the truth about their past. The daughter who finally got to see her mother and grandfather after never seeing them. The parents finding out that they still love eachother and can't live without eachother after years of serparation. It touches you in a special way for sure, but at the same time its so much fun! As with most of Walt Disneys movies, everyone in this film was casted perfectly. Ya know, this movie still makes me laugh a bit too. One of my favorite little parts of the movie is when the girlfriends mother says "is this the one you call peanut face"? hahaa.. I remember how embarressing it was being called names like that when I was little.
Hayley Mills is really great and Im a true fan. The 2 disk DVD is excellent top notch quality! It has behind the scenes, commentary with Hayley Mills, a great classic donald duck cartoon and more! The DVD audio and picture quality is great and Disney studios put alot of care into this DVD. If your looking for a great movie for the kids that you can also enjoy, this is it!
on March 18, 2003
This is what DisneyDVD should be!
Not only is this classic live-action Disney film beautifully restored and brought to DVD format, the "Vault Disney Collection" format has created a modern masterpiece, combining 21st Century technology with timeless Disney storytelling.
Disc One includes the restored film, along with audio commentary from Hayley Mills and director David Swift. Film history will be well served, as within a short time after his participation in this special edition DVD project, David Swift passed away. All fans of classic Disney film will be grateful for the foresight that was demonstrated in bringing this project to fruition while there was still time to do so.
In particular, Disc Two is worth the full price of admission. There is a wonderful feature on the memorable music of Richard and Robert Sherman (best known for their Academy Award winning music on Mary Poppins). In addition, "The Making of the Parent Trap" brings viewers up front & personal with the behind-the-scenes technologies required to produce this film. Included are Production Archives for the film, and the "1961 Disney Studio Album" (video scrapbook) combine for an unforgettable DVD experience.
Congratulations to those responsible for creating the "Vault Disney Collection" DVDs. Walt would be proud!
on March 4, 2003
This delightful family film is full of engaging performances and beautiful photography that really makes me wish that Disney would commit themselves to making more live action family fair like this today. It also makes we wish that they had done a better job on remastering this Disney classic on DVD.
Haley Mills plays twins, separated at birth but determined to get their divorced parents back together after they find one another at summer camp.
The transfer (thank heavens!) is anamorphic widescreen. But the image is often pixelated and riddled with annoying dirt, scratches and color inconsistencies that are inherent in the "split screen" process shots (the technical term used to make two people appear out of one) in particular. Yet this problem could most certainly have been minimalized or even corrected using today's digital wizardry. Sadly, we don't get that kind of committment from Disney Inc. so we're stuck with a print that at times is very harsh to look at. Overall, colors are weak, though consistent. Black levels are low and contrast is at times wanting. Audio, though dated, is nevertheless well represented. For extra features, Disney Inc. gets an "A" plus, plus. There are documentaries, interviews, short subjects, musical tracks and a host of other interesting offering that really make the film come alive. With all this thought and attention to extras, why wasn't more done with the actual print. Ho-hum!