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Hunchback of Notre Dame I & II (blu ray): OK original and forgettable DTV sequel at FULL price, cost more than Wreck-It Ralph 3D
on March 13, 2013
The Hunchback of Notre Dame I (blu ray):
‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame I’ arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. Colours are warm and vibrant, with bold primaries, rich purples and golds, and deep blacks. Detail is excellent too. The animators' line art is crisp and clean on the whole, the brushstrokes and textures of the hand-painted backgrounds are wonderfully resolved, and the CG elements fare well, even under high definition scrutiny. (4/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (blu ray):
Like the utterly ugly sequel to 'Pocahontas,' this Direct-To-Video (MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.66:1) sucks all the life and charm out of the original animation, instead producing a movie that befits the starkly flat animation of a 'Duck Tales' episode. It's a very sad movie to look at, let alone watch. (1.5/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame I:
Disney has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track for 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' The audio mix does a good job at showcasing the movie's musical numbers and also provides ample room for all sorts of ambient sound. The movie's score, however unmemorable, resonates through the channels with stunning clarity. The streets of Paris are alive with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The clanging of the church bells fills each channel with beautiful echoing. One of the best examples of the encompassing effect of this mix's ability to produce believable ambient sound is during the Festival of Fools when Quasimodo gets mocked. People yell from every direction and voices ping-pong around the soundfield like you were actually standing there. (4/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II:
The sequel's audio mix doesn't turn out as well though. It's still serviceable enough, but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix does little more than serve to tell the story in front of you. There is little embellishment or pizazz. Even the musical numbers sound rather flat and uninspired. (3/5)
I do not appreciate that both 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame II' are combined into one BD-50 disc. I also do not appreciate that the two DVDs (one for each movie) are stacked one on top of the other. Poor (and cheap) packaging!
After a string of hits that went on to be considered classics – 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Aladdin,' and 'The Lion King,' – Disney hit a rough patch and started cranking out mediocre titles that failed to resonate as deeply with audiences…like the current title. When it comes right down to it, the packaging of this release says everything. Releasing films together with their deplorable DTV sequels has been Disney's way of throwing the second-tier catalogue titles at us, but at the same time, Disney has the nerve to charge us top price. It is unimaginable that this set cost more than either Brave and Wreck-It Ralph! 3D! Go figure!
Since I am one of those die-hard Disney collection completists, I have purchased it. I'm still inclined to provide a light recommendation based on the fact that the original (let's just forget the sequel) is a joy to watch and listen to in HD. As far as price is concerned, $20 instead of $29.97 is more like it!