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DVD Versus VHS Edition Pro's and Con's
on October 9, 2009
I own both the VHS and DVD versions of this movie and recently watched them both. I've read many reviews from viewers who did not recommend the DVD version of this movie because of a few missing sound effects. While I did not notice any of these issues until I read about them, I had noticed something slightly different about the movie, which I couldn't place. It wasn't a huge deal though. However, the DVD version is missing certain sound effects which were left out of the remastering such as:
-No Spider slaying vortex sound
-No dwarf complaining while in barrels
-No sound of arrows plinking off Smaug's chest
-Smaug's fire breathing at one point seems to not coordinate with the movie, as he is flying towards the town, and the fire crackles almost like static.
-Smaug does not roar at all when he is attacking Laketown, at least not until he gets shot.
Again, I did not really notice these issues until they were pointed out. What I did notice about the remastered DVD was:
-Much improved visual quality. It's like you are looking at the original artwork! There is no color distortion.
-Much, MUCH improved audio and balance. I never could make out the words of many songs until the DVD. I actually have a hard time now enjoying the audio on the VHS because many sound effects were too loud, making it hard to hear all the words, without turning up the volume. Struggling to hear everything on the VHS gave me a bit of a headache, actually.
-Do you remember the scene where Bilbo runs out of the secret passageway with his behind on fire? This part was cut out of my VHS version.
To be honest, the strengths of this movie are the wonderfully done artwork, and the wonderfully done music. Having the DVD only highlights these core parts. Although the small missing sound effects are unfortunate, I still recommend the DVD, because you will enjoy the movie more, overall.