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Restoration it is not, those animals were not mute!
on December 11, 2010
The original Christmas special, as shown on television in the late sixties and seventies, and as produced on VHS in the eighties, was a tasteful gem, with a rare, austere beauty, evocative music and a raw, deep emotional core. Sadly, this DVD does not come close to the original viewing experience because so many critical audio bits were not transferred in the conversion process. Most of Aaron's animal friends' bleats and grunts are gone, even at the moment when the lamb is injured he's mute, the yelp has disappeared. And one of the most poignant lines in the special - "and when Aaron looked at the babe, he thought it was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen," has been altered, the original line, as delivered beautifully by narrator Greer Garson, is replaced, inexplicably, by actor Paul Frees. In the final moments of the production, the baby Jesus makes an adorably natural murmuring sound from manger but this CRITICAL sound too is GONE. Obviously, what's been sold a resoration is merely an earlier rough cut that does not contain all the audio refinements added prior to completion. Please fix this Rankin Bass!