is it in widescreen or full. I want this movie, but i was hoping it is in widescreen, because if it is I won't have to wait on the bluray. I would really like to get it before it becomes a rarity like some many other Disney films. Thanks guys.
My rendition/edition of this DVD set [2-disc set, "The Masterpiece Edition", digitally restored and remastered, 2004 release] features an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full-screen. The *original* film featured an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, basically the same format as this DVD. It was originally shot in 35MM. (search the Internet Movie Database [IMDB] online for lots more technical information.)
When I saw your post, I was pretty sure about all this so I put it on and I was right. I understand your concerns about the prospective let-down of full-screen (I'm a fiend for letterbox format) but honestly, I have a 42" Vizio (Wal-Mart) LCD flatscreen/widescreen and this film is beautiful on the screen, filling it completely with no black bars on either the top, bottom, or sides, all crystal clear and perfectly restored.
So, if you're seeking advice, I would harbor no reservations about acquiring this DVD in its present format. I don't know that it will ever be any "better" on Bluray, HD, or other formats in terms of its aspect ratio since modifying the original production in any way to achieve widescreen or letterbox would have to involve either an undesireable distortion of the original film or cutting off the top or bottom of the footage.
I hope this helps.
p.s. -- I should also point out that, based upon the comments of other Amazon reviewers, the *Masterpiece Edition* [the one I have and which came out in 2004] is far superior in quality to the *Special Un-Anniversary Edition*, which is the one you're asking about in your query. Why Disney would subsequently release a DVD version which is inferior to a previous release, I do not know but I wanted to make you aware of the difference between the two editions. Other than that, I think they're pretty much the same.
I have to disagree, I have the Un-Anniversary edition and the movie shines both in picture and sound, it contains all the bonus material from the masterpiece edition and have two new featurettes. Alice, you should know that this film was film in the academy ratio that means is fullscreen and will never be a widescreen edtion (that will destroy the film), also I want you to know that Disney will release a 60th anniversary edition bluray early next year and it surely will have Disneyview, this is an option where you can see the movie in a widescreen mode because disney fills the bars with backgrounds that match the original film. This have been appled in other Fullscreen classic films such as Snow White, Pinocchio and Dumbo. While I don't like to see them that way, is a great option for viewers who wants a widescreen experience.
I certainly cannot say with any degree of certainty as to the quality of one edition versus the other -- however, after double-checking the reviews by the people who bought the Un-Anniversary edition, a number of them are clearly unhappy with the quality. Those comments were my only source for the information on the UAE that I passed on to Alice which I figured she'd check out on her own subsequent to my response.
But if you say its fine, that seems to make more sense to me. As I said in my comments earlier, I do not know why Disney would produce an inferior-quality product subsequent to having produced an excellent one, although the reviewers who complained offered some speculation regarding this.
In any case, I definitely agree with you that any attempt to generate a widescreen version would destroy much of the art of this fine film.
You're very welcome, Alice. I just hope I didn't confuse the matter more than it already appears to be! :)
And again, do not hesitate to buy this film due to the full-screen issue ("I share your pain," as Bill Clinton would say :) )-- you really don't notice this caveat all that much because the film is so superb.