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Customer Review

62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, terrible transfer, February 26, 2004
This review is from: The Rocketeer (DVD)
This movie is clearly a five star film. It's exciting, fun, adventurous and great for kids, but also for adults! The photography is great, sets and costumes are authentic, and the acting is first rate. HOWEVER, this has got to be the worst DVD transfer I have ever seen. It looks to me like they took a widescreen 72 mm print and projected it on a screen, then rephotographed it on 35 mm... no kidding. Nearly every letterbox film I have goes from one side of my flat panel monitor to the other. This one is well within all 4 sides of my monitor... and the color is milky and faded and there is a grainy character to the picture. The sound is clearly stereophonic and wonderful... so why Disney can put out an amateur transfer like this is beyond me. Having said that, the film is not expensive and I still recommend it.... but Disney needs to re-release a clear transfer of this wonderful film. I will be worried about the quality of future Disney and Miramax films on DVD if this is how they are going to be released.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2008 12:39:17 AM PST
APB says:
Fast forward to January 2008. You flatter this abominal transfer when you say it looks like it was photographed in 35mm from a 70mm screening; more like 8mm from a vhs played on an old TV. I've just watched this on a professional display, upconverted by a high definition player and it is the worst standard definition transfer I've ever seen.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 12:32:42 AM PDT
Zack H. says:
i read up on the video transfer of disney's "the rocketeer" dvd; turns out that it was most likely mastered from the same source as the 1992 laserdisc. i figured as such.

disney re-hashed a lot of widescreen laserdisc transfers for their newer dvd counterparts in their early dvd production days..which is why the transfer on that disc wasn't remastered and is non-anamorphic.

what sucks is that they got lazier for a few years after "the rocketeer" was released; just porting over numerous, ridiculous pan-and-scan transfers from the vhs era for dvd releases of films that they figured would cater to "younger audiences" like "honey, i shrunk the kids" and "heavyweights". i loved both of those films as a kid, but the dvd releases for both suck, as well.

according to

"in 2002, disney established a new policy whereby any movies that they feel have limited adult appeal will be released on dvd in pan & scan only. no widescreen dvd. they've reneged a bit since then, but many titles from their live action catalogue have made their dvd debuts exclusively in reformatted fullscreen. this affects every unreleased live action disney film, particularly those that the studio suspects have limited appeal outside of children."

Posted on Sep 10, 2011 1:26:17 PM PDT
Alan says:
You really ought to get a multi region or region free DVD player and then get yourself a copy of the Touchstone release of Rocketeer available from

The UK release is Anamorphic Widescreen and the transfer is GREAT!

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 9:35:26 PM PDT
Still the best review -- deservedly in the "spotlight" where it belongs -- for a great movie that deserved a great transfer to DVD (instead of being "the worst" such transfer you've ever seen. Ah yes, from a "Laserdisc" source; weren't they terrible?)

You haven't written a review in seven years. Just wanted to say, "come back, ClassicMovieFan" -- write more.

Mark Blackburn
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 9:32:50 PM PST
What the heck does "Pan and Scan" mean?
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