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Terrible Quality DVD, unwatchable, produced by amateurs,
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This review is from: The Classic Betty Boop Collection: The Vintage Years (DVD)Shame on these bumbling, amateur DVD producers. Do not waste a penny on this shoddily manufactured 2-disc set compiled from damaged, inferior source materials.
At least one of the episodes ("I Heard") appears to have been sourced directly from a low-res file on YouTube. It would barely be watchable on a tiny iPhone screen. Viewing it on your family's television will make you nauseous.
Episodes not sucked down from YouTube stutter horribly, as if copied directly from sources with non-US frame rates, or grabbed from copy-protected discs via a poorly implemented, legally questionable process that left visible artifacts. The video stuttering is not something you can get used to or overlook: watching more than a few episodes induces eye fatigue and headache.
But wait, there's more! Audio volume from one episode to another has not been normalized and fluctuates wildly. Set the volume adequately for one episode, and you can't hear the next. Turn up the volume so you can hear that one, and the one that follows blows out your speakers.
There are no liner notes, and there is no button to "Play All." After each five minute cartoon finishes, you are dumped back to menu where you must manually select another cartoon.
The menu contains a needle-drop jazz-blues audio track that is easily twice as loud as any of the cartoons, blasting you out of your seat. The blues-jazz track, complete with 1960s-style Fender bass, has absolutely nothing to do with the early 1930s jazz that the Betty Boop cartoons were designed around, but you get the feeling that the incompetents who hastily banged together this shoddy collection thought they were matching the feeling of Betty Boop when they dumped this crummy track on their menu.
The menu itself appears to have been designed for a unique aspect ratio having nothing to do with the 16:9 or 4:3 standards. Its badly selected straight-from-the-DVD-pressing-desk typeface stretches and breaks like Comic Sans on Silly Putty. When you finish watching a cartoon and are dumped back into the loud, ugly menu, the cartoon you just watched is still selected in the menu. The notion that you might wish to advance to the next cartoon seems not to have occurred to the wizards who designed the user interface.
Betty Boop is an iconic character from the early days of sound animation, and the cartoons (when properly reproduced) still make great viewing for kids, parents, and grandparents. Alas, this barely watchable 2-disc collection is not the place to discover Betty Boop. I hope that Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros, or another reputable company that actually cares about preserving our film heritage will create the lovingly crafted (or at least professionally mastered) collection Betty and your family deserve.
Until then, avoid this collection like you'd avoid exposure to smallpox. It is the worst designed, worst produced, worst mastered, worst manufactured DVD set I have ever seen.