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This enchanting tale begins in Paris, when a kind and eccentric millionairess wills her entire estate to her family a family of adorable high-society cats. But when Edgar, the greedy butler, overhears her plan, he catnaps Duchess, the elegant, soft-spoken mother, and her three mischievous kittens and abandons them in the French countryside. Soon, they re being escorted home by the charming Thomas O Malley, a rough-and-tumble alley cat, who takes them to his pad along the way, where Scat Cat and his band of swingin jazz cats perform the memorable Ev rybody Wants To Be A Cat. Enriched by highstyle Disney animation (The New Yorker) and toe-tapping music by Academy Award® winning songwriters the Sherman brothers, The Aristocats is a timeless treasure and the last animated feature to get the nod from Walt Disney himself.
This 2008 special edition DVD boasts a host of new special features including a great deleted song featurette with composer Richard Sherman in which he presents Madame Bonfamille's melody "Porquois" and Duchess's deleted song "She Never Felt Alone" complete with a recorded temp-track featuring the vocals of Robie Lester accompanied by piano and set against a variety of storyboard sketches. Major songs "The Aristocats," "Scales and Arpeggios," "Thomas O'Malley," and "Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat" are presented with or without on-screen lyrics, a virtual kitten game with television and DVD-ROM options allows viewers to care for their very own kitten, and a second game teaches kids the names of five major musical instruments. One "Backstage Disney" presentation features Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman detailing the process of composing music for film and relating the story of how they convinced the retired Maurice Chevalier to make one last Disney recording and a second consists of an Aristocats scrapbook filled with Ken Anderson's concept art, storyboards, color and character development sketches, and behind-the-scenes photographs. A twelve-minute excerpt from the 1956 Wonderful World of Make Believe television program "The Great Cat Family" features Walt Disney narrating an animated and completely captivating history of the domestic cat and a bonus Figaro and Minnie Mouse short "Bath Day" rounds out the DVD special features. --Tami Horiuchi
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5.1 Dolby Surround Sound perhaps at a later date?Anyway,I'm not a member of Disney Movie Club so I pay a PREMIUM price for the Blurays on Amazon & eBay.Honestly,If I knew that I was buying a recently made Disney Bluray with a MONO SOUNDTRACK FROM 1950,I would have just kept my DVD.Read the VERY small print on back of Bluray 1.0 mono.YUK!Anyway,GOOD PICTURE!
The movie itself is well made and very notable. It's the first fully Live Action movie produced by Walt Disney studios who had only produced animated or partly animated films up until this time. It's also notable for Robert Newton's performance as Long John Silver. His distinct raspy voice and affected accent lent to what we know as "Pirate Talk" today (Arrr!)
All performances are well done in this film. A little melodramatic at times, but good all the same. Bobby Driscoll seems a little out of place as young Jim Hawkins because he's the only American actor in the film and doesn't even attempt a British accent (which is probably for the better).
The blu-ray transfer is very good. Disney has been putting every effort into these Blu-ray versions and have been making some very high quality films. It should be noted that this is "Full Screen" at 1:33:1 aspect, but this is consistent with the original presentation.
If you like good old fashioned pirate movies, this is a good film to get and watch with your family.
Thomas O'Malley and Duchess are great when playing off of each other. On the other hand, there are some interesting... character design decisions that are clearly a product of their time.
All in all, a great way to spend an afternoon with children.
Thanks Amazon for offering select movies for $1 this past March, please make this a permanent thing.