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Lady And The Tramp (Diamond Edition) (1955) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 February 2012

ImageThere really is no need for an introduction to Disney’s classic “Lady And The Tramp.”  Sure, it perhaps often overlooked when considering the trove of Disney treasures.  However, this film remains one of my all-time favorites.


The film has everything needed to be successful.  There is a simple but yet complex story.  There is song.  There is romance.  There is adventure.  Simply put, there is fun.  Fun has always been a Disney specialty.


I could provide a whole history on the making of “Lady And The Tramp,” its influence on cinema, etc.  However, I’m sure most looking for this title are simply interested in the quality of the Blu-ray release.  Well, dear readers, it is a pleasure to inform you of the spectacular quality of this release in all aspects.


As we have come to expect, Disney has not let us down with its Diamond Edition Blu-ray release of this classic.  The video quality has been impeccably restored.  Disney is truly top-notch when it comes to restoration.  Perhaps one of the only popular titles, “Lady And The Tramp” comes to Blu-ray with its original 2.55:1 aspect ratio.  No, that is not a typo.  I meant 2.55 not 2.35.  That means you need to be prepared for even more top and bottom black bars.  I bet right about now you are wishing that you had a cinemascope widescreen.  I can tell you that it makes all the difference in watching this film.  Watching the film projected on to a 9-foot 16:9 widescreen was subpar.  The cinema experience is lost.  However, when displayed on the cinemascope screen the black bars were hardly a distraction.  The true beauty of the video filled the screen and the room.  So, basically, I recommend that you find a way to view this title on a cinemascope screen.

That being said, watching this title on a normal 16:9 screen still shows the truly fine video quality of this release.  The cleanup is perfect in a manner of speaking.  Ever hand drawn frame has been meticulously restored.  The colors are warm and inviting without being overbearing.  The sharpness and level of detail present in the images is outstanding.  Black levels look as though they were rendered just yesterday.  The contrast and brightness levels are perfectly balanced.  In the overall scheme of things there is nothing to complain about in this release.  However, when taking apart the video there are a few issues.  I really debated on whether or not to give this release a five star video rating.  However, given the video quality of other past Disney classics, older than this 1955 title, I think that it would be unfair.  That is not to say that there are major issues with this release, and any issues arise from the original print.  Specifically, I am referring to a slight telecine issue in the beginning and a few other sequences that show age in comparison with the rest of the video transfer.  That is not to say that the aged-sequenced are bad, they just don’t fit with the high quality of the rest of the film.  Neither of these are anything that will ruin the experience while watching the title.  I am just here to mention that overall, the video transfer falls just short of perfect.  But it is as close as you can get.


While the video may have just a hint of “not quite perfect,” the audio quality is without a doubt stellar.  Disney gives us two lossless options, satisfying all audiences.  There is a brand new DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio mix.  In addition, there is a newly restored original audio track presented in DTS-HD MA 3.0.  Both tracks are excellent, and it is hard to make up my mind on which I prefer.  I am a little bit of a purist so I really enjoyed the 3.0 track.  However, given what we have come to expect from audio on Blu-ray I think the 7.1 audio track is the way to go.  It does not deviate from the original audio mix that much.  You won’t find new discrete sound effects in the surrounds, thankfully.  What the 7.1 track provides is enveloping.  The surround channels fill the space without being apparent or distracting.  They will not provide an immersive experience without the discrete sounds, but it comes darn close to that as well.  The LFE channel is never overbearing.  It subtly provides that fill to the frequency spectrum.  If you get this Blu-ray title for anything, it should be for the lossless audio tracks.  You will not believe the upgrade quality versus the previous standard Dolby DVD release. 


The special features section of the disc is not as filled out as many other Disney classics.  All bonus materials are located on the same Blu-ray disc as the film itself.  Nevertheless, there are plenty of goodies for fans to dive into.


All, well nearly all the classic DVD Disney features are located on the Blu-ray.  They all remain in standard definition, which we over course come to expect.  There are never before scene deleted scenes as well as a deleted song presented in storyboard format.  Diane Disney Miller provides an introduction to the Blu-ray.  The audio commentary is going to be a real treat for fans.  This audio commentary contains readings by voice actors of Disney original production meetings.  They are certainly interesting events and really bring you back to 1955.  Lastly, there is the addition of Disney’s Second Screen function, which this time is the only way to access some of the content such as behind the scenes material.  The commentary track is also available through the second screen function.  The two-disc edition comes with a DVD Copy and the three-disc edition comes with a DVD Copy and Digital Copy.


“Lady And The Tramp” is a classic no doubt.  It is now presented on Blu-ray for new generations to enjoy.  The audio and video qualities show the tremendous work done by Disney restorers.  This title is an absolute must.

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