Blu-ray Review “The Aristocats”

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Scatman Crothers, Sterling Holloway, Dean Clark
MPAA Rating: G
Distributed by: Walt Disney Video
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Running Time: 78 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Aristocats” is the last animated film to be graced by the late Walt Disney’s blessing.  It is definitely a different kind of Disney classic but still a classic nonetheless.  If you go to France at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, you can still meet Marie in the country.  I am not sure if kids know who she is but maybe not the line with be a little longer.  Disney did a really great job of restoration this film.  The film is over 40 years old and even though it doesn’t look like it was made yesterday, it still looks good and has a certain charm about it.  I can’t wait to sit down and watch this film with my daughter (now only 3 months old).  Fans of Disney should definitely pick up this title quickly before they usher it back into the vault. I mean who doesn’t love swingin’ jazz cats who save the day?

This isn’t the only film released out of the vault though. Besides this film, August 21st saw the release seven animated films over five different Blu-ray, including “The Aristocats”, “The Rescuers & The Rescuers Down Under”, “Pocahontas & Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World” and “The Tigger Movie”. Disney if you are reading this, I still want to see a Blu-ray release for films like “Robin Hood” and “The Sword in the Stone”…(hint-hint). This release also includes a little bonus of a digital download of “The Aristocats: Disney Classics Storybook” app on iPhone. Definitely taking advantage of that bonus.

“The Aristocats” was restored to Blu-ray with a whole lot of Disney magic.  It’s 1080p video transfer couldn’t look anymore better, especially for its age. The forty-two-year old animation and hand-painted backgrounds are still sharp and very colorful. Diney’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track sounds just as amazing as the film looks.  The songs, the music, the jazzy feel for the film is just leaking out of this track and really gets your feet kicking.

The special features are decent as well and a bunch are even in HD.  “The Lost Open”  is a storyboarded deleted scene that features a cut character and song introduced by “Aristocats” songwriter Richard M. Sherman. There is a a second deleted song included as well called, “She Never Felt Alone.” “The Sherman Brothers: The Aristocats of Disney Songs” is an all-too brief  look at the Shermans’ contributions to “The Aristocats”. There is a sing-along version of the film with the lyrics in a subtitle track.  There is also a Classic Song Selection with four sing-along songs from the film. There is a music Video for “Oui Oui Marie,” a skipping-record Aristocats remix by D!tto. There is a retro 1956 Animated Special Excerpt called “The Great Cat Family,” hosted by Walt Disney.  Lastly there is bonus classic Walt Disney short called “Bath Day,” featuring Minnie Mouse and Figaro.

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