Blu-ray Review “The Little Mermaid: 2-Movie Collection”

Starring: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Tara Strong, Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Sally Field
Directors: Jim Kammerud, Peggy Holmes
Number of discs: 3
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 152 minutes

The Little Mermaid: Return to the Sea: 3 out of 5 stars
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea” and “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, the direct-to-video sequel and prequel to the timeless classic “The Little Mermaid are make their high definition on Blu-ray. It is the latest 2-Movie Collection from Disney, which has been unloading its catalog of films on Blu-ray over the last year. I know the world has been rioting to get these two films releases but it is nice to add them to my collection. They are not the best out of the Disney sequels/prequels but who doesn’t love “The Little Mermaid”? I grew up watching the original film and now my daughter (who is 17 months) watches it at least once a day, so I have a feeling we are going to be getting a lot of use out of these discs. I would probably only recommend this for hardcore Disney fans.

Official Premise: “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea” follows the plight of Melody (Tara Strong), the daughter of Ariel (Jodi Benson) and Prince Eric (Rob Paulsen). To protect her from the evil sea witch, Morgana (Pat Carroll), Melody is not allowed in the ocean… until she turns twelve, when she runs away and experiences an adventure under the sea. Then, in “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, we go back in time, before the events of “The Little Mermaid”. After a traumatic event has a profound effect on King Triton, all music is banned from the underwater kingdom of Atlantica. All that changes, though, when his youngest daughter Ariel attempts to challenge the new law.

Disney is releases this 2-Movie Collection in a 3-disc set. There is a single BD-50 disc with both films in high definition and there then are two DVDs for each film in standard definition. My question is…”Where are the digital copies”? Disney has been doing great with this recently but I am kinda disappointed here.  The 1080p transfers on both films look good and support the colorful animations but they still have that direct-to-video look and feel. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, since they work well with the music and songs but nothing like the epic feeling you get from audio track on “The Little Mermaid” Blu-ray release.

Even though the films are direct-to-video, they still have some decent special features but nothing amazing.  For “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea”, we get a “Storybook: Read To You By Jodi Benson – The Voice Of Ariel”. There is a deleted song included called. “Gonna Get My Wish”. Lastly there is a classic animated short “Merbabies”. For “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, we get “Splashdance: A Dancer’s Adventures Under The Sea”, 2 Deleted Scenes, 4 Sing-Along Songs and “Mermaid Discovery Vanity Game” (which is only available on the DVD disc).


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Blu-ray Review “Lilo & Stitch: 2-Movie Collection”

Actors: Chris Sanders, Daveigh Chase, Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, David Ogden-Stiers
Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean Deblois
Number of discs: 3
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Disney
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Run Time: 153 minutes

“Lilo & Stitch”: 5 out of 5 stars
“Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch”: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

Last year Disney started flooding the market with their less than par animated films on Blu-ray in these 2 Movie Collection sets. A few of them that we got “The Rescuers”/”The Rescuers Down Under”, “Pocahontas”/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World” and “Mulan”/”Mulan II”. This month we are getting a few more to add to our collections including “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”/”Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return”, “The Emperor’s New Groove”/”Kronk’s New Groove” and this release “Lilo & Stitch”/”Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch”. I was never a huge fan of “Atlantis” but “The Emperor’s New Groove” is a great and very underrated film and “Lilo & Stitch” is a no brainer bonafide Disney classic. Thanks to “Lilo & Stitch”, I am proud to call my wife and daughter, my “ahona” every day. The sequel is not too bad either, not amazing but not as terrible as some Disney direct-to-video.  I can’t wait to sit down and introduce my daughter to “Lilo & Stitch”.

Official Premise: “Lilo and Stitch” is the story of Lilo, a lonely little girl, and Stitch the mischievous little creature from outer space. When Stitch crash-lands in Hawaii, Lilo adopts him as her pet, but he soon turns her world upside down. Stitch takes Hawaii by storm, wreaking havoc and hanging ten while he evades the alien bounty hunters who are after him, and also learning about loyalty and friendship. Featuring six original Elvis Presley songs, “Lilo and Stitch” is fun for the entire family. The laughter continues in the hysterical sequel “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.” As Stitch settles into life with his human family it appears his molecular makeup is out of whack and his friendship with Lilo is threatened as a result. Lilo and her friends must find a way to restore his “goodness” level before he ruins everything, including Lilo’s big hula competition – the same competition her mother won years before.

The 2-Movie Collection release of “Lilo & Stitch”/”Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” is a 3-disc set. Which includes both films on one Blu-ray with each film also included on their own DVD. In terms of Blu-ray presentation, the 1080p transfers both looks stunning! The colors are vibrant and very crisp. “Lilo & Stitch” looks better obviously due to production quality of the film. But “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” also is quite sharp, especially since it is direct-to-video. Both films come stocked with a standard, yet impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio tracks. “Lilo & Stitch” packs some amazing music including Elvis Presley and sounds amazing. “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” doesn’t have the flair of the first film but also sounds very impressive for a direct-to-video entry.

Now we get to the special features, which is a real disappointment just like the “Lilo & Stitch”/”Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” release. We get ZERO special features included on the Blu-ray, only on the bonus DVD copies. This is a real disappointment, especially with the first film’s audio commentary, which now can only be listened if you are watching the DVD of the film. I would have loved to had the opportunity to watch it with the Blu-ray. Same thing goes for the recently released “The Emperor’s New Groove”/”Kronk’s New Groove” double feature Blu-ray as well. Disney if you are reading this please cut it out with the double feature Blu-ray. This issue is the result of that.

Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray™ Giveaway [ENDED]


© 2013 Disney

New 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Available for the First Time in a 2-Movie Collection Debuting March 12, 2013

To celebrate the release of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” 2-Movie Collection, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 5 copies of the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray™ + 1 DVD). If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite character from the film. This giveaway will remain open until March 22nd at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to residents of the United States only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Rediscover the majestic musical adventure of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame II,” together for the first time on Blu-ray™ in a 2-Movie Collection! Families can come together and enjoy the extraordinary tale of Quasimodo in a soaring celebration of the beauty inside all of us.

Join the world’s most unlikely hero as he meets his first real friend, Esmeralda, while fighting to save the people and city he loves. The legendary story continues as Quasi reunites with his gargoyle friends to protect the cathedral’s most famous bell and find true love. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” soars with a magnificent score by Academy Award Winning composer Alan Menken (“Beauty And The Beast,” “Aladdin”). Enjoy both magical films, bursting with brilliant animation and unforgettable characters, together on Disney Blu-ray™ March 12!