Boy Named Charlie Brown
(1969)/Snoopy Come Home
(1972/Peanuts Gang/National General/Cinema Center/CBS Blu-rays)/Elmo:
Love To Learn (Sesame
DVD)/Disney's The Jungle
Book (2016 Live-Action
B/B/C+/B & C+ Sound: B/B/C+/B & C+ Extras: D/D/C+/C
Main Programs: B/B-/C+/C
a new set of children's releases for you to know about...
go with the first CGI Peanuts
film that arrived in the past year and the classic Holiday TV special
on Blu-ray for a while, CBS is issuing the first two Bill
Melendez-directed animated feature films of the franchise: A
Boy Named Charlie Brown
(1969) and Snoopy
(1972). We reviewed the DVD of the first film a good while ago at
had already directed the first six TV specials with the great Peanuts
line-up, so he and his crew were more than up to bringing the strip
to life on a larger canvas. Originally distributed by National
General/Cinema Center, the frames are larger and color impressive as
the strip literally comes to life. The second Snoopy film gives us
an almost-convincing take of Snoopy and Woodstock visiting a female
friend in a hospital who turns out to be Snoopy's earlier owner.
Viable or not, it is still a fun film with a few sad moments, but not
out to hurt or insult its audience.
larger problem is it runs only 81 minutes-long, but its story is
wrapped up well just the same. Rod McKuen wrote 3 songs for the
first film, while the equally legendary Sherman Brothers wrote even
more for the sequel film. The Spelling Bee plot of the first film
can still be a real hoot, while both films shine when they go for
fancy animated sequences. Its easy to forget how good these are not
having seen them for a while, but they not only impress, but on
Blu-ray, offer big surprises worth going out of your way for.
are very sadly no extras, but two more theatrical films were made, so
maybe we'll get something on them?
Love To Learn
is the latest DVD entry from the fan favorite Sesame
character and this compilation runs about 70 minutes (previews are
added to the end without warning, pushing the runtime a little
longer, but those bits do not count) and my problem with this release
is that it is too much fantasy and not enough street. It's still
good and child-friendly enough, but it just did not have the impact
of the other DVDs in the series.
extras not only include those clips and the brief (just over 10
program, but a real surprise in All-Star Alphabet, a mid-2000s
production with comedienne Nicole Sullivan as the letter 'A' and
Stephen Colbert as the letter 'Z' at a mall in New Jersey (they are
dressed as giant letters) joking around and teaching the language to
us all. Warner and Sesame Workshop made a big mistake not putting a
note about his on the back of the case, but know you know. That
makes up for the main program's limits and puts this on par more so
with past Elmo releases.
Favreau's new live-action remake of Disney's
The Jungle Book
(2016) was a big hit with good voice acting and a cast of talking
digital animals that were lifelike enough, but it is not the colorful
animated musical the original hit was in 1967, which we reviewed on
Blu-ray ta this link...
Sethi is fine as Mowgli (cheers for his endurance during what was
likely a ton of green screen and maybe even blue screen work) with
voices of various animals by Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba,
Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johannsson, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo
Esposito and the late Garry Shandling. This all works well and
consistently in its own enclosed world, but I was less a fan of the
original than my fellow writer and this only did so much for me. I
am not the audience for this one, but I also hope this is the last
version of this book for a long time, but I hear otherwise.
money is on the screen and the makers care about what they are doing
all around, thus why it was a hit. However, I was only so impressed.
Still, you should see it for yourself if you're curious and you
might like it more. I give the studio credit for pulling this one
off, as so much could have gone wrong and did not.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs add a feature length
audio commentary track by Jon Favreau and three Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurettes.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on both Peanuts
Blu-rays are a little more like 1.66 X 1, but either way are a big
surprise with terrific color and when originally released in 35mm in
theaters, both were issued in a
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor and that great color comes
through here very strongly. Charlie
looks to be a slightly newer HD master than Snoopy
(which windowboxed its 1.33 X 1 opening and closing credits for some
reason), but the differences are highly minimal. Both offer plenty
of demo shots through you have to see to believe. Those impressed
with the TV specials on Blu-ray will love these.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Elmo
has more than its share of 1.33 X 1 bookended video material (flaws
include slight video banding, cross color and slight staircasing),
but that's better than the 'standard' presentation the case
accidentally misidentifies for this release. This is about on par
with most Elmo and Sesame
releases as expected.
we have the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
shot for 3D and with an Arri Alexa XT M HD camera. This is almost
too dark, but the Blu-ray resolves the image well enough. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image DVD is much softer, but not as
bad as expected.
in theaters in Dolby Atmos 11.1 sound, the Jungle
Blu-ray offers a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 mixdown that
is very effective, but it seems more sound is being lost in the
mixdown than in similar
cases we've encountered in the past. It's still the sonic champion,
but the DVD version's lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 loses
plenty more of that sound, yet there is obvious some state-of-the-art
lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mixed on both Peanuts
films upgrade the theatrical monophonic sound of both films very
well, easily outdoing the lossy Dolby Digital on the older DVD
versions and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 on these discs that are
particularly weak. They also sound less compressed than the
recordings from the TV specials on Blu-ray, which sound fine for
their age, but not as good as these soundtracks do.
with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is simple, fine, clean and
just about clear enough throughout.