Kirby Holt: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition
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by Kirby C. Holt
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
MPAA Rating: G
My Fair Lady
Eight years after it made its DVD debut as the first in Disney's Platinum Edition line, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs returns to home video shelves this month on a new, tricked out Blu-ray high definition release. And Snow (along with her seven little friends) are certainly living up to their "fairest ones of all" legacy even now, 70-plus years after their groundbreaking debut on the world stage way back in 1937.
Featuring an all-new digital restoration of both sound and visuals, the new "Combo Pack" set (which includes both a standard DVD of the movie in addition to the two Blu-ray discs and is available in both standard and Blu-ray packaging) is loaded with fresh interactive content and nifty features unique to the HD format. This is what makes it not so much a replacement of the 2001 Platinum release as more of a companion piece to it.
As expected, there is some overlap in content (conveniently labeled on the menus as "Classic DVD Features"), but there is enough new goodies to warrant the upgrade, especially if you haven't yet taken the Blu-ray plunge. (A two-disc standard DVD set will be released on November 24.)
My one quibble with this latest edition of Snow White is its heavy reliance on the interactive functionality of Blu-ray. Sure, a lot of people love to dig into such capabilities, but an equal amount prefer to just sit back and watch, free of all the extra bells and whistles. An easy fix to balance things out here would have been to include the exceptional documentary "Still the Fairest One of All: The Making of Snow White" from the Platinum Edition, the one previous bonus that is sorely missed here.
On the other hand, some of these bells and whistles are pretty cool, beginning with the "smart navigation" menus -- embodied by a mirthful Magic Mirror -- that "remembers" what you have watched and reminds you of features you many have missed. Plus, there's even a game that is just as addictive as anything you'll find online or on your nearest Xbox. But more on that later ...
First, there is the feature itself, available to watch with the enhanced "Disney View" mode last seen on the Pinocchio Blu-ray earlier this year. With this feature enabled, the film is presented in its original 4.3 aspect ratio but "bracketed" on either side with complimentary artwork by Disney artist Toby Bluth. What this does is provide a unique widescreen effect that, while not quite as seamless as on Pinocchio, does offer a pleasing alternative to watching the film surrounded by blackness, as if through a window.