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Annie: 30th Anniversary Sing-Along Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40: 1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit), LPCM 2.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian/French/German/Spanish Stereo
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, English, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Region: A
  • Rating: PG
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • List Price: $14.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]


You have waited 30 long years for a video disc widescreen version of the classic musical based on Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie comic strip—and now you get it in 2.40:1 aspect ratio and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz!) sound. Even hard-hearted viewers that usually bristle at the thought of another cute kiddie film will melt under the influence of Annie. Cast from strength to strength with Albert Finney (Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks), Carol Burnett (Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic orphanage headmistress), Ann Reinking (Warbucks’s secretary Grace Farrell), Tim Curry (Rooster Hannigan), Bernadette Peters (Lily St. Regis), and Geoffrey Holder (Punjab). Of course, heroine Aileen Quinn is the pint-sized red-headed scene stealer. Transported from the dreary orphanage to the lap of luxury this upbeat musical will bring continuous smiles to your face and, you might even feel the uncontrollable urge to sing along.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The remake is a major improvement over its DVD predecessor. First and foremost, the 2.40:1 widescreen presentation gives viewers Annie as it was originally intended. The close-ups are sharp and the colors are beautiful, what more could you want? Being a big bucks movie musical you get the dance routines and lavish sets. Even more important, you get a great Broadway seat without leaving your couch or shelling out big bucks for prime tickets.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The seriously upgraded DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack at twice the usual sampling frequency is simply sensational. Essential to the experience of a musical show, this restoration gives us all of the major songs, the orchestrations and the “being there” feeling. Atmosphere plus, Sony Pictures has really done justice to the sonic proceedings.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Sony Pictures provides a decent list of extras:

  • Sing-Along with songs from the musical
  • Musical Performance of “It’s a Hard-knock Life” by Play
  • Trailers and TV Spots
  • My Hollywood Adventure: Interview with Aileen Quinn

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Annie received mixed reviews at its screen debut in 1982 so I cracked the cellophane on the BD case with some trepidation. After all, I had not seen this film in years and did not remember it fondly. Well, just forgetaboutthat! This reissue has greatly improved sight and sound and, as hard as I tried to be objective, I finally got sucked into Annie-mania for the next two hours. Many successful Broadway musicals have had tough sledding when they are transitioned to the silver screen. Fortunately, that is not the case here.  A large part of the success of this 30th anniversary edition comes from the robust cast that surrounds child star Aileen Quinn, particularly the contributions by veteran actors Albert Finney and Carol Burnett. Famed director John Huston, much better known for his dramatic productions, reveals his humorous side, so essential for this cinematic genre. Additional kudos must go to the gorgeous mansion (actually Wilson Hall at New Jersey’s Monmouth University) and the period set designers who get everything right.  Perhaps a bit over-the-top and glitzy,  viewers of all ages, PG-rating notwithstanding, will get a great watch and  find it hard to get those perky songs out of their heads.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Annie on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Annie

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B008JEJPSC[/amazon-product]

Purchase Annie on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Annie

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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