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The Adventures of Mark Twain [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, LPCM 2.0 Stereo, LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Subtitles: English HOH
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Certification: PG
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • Run Time: 86 Mins.
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 31, 2011
  • RRP: £18.38

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005DEH0PQ[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Stop-motion animation pioneer Will Vinton, best known for his California raisins commercials, created this first, full-length “claymation” (a word he coined himself) feature film. The story follows the famous writer Mark Twain (James Whitmore) on a wondrous adventure through the skies as he hurries to keep a “date” with Hailey’s Comet. Along as stowaways are Tom Sawyer (Chris Ritchie), Huck Finn (Gary Krug), and Becky Thatcher (Michele Mariana), three of his most famous literary characters. Told in vignettes taken from Twain’s famous works, the three children will meet and hear about characters from Twain’s life and works, including The Diary of Adam and Eve, Huckleberry Finn, The Mysterious Stranger, The Famous Jumping Frog of Caliverous County and Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.

The film, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, seems rather quaint by today’s standards. It’s laid back, slow in pace, and, of course, not animated on a computer. But that is what makes it so charming and enjoyable. The Twain kids go along for the author’s final adventure and learn lessons about life and living, and perhaps your kids will learn something too while watching this pleasant gem.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Adventures of Mark Twain on Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment may not look like a sparkling reference of stop-motion animation along the lines of Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, but it is an otherwise strong, and film-like presentation. Source damage does remain apparent straight through, however, with specks of dust, scratches and tramlines, but grain is minimal, colors are vibrant, and detail is rather extended well into the backgrounds.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo mix lacks the sense of space and directionality that a modern surround mix offers, but this stereo mix is no slouch. It may at times sound just a bit dull overall, but the dialogue is clear and it has a good amount of punch during the the most action intensive sequences. The stereo panning is a little narrower than I would liked to have heard, but it otherwise had a good sense of directionality.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are some really solid featurettes on this disc, all in high definition, and they all give lots of information on the production of the film as well as offering a bit of the history behind stop-motion animation.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Director’s Audio Commentary
  • Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • The Story of Claymation and the Adventures of Mark Twain (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:16:45) – A brief documentary on Will Vinton and the history of “Claymation.”
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:57)
  • Crew Interviews (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Barry Bruce – Character Designer/Lead Animator
    • Bill Scream – Music and Sound
    • Mark Gustafson
    • Susan Shadburne – Writer
    • Will Vinton – Producer/Director
  • The Music of Mark Twain – Listen to the music from the Mark Twain soundtrack in LPCM 2.0, track by track.
  • Stills Gallery (1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An old school animated film that is right at home in today’s world, The Adventures of Mark Twain on Blu-ray is humorous, high quality family entertainment that should be on everyone’s shopping list.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005DEH0PQ[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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