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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad/Fun And Fancy Free


Not only are The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and Fun and Fancy Free just great fun, you will also find the fully restored The Reluctant Dragon, making this a huge bargain of three movies!

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad adapts two classics, "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." In the first, Mr. Toad develops an obsession for motorcars, leads into big trouble and it's up to his friends to clear his name. Then it's onto one of my all-time favorites with narrator Bing Crosby. Teacher Ichabod pursues Katrina Van Tassel while rival Brom Bones tells Ichabod a tale of The Headless Horseman.

Fun and Fancy Free is the last animated feature starring Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse. There are two classic stories here as well, "Bongo," based on "Little Bear Bongo," and "Mickey and the Beanstalk," based on the classic fairy tale. In the first Bongo tells that tale of a mistreated bear who escapes the circus and discovers that life in the forest isn't any better than with humans. In the second Mickey, Donald and Goofy climb the magic beanstalk and come face to face with a giant. The trio must work together to stop the giant and bring peace to their home.



Video Quality:

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad has a decent 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation. Nice details, soft colors, and the only issue here is the age of the film and not the encode. This is the best it has ever looked as a home release. 

Fun and Fancy Free's 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation on the other hand needs some work. There is some smearing and some of the live-action shots are blurry.


Audio Quality:

Both films offer a pretty good DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The dialogue as well as the narration are wonderful and the rear channels do a good job of created a directional soundfield. Considering the age of these films, they sound great despite the years. 


Bonus Features:

The hidden treasure here and the best reason to buy this blu-ray is the amazingly restored and remastered 1080p presentation of The Reluctant Dragon. Mixing black and white live-action and technicolor live-action and four animated shorts, it offers a great look at the studio and the animation process. 


Conclusion:

This set is a great look at The Walt Disney Studios in the 1940s. It was a rough time but all three films are fun and entertaining. The video and audio presentations all vary from one film to the next with The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad being the best of the three. Even so this is worth owning and adding to your collection. You cannot beat three films for the price of one and plus you get the beautifully restored The Reluctant Dragon.

*Disclaimer: The review copy was provided but the review is strictly my opinion.*

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