- One Magic Christmas is a wonderful little film
that has been pretty much overlooked by most people.
Released theatrically with little fanfare during the 1985
holiday season, the film is one of the live-action Disney
gems that deserves more recognition.
Anchor Bay DVD Note - Disney and Anchor Bay studios have a contract, whereby Anchor Bay was able to release a number of live-action Disney films from the 1960s through the mid-1980s. You might think Anchor Bay, being a small studio, would not be the best distributor to give these films the treatment deserve. On the contrary, Anchor Bay's DVD presentations are up to par and most likely better than what Disney would have done.
Video - For starters, Anchor Bay is able to include both the widescreen and pan & scan versions of the film (which clcoks in at just under 90 minutes) on one dual-layered disc. Disney, on the other hand, would rather include just one version of the film on the disc, and in the case of many upcoming releases, they're opting for the Pan & Scan version and not the original widescreen aspect ratio. Their reasoning includes space considerations, claiming that video quality would suffer by including both versions on a double-sided or dual-layered disc. The video quality of One Magic Christmas undoubtedly proves that claim wrong--the movie looks great! The level of detail is high and the snowy Canadian scenery is crystal-clear. One minor complaint is that the 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is not enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions, as at the time, Anchor Bay was not big on anamorphic DVD releases. Fortunately, it is a minor qualm for a beautiful-looking DVD.
Audio - The feature presentation also benefits from the inclusion of a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The audio is remixed and despite what you might expect from a somewhat low-key film, the surrounds are pretty active. The cold wind from the snowy exteriors is realized through surround usage. In addition, scenes involving travel to and from the North Pole utilize the 5.1 track with powerful effects. The 5.1 track is a solid addition, and a rather surprising treat for a family-friendly drama.
Extras - Though the packaging mentions a Theatrical Trailer is on this DVD, it is not. A trailer would have been nice or extras of some kind, but the lack of supplements doesn't take away from this otherwise quality DVD presentation. One physical extra worth mentioning is a post card reproduction of the original poster art for the movie. Definitely cool and similar to a trailer, the poster art shows you how the film was originally marketed.
Closing Thoughts - Anchor Bay has put together a nice little disc for an excellent little Christmas film. By including both viewing formats, Anchor Bay is able to please both crowds and that deserves two thumbs up. The widescreen transfer and the 5.1 audio track both contribute to the high-quality presentation of this film.