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The Fox and the Hound and The Fox and the Hound 2: 2 Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD Review

The Fox and the Hound (1981) movie poster The Fox and the Hound

Theatrical Release: July 10, 1981 / Running Time: 83 Minutes / Rating: G

Directors: Art Stevens, Ted Berman, Richard Rich / Writers: Daniel P. Mannix (book); Larry Clemmons, Ted Berman, David Michener, Peter Young, Burny Mattinson, Steve Hulett, Earl Kress, Vance Gerry (story)

Voice Cast: Mickey Rooney (Tod), Kurt Russell (Copper), Pearl Bailey (Big Mama), Jack Albertson (Amos Slade), Sandy Duncan (Vixey), Jeanette Nolan (Widow Tweed), Pat Buttram (Chief), John Fiedler (Porcupine), John McIntire (Badger), Dick Bakalyan (Dinky), Paul Winchell (Boomer), Keith Coogan (Young Tod), Corey Feldman (Young Copper), Squeeks (The Caterpillar)

Songs: "Best of Friends", "Lack of Education", "A Huntin' Man", "Appreciate the Lady", "Goodbye May Seem Forever"
The Fox and the Hound 2 original DVD cover art The Fox and the Hound 2

Video Premiere: December 12, 2006 / Running Time: 69 Minutes / Rating: G

Director: Jim Kammerud / Writers: Rich Burns, Roger S.H. Schulman

Voice Cast: Reba McEntire (Dixie), Patrick Swayze (Cash), Jonah Bobo (Tod), Harrison Fahn (Copper), Jeff Foxworthy (Lyle Snodgrass), Vicki Lawrence (Granny Rose), Stephen Root (Talent Scout Winchell P. Bickerstaff), Jim Cummings (Waylon, Floyd), Jeff Bennett (Amos Slade - uncredited), Russi Taylor (Widow Tweed - uncredited), Hannah Farr (Olivia Farmer - uncredited), Rob Paulsen (Chief - uncredited), Kath Soucie (Zelda - uncredited)

Songs: "Friends for Life", "We're in Harmony", "Hound Dude", "Good Doggie, No Bone!", "Blue Beyond", "We Go Together", "You Know I Will", "We're in Harmony (End Title Version)"

Buy The Fox and the Hound and The Fox and the Hound: 2 Movie Collection from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + 2 DVDs 2 DVDs Blu-ray + 2 DVDs in DVD Packaging

The Fox and the Hound: Gold Collection DVD 25th Anniversary DVD Instant Video / The Fox and the Hound 2: Original DVD Instant Video

Made in between Walt's final efforts and the 1990s Renaissance, The Fox and the Hound is the very definition of a mid-range Disney animated classic. This 1981 film is liked by those who know it, but fewer know it than many of the movies that came before and after. As with anything, there are those with stronger feelings for or against it. But if it has inspired polar, passionate reactions over the years, I haven't noticed.
It doesn't seem to have sparked the kind of discussions and deliberations that Disney works of the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '90s have. And though it has probably sold more copies on home video than all but maybe a couple of movies from its year, it hasn't been celebrated or revived by its studio like the old fairy tales and far less old Broadway-style musicals. When a direct-to-video sequel was made in 2006, it wasn't met with outrage or jubilee, but the realization that Disney had essentially run out of long-treasured and modern properties to extend.

Loosely adapted from Daniel P. Mannix's grim 1967 novel of the same name, this indeed tells the story of a fox and a hound. The young red fox is orphaned and discovered by the owl Big Mama, who arranges for it to be adopted and cared for by kindly old Widow Tweed. The widow does just that, naming him Tod (short for "toddler" and short a "d" of the usual spelling) and forgiving any mischief the kit gets into. The hound is Copper, purchased by grouchy Amos Slade and groomed to be a hunting dog.

While both are kids, Tod and Copper meet and get along famously, playing with each other and giving no thought to their destined opposition. The fragility of their friendship becomes clear early on, when Slade threatens to shoot Tod for trespassing. Then, Copper is taken off into the wild for hunting season. When he returns, both he and Tod have grown up, taking on adult voices. And though Tod is eager to resume their friendship, Copper has reservations, having been trained to hunt foxes. One night, Tod's presence awakens Slade and ultimately results in serious injuries for Copper's old mentor dog Chief. Vengeance is sworn and Widow Tweed decides it's time for Tod to be set free in the wild. More conflict is in store for the childhood friends, this of the climactic, life-altering variety.

Tod the fox is named after "toddler", something he is treated like by kindly Widow Tweed. Copper the hound is shown less tender loving care by his owner, gruff hunter Amos Slade.

The title and marketing for The Fox and the Hound suggest it is yet another Disney talking animal cartoon and while there is no denying that, this one is more like Bambi than The Aristocats or The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. That is to say Fox is dark, mature, and mindful of natural order. It's hardly a musical and, despite some light elements, it's more of a drama than a comedy. That much is evident from the start, when the quiet, austere opening credits give way to the death of Tod's mother. With nothing to precede it, that scene doesn't have the impact of comparable sequences from Bambi or The Lion King, but it does establish the film's universe as a place where bad things happen and life goes on.

The scenes of Tod and Copper becoming fast friends in their youth are sweet and playful, but danger hangs over them and when they reunite months later, Copper himself is a source of threats. The tone is enough to produce tears in sensitive little viewers and worry in overprotective parents. The film could maybe again earn a G rating if it was going before the MPAA for the first time, but thematically comparable modern animation has often been slapped with a PG, whether desired or not.

The Fox and the Hound is undoubtedly a good movie, but one you don't mind being kept at a distance from Disney's most elite. Watching it, you are aware that this isn't a crowd-pleasing adventure, one that could erupt an auditorium in hearty laughter or post-climactic applause. It is instead a movie that touches you with simplicity, compassion, and genuine emotion.

Set free in the wild, a grown-up Tod happily makes the acquaintance of eyelashed love interest Vixey. Boomer the woodpecker and Dinky the finch do not rank among Disney's most memorable side characters, but owl Big Mama fares a little better.

Efforts to tie this into the Disney tradition aren't the smoothest. There's one memorable song in "Best of Friends" and four mostly forgettable others that feel more like melodic poems. Supporting characters, like the finch Dinky and woodpecker Boomer, who spend the movie pursuing a caterpillar, do not resonate or merit consideration in even a long list of Disney's best minor characters.
The most striking thing about Boomer and the friendly Porcupine is that actors Paul Winchell and John Fiedler give them the same personality and mannerisms they gave to their respective Hundred Acre Wood animals, Tigger and Piglet.

More famous than on most older Disney 'toons, the voice cast here is worth discussing. The idea that Mickey Rooney (adult Tod) and Kurt Russell (adult Copper) could be contemporaries back when Russell was half Rooney's age amuses, but their voices reflect the differing temperaments adulthood gives them. Likewise, Jack Albertson and Jeanette Nolan hit the right notes as owners Slade and Tweed, displaying contrasting tones the elderly can take in cantankerousness and warmth. For Oscar winner Albertson (best known as Willy Wonka's Grandpa Joe), this was one of his two final films released to theaters the year he died, returning him to the big screen after his 1970s television success on "Chico and the Man". Pearl Bailey supplies a fitting sound for the wise, protective Big Mama. Sandy Duncan voices one of the least defined Disney love interests, Vixey the fox. The young versions of Tod and Copper are voiced by Keith Coogan and Corey Feldman, children who would rack up some notable live-acting roles in their teens and early twenties (among them, Adventures in Babysitting and Stand by Me).

Grossing just under $40 million, The Fox and the Hound was a decent-sized hit for Disney at a time when their sparse film slate relied heavily on reissues of past animated features. Another four years would pass before Disney unveiled a new animated classic, in the troubled and highly unprofitable The Black Cauldron, by which point the company had already moved to make money in other ways, introducing the Touchstone Pictures banner to strong effect. Fox was reissued to US theaters in the spring of 1988, earning a respectable $24 M, but not generating the same demand as the older Disney 'toons in rotation.

The film made its DVD debut back in 2000 as part of Disney's year-long Gold Classic Collection strategy to quickly and cheaply make moderately popular animated films available on the format. In the fall of 2006, two months before the sequel hit stores and with the studio's list of reliably profitable animated films to revisit dwindling, the original movie got a new 25th Anniversary DVD that couldn't easily be called an upgrade. In light of that history, it is surprising for Fox and the Hound to turn up on Blu-ray next week, among the first animated classics between Walt's esteemed earliest and the Michael Eisner years to do so. The 3-disc set is called a 30th Anniversary Edition twice on its front cover, but it is also branded a 2 Movie Collection because it is joined by The Fox and the Hound 2 (now given a Roman numeral on the packaging) here. The two movies share a Blu-ray and each gets a new DVD, with the two DVDs also concurrently released as a "DVD Edition" without the Blu-ray and with $10 shaved off the list price.

Copper and Tod return to innocence and friendship in the midquel "The Fox and the Hound 2." Copper's newly-discovered voice is just what Cash and the Singin' Strays are looking for.

The Fox and the Hound 2 is actually a midquel, depicting a previously unknown and incongruous stretch in the childhoods of Tod and Copper. Copper is feeling like he can't do anything right, something that concerns him when he isn't having fun chasing after grasshoppers with his best friend. As the film opens, a fair rolls into town and Tod and Copper sneak off to check it out. In doing so, they discover the all-dog band The Singin' Strays.

Led by the oft-bickering (and therefore clearly in love) Cash and Dixie, the five-dog group is struggling through a performance being given sans Dixie, who has stormed off yet again. Copper joins them onstage and discovers he can do something right: sing. To the dismay of Dixie, the harmonic hound is quickly appointed the group's lead vocalist, with Tod lying to vouch for his friend's stray status. The band flourishes, attracting notice and somehow landing dozens of magazine covers while the fair is there. Their biggest test remains in performing for a Grand Ole Opry talent scout.

Meanwhile, Tod is predictably saddened to see his friendship take a backseat to Copper's new crooning career. Recognizing that, Dixie works on the young fox to get him to spill the secret of Copper's ownership and create a lead singer vacancy in time for the Strays' big concert.

Former lead singer Dixie (voiced by Reba McEntire) resents being outcast from the Singin' Strays... in song. Amos Slade, Widow Tweed, and Chief are three of only six characters resurfacing from the original movie.

Fox and the Hound 2 suffers from the same shortcomings that hinder many a direct-to-video Disney sequel. Maybe it wields more story opportunity than their later years, but the protagonists' youth is also chosen as a setting to reflect the movie's narrow audience. When Disney makes animated features for theaters, they know that children will be attending them with adult supervision. That is one of the biggest factors in the animation canon's enduring appeal. The movies remain beloved because you don't need to be under 10 years old to want to watch them and get something out of them.
With the sequels, Disney knew that a familiar brand and a big enough marketing campaign was enough to inspire parental purchases. The studio practically counted on the reality that most parents would pop the DVD in for their kids and then not watch it. Those who don't use the disc as an hour-long babysitter service will discover there isn't much for them here.

This midquel is childish, in stark contrast to its predecessor. In catering to a narrower, less discerning audience, the filmmakers take much less pride in their work. The story only needs to be good enough to make sense and impart some morals. The animation is aesthetically acceptable and a great deal more polished than Disney's DTV efforts a decade earlier. Still, it's too often sterile, lacking shading, depth, and artistry. Liberally employed on cars, a runaway Ferris wheel, carousel horses, and other things, CGI is glaringly crude even by television's modest standards. You won't hear complaints on these subjects from the targeted young viewer, who is unlikely to have seen the original and unexpected to articulate any response beyond laughter and animal identification.

Aware of that limited scrutiny, the DisneyToon Studios crew acts on their own whims, pulling a country music and fairground motif out of left field and unconvincingly shoehorning Tod and Copper's nature-defying relationship into it. The results are not awful, but neither are they very good, and the more you respect the original film, the more disheartened you will be by this treatment.

Although this was produced at the concentrated, increasingly better end of DisneyToon's reign of sequels (disparagingly referred to by some Disney fans as "cheapquels") and although following The Fox and the Hound was not the sacrilege that many perceived attempts to sequelize Walt's legendary masterpieces, The Fox and the Hound 2 is not a particularly compelling movie. Just five years after its debut, its limited shelf life is made evident by Disney essentially tacking it onto the original film as a bonus feature at no extra cost.

Like the original movie, this sequel wields some star power in its voice cast, starring Reba McEntire as Dixie and, in one of his last roles, Patrick Swayze as Cash. It also features performances from Jeff Foxworthy, Vicki Lawrence, and Stephen Root, in addition to Disney's stable of regular voice actors (Jim Cummings, Russi Taylor, Kath Soucie, etc.).

Two months after being made available early for Disney Movie Club members, this double feature set hits stores on Tuesday.

The Fox and the Hound and The Fox and the Hound 2: 2 Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD combo cover art - click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray & DVD Details

Original: 1.66:1 Widescreen; Sequel: 1.78:1 Widescreen (DVDs Anamorphic)
Blu-ray only: 5.1 DTS-HD MA (English); DVD only: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Both: Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish
Blu-ray Extras Subtitled; DVD and Extras Closed Captioned and Subtitled
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (1 BD-50 & 2 DVD-9s)
Blue Keepcase in Embossed, Holographic Cardboard Slipcover
Also available in DVD Edition ($29.99 SRP) and in DVD Packaging ($39.99 SRP)
Original's previous DVDs: Gold Collection, 25th Anniversary, also on Instant Video
Sequel previously released as standalone DVD, also on Amazon Instant Video


For a long time, The Fox and the Hound appeared to be an anomaly in the Disney canon: the only one of the studio's official animated classics not presented in something resembling its original aspect ratio on DVD. (Others first released in 1.33:1 "full screen" -- The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and Robin Hood -- have since been called into question and matted to widescreen for subsequent editions.) With this release, that is at last corrected, as the film is presented in 1.66:1 widescreen, which is close enough to the 1.75:1 cited in its original press book. It's matted to achieve that ratio, gaining some width and losing some height compared to the past DVDs. The framing appears appropriate, with only a few noticeable instances where focal points seem too close to the top of the frame.

Since the 25th Anniversary DVD transfer seemed to offer no significant improvement over the 2000 Gold Collection's and since this movie clearly isn't getting the same attention as the films in Disney's Diamond line, it is reasonable to have modest expectations for Fox and the Hound's Blu-ray.
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Those are sure to be exceeded, because the movie looks rather splendid here. The picture is immaculately clean and perfectly consistent. The transfer resembles the extensive restorations afforded the much older Disney animated films in that way. The increase in detail over DVD is apparent even before popping that disc in for comparison. Any concerns over putting two short movies on one disc need not apply; there is no evidence of any compression troubles.

The one trait most keeping this from perfection is that a number of shots noticeably lack focus. Somewhat detectible on past DVDs, this may very well date back to the cels' original filming, as it seems to affect those shot from a certain distance. It catches your eye because most of the time the picture is sharp and perfectly focused. The grainier, less defined parts wouldn't stand out if they weren't occurring between what appears to be the ideal 1080p. A closer look reveals, however, they're not quite ideal: the right edge of the frame, an area previously unseen on home video, is mildly but regularly disturbed by some kind of interference, most glaringly at the bottom. I didn't notice it until grabbing screencaps from the Blu-ray, but upon revisiting it, I could both easily spot the area and go back to ignoring it. Even with these two issues, the presentation is amazing for a 30-year-old movie and proof that pre-digital animation stands to benefit from Blu-ray's resolution as much as any other kind of cinema.

The original film's 5.1 DTS-HD master audio also delights. Instrumentation and atmosphere regularly give the track a wide presence appropriate for a film largely set outdoors. The dialogue is super crisp and volume levels are just right. Obviously, sound design in 1981 wasn't as expansive and aggressive as it is now, but there is nothing to suggest the 5.1-channel mix is unnatural or a betrayal to the film's original format, whatever that might have been (IMDb's trivia page claims it was the first animated film presented with Dolby sound). In short, neither commoners nor audiophiles should hear anything worthy of concern in this exemplary soundtrack.

Still from The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary DVD - click to view screencap in full 720 x 480. Still from The Fox and the Hound: 2 Movie Collection DVD - click to view screencap in full 720 x 480.

Screencap from The Fox and the Hound's 25th Anniversary Edition DVD, released in 2006

Screencap of the same frame from the movie's DVD in the new 2 Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD combo, releasing in 2011

This same-frame comparison demonstrates the differences in framing and quality between 2006's 25th Anniversary DVD and the DVD in 2011's 2 Movie Collection combo pack. The latter shows greater detail and more of Copper's tail, but less of the space above his head.

Setting aside the framing issues, there is no comparison between the new transfers and those of the old DVDs. Looking more like film and less like video, the new one is much cleaner and sharper, its more vibrant and nuanced colors practically leaping off the screen, unlike the pale hues of past DVDs. Hopefully, the new presentation is truer to the makers' intentions, although somehow I doubt that the surviving one of the film's three directors was consulted, assuming he would even know better than the restoration team. Utilizing the same master, the DVD suffers from the same varying focus and right edge debris, although both issues are slightly obscured on account of the format's lesser heights.

Fox and the Hound 2's 1.78:1 Blu-ray presentation is basically perfect. There are no intrusions or unwanted effects to this seemingly direct digital transfer. Seen in all its glory here, the cut-rate animation is sufficiently bright and sharp, with bold, clean, brown lines and breathtaking backdrops. High definition's amazing amount of detail reveals that not much detail went into this production. Still, you can tell this beats a standard DVD transfer in subtle ways. The sequel's 5.1 DTS-HD master audio boasts the clarity and immersive design of a contemporary animated film. There are more showy directional effects and nothing any less than state of the art, contents notwithstanding. The similar DVD boasts the same strengths with lower resolution and higher compression, which are enough to make some noticeable difference. Of course if you're watching this movie more than once, you probably don't have the highest demands for quality.

The 130-year-old tortoise Mzee and baby hippopotamus Owen of Kenya's Haller Park exemplify the kind of "Unlikely Friends" the new HD nature featurette explores. An unidentified bearded animator sketches Big Mama while her voice actor Pearl Bailey sings "Best of Friends" in "Passing the Baton."


Those who have upgraded to Blu-ray and completely gotten over DVD have reason not to throw away, give away, or sell the set's two standard-definition discs. The reason: the double feature Blu-ray contains just one real supplement and the DVDs contain four others.

"Unlikely Friends" (7:25, HD) is a new Blu-ray featurette that considers various animal relationships (cat & dog, zebra & ostrich, etc.) with narration, nature footage, pet movies, some expert comments, and, perhaps most interestingly, clips from Disney and Pixar films.
This pun-laden piece is clearly aimed at kids, but it holds some thematic worth and the HD glimpses of flicks not yet on Blu-ray (like The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Pocahontas) will appeal to HD-loving animation fans.

The Blu-ray also holds Timon & Pumbaa's Blu-ray 3D pitch (4:23) and the studio's standard digital copy how-to (1:04).

Illogically, "Unlikely Friends" is not included on either DVD, but they each retain two extras from their films' previous releases (that aren't found on the Blu-ray).

On the original movie, we get a "Best of Friends" sing-along (2:30). Happily, rather than just the clips from the movie with subtitles, this is the vintage, nostalgia-inducing Disney Sing Along Songs segment (from 1993's Friend Like Me), with fuzzy, fullscreen picture and a Mickey head graphic bouncing on lyrics as they are uttered.

More noteworthy is "Passing the Baton" (6:38), a short featurette that celebrates Fox and the Hound as the film that saw classic Disney animators hand over the reins to the young talent that would lead the studio's 1990s Renaissance. We hear from the old guard (Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston) and those to whom they passed the baton (Randy Cartwright, Glen Keane, Ron Clements, John Musker). We also get a look at Pearl Bailey recording "Best of Friends", while an animator draws her character. This piece dates back at least to 2001 and probably a little earlier than that and, though good, it is insufficient as the only making-of extra on the original film.

Lucas Grabeel does it all in his "You Know I Will" music video. Country group Little Big Town performs "We Go Together" in the "Making the Music" featurette.

The first of the two extras on The Fox and the Hound 2's DVD is the music video for Lucas Grabeel's end credits song "You Know I Will" (3:34). It features the High School Musical actor singing and also filming, lighting, and sound-mixing himself, in between the requisite movie clips. The video's design is inexplicably vain, but at least it has memorable personality, something missing from too many of today's movie song music videos.

"Making the Music" (10:07) finds the sequel's filmmakers, cast, composers, and crooners (including Trisha Yearwood) discussing the songs and score in the movie, each overstating one another's achievements. That this is the only featurette on the follow-up shows where its makers' minds were.

The Blu-ray and both FastPlay-enhanced DVDs open with trailers for The Lion King: Diamond Edition, Spooky Buddies: The Curse of the Howlloween Hound, and Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition. The DVDs add a fourth ad, promoting Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Special Edition. The disc-openers are repeated by a "Sneak Peeks" listing, followed by promos for Disney Movie Rewards, Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games, "Jake and the Never Land Pirates", Mars Needs Moms, Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods, and Bambi II.


Amazingly, these DVDs lose a number of items from the films' previous DVDs. From its 25th Anniversary DVD, the original movie loses the "DVD storybook" read-along "New Best Friends", the hide-and-seek "Forest Friendship Game",
the bonus shorts Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952) and Lend a Paw (1941), and, least excusably, a 51-still photo and art gallery. Already dropped and not resurfacing from its original Gold Collection DVD are a trivia game, a 1988 rerelease trailer, and the booklet "Let's Be Friends." Not carried over from The Fox and the Hound 2's only DVD are the bonus short Goofy and Wilbur (1939), the Disney DVD Game World: Disney Dogs Edition demo, and the Mutt Mix Master activity. Disney has curiously gone from viewing set-top games as a requisite animated film bonus feature to things not worth recycling from one DVD edition to the next. Clearly, disc space was not an issue, with both new DVDs checking in well under dual-layered (DVD-9) capacity. Aside from the art gallery, trailer, and somewhat random bonus cartoons, this material doesn't seem to warrant lamenting, but it's odd for so much of it to be dropped just five years later.

The main menu on the new DVD of "The Fox and the Hound" resembles the Blu-ray's, with different listings placement and music. The new Fox and the Hound 2 DVD's main menu seems to recycle the one from its original release, EasyFind icons and all.


Lamely, the Blu-ray's menu takes its imagery from the sequel, showing Tod and Cooper playing around outside a house window while the listings appear on hanged stitchwork. The Blu-ray doesn't support bookmarks and though it does remember where you left play off, you have to get through all of the pre-menu items first. The timeline that appears when fast-forwarding or rewinding creatively charts progress by adding whipped cream to the pieces of pie representing chapters you have passed. The original movie's DVD adds "Best of Friends" to its comparable main menu. Its secondary selection screens feature different characters against the same wallpaper and stitchwork design, while other score excerpts play. The sequel's menus are recycled from its original DVD release, featuring Tod and Copper playing in front of carnival sights.

The packaging does its part to further downgrade DVD. Those two gray discs are unusually stacked, one atop the other on one side of a standard slim Blu-ray case and covered by Disney Movie Rewards and Disney Blu-ray 3D/combo pack booklets. The case is topped by a cardboard slipcover that adds extensive embossing and tasteful holography to the artwork it repeats. (As you'd hope, it gives the second spine to Copper.) Those who collect and proudly display the Disney animated classics will be disappointed to find the sequel's title sharing both of the slipcover's spines with the original.

Best friends as children, things change for Copper the hound and Tod the fox in adulthood. Copper enjoys a Ferris wheel view of fair fireworks on the back of Cash in "The Fox and the Hound 2."


The Fox and the Hound might not rank among Disney's most beloved animated movies, but it still compares favorably to most of cinema, its mature tone, touching story, and classical visuals holding up well. The unnecessary and incompatible sequel is a much lesser film, lending itself to no more than a curiosity viewing. At least it is included at no cost above Disney's standard single animated classic price point.

This 2-movie, 3-disc collection is one of the more curious releases I've come across from any studio. The decision not to repeat bonus features across the two formats is odd, as is the one to leave off many of the films' past DVD extras. No matter what format you prefer, the design won't fully satisfy you. And yet, the original movie finally gets the widescreen presentation it apparently should, looking absolutely stunning to boot. If all the rest is just gravy to you, then you shouldn't hesitate to pick up this set.

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Reviewed August 7, 2011.