Mania Grade: C
0 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C-
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 93
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Dog of Flanders
Dog of Flanders
By Bill Hunsicker
February 07, 2002
Release Date: March 07, 2000
I learned a valuable lesson from this disc. After renting the subtitled VHS version of this wonderful film, I rushed out to order the DVD version. Valuable lesson: make sure you know what you are ordering. This disc did not meet expectations. More on that below.
First the technical stuff: the sound is excellent, with the music sounding wonderful on my Dolby Pro-Logic Surround stereo. The dialogue is easy to understand and there were no audio defects that I noticed. The English voices did seem a little flatter than I remember the Japanese voices on the tape being, however. There was some use of the front sound stage (for instance: when a character was speaking, the point of view panned around and the sound moved appropriately.)
The video is at least as good as the VHS copy I rented (which was brand new - I was the first to rent it) and there were no defects that I could see.
The packaging is colorful and has nearly sufficient information on the contents. (One major omission - see below.)
The menus are nothing spectacular, but work fine for what is there.
Dog of Flanders is one of the saddest, most beautiful films I have ever seen. The blurb on the back of the package (see above) pretty much covers the plot. This is a wonderful story of ultimate sacrifice and love. I cannot recommend it enough.
You may wonder how I can be so disappointed since I love this film so much. Here is the problem: what I saw on the subtitled tape is not what is contained on this disc. The powers that be at Pioneer decided to make some changes and edited the film (they omitted this on the back of the package - I wonder why?) Two of the changes that caught my eye are mentioned in the next paragraph. They contain some spoilers, so if you don't like spoilers, skip the to last paragraph.
After Sister Alois says, "There was one greater than Rubens," one of the children asks who it was. Sister Alois says, "It's a secret." They decided that this was not needed. And at the very end instead of Sister Alois seeing Nello and Patrache simply walk across the cathedral floor and her reaction, we are shown a totally unnecessary montage of memories of Nello and Patrasche.
While these changes do not totally destroy the film (I still cried at the same places I cried before) it did decrease my enjoyment of it. It is unfortunate that people cannot just present something as wonderful as this without putting their own spin on it. I cannot recommend this release for these reasons and I will probably give it away and hope for an unedited bilingual version. If that does not happen, I may have to get the subtitled VHS version.
Television: RCA 25" Model #F25645, DVD Player: Sony DVPS530D, Stereo: RCA RP-588A Compact with Dolby Surround, 5 cd disc changer, etc., S-Video cable, RCA audio cable