The lovable animated puppies from 1961 are back in their all new direct to video release just for the kids. The TV obsessed Patch heads of to London to find the star of his favorite TV show Thunderbolt. The star of Thunderbolt is about to be fired and he decides that the only way to save his job is to become a real life hero, so with Patches in tow he sets of for the streets on London. Creulla De Vil returns on probation for her previous bad deeds, still determined to steal the puppies and brings new henchman Lars with her after springing Horace and Jasper from jail. Hi-jinks ensue and the movie kind of feels like a mix between the fun of the original movie and the slapstick of the live action movies.
This disc contains both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtrack which I found a little unusual for a direct to video release, but that’s Disney for you. The audio quality is very good with both formats; the rears are well employed and keep the kids entertained. Dialogue is intelligible and easy to understand with the odd trace of sibilance. Bass is average quality with not too much but not enough either, again though this is a direct to video kids movie. < \p>
The video quality of this discs I found to be a disappointment, the image is noticeably soft and grainy, and not really what I was expecting especially when this movie has both a Dolby Digital and DTS soundtrack. Let’s not forget that this is a kid’s movie and just we picky adults are going to have a problem with it. There are no other problems with edge enhancement or such just a general grainy and soft look. The transfer is a middle of the road 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen.
In typical Disney features this discs has a number of kid friendly special features. We have a behind-the-scenes dog-umentary with the talent behind the movie, as well as a look inside the show within the show, Thunderbolt. Next there is a lost in London game for the younger kids in the crowd and music videos for “Try Again” and “You’re the One” for the older kids. The special features round out with web links to more online games and fun. Menus are non-animated and pretty low key.
This movie is your pretty typical Disney part 2 direct to video release. It is not as poor as some of their previous efforts (think Aladdin II) but also not as good as Monsters Inc. Disney has also stated that they will not be release any more cell animated big budget features as they just do not do as well as the computer animated features. The reason that there animated features have not done so well, this is not because they are cell animated though, it is because the stories have been weak. Let’s not also forget though that these are kid’s movies and my kids loved it and it is priced as a direct to video release, so I guess that is all that really matters. Enjoy!