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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang [Blu-ray]

 

(Ken Hughes, 1968)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: United Artists

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:25:30.763

Disc Size: 43,828,879,754 bytes

Feature Size: 38,386,538,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.74 Mbps

Chapters: 32

Case: Standard Blu-ray case with cardboard sleeve

Release date: November 2nd, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.20:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4524 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4524 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Russian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Chinese (traditional and simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, none

 

Extras:

Disc 1:
Remastered Blu-ray Feature with newly upgraded 7.1 audio All-new “Toot Sweet Symphony” melody maker – the Toot Sweet Toots Musical Maestro **All-new “Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game”
Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke (25:58 in HD!)
“A Fantasmagorical Motorcar” featurette (9:44 in HD!)
Sherman Brothers' Rare Demos of the film’s most popular songs (30:20 in HD!)
Vintage Featurettes including, “The Ditchling Tinkerer” (10:07), “Dick Van Dyke Press Interview” (8:49) and “The Potts Children's Featurette” (3:06)
Photo Gallery
Vintage Advertising Gallery including English and French versions of the theatrical trailer and several television spots
Sing-a-long version of the film
Music Machine (44:22)

Disc 2: DVD Feature
Sing-a-long version of the film

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - start your engines. You're about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! With its clever tunes (including the OSCAR-Nominated title song), marvelous cast and enchanting storyline, this delightful romp is lots of fun and simply "toot sweet" to pass up! Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives - but also flies and floats - as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure..

 

 

The Film:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang entranced and thrilled children and their parents when it puttered into the cinema in 1968. More than three decades later, and despite the eventual arrival of a stage version that throws the full weight of blockbuster effects at the story, the original remains the real thing for fans of all ages. The flying car is the star and it's impossible not to feel a surge of thrilling relief as the wings kick in when she plunges over the cliff and soars off on her great adventure. The songs might not be the greatest in musical history, but they are delivered with great charm by Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts (a toned-down version of his infamous Bert in Mary Poppins), Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious) and the children.
And then there is Robert Helpmann's child catcher, a terrifyingly sinister figure who exudes a pungent whiff of undiluted evil unmatched by any character since Dorothy squared up to the witch in The Wizard of Oz. Cameos from British character actors abound: Benny Hill, Lionel Jeffries, Anna Quayle, James Robertson Justice and Max Wall all put in appearances that add some fibre to the overall sweetness of the story. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the ultimate nostalgic confection for family viewing.


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang looks pretty smooth on Blu-ray from Fox. It seems as strong as 1080P renderings of South Pacific or The Sound of Music in terms of detail. I don't have a DVD to compare but colors seem to lean to earthy browns but the image is very bright and seamless. I don't see a lot of textured grain and that and the noise can look a bit blotchy when I zoom in extensively. I've been led to believe this was a product of Lowery Digital - and not unlike the vintage Bonds to Blu-ray (by the way also an Ian Fleming original novel and Albert R. Broccoli produced) these look vastly superior to what SD-DVD could relate. It is super-clean, very tight with strong contrast levels.  There is a bit of depth and the 40-year old effects blend pretty well (give and take here, folks) and the higher resolution doesn't expose those effects or make-up the way we have seen with some older films or TV. This Blu-ray probably looks close to what was seen theatrically although I don't discount some reasonably imperceptible DNR usage although I can't say it effected by film experience. Most fans will be thrilled with the appearance.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Like The Sound of Music we get another impressive DTS-HD Master 7.1 at 4524 kbps. The songs sound toe-tappingly fabulous and while range is not the biggest proponent (although when it does separate - it is very cool!) - this track has some real depth. There is nothing tinny or overly heavy (bass) - it just sounds solid as a rock and pretty crisp. There are a ton of foreign language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

What can one say about the supplements - again Fox has gone above and beyond with some BD bells and whistles including the “Toot Sweet Symphony” melody maker – the Toot Sweet Toots Musical Maestro and an all-new “Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game” that I haven't let my kids indulge in yet. There is over 1 1/2 hours of featurettes like - 'Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke, “A Fantasmagorical Motorcar” some Sherman Brothers' rare demos of the film’s popular songs and the three vintage featurettes including, “The Ditchling Tinkerer” (10:07), a “Dick Van Dyke Press Interview” (8:49) and “The Potts Children's Featurette” (3:06). There is a Photo Gallery that I had a bit of trouble operating and plus the Sing-a-long version running with the film (or the option to play just the songs individually) and the "Music Machine" feature (44:22) also found on The Sound of Music Blu-ray. You also get a second disc DVD with the film.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I loved revisiting this film in 1080P - it is such nostalgic fun. With charismatic and magnificently talented Dick van Dyke it's hard not to reflect back to Mary Poppins
- and that musical joy-fest. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is family entertainment to the max - a real pleasure to show my sons who, surprisingly, paid attention throughout. The Blu-ray looks and sounds better than ever before for your home theater and once it ends you want to watch it all over again - or at least certain songs. This produces such a positive film experience - it is almost impossible to deny the pleasure! Despite some questions over the video - the audio alone makes this a recommendation.   

Gary Tooze

October 25th, 2010

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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