Getting to know Walt…
One of the best things about the Walt Disney Signature Edition is the opportunity to really get to know the man behind the films. More than just a re-release of Disney classics, the Signature Edition has Walt all over it. In each one, there are features about Walt and his life, but even more importantly there are features narrated by Walt himself using archival footage. One of my favorites is “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings.” Although not Walt’s actual voice, his thoughts on the development of the film are taken from actual story meetings and other archival sources. It’s as if Walt himself were doing the commentary on the film.
Three new bonus features are also included in this release. The “How To Make A Meatball” feature is one I could skip; feels like filler material just to beef up the features. But I LOVED “Walt & His Dogs” featuring archival recordings of Walt’s voice. In this feature you get to explore Walt’s love of dogs through his own voice along with photos rarely seen of his personal life. The story is told through a creative montage featuring a real dog that looks like Lady. The other original feature is also a gem. “Stories From Walt’s Office” has nothing to do with Lady and the Tramp specifically (although Walt does have a maquette of Lady in his office). Instead, it’s an insight into Walt’s life at the studio including his working office, his private kitchenette, and the simple tastes Walt had. It’s filled with little stories about the man behind the mouse.
Of course, there are tons of other features, mostly taken from previous editions of the film released for the home market. Deleted scenes, a never recorded song that Tramp was supposed to sing called “I’m Free as the Breeze,” an original storyboard version of the film and even more. Some are done directly on the Blu-Ray and some are digital only. It’s a great collection of bonus material that brings the film into even greater perspective.
This film is presented in a 2.55:1 ratio which is even bigger than The Lion King. It’s a wonderful presentation that captures the majesty and richness of the original film. The colors and the setting really pop in this release especially if you see it on a large screen TV. It’s no wonder Disney had always been considered a master of animation.
If you own previous editions of the film, there are not a ton of features different from some of those as far as I can tell. Most of the bonus material is considered “classic” meaning previously released. But if you’re like me and you haven’t updated your copy since it came out on VHS, this will seem like a treasure trove of material. Of course, it’s worth it even without any of the bonus features, just to watch and experience once again this Walt Disney classic. It’s truly a beautiful film.