Previously available on dvd, “THE PRINCESS DIARIES” has been given a
“Collector’s Edition” status from BUENA VISTA. Anne Hathaway stars as Mia, a
young, awkward teen trying to fit in against all odds and less than appreciative
fellow classmates. Things change dramatically when she finds that her
grandmother(Julie Andrews) is actually the queen of a country, Genovia. Even
more shocking, she finds out that it’s up to her to prove she can handle the
duties she’ll inherit as heir to the throne or Genovia won’t survive on its own.
Hathaway is likeable enough in her role, and Andrews does a decent job as well.
Marshall’s direction is more restrained than usual.
Presented in both full-screen and 1.85:1 with 16:9 enhancement, the image is solid, boasting vibrant colors and terrific depth in every scene. Contrast is excellent, offering deep blacks and grays in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is fine. After a seemingly restrained opening, music is given a more prominent display through all speakers. Still, discrete/surround effects are reserved for only a few instances, and the mix isn’t as aggressive as we’d have liked. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
For some reason, BUENA VISTA has split the options of full-frame and widescreen over two discs. So, various extras are offered on one disc or another, but not both. Disc one gets deleted scenes and two music videos. Disc two has two commentaries. The first with Hathaway and Andrews is too self-indulgent for most to be able to bare, however fans of the film will still enjoy hearing Hathaway. The 2nd commentary offers Marshall’s commentary. As always, he’s extremely entertaining to listen to. There are also some promotional features and a gag reel offered here.