SRP$29.99 1.66:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 BUENA VISTA

While “THE RESCUERS” is often criticized, this reviewer remembers it fondly, and after recently watching the BUENA VISTA dvd release, remembers just why it was so delightful.
Originally released in 1977, “THE RESCUERS” envisions a world wherein two mice, with the help of some other animals rescue a young girl held hostage by an evil woman, Madame Medusa.
As the film opens, Penny, a young girl, writes a help message on paper, puts it in a bottle and throws it out to sea.  When it’s found, Bernard(Bob Newhart) and Bianca(Eva Gabor) embark on a mission to save her.

Sure, the animation doesn’t have the depth of more recent Disney masterpieces, but “THE RESCUERS” still has a beautiful design to it.  The characters are all interesting, and the children recently watching it(ages -13) seem to love it, having watched it three times already.

BUENA VISTA has preserved the film’s 1.77:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement.  After a rough opening, in which there are numerous artifacts, the image ends up looking respectable.  Colors are solid, and often vibrant.  The animation varies in quality, sometimes lacking the depth we had hoped for, and grown accustomed to on better produced animated films. Still, it’s generally fine.

BUENA VISTA has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.  The surrounds are more aggressive than we’d expected, offering a great boost to musical cues, as well as a fair share of ambient effects. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
BUENA VISTA has provided some extras for this release.

Previews of the upcoming dvd release of “The Lion King,” “Piglet’s Big Movie,” “Jungle Book 2” and others are included.

“THE ULTIMATE CASE” is a game that will annoy more than it will please, and it has no real payoff.
A terrific cartoon, “THREE BLIND MUSKETEERS” is included. While under ten minutes, it’s still great fun,  and very “re” watchable!

A longer(half-hour)film, “WATER BRIDS: A WALT DISNEY TRUE LIFE ADVENTURE” is included also.  The image quality varies from fine to mediocre, but any children enjoying wildlife, should enjoy this as well.

“UNDER THE HAT VILLAINS” is a brief(and we mean “brief”)clip promoting the “Toon” Disney Channel.
Alas, “THE RESCUERS SCRAPBOOK” offers 15 sheets of images, exploring the film’s overall development.