The beloved story, "WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS" has been remade by Disney. This time, the tale of a young boy facing hardships and becoming a young man, is actually an improvement over the earlier 1974 version. While still heart-tugging, it's not overly syrupy. However, one could argue that it simplifies things way too much. The story's main character, Billy Coleman, has hopes and dreams for, but can't afford, is to own a hunting dog, so he can hunt raccoons near his home in the Ozarks. Billy works extremely hard for two years, saving enough money to purchase two pups. But, unfortunately, unlike in the novel, his commitment to hard work over a long period of time, is completely glossed over. So too, are the acts relating as to how Billy ends up with Raccoon skins. There's no shot of the animals actually being killed, only chased. The story is a classic because the story, although taking place during the Depression era, still resonates with children of today. It also deals with loss and overcoming hardships.
Not without its flaws, its good intentions, fine acting and cinematography, help make this a film that's well recommended.
BUENA VISTA has presented two options for ratios here. The preferred one is the 1.85:1 with 16:9 enhancement, although the 1.33:1 option is there.
Colors are solid and there's fine detail, although a surprising amount of grain creeps through various scenes. While not the best in quality, it's generally in fine shape and far above average. Fleshtones appear natural.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. There is some minor separation for the front soundstage, but rears are preserved to enhance the music only. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
Two featurettes have been included.