In the first movie the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture conveys colour and contrast superbly; look at the scenes of Cruella's first appearance where the stark monochrome sets and costumes are thrown into contrast with her red lips and Richardson's blue eyes. But there is considerable grain on large expanses of white, which continues in the snow scenes later on. Impressive, if you don't look too closely. Scores 7.
On the second film the picture is a disappointment. For a start it's 1.85:1 anamorphic rather than 2.35:1. It also lacks contrast, so potentially impressive scenes such as Cruella's fantasy of a black-and-white London don't have the impact that they might. There's some visible grain in backgrounds and colours lack impact throughout. Scores 6.
In the first movie the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is rich, tightly-pinned and deep. The clang of the doors as Cruella enters her office is deep and reverberant, as is the splash as she falls into the vat. Dialogue is clear and the Michael Kamen score is punchy. Scores 8.
In the sequel, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound has some kick in scenes such as the fashion parade in Chapter 18 and the thunderstorm in chapter 20, it's basically disappointing. It fails to make anything of the climax in the bakery despite the potential of the machinery. Dialogue is less clear and the David Newman doesn't provide the same kind of punch. So as with the previous categories, the sequel follows a classic stereotype and is a bit of a let down. Scores 6.
The first film contains: Dog Stars featurette, Dr John Music video, a making of... featurette, theatrical trailer, connect the spots game, trailers for other Disney DVDs, DVD-ROM costume design and weblink features. Scores 8.
The second comes with: an audio commentary by the director and the animal trainers; costume, animal training, design and SFX featurettes and a teaser trailer. Scores 8.
A decent double-bill of doggy fun for the kids, though the sequel's definitely weaker, both as a movie and a DVD.
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