It’s been a long time since I last saw Dumbo and the long-awaited Blu-ray release does not disappoint!

I didn’t realize how much hard work went into this restoral until I had gone back and read the official press release which gives a lot of insight into the picture and sound restoral process.

Faced with the daunting task of restoring the film to its original pristine condition, the Walt Disney Studios Restoration Team turned to the US Library of Congress who store the original 70 year old nitrate camera negative in their film vaults, and for reference, to an original 1941 ?release‘ print, held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Using this rare nitrate ?dye-transfer? Technicolor print for color reference, the team was able to restore Dumbo to the color settings most likely approved by Walt Disney himself, which will be seen in their full splendor for the first time in 70 years, on the Blu-ray debut.  In addition, the rare film print (housed as part of the UCLA Film and Television Archives collection) proved to be the earliest surviving generation of the original audio for Dumbo which provided a unique source from which to build the new Disney Enhanced Home Theatre (DEHT) mix for the Blu-ray release.

The movie is only a surprising 60 minutes long (a little short for a feature length film) but it certainly feels like more than an hour when you’re watching it.  Since the film is that short, the Blu-ray is PACKED with bonus features!

Bonus Features:

DVD:

  • Deleted Scene – “The Mouse’s Tale”
  • Deleted Song – “Are You a Man or a Mouse?”
  • Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo – A journey back to the origins of the film as everybody‘s favorite baby elephant takes wing.
  • The Magic Of Dumbo: A Ride of Passage – Witness the excitement and magic of Disneyland‘s most popular ride through the eyes of a child.
  • Audio Commentary with Pete Docter, Paula Sigman and Andreas Deja
  • Sound Design Excerpt from The Reluctant Dragon
  • Original Walt Disney Television Introduction

Blu-ray:

Everything on the DVD plus:

  • Cine-Explore
  • Disney View
  • “What Do You See?” Game
  • “What Do You Know?” Game
  • “Celebrating Dumbo” Featurette
  • Animated Short: “The Flying Mouse”
  • Animated Short: “Elmer Elephant”

 

Movie Download (Standard Definition & High Definition Versions):

  • Deleted Scene – “The Mouse’s Tale”
  • Deleted Song – “Are You a Man or a Mouse?”
  • “Celebrating Dumbo” Featurette 
I hadn’t realized fully how amazing the restoral process and transfer to Blu-ray was until I had watched “Taking Flight: The Making Of Dumbo”.  This looks like it was a bunus feature from the last time Dumbo was released on DVD.  There were film clips during the featurette and you could see an older non-restored print clearly visible here.  I then went back to the movie itself to see how truly amazing it looks now!This is one for the whole family, so go out and get it if you haven’t already, make some popcorn and have a family movie night with it!