“The Aristocats” is coming to Blu-Ray in high definition with new digital restoration filled with singing cats, swingin’ jazz and a big adventure. Originally debuted in December of 1970 this Disney classic has been restored beautifully. The crisp color and animations jump off the screen in true Blu-Ray glory.
If you haven’t seen “The Aristocats” here is a brief background of the story. This tale takes place in 1910 in the city of Paris where a high society cat named Duchess lives with her three kittens in a mansion with her wealthy owner “Madame”. Madame wills her entire estate to the cats and her greedy butler Edgar wants the entire fortune for himself. He comes up with a plan to catnap the cats and relish in all the dough. This leaves Duchess and her kittens up for the adventure of their lives. They meet some fun characters along the way.
“The Aristocats” highlights great voice talents such as Eva Gabor, Phil Harris, Sterling Halloway and Legendary French singer Maurice Chevalier who sings the opening credits song. The classic songs “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat, “Scales and Arpeggios,” and “Thomas O’ Malley Cat are written by the Legendary songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman.
This Blu-Ray Special Edition set is chocked full of awesome bonus features. I really enjoyed the featurette of “The Lost Open” with Richard Sherman. He takes you through the storyboards and music of a never-before seen alternate beginning with a deleted character Elvira the maid and two songs. This was one of the few times the Sherman brothers ever sang together. There are more clips of the Sherman brothers talking in depth about the music they created for this film. Anyone who is a fan of their work will love all these little tid bits.
More of the bonus features elements include a music video, The Great Cat Family excerpt with Walt Disney as your host, Classic Disney short “Bath Day” featuring Minnie Mouse and Figaro, Virtual Kitten game, Aristocats Language game, option to play film with the song lyrics to appear on screen, and Disney song selection of the main songs.
Another great feature is the The Aristocats Scrapbook. It’s an interactive book with pictures of concept art, storyboard art, character development, behind the scenes of the live action references, animators, voice talent, music, Christmas art that was created for publicity in December 1970 and pictures of the characters in Disneyland. You can click on the images to make them larger to see the details.
Overall, I really enjoyed seeing this classic film restored to Blu-Ray high definition. The bonus features alone make this a great selection for any fan of Disney, music and classic animation. “The Aristocats” Blu-ray combo pack hits store August 21, 2012 and retails for $39.99. The 2-disc DVD Combo Pack retails for $39.99 and 1-Disc DVD for $29.99.