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(Deluxe Edition)

The Rankin/Bass holiday special ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS ($20) is very loosely adapted from the poem by Clement Moore- the date, the notion of a mouse and a pending visit from Santa are pretty much what ties this animated program to the poem. The premise of ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS finds that Santa has turned his back on an entire town, after an anonymous letter indicates that none of its citizens believe he exists. It turns out that a brainy young mouse is responsible for the letter, and it falls to a local clockmaker to win the town back into Santa’s good graces with a singing clock. Of course, the very same brainy young mouse decides to take a look at the clock, and manages to gum up the works, further endangering the town’s chances of winning over Santa. ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS features the vocal talents of George Gobel, Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, Bob McFadden and John McGiver.

Warner Home Video has made ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS available on DVD in its proper full screen aspect ratio. ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS doesn’t feature the most compelling style of 2D animation and presentation appears a bit uninspired. The image is relatively crisp, but sometimes seem a bit softer than it should, even for the type of animation. Colors favor a warm pastel theme, never appearing over-saturated. Blacks are fairly deep and the whites are clean. Contrast is fine for this kind of television level animation. Digital compression artifacts are not an issue.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS comes with a Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. The track has been cleaned up to remove the most glaring signs of age and to remove hiss. Considering the program’s age and the fact it was originally mixed for tinny television speakers, the sound gets the job done without flourishes. Dialogue is easy to understand and the musical content gets by well enough. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English and French subtitles are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard set up features, as well as Christmas: A Global Holiday, a short animated comic focusing on how the holiday is celebrated around the world.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is an enjoyable enough Rankin/Bass holiday special, but I am not sure if it warranted a Deluxe Edition release. The presentation is fairly average, but is still better than a cable television screening.


Twas the Night Before Christmas



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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