The Three Musketeers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As one might expect from a modern-day Disney project, the picture looked solid.
Sharpness seemed very positive, as at all times, the movie remained detailed and concise. No examples of softness or ill-defined images appeared in this tight and firm presentation. Jagged edges and moiré effects appeared absent, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. In regard to print flaws, I noticed none, as the movie looked clean and fresh from start to finish.
Musketeers presented a bright and moderately cartoony palette. The colors consistently looked solid, as the hues came across as lively and tight. Black levels appeared deep and firm, with appropriately dark and rich material. Low-light images were concisely displayed and tight, with no excessive opacity. Overall, Musketeers gave us a fine presentation.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield maintained a bias toward the front speakers, and it displayed decent spread and imaging there. Music showed nice stereo separation, and a lot of environmental and other specific effects cropped up from the sides. The soundfield showed a good level of activity and made the front domain reasonably lively.
Surround usage was relatively modest, though the movie enjoyed some active moments. For the most part, the rear speakers reinforced the front ones, but periodic instances of unique audio cropped up from the rear. For example, during a carriage ride, hoof beats appeared neatly in the surrounds, as did the trickling of water in a river sequence. These added decent dimensionality.
Audio quality appeared positive. Speech came across as natural and concise, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Music sounded fairly tight and brisk, with good dynamic range evident. Effects also seemed clean and accurate, and they could provide some nice low-end response when appropriate. Although the audio of Musketeers didn’t excel in any particular way, it still worked well for the material.
How did this Blu-ray compare to the original DVD from 2004? Audio was a bit more dynamic and full, while the visuals were tighter, more vivid and precise. The DVD looked fine for its format but couldn’t compare with this excellent presentation.
The Blu-ray duplicates most of the DVD’s extras, and these open with Deleted Scenes. We find four of them, and they run a total of four minutes, 56 seconds. These include an alternate introduction and more with the narrator. There’s a little more about romantic tension between Donald and Daisy, but none of these bits seem terribly interesting.
One of these comes in story reel form, one other is finished, and the other two are rough animation. We can watch these with or without commentary from Disneytoons Studios Vice President Brian Snedeker. He gives us basic notes about the clips and why they got the boot.
Disney’s Song Selection basically acts as an alternate form of chapter menu. It lets you jump to any of the film’s seven song performances, and it also allows you to show on-screen lyrics. Sing Along with the Movie provides on-screen lyrics for the tunes. Both of these feel pretty useless to me.
Get the Scoop runs nine minutes, 39 seconds as it presents a featurette. Hosted by Monica Lee, it gives us movie clips and interviews with Snedeker, producer Margot Pipkin, director Donovan Cook, art director Bob Kline, story artist Kirk Hanson, editor Bret Marnell, music senior VP Matt Walker, and lyricist Chris Otsuki. They chat about the development of the project and the story, animating the sword fighting, the visual look of the characters, selecting a villain, and the flick’s musical style.
Much of the time the participants pretend that Mickey, Donald and Goofy are real, which gets silly quickly. A few good tidbits emerge along the way, though, and it’s cool to see Hanson’s presentation of the storyboards. Ultimately, it’s a fluffy but moderately informative program.
The Cast Commentary offers Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Pete as they chat about one scene. We see the segment in which we first meet the adult versions of those characters as janitors in this five-minute and eight-second snippet. For an in-character commentary, this one seems decent. It’s cute but not more than that.
An odd extra, the one-minute, 47-second Get Up and Dance offers a kinda sorta music video. It mixes movie shots with images of three little kids who dance along to the song “All for One and One for All”. I don’t know what purpose it serves; it’s just strange and pointless.
The disc opens with ads for Sleeping Beauty and Legend of the Neverbeast. Sneak Peeks presents the same clips. No trailer for Musketeers appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Musketeers. It includes “Disney Song Selection” but none of the other extras.
With Disney’s The Three Musketeers, we get a fairly ordinary program. There’s nothing bad about it per se, but nothing to make it particularly interesting either. I suppose it’s a telling comment that at one point I accidentally typed The Three Mediocres as the movie’s title. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals and pleasing audio but lacks substantial supplements. While I don’t find myself impressed by the movie, the Blu-ray packages it well.
To rate this film, visit the original review of THE THREE MUSKETEERS