- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The musical fantasy that helped turn Walt Disney’s fledgling cartoon studio into an animation powerhouse returns to the Blu-ray format in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Collection (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, rated G, $36.99, 83 minutes).

This re-release comes loaded with extras, a dazzling transfer to mesmerize home-theater owners and offers a coveted code for a digital version of the film compatible with many devices.

It took the meticulous, handcrafting by teams of artists and production staff to bring the German fairy tale to life back in 1937. The story told through a sophisticated art style magically highlights a young princess helped by a group of pint-sized miners as she attempts to avoid the jealous retribution of an evil queen.

The 1080p transfer once again offers the chance to appreciate the painstaking restoration from the 2009 Blu-ray Diamond Edition while a soundtrack (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track) offers crystal-clear enjoyment of classic musical numbers such as “Whistle While You Work,” “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and “Heigh-Ho.”

Also, animation connoisseurs can enact the DisneyView option that hides the black bars seen while viewing the movie (original aspect ratio of 1.78:1). It replaces them with static, watercolor backdrops from renowned Disney art director Toby Bluth, helping to add a bit of a three-dimensional depth to the main event.

Even though extras were more bountiful in the 2009 edition, Disney Home Entertainment manages to add most to the latest release and tosses in seven new features.

The best of the new goodies includes a brief audio interview with Walt Disney from 1956 discussing the film’s origins, a look at the pop-culture popularity of Snow White, a quick overview of the character’s design history, seven not-well-known facts about Snow White, an alternate take on the Prince meeting Snow White and a 33-minute documentary on the making of the film (a longer version of a Diamond Edition segment).

As far as the previously released extras, best of the bunch includes a tour of Hyperion Studios (the birthplace of modern animation); a reenactment of a story meeting about the dwarves (from transcribed remarks); a look at a scrapped cartoon short sequel to Snow White; and an appreciation of the key animators involved in the movie.

Additionally, viewers can hear an optional commentary track during the film introduced by Roy E. Disney and led by animation historian John Canemaker but dominated by many archive recordings from Walt Disney.

The extras deliver over three hours of resources to allow cartoon fanatics to really appreciate Walt Disney’s animation process.

For those who have held off adding this classic to their home theater library, the latest digital ode to “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” makes a strong case for purchase.

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