There’s been some buzz during the last year or so that the American version of the Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray disc released in March of 2009 was missing some dialogue. Turns out, Disney has been careless with the audio, but the video is completely intact. Reports have appeared on sites like Land of Whimsy, Home Theater Forums, and even in Amazon customer reviews, complaining about the status of the disc. So far the complaints have been limited to only simple lines of dialogue like Jiminy Cricket saying “Right!” and ““Look out, Pinoke!,” rather than full scenes.
The problem I’m getting into then is why Disney hasn’t recalled the disc. A member of AVS science forum claims Disney has been quietly replacing the disc, but numerous posts on that site, and others, challenge this claim. With Pinocchio returning to the Disney vault in March of 2011 and the 70th Anniversary Edition being the only Blu-Ray copy of the film available, it seems most people who own a copy of the film—not in VHS tape format—now own the distorted version.
This shouldn’t really be a shock. In the past, Disney has cut out entire portions of scenes from older films (see Fantasia), not to mention changing dialogue or color palates. The question then is whether the cut out dialogue was intentional, or just shoddy work on someone’s part. Either way, if you are a Disney purist, the loss of certain lines, however memorable, may seem like a tragedy. Then again, for a Disney Purist, the color touch-ups on the new versions of films may seem criminal, too. This is all becoming a little reminiscent of the controversy that occurred when Chaplin went back through his films later in life and changed all of the music.
Again, though a source has reported getting a replacement disc, so far Disney hasn’t offered any official compensation. If you are more interested in maintaining audio quality than getting the BD Live/ extra DVD disc that come with the American package, your best call at this point would be to buy the UK version of the film (no dialogue complaints there). Sucks, but just proves, sometimes when you wish upon a star, Disney doesn’t make your dreams come true.
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