WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

American Pop

Reviewed In Issue 28 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Ron Thompson, Marya Small, Jerry Holland, Lisa Jane Persky, Jeffrey Lippa & Roz Kelly

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4.5
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Columbia/TriStar Home Video
(Catalog Number): 19596
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $34.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 96
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1980
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Ralph Bakshi
(Screenplay/Written By): Ronni Kern
(Story): NA
(Music): Lee Holdridge
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): NA
(Visual Effects): The Optical House & L.A. Laserium
(Costume Designer): NA
(Editor): David Ramirez
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Richard R. St. Johns & Maggie Abbott
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Martin Ransohoff & Ralph Bakshi

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.82:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
American Pop is an animated, historically conceived story of four generations beginning with Zalmie, a turn-of-the-century immigrant who cuts school to become a burlesque vaudevillian and perform with busty chorus girls and winds up an errand boy for the mob. The story follows his son Benny, a keyboard genius who is cut down in his prime by a half-dead German storm trooper and continues with Tony (the child Benny left behind), who travels to San Francisco’s underground subculture of Haight-Asbury and the early psychedelic rock scene. His son, Little Pete, parlays a back alley education into career as a rock idol.

LaserDisc Picture:
The animated Sony HD tranferred picture, matted at 1.82:1, exhibits excellent color fidelity with rich colors and deep blacks. Images are sharp and detailed, but noise and artifacts sometimes distract. The live-action footage is usually of poor quality.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is thin and bright sounding and wanting in bass. While the music is recorded in stereo, the sound is dated and wanting in fidelity. Dialogue sounds manufactured and surround is limited to subtle envelopment. However, the music is a kick as it progresses from the earliest jazz to modern day rock with aggressive surround.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: