WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Borrowers, The

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Goodman, Jim Broadbent, Mark Williams, Hugh Laurie, Bradley Pierce

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 5
Download WSR Review
Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): PolyGram Video
(Catalog Number): ID4009PG
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 86
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Peter Hewitt
(Screenplay/Written By): Gavin Scott & John Kamps
(Music): Harry Gregson-Williams
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Gemma Jackson
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): David Freeman
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Walt DeFaria
(Producers): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner & Rachel Talaley

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

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the classic children’s novels by Mary Norton, The Borrowers is a marvelous family film of visual magic. The miniature Clock family have been borrowing from the human Lenders for years (which would explain to the Lenders why things have been disappearing). But when the evil lawyer, Oscious P. Potter (John Goodman) tries to evict the Lenders from their happy home, the Borrowers—with a little ingenuity—step in to save the day.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(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): Yes
(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:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The LaserDisc and DVD pictures both deliver stylized colors throughout the entire color scheme, but the LaserDisc’s colors are harsh with yellow overtones, while the DVD is warm and reddish. While these colors do not look bad, one’s eyes are ready for some relief after seeing so much red. The LaserDisc is extremely soft in its image rendering, while the DVD exhibits more fine detail and sharpness, no doubt due to the dual layering and component anamorphic capabilities for increased vertical and horizontal resolution. The LaserDisc is matted at 1.85:1, while both DVD ratios are 1.88:1. The Dolby Digital discrete 5.1 soundtrack on the DVD and LaserDisc is not dramatically different in spatial character to that of the LaserDisc’s matrix PCM. The sound design uses extensive aggressive surround envelopment distinguished on the discrete with split surrounds that further enhance the holosonic soundfield experience. The music score is nicely recorded with an expansive soundstage that is slightly better defined in the discrete. Dialogue is naturally rendered with good spatial integration, though sometimes a bit strident on the Dolby Digital. The matrix sometimes delivers deep bass response, but the Dolby Digital is preferred.