Anna and the King [WS] [DVD] [1999]

Whether or not the time and effort put into the DVD release of Anna and the King was an attempt to compensate for the film's relatively disappointing box-office performance is irrelevant; the producers of this disc have done a superlative job of preserving what is essentially the film's saving grace -- its cinematography. Despite historical inaccuracies and the controversy over Jodie Foster's "English" accent, this film is easily one of the most visually impressive of recent years, and this disc perfectly recreates all of its lush, vibrant colors. It is a joy to watch. The film also boasts an appropriately sweeping, epic score which is very well-handled on the disc's 5.1 digital soundtrack. It makes frequent use of the bass channel, but is never overpowering. The dialogue is perfectly mixed so that whispers and murmurs are as clear as the yells and cries of battle. For those without full digital capability, there is an English Dolby ProLogic track as well as a French ProLogic track, with optional subtitles in English and Spanish. The disc also boasts a fairly impressive set of supplemental features with very nicely animated menus, although the featurettes contained within the "Behind the Scenes" menu do tend to be somewhat repetitive after the first one or two (there are six altogether, covering various aspects of the film's production including costumes, production design, and elephant training). A comprehensive director's commentary, theatrical trailer, a strong selection of deleted and extended scenes, and a music video for Joy Enriquez's "How Can I Not Love You," the film's theme song, are also present. Fans of the film will be more than satisfied with this release.
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Special Features

  • Anamorphic widescreen [aspect ratio 2.35:1]
  • Commentary by Andy Tennant
  • Five featurettes
  • Interactive menus
  • Languages: English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
  • Music video: "How Can I Not Love You" by Joy Enriquez
  • Scene selection
  • Six deleted scenes
  • Subtitles: English and Spanish
  • Television special
  • Theatrical trailer


Anna and the King
The true story of Anna Leonowens' experiences as a governess to the children of an eccentric Asian king has been adapted into a book of memoirs, a biography, a stage play called Anna and the King of Siam -- which was adapted into a 1946 film, a stage musical called The King and I -- made into both the live-action The King and I (1956)) and the animated The King and I (1999) feature films, and a short-lived 1972 TV series. Now the story is brought to the screen yet again, as Jodie Foster stars as Leonowens, hired by the king of Thailand (Chow Yun-Fat) in the 19th century to help care for his children. The king wants the best for his children, but Anna soon discovers that he is a strong-willed but quixotic leader, and her stay in Thailand becomes a struggle for power with romantic overtones, as they decide who will have authority over the royal youngsters. Anna and the King was directed by Andy Tennant, best known for his 1998 variation on the Cinderella story, Ever After. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jodie Foster
    Jodie Foster - Anna Leonowens
  • Chow Yun-Fat
    Chow Yun-Fat - King Mongkut
  • Bai Ling
    Bai Ling - Tuptim
  • Tom Felton
    Tom Felton - Louis
  • Image coming soon
    Syed Alwi - The Kralahome
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