A touching tale of a son who sets out to find the truth about his adventurous father, Tim Burton's Big Fish arrives on DVD with an abundance of features that will no doubt have Burton devotees flocking. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is near perfect -- with bright, vibrant colors, even skin tones, and no sign of edge-enhancement. Burton has always been known as a flamboyantly visual filmmaker, and this disc offers a truly fantastic view of his skills behind the camera. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix is bold without being overwhelming, saving directional effects for just the right moments and offering a great showcase for the film's wonderful sound design. An alternate French Dolby Digital Surround mix is also included, along with optional English and French subtitles. Though it's not being touted as a "special edition" of any sort, the features presented on this disc put most so-called comprehensive releases to shame. Beginning with an insightful commentary track that is co-hosted by Burton on Burton author Mark Salisbury, Burton truly opens up while discussing the film. If at first the inclusion of Salisbury seems somewhat intrusive to fans, as the film progresses, the probing interviewer draws details from the director that may have otherwise been left unexplored. From childhood inspiration to technical information, the commentary track reveals a Burton that the casual viewer as well as the dedicated fan will surely find compelling."The Character's Journey," separated into three parts -- "Edward Bloom at Large," "Amos at the Circus," and "Fathers and Sons" -- expounds on each eponymous subject with insight and clarity while never ceasing to entertain, with "Fathers and Sons" offering a touching look at the familial bond that drives the film. Fans of Burton will get plenty of insight from "The Filmmaker's Path," which is divided into four parts: "Tim Burton: Storyteller," "A Fairytale World," "Creature Features," and "The Author's Journey." From discussing the origins of Burton's career in "Tim Burton: Storyteller" to offering a revealing look at how fairy tales and mythology influenced the film in "A Fairytale World," this segment explores the foundations of the film in a way that will capture viewers' imagination as well as their attention. "The Author's Journey" talks with Big Fish author Daniel Wallace and screenwriter John August, exploring the roots of Wallace's career as a writer while addressing the difficulties of adapting such an imaginative tale for the screen. The adventurous viewer can explore the film itself by opting to enable a pop-up feature that offers revealing facts about the characters and filmmakers, and for viewers who wish to test their knowledge about the director, a Tim Burton trivia quiz offers an opportunity to flex their brains with the promise of a hearty reward.
Fish Tales pop-up feature: Offers revealing facts about the characters and filmmakers
The Character's Journey: "Edward Bloom at Large" - Take a look at the larger-than-life world of Edward Bloom; "Amos at the Circus" - Danny DeVito takes us through the Calloway Circus; "Fathers and Sons" - The cast and filmmakers share their thoughts on the father and son dynamic
The Filmmakers' Path: "Tim Burton: Storyteller" - A look at the director's process with great moments and insights on how Big Fish came to be; "A Fairytale World" - The importance of fairytales and myths and how these elements were incorporated into Big Fish; "Creature Features" - Explore the magic of Stan Winston Studios; "The Author's Journey" - Bringing "Big Fish" from the page to the screen, with author Daniel Wallace and screenwriter John August discussing the origins and inspirations for Big Fish
The Finer Points - A Tim Burton trivia quiz
Tim Burton audio commentary (co-hosted by "Burton on Burton" author Mark Salisbury)