While production companies quickly realized that consumers prefer that DVDs come in the widescreen format, it remains common for them to release family films only in the pan and scan format. Perhaps they feel that children don't deserve the same kind of high quality that adults expect. Perhaps they don't realize that adults are also family members who enjoy such films as Witches or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The first DVD release of the wonderful Fly Away Home may have been botched but thankfully Columbia has realized their mistake and issued this exceptional special edition DVD of the Carroll Ballard film. Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel's (whose credits include The Natural and The Black Stallion) camera work here is spectacular and is captured on this flawless widescreen anamorphic transfer. Ballard and Deschanel have a long working relationship and are justly famous for making movies in the great outdoors. Their audio commentary is compelling and entertaining and should be of interest to both movie and nature buffs. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo audio track is crystalline and showcases Mark Isham's impressive score. Isham also has an audio commentary and the movie features his lovely collaboration with Mary Chapin Carpenter. Since convoluted legal and financial reasons kept a soundtrack album from being issued, this DVD is a real boon for fans. The fictional movie is also based on the real exploits of Bill Lishman and the DVD features documentaries on this very cool Canadian and also other featurettes on the making of the movie Lishman inspired. Fly Away Home truly is a family film in the best sense of the word and this is a DVD that will be enjoyed by any member of a family, regardless of age.
Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video
Audio: English 5.1 [Dolby Digital] and 2-channel [Dolby Surround], French, Spanish, Portuguese