If there’s one thing Disney is counting on right now its franchises. The search for good franchises comes right from the top, CEO Bob Iger’s office. Hopefully he’s watched this new remastered version of Disney’s Great Mouse Detective DVD, because it’s good the makings of Disney’s next franchise.

Sure not Pirates of the Caribbean or Prince of Persia box office numbers, but it could be the next Tinker Bell DVD series. And with the Sherlock Holmes tie-in the public awareness is already there. But I’m getting ahead of myself…. first a bit more about the DVD.

The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery In The Mist Edition is a newly restored digital master special edition DVD premiered this month.

In the greatest little mystery in Disney history, the renowned Basil of Baker Street takes on his archenemy, the evil genius Dr. Ratigan, and this time the battle is for the entire city of London! With fresh and exciting bonus features, The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition will thrill audiences with an exciting game of “mouse and mouse” that’s not elementary by a long shot!

Inspired by the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes, The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition marks the directing debut of now legendary filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of such Disney animated blockbusters as The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. As Basil sniffs out one clue after another with unmatched ingenuity, kids and adults will delight in a heartwarming and suspenseful adventure that goes from Baker Street to the tower of Big Ben in the charmingly downsized London of Mousedom. An intriguing mystery, spectacular animation and unforgettable characters make The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition a devilishly clever family gift!

Viewers can test their own powers of deduction and go behind the scenes of the movie with bonus features that include:

  • So You Think You Can Sleuth? — An animated look at the history of detective work, complete with a crime-solving puzzle for the entire family.
  • The Making Of “The Great Mouse Detective”
  • “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” Sing-Along Song

When talented toymaker Hiram Flaversham is mousenapped, his winsome daughter Olivia turns to the most famous mouse detective of them all, Basil of Baker Street. Accompanied by his assistant and confidante, Dr. David Q. Dawson, Basil uncovers a villainous plot by the “slimy, contemptible sewer rat” Dr. Ratigan to replace Moustoria, Queen of Mice, with a look-alike robot and take control of the entire rodent population of London. Based on Eve Titus’s book Basil of Baker Street, The Great Mouse Detective channels the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation into a richly animated, Sherlock Holmsian tale set in Victorian-era London’s underground mouse kingdom.

I found the new remastering of the DVD to be excellent with most of the colors vivid and the lines sharp. The one thing I found lacking was the special features. I always enjoy a good commentary and that was definitely lacking. However, if that’s not important to you, now is the perfect opportunity to fill that hole in your Disney DVD shelf.

Now, back to that franchise thing. As it turns out Disney recently brought The Great Mouse Detective’s directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, back into the fold with The Princess and The Frog. That means they’re in a good position to make sure this franchise is treated fairly and with the great storytelling it deserves. There are a wealth of Sherlock Holmes mysteries waiting to be explored by Basil and Dawson.