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Alice in Wonderland 60th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray

Walt Disney’s 1951 take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland makes its high definition debut on Blu-ray Disc (BD) tomorrow, February 1st, in a 2-disc “60th Anniversary Edition” Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.

Alice in Wonderland is flawlessly presented in 1080p high definition, with a “Full Screen” 1:33:1 (4:3) aspect ratio.

The richness of the colors is magnificent. Some scenes (e.g. Cheshire Cat) look better than if they had been animated today. Alice may not be Disney’s greatest classic, but it certainly has one of the best uses of color, much of it due to artist Mary Blair’s influence.

Two English audio options are available on the BD: the original mono mix in Dolby Digital 2.0 and a new lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix. Both have been restored and sound excellent. For my first viewing, I chose the original mix for a more authentic experience, but that’s just me. No doubt, most viewers will opt for the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track.

When it comes to bonus features, keep in mind that this title is not part of Disney’s Diamond Collection, like the recent Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray (review), so extras are not as abundant or important as I had expected. At least that makes for menus that are easier to navigate!

But there are about half a dozen brand-new features exclusive to the BD, like two expanded viewing modes, newly-discovered reference footage, and a short pencil test for the “Alice Shrinks” sequences. Classic extras from previous DVD releases can be found on the disc as well.

Alice in Wonderland 60th Anniversary Edition Combo Pack arrives in stores tomorrow. Check back later this month for my review of the Bambi Diamond Edition Blu-ray.