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Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget
A Walt Disney Home Video Release
1999, 78 Minutes, Color, Rated PG

Starring:  Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett, Joely Fisher, Rene Auberjonois, Michelle Trachtenberg, Andy Dick, Cheri Oteri, Michael G. Hagerty, D.L. Hughley, Don Adams
List Price:  $29.99 USD, released 12/07/99
Packaging:  Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Single Layered (DVD-5)
Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 Widescreen
Audio Formats:  English 5.1, French 2.0
Subtitles:  English
Closed Captioning:  English
Features:  Featurette, Music Video, Theatrical Trailer, Interactive Menus, Scene Selection

Sure, you’ve seen The Six Million Dollar Man… but that doesn’t mean you’ve seen it all! Inept but well-meaning security guard John Brown has always wanted to be a successful policeman. One night during a robbery of robotics equipment he gets a chance to prove his worth – but ends up being blown up by the soon-to-be-named Dr. Claw. Stuck in the hospital totally encapsulated in plaster, John is selected for the top-secret Gadget project – special hardware that allows mere thought to control mechanical appendages. Now loaded up with everything from a rocket launcher to a helicopter to five gallons of toothpaste, John Brown is potentially the ultimate crime fighting machine – if only he knew what he was doing!

Disney’s Inspector Gadget is a fairly short family film filled with entertaining special effects but little plot. True to its’ cartoon heritage, the 1.85:1 widescreen video transfer provides bright, highly saturated colors that jump right off the screen. For a non-anamorphic transfer, sharpness is quite good while NTSC artifacts are few. Grain is almost non-existent throughout and the master print was respectably free of dirt or lint. Black levels are well calibrated and even throughout. The movie is contained on a single layer and is split into 13 chapter stops. English subtitles and closed captioning encoding are provided.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is quite impressive with heavy – and very noticeable – use of the rear effects channels. Sounds come from all angles and at times are quite unexpected. Overall, dialogue is very clear and unmarred by background hiss. Bass levels are deep and well calibrated, while trebles are sharp though not harsh. Also included is a French language track.

Inspector Gadget raises the bar one solitary notch for Disney in terms of extras complement. First, you’ll find the Youngstown music video "I’ll Be Your Everything". Next is the original theatrical trailer in full-screen video and stereo sound. Lastly, you’ll find the moderately long featurette "Go Inside Inspector Gadget," which is an episode in a Disney Channel-targeted promotional series that covers most Disney films to hit the theaters. As the target audience is quite young it contains very little engaging information.

Inspector Gadget is light family fare, but presented well on this DVD. The $30 list price is still higher than the industry norm, but if you have a Gadget fan in your household you may not be able to resist picking up this title.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on January 1, 2000.

Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Sony STR-GA8ES 5.1 Receiver
Sony 32" XBR250 WEGA TV using Component
Nuance Spatial & Star Series Speakers

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