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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 58:45)
  • English: Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround
    Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  • 2 Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary - Director Tim Burton; Composer Danny Elfman
  • Featurette
  • Photo gallery - 22 images of the conceptual art
  • Animated menus
  • 3 TV spot - Spanish TV Spots
  • 8 Interviews - Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price, Danny Elfman

Edward Scissorhands - 10th Anniversary Edition

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . PG . PAL


Burton’s masterful storytelling skills intertwined with his artistically unique style make this a stylised vision of the ‘outsider’ story. Using a similar idea to Frankenstein, taking the ‘outsider’ into a new community and creating havoc, director Tim Burton creates a new outlook on this story by adding his own style and vision. This film can be classified as a fantasy, yet it is also a comedy, and a drama, and a romance. Many threads are thrown into this film, with an overall feel of a fable - something that screenplay author Caroline Thompson says should be understood, but not necessarily believed.

So many elements work so well together in this film, starting with Tim Burton’s artistically stylistic mind. Burton has the talent to come forward with his unique, different vision and create film after film with his alternatively artistic ideas. In Beetlejuice a warped sense of reality can be seen, then in Sleepy Hollow his unique vision emerges with the comically black Headless Horseman and his lair, and then in Planet of the Apes his stylistic retelling of the ’68 story with his own twisted style gives insight into his vivid imagination. Looking at concept art for his films, you gain an understanding about his aims for his creations, and his vision of the ideas. His unique vision makes many of his films so appealing as they pose different ideas and different visions to the more conventional ideas from a director. Rather than relying totally on CGI (Computer Generated Image) to create these worlds, Burton aims to create as much as possibly using physical elements to create a greater world which his team can then work with.

Colleen Atwood, the costume designer for many of Burton’s other films, including Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!, uses her imagination to build on Burton’s concept art. Atwood’s freedom and creativity aids Burton’s vision and helps tie everything together. Danny Elfman, the master responsible for the score, has also worked with Burton before on films including Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Batman and Beetlejuice and has the talent to create a moving melodic score that raises the emotions of the audience. The emotion in the score that builds along with the images on the screen makes films such as Edward Scissorhands so powerful in their own melodramatic way.

Colours are used to a large extent to extend the character of the characters, especially with Kim (Winona Ryder). During the ‘ice dance’ sequence she can be seen in a white dress, symbolising innocence and purity, as this is just after the loss of a mean-spirited person in her life. Her room is filled with rich yellow and golden tones adding a happy and carefree feel to her character. With Edward, his black leather outfit contrasts sharply to his stark white face. These subtle yet meaningful symbols occur throughout the film and add so much to the story.

Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest from I Am Sam and Parenthood) is the local Avon lady for a small American suburb. She hasn’t had much luck this season selling her cosmetics to her neighbours, so she tries the dark mansion on the hill. There she meets Edward (Johnny Depp from Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) who has scissors for hands. Peg decides to bring this 'person' down from the hill to live with her and her family. For a while she (and he) are the gossip of her neighbours as her friends want to meet this bizarre new friend. At first sight of a photo of Kim (Winona Ryder from Girl, Interrupted and Beetlejuice) Edward has feelings towards her, but because of his previous isolation to the world is unable to deal with them, nor deal with everyday life. It quickly becomes apparent that topiary is his talent with his multiple clippers attached to each hand. But why stop at shrubs and bushes, why not do it to dogs and even humans too? So Edward becomes everyone’s new best friend, even Kim’s boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall) who wants to use Edward for his own gain by breaking into his father’s locked room to steal some goods. Edward gets caught, and his new world slowly begins to turn on its head and on him. The trust between him and his new neighbourhood is broken and the new world quickly becomes too scary for him to cope with...


The video is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.83:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The packaging states 1.85:1, but this .02 difference is negligible. This difference is due to the fact that the image on the screen doesn’t exactly fill the entire screen. When watching on a DVD-ROM drive or wide television, you can see incredibly small black bars on the left and right, which makes this transfer 1.83:1 rather than the stated 1.85:1.

The 10th Anniversary video transfer is superb. Tim Burton’s vision of his contrasting suburb is superbly rendered with deep, dark and solid blacks. The opening act boasts solid blacks, which are as black as the darkest night. However, the downside of an older print can be seen during the darkest scenes, with some ever-so-slight low-level noise, and some occasional examples of film grain. Like the cinema re-release of E.T. in 2002, grain is no problem for the majority of the film, but one small, brief scene remains that has been attacked by film grain and not cleaned up at all. For the brighter scenes, grain is not a problem at all.

Burton’s spectrum of pastels, rainbows and contrasts is superbly rendered boasting bright, rich and vibrant colours. Throughout the film in the ‘burbs the sky is a brilliant blue, with a rich, healthy green grass. The houses appear manufactured and alienating, all coloured with a different bright pastel colour. The houses are all the same, and the occupants of each house have a matching colour car, all of the same make. Their manicured street screams of “housing estate” and builds a picture of the so-called perfect American neighbourhood. The houses and scenery are not the only flashes of colour during the film, the brightly coloured, lost-’70s wardrobe from costume designer Colleen Atwood boasts bright and stunning fluorescent colours teamed with oddball/retro styles. These colours are all mastered so well and the skin tones are still natural, realistic and lifelike.

The source print has been remarkably restored, with very little grain, and even less artefacts. If you sit and watch for the speckles you will see them, but they are so small, and so brief, that they are not at all distracting. There are no MPEG artefacts at all. The clarity of the picture is superb, yet at times can lack sharpness. Not that it is majorly soft, just not as sharp as it could have been. There is a little aliasing, the primary offenders being roof tiles and Venetian blinds. Throughout the film, brief segments can be seen to be suffering from a slight telecine wobble. It is in no way distracting as the wobble is ever-so-slight, but it is still apparent.

Being a single-sided, dual-layered disc, a layer change occurs. The change is at 58:45, and is the fastest, quietest, most discrete layer change that won’t even be seen unless you listen for the player’s laser wavelength change.


There are three audio tracks on this disc, but only one film dialogue option. This is a Dolby Digital 4.0 English track.

The 1988 film Beetlejuice was remastered on DVD with a 5.1 soundtrack, yet sadly this film misses out. Not that the discrete subwoofer track and two discrete rear channels instead of one would have made that much difference, but it would have added some clarity to the bass. Mind you, saying this, the analogue track the subwoofer leeches from the front channels offers a deeper bass than a discrete subwoofer track would have done, but still, some scenes and effects would have appreciated a thumping bass.

The surround channel is used to mainly carry the score, and not much else. A 2.0 track could have been used, but a 4.0 track adds a greater clarity to the rear channel. The soundstage does create a largely enveloping sound through the powerful score through the rear channels and the richness provided from the front. Discrete effects can be heard from the front left and right channels, with dialogue being contained to the centre channel only. Dialogue is crystal clear and audible throughout the film with no distortion or audio sync issues.

Danny Elfman has worked on many films with Tim Burton including Beetlejuice, Batman, Sleepy Hollow and most recently Planet of the Apes. Elfman’s melodramatic scoring style suits the stylistic mood of all of these films, and provides appropriate emotional elements to move the audience in a particular way. The soothingly haunting ‘Ice Dance’ theme doubles as the main theme and places a full orchestra with a chilling choir melody. The quirkiness of Burton’s work is always extended by Elfman in his scores, and this film is no exception. The final act resembles a stunningly moving and touching conclusion to the fable, and features a pulsing and emotive theme building up to an appropriate climax, drawing out the emotions of the audience, and for the soppy ones, some tissues too.


The menu is presented in a widescreen aspect of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. It is animated with audio from Elfman’s score. The style for the menu is a pop-up storybook and it suits the mood and tone of the film. The buttons are clear and simple, yet easy to navigate with too. The main menu and extra features menu contain looping audio.

The Audio Commentary with Tim Burton is reasonably good, yet at times you tend to imagine he is too busy watching the film to actually talk about it. Examples can be seen with his ending mid-sentence and then picking up after the dialogue. But what he does say is very interesting and at times amusing. It's not the best commentary around, but very good nonetheless. However, the low quality of the audio leaves a little to be desired.

The Audio Commentary with Danny Elfman is a different and unique addition to the disc. Rather than your normal commentary, it doubles as an isolated score track too, with Elfman chirping in where he feels it appropriate, and talking a fair bit during the silences where there is no score. At times it tends to drag on, but for the die-hard Elfman fans (like yours truly) it is very interesting and gives a great insight into the mind of a composer as he talks about his mysterious emotive sequences, and also the quirky muzak sequences.

The brief Featurette, which runs for 4:29, is a quick promotional piece that shows some edited interviews from the cast and crew as well as some behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work. It is presented in a full frame aspect of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 in English.

Soundbites contains the interviews that are used in the featurette. The number in the brackets is the running time of the soundbite. Soundbites exist for eight cast and crew members: Johnny Depp (1:05), Winona Ryder (1:23), Dianne Wiest (0:46), Tim Burton (0:31), Caroline Thompson (1:31), Alan Arkin (0:36), Vincent Price (1:50) and Danny Elfman (1:43). They are all presented in a full frame aspect of 1.33:1, and are obviously not 16x9 enhanced. The soundtrack is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailers and TV Spots is a collection of promotional material for both the English language and Spanish language. The two English trailers, Trailer 1 and Trailer 2, run for 2:09 and 2:06 respectively. Both are presented in a full frame aspect of 1.33:1, and include Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The first trailer suffers from many film artefacts, and the second has a much higher quality. Both suffer slightly from telecine wobble. The three Spanish TV Spots entitled Amuse You, Amuse You (yes, the same name, just a shorter version) and Romance run for :30, :20 and :30 respectively. They are with English voices, with a Spanish voiceover and Spanish subtitles. They are also presented in a full frame aspect of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Concept Art is a brief gallery of 22 images from the inner workings of Tim Burton’s mind. His conceptual art is scarily bizarre yet beautiful at the same time. The quality of these images is remarkably high.


A modern classic presented superbly on DVD with a stash of quality features. Tim Burton’s unique style and contrasting art makes this film distinct and crazily beautiful. The video is superb, given the print’s age, and the audio is suitable, also given the film’s age. This disc is simply one that you must have for your collection.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1617
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  •  DVD NET Gold Review List 
      And I quote...
    "Burton’s masterful storytelling skills intertwined with his artistically unique style make this a stylised vision of the ‘outsider’ story..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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