Extreme Music Fun appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Due to the inclusion of some of Disney’s oldest color shorts as well as a few non-remastered cartoons, Music presented acceptable but less than stellar visuals.
For the most part, the shorts demonstrated solid sharpness. Occasional signs of softness crept in, but these usually stayed minor. The cartoons generally appeared well-defined and distinctive. Very few issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement stayed at a minimum.
As with other Extreme collections, I saw a distinction between the shorts remastered for “Treasures” sets and those new to DVD. Almost uniformly, the “new” cartoons suffered from higher levels of dirt and dust, and they tended to look messier. For the most part, the shorts that also appeared on “Treasures” collections were fairly clean, though those here offered a few exceptions. The cartoons originally on Silly Symphonies - “Woodland Café”, “Farmyard Symphony” and “Music Land” - showed moderate levels of debris and marks. Although most remastered Disney shorts from the Forties and later tended to be quite clean, “Orphans’ Benefit” was surprisingly messy. It looked dirtier and noisier than I recalled, and when I directly compared the two, it showed more flaws than were evident on Mickey Mouse in Living Color 2. Otherwise, the shorts of Music presented modest source concerns.
In general, colors were positive. Most of the shorts demonstrated nicely bright and vibrant tones. Again, the “new” cartoons were the weakest, as those displayed slightly flat tones. Black levels usually appeared nicely deep and rich, while shadow detail was clear and accurate throughout the shorts. Unsurprisingly, the “new” shorts had the biggest problems here, as they looked a bit blown-out and improperly bright. Overall, this left the visuals of Extreme Music Fun in the decent but unexceptional category.
Partially due to the presence of those cartoons from the Thirties, the monaural soundtrack of Extreme Music Fun was mediocre. In general, the cartoons seemed shriller and noisier than usual. Speech was acceptably understandable but often brittle and coarse. Effects showed a bit of distortion and harshness, but they stayed fairly clean and distinct through the shorts. Music also demonstrated variable levels of harsh and rough tones, but this wasn’t unexpected, and the scores seemed reasonably solid.
Varying levels of background concerns appeared throughout the shorts. Most were reasonably clean, but others suffered from greater problems. “Music Land” and some of the other older clips could be quite noisy, with lots of pops. A nasty hum marred “Benefit”. Ultimately, the audio was acceptable for its age but no better than that.
No significant extras appear on Extreme Music Fun. We get a collection of ads in the Sneak Peeks domain. This includes promos for Tarzan II, Cinderella, Lilo & Stitch 2, Kronk’s New Groove, Disney Learning Adventures, Pocahontas and the Disney Princess line of products.
In terms of DVD and cartoon quality, Extreme Music Fun is the most erratic of the three Disney “Extreme” collections. On one hand, four of the shorts are quite good, as they earned ratings of “8”. On the other hand, the remaining four cartoons received marks of “4” or “5”, which meant they were mediocre at best. Visual and sound quality was similarly mediocre.
Still, there’s some decent entertainment for the casual Disney fan. As always, I don’t recommend Music or any other “Extreme” package for the die-hards. They’ll already own many of the cartoons and will almost certainly be able to get the others before too long. Less dedicated fans may want to give this release a look, though.