Disney Movie Club Exclusive / 20th Anniversary Edition
Disney / Buena Vista | 1995 | 108 minutes | Classified PG | Apr 26, 2016
Operation Dumbo Drop
To maintain the loyalty of a hometown during the Vietnam War, a US Army officer and his unit struggle to deliver a live elephant to it.
To know more about Operation Dumbo Drop and the Blu-ray version of Operation Dumbo Drop, see Operation Dumbo Drop Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 14, 2021 where this Blu-ray version marked 2.5 out of 5.
Director: Simon Wincer
Screenwriters: Gene Quintano, Jim Kouf
With: Danny Glover, Ray liotta, Denis leary, Doug E. Doug, Corin Nemec, Tchky Karyo
Producers: David Madden, Diane nabatoff
»See the full cast and the team
Review of Operation Dumbo Drop Blu-ray
Reviewed by Martin Liebman on March 14, 2021
In a cinematic landscape populated by sinister films about the Vietnam War, the Section‘sand The deer hunterin the world – 1995 Operation Dumbo Drop look, perhaps to some extent, at the lighter side of the war. Released nearly a decade after Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning epic, it is perhaps the gift of time that allows film media to approach war from a curiously different angle. While not a serious wartime commentary or a strict historical re-creation (albeit based on a true story), the film does take a few liberties to lighten the load while remaining essentially faithful to the basic ebb and flow that define war. It is different, and different is Well… to a point. The movie works as unlikely as its plot might seem on the surface, making for a relatively funny picture with, of course, darker undercurrents working well below the surface.
Captain TC Doyle (Ray Liotta) has been ordered to take command of a public relations mission with a Vietnamese village strategically located near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. His predecessor, Captain Sam Cahill (Danny Glover), worked tirelessly to win over the villagers, allowing US forces vital access to a key observation position. When the ANV realizes that the village is cooperating with the Americans, they kill the village elephant in retaliation. In order to preserve the relationship, Cahill and Doyle promise the villagers that they will replace the elephant in time for it to play a role in a vital village ceremony. Of course, transporting an elephant through a war-torn country is about as difficult as it sounds.
The film is surprisingly adept at mixing pieces that would otherwise feel more or less disparate in a single movie: wartime action, animal humor, character drama, and the list goes on. None of these elements on their own inspire much, but the sum is a rather unique movie watching experience that goes beyond its external limits. It’s really pretty impressive that it works so well, even though the movie isn’t that remarkable in the grand scheme of things, in the much larger cinematic landscape. Add that the film benefits from a solid technical know-how on both sides of the camera – the cast is really, really good, doing a solid job even when the scripted characters aren’t too impressive on paper – and
Operation Dumbo Drop ends up playing pretty well as a perfectly usable waste of time that surprises far more often than it disappoints.
Operation Dumbo Drop Blu-ray, video quality
Operation Dumbo Drop falls on Blu-ray with professional 1080p transfer. The image is stable and pleasant if it cannot be described as gaudy or flamboyant. It is a soft hair in places but mainly of very good quality. The grain lacks visible density a bit, but the image rarely, if ever, suffers from serious and significant noise reduction. The details are stable and pleasant for the most part, with thin skin and military uniform details easily noticeable in most medium and close shots. Likewise, the interior of the cargo plane has a nice texture definition for objects strewn on or on the material making up the hull itself, and of course, the elephant’s skin and fine hair are crisp, respectively. and well represented. The picture struggles a bit outside, where the dense jungle under the canopy or the large fields look a bit softer than sharper, but it’s really hard to imagine the movie looking much better. in theaters in 1995. The same applies to the color spectrum. It’s not vibrant or micro-nuanced at all, but broad tones, mostly earthy greens and browns, are presented with nice depth and overall tonal variance. Some of the loudest colors come in small details like the packaging of the Nestlé candy bar seen in several scenes with its whites and blues. Skin tones and black levels are good, neither particularly good nor conspicuously poor. The print is in relatively good condition and there are no major and obvious encoding issues to note.
Operation Dumbo Drop Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Operation Dumbo DropDTS-HD’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack demonstrates good control over movement, especially when helicopters cross the sky from side to side or, more fully, when the rotors turn like one. Hear from inside the helicopter with excellent control over depth and weight involved. The heavy airlift cargo plane also rumbles in several key scenes, with an impressive sense of weight movement inside and out. The noise of the site is very pleasant to the ears, whether on military bases, in the jungle or inside airborne vehicles. Battle scenes provide plenty of activities for surround immersion, drawing the listener into terrain battle scenes where gunfire and explosions erupt and resonate, respectively, with all the necessary details and positioning elements (but not fully realistic). The music is impressive for scenic saturation and instrumental and, if necessary, lyrical fidelity. The dialogue is clear, fluid, precise and well hierarchical as it stems from its natural front-center house.
Operation Dumbo Drop Blu-ray, overall score and recommendation
Operation Dumbo Drop doesn’t get a high score for serious wartime commentary but, with the grace of time, it successfully takes a lighter approach to one of the darkest and most protracted chapters in world history in times of war. It’s a solidly constructed film that claims fair production values, capable acting, and a relatively fun time in the movies. Disney’s feature-less Blu-ray, currently exclusive to its online movie club, delivers capable 1080p video and a solid 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Recommended.