The "Porto Paradiso Water Carnival" dvd is now available for purchase and retails for just over 2,900 yen in Japan. It is the perfect souvenir for those fans of this show and TDS alike. The dvd presents "Porto Paradiso" as currently presented daily at TDS, and due to the expansive nature of this show, the editors tried their best to show as much as possible without missing the beat so to speak. We get to see the entire show from the moment the male narrator takes to the water on a raft, all the way until the characters leave the lagoon at the end, with exit music. All in all, it's a 20 mins performance.
The show is presented as complete as possible... we get to see the action both on water and on land. The close up shots of the water vessels make it possible for us to see the character vessels in full details, some of which are missed by the actual crowd watching the show due to the distances and the expansive nature of the show. Shots from the audience areas around Mediterranean Harbor and at Lido Stage, make it possible for the home viewers to feel as if they are in the middle of the action in a front row seat at times.
As for the technical aspects of the dvd... It is region 2. You must have a region free dvd player at home where you can play it. This applies to all official TDR dvd's available in the japanese market. The show was shot in widescreen format with widescreen digital cameras for a very crisp and defined look. I would advise you watch this show on the biggest digital HD widescreen TV you can get your hands on...so you can fully enjoy the colorful pageantry of this show. Widescreen shots make for such delightful pleasures as watching the character vessels sail and be seen in totally full detail shots, or when the colorful kites take to the sky for the finale act... These sights just fill your TV screen with color and fanfare.
Now...the negatives... No live show being reproduced on dvd/tv format is bound to be perfect and some of "Porto Pardiso" gets lost in the shuffle.. There is so much happening during this show around the lagoon that not all can be seen... for example, during the 'clap song' in act 3 "Porto Paradiso at TDSea!", the release of colorful banners and inflatable dancing puppets is missing here, as is the beach ball sequence when performers engage the audience into an impromptu beach ball game. So is the colorful burst of fireworks from each charcter vessel at the end of the show. These moments in the show seem miniscule but they add to the WOW! factor of this performance...and they are not fully portrayed on this edited version of the show.
Also... as for the dvd itself.. while it delivers what it promises, the dvd is devoid of any extra segments... there are no bonus programs from around TDS at all. WE do get a very brief overview of Mediterranean Harbor at the beginning of the show but that it about it. What the dvd does have is the now common conveniences you can expect from any dvd program...such as scene selection menu, or captions options.. but that is about it. The show can also be heard on 2-way dolby stereo, or
in glorious 5-track sound editing for surround sound systems.
On a sentimental note... I would have prefered they had included the original version of the show as it was presented on opening day back in 2001..the longer show version that included Mediterranean Harbor's Mayor, and other music and sequences now missing and edited out of the daily performances as presented today at TDS. Oh well... you can't have it all in life, can you?? But why settle for less?
So all in all... should you run and buy this dvd or pay an obscene amount of money on ebay to get this in your collection??? Well... depends on how big a fan you are. This dvd program is a great present for those who are Porto Paradiso Fans and TDS fans alike. If you concider yourself in that category, then this DVD is a MUST HAVE item, especially if you are a big Disney show fan and have never been to TDS and will never have the chance to see this show live. If daytime lagoon shows are not your thing and you don't want to sit there under the sun and toast watching this water carnival, them maybe you don't need this dvd in your collection (but at least you don't have to put on sunscreen to watch it either).
At 20-25 mins in lenght, it's just the right amount of mindless Disney fun we can expect from TDR, and they do it so well...
TDLFAN gives it a 4 out of 5*****. Check it out, and see why EPCOT's Surprise in the Sky and Skyleidoscope failed miserably.