Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's hard to believe that Mrs. Doubtfire is 15 years old. Its even harder to believe when actually watching the film because it's held up remarkably well. The jokes still pop and the story of a father dressing up like a British Nanny to be close to his kids still holds weight today. And now there's a new "Behind-the-Seams" edition DVD that lets us relive the movie, a DVD bursting at the seams, if you will, with extra content.
For those few of you who don't remember or never saw the movie it goes a little something like this:
Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) has just split from his wife, Miranda (Sally Field) and been denied custody of his children. In order to spend time with them he passes himself off as Euphegenia Doubtfire a wonderful British Nanny, thanks to his brother, a make-up artist (Harvey Fierstein). The kids end up loving Doubtfire, but it's not long before Daniel is running around trying to be both Daniel and Doubtfire at the same place at the same time. In fact the best scene has Daniel running back and forth in a restaurant switching in and out of the costume, make-up, and wig and forgetting which character he's supposed to be.

One of the reasons the movie is so good is it mixes humor and drama, as we see how the divorce changes everyone involved, especially the kids. And Daniels deception definitely takes its toll on the kids once they find out who Doubtfire really is. But really what father wouldn't go to such measures in order to see his kids more than one day a week.

This new 2-Disc release is packed full of Special Features, the best of which is "The Improvisation of Mrs. Doubtfire," offering 35 minutes of alternate, improvised takes of several scenes from the movie. The feature allows you to see Williams at work creating different versions of the same scene, each genuinely funny, and usually completely different from the take before. It also shows the final version which made it into the final film.

Another great feature is the Aging Gracefully" feature which looks back at Mrs. Doubtfire from Script (Williams wife read the book, "Alias Madame Doubtfire" and thought it would be great for him to play the lead) to Casting to Make-up to the on the set antics of Williams as Doubtfire (once in Make-up Williams stayed in character at all times) and finally ending with a look at how they mixed the seriousness of divorce with the comedy of the story.

Other features include: all-new on-camera interviews with Williams; a plethora of footage from the "Cutting Room" including deleted scenes, extended scenes, and alternate scenes; an in-depth look at the Make-up, "A Conversation with Legendary Animator Chuck Jones" about the film’s credit sequences; and a look at the original publicity for the film including a 15 year old documentary on the making of the film.

Compared to the old bare bones version of the film it's definitely time for an upgrade. The special features are great and the movie looks wonderful (and I imagine with an up-converting DVD player and HD TV it would be even better!) So go out and pick up a copy today, as the Behind the Seams Edition is out now.


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