Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 8/17/99
Anniversary Edition - 1990 (2000) 20th Century Fox
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
105 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
THX-certified, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch 56:52
in chapter 15), Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary track
with director Tim Burton, isolated score with audio commentary by
Danny Elfman, featurette, soundbites, 2 theatrical trailers, 1
English TV spot, 2 Spanish TV spots, conceptual art, animated
film-themed menu screens with music, scene access (24 chapters),
language: English (DD 4.0 & 2.0) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles:
English and Spanish, Closed Captioned
Kim: Hold me.
Edward: I can't.
Once upon a time, in a castle high above a small town, there lived
an old Inventor. The Inventor made many curious things, mostly to
help him cook and clean his castle. One day, the Inventor, while
making a batch of cookies, realized that he was very lonely. He
picked up a small heart shaped cookie and decided to place it in one
of his creations. He would name it Edward.
Edward's job was to cut celery and he was very good at it. He would
chop all day long, never once complaining. He loved the Inventor
with all of his cookie heart. And the Inventor loved Edward. Slowly,
the Inventor made slight alterations to Edward - eventually he
looked just like a living, breathing boy. Except for two things.
Both of Edward's hands were made of sharp things, things he could
use to cut, chop and slice. Things that would help him to help the
Inventor in his day to day chores. The Inventor loved Edward so much
that he taught him how to talk, how to behave and how to appreciate
the beautiful things in life. Edward, full of this new found
creativity, would cut all the bushes in the yard into majestic
animals, mythical creatures and playful children. He was very happy
in his home.
One day, the Inventor decided to give Edward a present. He would
replace the old hands with brand new ones - hands that were just as
human as yours or mine. But something happened to the old Inventor.
He went to sleep and didn't wake up. Edward was sad. His days,
although still full of creativity, didn't compare to the old days
when the Inventor would talk with him, touch him and love him. Over
time, Edward grew more and more lonely. He stared down at the small
town and watched the children play, and he too wanted to have fun.
But Edward was too scared to go down there.
Time went by, and a friendly Avon lady named Peg came calling upon
the castle. Edward watched her from the shadows and wanted to talk
with her, but couldn't get the sounds out. He crawled up into the
attic and tried to hide. But Peg found him in his hiding place, and
she was surprised to find a boy who had scissors for hands. Being a
nice lady, she felt there was only one thing to do - bring him home
with her and make him part of her family.
Edward grew to love Peg's family. He loved Peg, who was always
trying to help him take care of the many scars that danced on
Edward's face. He loved Peg's husband Bill, who was a very good
bowler, father and friend. He also loved Peg's son Kevin, who was
proud of his new "brother" and took him to show and tell.
But most of all, Edward loved Kim. Kim was beautiful and kind and
she loved Edward back... but didn't realize it at first. Together
they were a very happy family.
The small town Peg lived in was, at first, very curious about
Edward. They wanted to know everything about him. As they grew to
know him, they grew to realize he was very special. But the town was
wrong about Edward. They thought he was special for his unique
hands, not for the magic in his heart. The town took advantage of
Edward, and certain bad people used Edward to do very bad things.
Edward was confused by this... and so he ran away.
Edward Scissorhands is Tim
Burton's most personal (and in my opinion, purest) work. In a ways,
it's autobiographical. Picture a young artist living in suburban
Burbank, CA, hiding in his room and drawing the things that bump
around in his mind. His only friend in life was Vincent Price, who
played out his adventures on TV screens and movie houses down the
street. There are many kids who share Edward's struggle. So Tim
tapped into something and ended up creating a beautiful fable that
combines his life, Pinocchio,
Frankenstein and a little bit
of Beauty and the Beast and
gave film lovers a wonderful gift. Edward
Scissorhands is one of my all-time favorite films and I'm
so glad to finally have it on DVD.
Fox has presented us with a 10th anniversary edition of
Edward and it's a pretty good
present. First off, the video image is anamorphic and showcases the
colors in the film boldly. The pastels of the town are wondrous, and
the almost black and white nature of the Inventor's castle scenes
are just as bold. Blacks are deep and free of artifacts and there is
no noise to be found on this disc. There are a few hiccups in the
print used (like a splash of print damage at 21:13, when Edward is
marveling at Kim's room) and some uncharacteristic grain here and
there. But, for the most part, it's a beautiful image. The transfer
is also THX-certified, even though no mention is made of this on the
The sound is presented in both Dolby Digital 4.0 and 2.0 and
neither is a very dynamic track. The 4.0 sound certainly isn't bad,
but it's not all that thrilling either. The dialogue channel is up
front and center and comes through nicely. Oddly, the menu screens
are in full 5.1 and they are pretty spectacular, both visually and
Because it's a "special edition," Fox has laced this disc
with a handful of extras. Tim Burton makes another appearance on a
commentary track, and is just as evasive as his previous
appearances. The track is pretty gappy and comes off as a edited
interview, where Burton will answer questions without the full
information. For example, when he talks about Vincent Price, he'll
say something like, "Yeah, he blah, blah, blah." In other
words, it's not a liner commentary. Still, his sense of humor does
come through and he does shed some light on the origins,
complications and filming of the film. So it's not a bad track at
all. Elfman's track, however, is much better. Here we get what is
essentially an unadvertised isolated score, with Elfman interjecting
between music cues about where each cue comes from and how he came
up with it. He also talks about his relationship with Burton, how he
got into film scoring and other fun things. It's a nice look into
the inner workings of this incredibly talented artist. You'll also
find a featurette that shows just how far we've come since 1990 in
terms of publicity material, a set of cast and crew soundbites
(which look like the original material that made up the featurette)
and full frame trailers and TV spots. It looks like someone found
the electronic press kit for the film done back in 1990 and put it
on the DVD. That's not a bad thing, but it's not all that original.
The trailers are in pretty bad condition and look very old and
videoesque. Also included are some conceptual art pieces, and after
the build up of instructions (use you arrow keys to go forward and
back and press enter to exit the gallery) you'll find 6 pieces of
art. I wasn't expecting all that much, but after reading the
instructions, I was pretty excited and was set-up for about 10
minutes of toggling. Oh, well. I'm not disappointed by the DVD, but
I think I would have liked a little more. I'm sure everyone at Fox
tried to find better material, so I'm not going to complain.
For what it is, Edward Scissorhands
is a good disc. It's not the best and it's sort of a minor let down
in terms of extras. But it's finally on DVD... and that's what
counts. I'm sure a lot of you out there will be happy just with
that. Is it a special edition that will win any awards? No. But it's
won a special place in my heart. Now if only Buena Vista will get
off its butt and give us Ed Wood
so I can complete my Burton collection...