DVD Title
Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald
International Title
DVD Length
Original Length
98 Minutes
98 Minutes
Year of Manufacture
Kino Video
Aspect Ratio
- Menus (English)
- Chapters (18)
- Trailers: Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald
- Cast Filmographies: Koki Mitani, Kyoka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura, Keiko Toda, Jun Inoue, Toshiaki Karasawa, Akira Fuse, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Kaori Momoi, Somegoro Ichikawa
- Photo Gallery (16)

The very fact that this DVD exists is still partially a mystery to me. Toho isn't known for much in the US beyond its Sci-fi, Samurai, and Kurosawa films. The fact that a company would take a chance with a Toho comedy seems like quite a gamble. Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997), though, is a wonderful film on its own merits, and was able to gain critical praise during limited US showings of the film. So, in 2003, Kino Video released the film on region 1 DVD. While considerably effort is shown on the DVD it does fall short in some aspects of its video presentation, but does an acceptable job with both the audio and the extras available.

Video quality is rather mediocre on this disc. The print used for the transfer is in excellent condition, with only a few scratches appearing during the course of the movie. Artifacting does present a problem, though, as the film appears slightly blurry through out. The color is a little off here as well, as the blue and red levels are both turned far too high in the film: the blue levels being most noticeable during the Toho logo section of the film which appears all blue on the DVD and lacks the multitude of colors. To add another mark against it, the brightness is also turned down too much, as the film appears overly dark in some scenes. Thankfully, the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 is maintained on the disc.

The audio presentation here does a excellent job. Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald is presented here with its Japanese audio track, in its original stereo "format." The quality here is suburb, with no pops to be heard in the audio track. Naturally, the audio track is complimented with, removable, English subtitles.

Extras on this disc are varied enough. Included is the Japanese theatrical trailer to the film, an extra that should not be missed, as its funny on its own merit in trying to portray the film like an action movie. Also present are some very detailed cast filmographies. Along with some photos from the movie, which look very vibrant in terms of color, and really displays how off the colors are during the actual movie on this disc.

Bottom line is that this is an adequate DVD, which should be good for those looking to broaden their scope in terms of Japanese films. Kino Video appears to want the same kind of reputation that Criterion has earned from their excellent choices in which films to release and the quality of the prints they seek out, let's hope they decide to bring over more films from the land of the rising sun and that future DVDs fix some of the video problems present on this disc.

-Anthony Romero