DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013 (CBS DVD)
B&W and Color / 1956
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 3
Running Time: Approx. 154 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English mono
Subtitles and Captioning: English and Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: None
Just when you thought Lucy was finished on DVD, she makes a return yet again with I Love Lucy - The I Love Lucy Christmas Special, a release that brings the 1956 episode "The Christmas Show" along with two other episodes to fans… in color. The single disc release contains the episodes "The Christmas Show," "Lucy's Italian Movie," and "Lucy Goes to Scotland" both as their original black and white versions and in the new colorized versions.
There are only three episodes on the DVD. The main highlight, of course, is "The Christmas Show," where the Ricardos and the Mertzes are getting ready for Christmas by decorating the tree, and reliving the memories of Little Ricky's birth. Essentially, the episode was a clip show. It should be noted that even though the episode is colorized, all of the flashbacks (which make up a large portion of the episode) are in black and white.
The other two episodes are "Lucy's Italian Movie" and "Lucy Goes to Scotland." "Lucy's Italian Movie" is, of course, the famous "grape stomping episode," where Lucy decides to prepare for a film role by visiting a vineyard and ends up getting into a messy situation. In "Lucy Goes to Scotland," Lucy finds herself visiting Scotland in a wild dream that involves Ricky fighting a dragon.
The episode runtimes are as follows:
"The Christmas Show" (26:34)
"Lucy's Italian Movie" (25:24)
"Lucy Goes to Scotland" (26:27)
The packaging for the DVD is in the form of a standard DVD case. On the front cover, there is a sketch of Lucy dressed as Santa that is consistent with the style of packaging for the new season set releases of the series. On the back, there is an actual photo of Lucy as Santa, along with a few (oddly low-resolution) color photos from the episodes on the DVD. There is a description of each of the episodes on the back of the case. Inside, you'll find the DVD that has the standard gray CBS DVD artwork. It is also worth noting that the DVD has an outer cardboard sleeve, which has the same artwork as the DVD case inside.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu has the same hand-drawn photo of Lucy in the Santa costume seen on the cover of the DVD. All three episodes are listed on the main menu, with options of both colorized or black and white. The main menu also has a Subtitles option, which takes you to a menu where you can turn on English or Spanish subtitles.
Video and Audio Quality:
Each episode has a colorized version and a black and white version. Of course, the "highlights" of this DVD are the colorized versions, and the colorization done on the episodes looks rather decent, even though I suspect that these were done at different times and with different colorization technology. In particular, the colorization for "Lucy's Italian Movie" looks a little less natural than the other two, but it still looks pretty good. Of course, the black and white versions look as great as they always have. The audio is the standard mono track, but there aren't any real defects or problems with it. The episodes all have English and Spanish subtitles.
There are no special features on the DVD, which is honestly a bit perplexing. There should have been at least some featurette about the colorization process used, or something along those lines.
There really isn't a whole lot to this DVD at all. Essentially, it is just three episodes… but in color. I feel that there may be some purpose behind this colorization that we haven't seen yet, but for now, I'm mostly just finding myself a little confused about why this release happened. Honestly, I feel that this would mostly be something that diehard fans would love to own, but might have limited appeal outside of that. This really feels more like something that should be included as a special feature on a season set (and in fact, the colorized version of "Lucy Goes to Scotland" episode was included on the complete series release), and not a standalone DVD. But even so, it is interesting to see how the series would have looked in color.