Ishiro Honda's Rodan (1956) has never appeared on DVD until this fall 2002 release. Notable as the first of Toho Films' monster movies to be made in color, Rodan has never been taken quite as seriously as Godzilla (aka Gojira), despite some impressive special effects and a few very eerie, atmospheric scenes. The movie had previously appeared on laserdisc from Pioneer, in two different versions that weren't terribly impressive visually or technically. The new transfer seems brighter and sharper than either of the prior laser versions, though the source material is beginning to seriously show its age, in terms of a lack of detail in some elements of the transfer and a seeming shift toward red in the color tones in various sequences -- the technicians have done their best to correct the weakness in the color, and certain shots look great, while others are too pale; the movie should be a candidate for restoration, if this is the best source that the producers have to work with. What's more, it's not that the transfer is bad -- one can see every tiny flaw in the film source, but the print does need to upgraded. Luckily, the two best scenes in the movie, in which the hero sees the hatching of the first rodan and its devouring of the giant insects in the cavern, and the subsequent exploration of the cavern by the scientists, are fully intact in all of their details. The sound is just adequate as well, and the film has been given a total of eight chapters, which is passable treatment. There are no extras apart from optional 5.1 surround sound, and the annotation is skimpy, though the box does contain a decent cast list and credits. For the $13 list price, it's a decent package, though one suspects that the Japanese DVD release of the same title will be treated with greater dignity and seriousness.