Mamma Mia was one of the summers great movie hits, simplistic in its plot lines it was a musical based on manny of the Swedish group Abba’s tracks. I missed it in the theatre but do recall that it achieved quite a lot of praise by the critics, which is unusual. Critics as a breed tend to pan anything that is remotely bright and shiny, preferring the non commercial specialty movies seem to open in the theater on Friday, and in a dusty corner of Blockbuster on Saturday. But, for whatever reason Mamma Mia passed muster with these curmudgeons.

In late August in a marketing coup. Mamma Mia made a reemergence in a sing along theater version, once again it was a success. This new DVD is a combination of both theatrical releases.  Disc 1 contains the full original movie, and is a delightful addition to anyones library,  while disc 2 contains 22 of the musical numbers in a sing along format. Many of the Abba songs are infectious, they may not be great musical works that rival Bach or Beethoven but you just can’t help but hum along, and hours later, you are still humming the damn tune.

I enjoyed this movie a great deal, it is so nice to just immerse yourself into a couple of hours of harmless fun. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the approach that Universal Studios has taken with this release. For the past several years there has been a battle raging between the Entertainment Industry and the consumer. DRM, HDMI, DCMA, Digital Fingerprinting, encryption, and who knows how many other acronyms and word soup have been used. Generally the battle is over content use, the studio wants to control how the content is used primarily to curb piracy, alas it is the legal owner that often finds him or her self a victim. The song or movie can not be moved from its original platform. If it was designed for use on an iPod, it can only be played on an iPod, and not some other vehicle like a PC.

Not so with Mamma Mia, they have included a digital copy and provide the software to easily transfer the content to your PC, Mac, or iPod. This is a great idea. An idea that I do hope we see more of. Giving people flexibility in platform can only help stem the piracy of copywrited material.

So, great movie, lots of fun, great packaging idea, pick this up on Dec 16 and make someones day with it on Christmas day. It is available for pre-order from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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