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Bolt BD impressions

Blu-ray

Those with more than a passing interest in Disney will probably know that Bolt started off as American Dog, the brainchild of Lilo & Stitch director Chris Sanders. When Disney Feature Animation was shaken up with the arrival of John Lasseter as its new chief, many projects were scrapped entirely or heavily retooled, with Sanders and American Dog being unfortunate casualties of this regime change. The result is that the film that has now made it to our screens bears only a passing resemblance to what it once was, the extent to which the new version has been homogenised and defanged having been documented in a post I made last year. Furthermore, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the plot is a step-by-step retread of Lasseter’s own Toy Story, with the eponymous Bolt going through the same character arc as that film’s Buzz Lightyear. The end result is an enjoyable film, alternately funny and moving in the fairly typical Disney way, and if not quite a return to form then it is at least a significant step in the right direction. However, I fear it will be remembered less for what it is than for what it might have been.

At least there can be no doubt that Disney has struck a home run with the BD transfer. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (slightly opening up the framing from the theatrical 1.85:1), Bolt looks superb from start to finish, and I honestly can’t fault it in any way. As with Pixar’s recent films, the team behind the film have generally favoured a slightly diffuse look, which means that the image doesn’t necessarily scream “razor sharp” at every opportunity, but looks considerably more natural than it would had they gone for a crisper look à la Open Season or (shudder) Big Buck Bunny. The compression is effortlessly handled from start to finish, and there is not evidence of digital manipulation in the form of filtering, edge enhancement and the like. A poster child for what the Blu-ray format is capable of and a nice big stinky sock to shove into the mouths of those who still believe that animation doesn’t benefit from high definition. 10/10

Bolt
studio: Buena Vista; country: USA; region code: A; codec: AVC;
file size: 20.4 GB; average bit rate (including audio): 30.33 Mbit/sec

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Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Animation | BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology

 
Comments

1.

I wish they had released this in 3D and 2D on Blu Ray.

Ok The Polar Express has terrible ghosting on it's 3D release but i found Journey To The Center Of The Earth was excellent on Blu Ray in 3D - The colors were slightly off byt nowhere near as bad as some made out and if they do it carefully they can make other 3D titles work as well as that one ( as in very little ghosting - few scenes only - Journey Blu Ray NOT Polar Express which was horrendous for ghosting )

Until higher quality 3D hits the market at an affordable price i would settle for the type of 3D presented on the Journey disc and i believe with time and care they can make a decent job of it and anyways as long as they give you a 2D version whats to complain about ?

Posted by: FoxyMulder, March 8, 2009 4:09 PM

2.

The bloom effect in some of those shots is pretty strong. It worked very well in Wall*E because it fit the environment but here it's too much IMO.

Posted by: Kram Sacul, March 10, 2009 7:04 AM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

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