Tad, the Lost Explorer (Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones) (2012)

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Released 29-May-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 87:33
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Enrique Gato
Studio
Distributor
Transmission Films Starring Verónica Fernández
Jordi Gasull
Neil Landau
Javier López Barreira
Gorka Magallón
Ignacio del Moral
Diego San José
Meritxell Ané
Óscar Barberán
Belinda
Carles Canut
Fiona Glascott
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Zacarías M. de la Riva
Alexander Adams
Karen Lindsay-Stewart


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     There have never been more animated children's films than there are being produced at the moment. They are also coming from all over the world with films like Adventures in Zambezia and Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole being a couple of examples of non-US produced animation features in recent years. This film, Tad, the Lost Explorer or Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones was produced in Spain and directed by Enrique Gato, who has previously made two shorts featuring the Tad character. The film was made in 3D and is being released locally on Blu-ray 3D/2D and on DVD by Transmission Films. This review is of the DVD version.

     The film is essentially an Indiana Jones tribute made for children, i.e. with the violence, sex and peril toned down to appeal to a younger audience. In this regard the film is very successful providing a fun adventure story for kids without anything to scare or horrify them. The story focuses on Tad Stones, a young man who has grown up with his grandmother after his parents were killed early in his life. He has become a construction worker but yearns to be an archaeologist. His is constantly finding things on construction sites, hoping to have finally found something of value or interest to his friend & archaeologist, Professor Humbert. One day, while Tad is visiting, the Professor receives a letter from his friend, Professor Lavrof who is exploring in Peru. It would seem that Lavrof has found the way to get to a legendary lost city, Paititi, which supposedly contains the hidden treasure of the Incas. In order to access the city a key made up of two halves of a stone carving must be used and Professor Humbert has one of the halves. Lavrof has sent an airline ticket for Humbert to join him in Peru. Due to a series of accidents, Tad ends up on the plane to Peru instead of the Professor. There he meets up with Lavrof's beautiful daughter Sara and her wheeler-dealer sidekick, Freddy. Together they must try to rescue the Professor from kidnappers who are out to take the treasure, find the lost city and join the two halves of the key together. They are also joined by Sara's fiance, Max Mordon who is a celebrity archaeologist and Tad's hero. Can Tad save the day and get the girl?

     As I mentioned above this is a fun adventure film for kids with a good mixture of action and laughs, mostly provided by Freddy, Tad's dog, and Jeff and Sara's parrot, Belzoni. My young boys had a ball watching this film enjoying the different setting and the adventurous action. The plot itself is somewhat cliched but this is to be expected in the formulaic world of kids cinema, however the setting certainly makes it different as does the Spanish sensibility. The film was made in Spanish & English and this English version does not seem like a dub as the lip movement is well synced to the dialogue. The animation is of high quality without quite looking as good as some recent US productions. There are some moments obviously designed for 3D but the film is certainly enjoyable in a 2D format. The voice cast are people you have never heard of however they do a good job. This film has won a number of Spanish film awards.

     Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout for DVD. Shadow detail was excellent.

     The colour was also excellent.

     There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are no subtitles.

    There is no obvious layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is decent but a little disappointing.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 which is unfortunately marred by a mix which has the dialogue too low and is quite soft overall.

     Dialogue sounds hollow and I found I had to turn the amp up quite high to hear the dialogue properly amongst the other effects.

     The music is made up of pop songs during montage (including One Direction) and a low key score in other scenes.

     The surround speakers are used regularly for action scenes such as car chases, helicopters and providing atmosphere and surrounding the viewer with music.

     The subwoofer supports the music and the action is a significant manner.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    No extras.

Menu

    The menu included music and has one option, Play Feature.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From a DVD perspective, the only other global edition at this point is a German edition which includes an English soundtrack. There seems to be no reason not to purchase the local edition.

Summary

    A fun animated adventure from Spain.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is decent but a little disappointing.

    The extras are lost in Paititi.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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