Menu Animation & Audio
Short Film-Partly Cloudy
Short Film-Dug's Secret Mission
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Pixar set the standard in animated films which all other animation studios try to meet and obviously strive to better. They have now produced 10 feature films since they debuted in the animated feature market with Toy Story in 1995. All of those films have been at least very good and most can only be described as excellent animated films. More recently, Pixar's output has shown a tendency to move into the realm of more adult themes and this move has peaked in this latest film, Up. This films explores themes of love, regret, longing, coping with the death of a loved one and other such relatively heavy themes. The opening scenes of the film are particularly touching and affecting, certainly causing tears on our couch. After the opening the film certainly lightens up and there is much action and humour. I should point out that this is certainly not meant as a criticism of the film as I think it ranks with the best of Pixar's output and has an emotional complexity not generally seen in their output (with the possible exception of Wall-E). Accordingly, some may feel that it is less child friendly than other Pixar output. This is obviously a matter of personal choice.
The story follows the life of Carl Frederickson (voiced by Ed Asner) from being a small boy fascinated with explorer, Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer) through his boyhood meeting of his future wife Ellie, their life together, disappointments, her death and then on into the main body of the film. After all this passes by quite quickly the main story starts with Carl having turned into a grumpy old curmudgeon living alone in his old house surrounded by development. After an incident between Carl and the developers, he is ordered by a court to move to an old people's home. Instead of doing so he attaches thousands of balloons to his house, with a plan to follow a childhood dream of himself and Ellie to follow Charles Muntz and move their house to Paradise Falls in Venezuela. He takes off and is annoyed to find that he has a stowaway, young Wilderness Scout, Russell who is trying to get his last badge for helping old people. After some attempts by Carl to get rid of Russell, a big storm brings them together. They arrive near Paradise falls but must face a variety of challenges (including the return of Muntz) in order to get the house where Carl wants it to be. Here they meet Kevin, a large flightless bird and Dug, a friendly dog with a collar that allows him to speak in English.
This movie has been nominated for numerous awards including just recently two 2010 Golden Globes including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. The score is certainly a standout which I thoroughly enjoyed during watching the film. It is by Michael Giacchino (previously Oscar nominated for Ratatouille). It consists of piano sections and more orchestral passages. The animation, as you would expect, is outstanding with amazing levels of detail and texture.
I highly recommend this wonderful film.
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 widescreen.
The picture was razor sharp and clear.
The colour was excellent throughout showing off the magical colour and colour schemes of the film. The colour of Kevin's wings looks wonderful.
Artefacts were non-existent.
There are optional subtitles in English, English for the hearing impaired and Hindi. They were clear and easy to read.
The layer change was not noticeable.
The audio is also very good bordering on excellent despite a lower than optimal bitrate.
This DVD contains four audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s, a Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital Audio Commentary 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192Kb/s and an English Audio Descriptive 2.0 track encoded at 192Kb/s. As I mentioned above the 5.1 track is encoded at only 384 Kb/s which is not generally a problem although may have caused the slight issue with dialogue.
Dialogue was a litle quiet when compared to the rest of the soundtrack but generally clear and easy to understand when the volume was turned up a little. There were no audio sync issues.
The music consists of a score by Michael Giacchino which, as I mentioned above, is marvellous and sounds good on this transfer.
The surround speakers are used constantly for music, the sounds of the balloons moving, creaking, action scenes, the storm and off-screen voices.
The subwoofer is also well used for the music, rumbles, crashing rocks and the big storm.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes music and motion without being overly impressive.
A number of tests and setup utilities are included for things such as Aspect Ratio, brightness, contrast and Audio. Nice addition. On the setup menu.
The short shown with the movie at the cinema which involves a baby delivering stork who always gets stuck with delivering dangerous animal babies. Cute but not as good as some previous Pixar shorts.
Another animated short, this time (like Burn-E) shows some extra back story from part of the film. Here we see why Dug thought he was on a special mission when he finds Carl & Russell.
This featurette covers a visit by the crew to a remote part of Venezuela which inspired the visual look of the film. They hiked up a mountain and spent time looking at rock formations, plant life and the mountains. They used this visual input to design these things in the film and you can certainly see how the film mimics this real area. Interesting but probably a little long.
Not so much an alternate scene as a featurette about various ideas they toyed with for finishing off the Muntz character.
A high quality commentary which is interesting as well as being entertaining. They discuss colour usage, the origins of the concept, some trivia and details they included linking to other Pixar output along with technical details and lots of other stuff. A very worthwhile listen.
There are two different Region 1 editions of this film, a one disc version and a two-disc special edition. Our local release has the equivalent content to the two-disc version in the US with the exception of a second disc digital copy. The one-disc Region 1 version only includes the shorts and not the featurettes or commentary. I can't see a reason to go past the local release. This film is also available on Blu-ray.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is very good.
A good selection of decent extras are available.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|