|Written by Matthew Jarvis|
published 25th June 2012
Supplied for review by
The French are not noted for their international film successes but their domestic output is well regarded and quite a few have become iconic movies in more esoteric viewing circles. A Monster in Paris is attempting to lay claim to just such a niche in children’s animation. Initially released as a French language film in October 2011 it came to these shores as a 3D English release in January 2012, no doubt due to its critical acclaim in the mother country. Interestingly this film has never enjoyed a national release in the USA, a shame as it compares well to similar releases - Ratatouille to name but one and it has been re-voiced predominantly with American voice artists .
This SKU came to me as a 2 disc 3D set. Billed somewhat erroneously on the front as a 3 disc (Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D + DVD) some may be confused by the 2 disc presentation. Put simply at 87 minutes it is quite possible to squeeze both the 3D and 2D release onto one disc, particularly as the extras are...[Read the complete movie review]
In both 2D and 3D the movie is well rendered and a good transfer. The usual Mpeg 4 AVC 24FPS transfer might cause issues to older TVs, but looks fantastic on compliant TVs. Very little stutter is evident, edges are clean and no messy animation was noted. As with any cartoon even an average TV will look good with nothing in the way of detail or low level information to be obscured.
3D TV owners are also well catered for with a 24P 16:9 picture. Annoyingly only one of the trailers is in 3D, so it’s a case of glasses on to set up the film and menu, off for the first trailers and back on for the last one and then into the film!
Picture score : 7
Using DTS-HD Master 5.1, the sound really is excellent. The music score is typically French, mainly symphonic and very atmospheric. The majority of the music and dialogue is across the front sound stage, but the rears are well used, with birdsong, symphonic lifts and the usual traffic, explosive and weather effects all evident. Really well balanced, mixed and mastered with care. A real plus point for the film.
Sound score : 8
Sometimes you have to ask yourself “Why Bother?” The extras are limited to a photo gallery, a rather lame game that kept the kids interested for fully 30 seconds and a “Meet the Characters” slide show, reminiscent of some of the earliest DVD releases. Really very poor indeed.
Extras score : 3
A average movie based on an OK story. If this is to be your first foray into 3D then fair enough, as a 3D cartoon it’s fine. As a watch again children’s classic it is way far of the mark. May be some Guardian reading parents will inflict this on their offspring as an introduction to Film Noire classic Phantom of the Opera, but this really is not a Monster of a film, just pleasant enough to pass some time.
Technically the picture is good and the sound excellent. Let down by poor navigation and a set of extras that are just not worth the space on the disc, the overall experience is poor by comparison to the majority of mainstream releases available today.
Overall score : 6
383 word review written by Matthew Jarvis.
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