Enchanted Blu-ray Review

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by Simon Crust Mar 27, 2008 at 12:00 AM

  • Movies review

    Enchanted Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £21.69


    The disc is has a theatrically correct widescreen 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 aspect, is 1080p and uses the AVC Mepg 4 codec; and very nice it is too. The animated potions are bright and bold; colours shine off the screen. Brightness and contrast are set well, but are not used to any significance and detail is top notch, sharp and crisp. There are no jaggies or colour smearing, in all it is as good as ever.

    Once the action moves to real life the picture level improves but this is due to the depth of frame of the live action compared to the intrinsic flatness of the animation. First up the detail is very good offering sharp edges well into the distance, skin detail, clothing weaves, flower petals, leave foliage cityscapes all are nicely sharp showing plenty of depth. However, it's not absolute clarity, this, though, I feel is more to do with the softness given to the overall look of the film rather than any transfer problems. Please don't think that it is by any way bad, it is not; it is very, very good and I won't be deducting any marks, just when you think of HD you think of pristine clarity and it doesn't quite have that.

    Colours, however, are simply gorgeous showing off a bright and wonderful pallet, greens, blues, purples and pinks all have a near lustre; this is demonstrated particularly well during the central song, That's How You Know, when all the different colours of the dancers' clothes bath the frame in a picturesque ensemble, a veritable collage of colours. Flesh tones, for the most part, were spot on, though in one scene, and I stress one scene, did tend a little brown. Brightness is set to give some lovely deep blacks with plenty of shadow detail shown off best during the climatic battle atop the building where frame depth and detail conspire to show off HD at its best. Contrast is well set giving the whole picture a bright and joyful look, though was a touch overblown in one or two places, but certainly nothing to get het up about.

    Also good news on digital compression, there are no artefacts to spoil the picture anywhere, colours grade lovingly and edge enhancement is completely absent. The original print is also clean and free of any defects whatsoever, including grain. The whole picture has a dreamlike quality and this is transferred immaculately and this is what my mark reflects; for as absolute HD perfection it does lack when compared to other reference samples.
    Enchanted Picture


    The film is given four sound tracks, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Reviewed here is the TrueHD. It is a very wide and solid mix, with near constant usage from the surrounds, but not an overbearing assault, rather a comforting mix that swells around the room. The score makes the most of the surrounds particularly the songs which utilise front/rear and left/right stereo effects. The song That's How You Know fairs particularly well with clear separation of the various layers of instruments and vocals, with the ending being particularly wide and even including the trickle of the fountain in the background as the song climaxes, fantastic stuff. With a full range the songs come across sounding rich and full with a good grounding in bass with singing vocals and spoken dialogue sounding perfectly natural.

    There are some good effects as well, plenty of directionality especially when Giselle first steps out of the manhole; you really are in the centre of the sprawling metropolis, plus when Prince Edward and Nathaniel seek accommodation the train to the right and rear of the screen as the camera moves is complemented precisely by the sound. Also one of the few times the LF effects get a look in, here, during the numerous thunder claps (that's also spread around the room) and Queen Narissa's various magical exploits and when it does it rumbles away nicely, but is never over used nor used unnecessarily. In all this is a lovely mix, not at all bombastic or room shaking but precise enough to envelop the listener and take them on a journey matching the visual aspect with relish.
    Enchanted Sound


    Rather a light selection of extras for the film and if it wasn't for the Blu-exclusive The D-files the package would be severely lacking, however, this interactive game has a charm all of its own with some significant rewards for those that persevere. Essentially this is an exercise in trivia, select the option, watch the film, and answer the pop up questions fired at you from 'Grumpy the dwarf' relating to classic Disney films; get them correct and BD-Java streams a mini behind the scenes featurette discussing the reference accompanied by the classic clip, and get this, all in 1080p HD with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, so you get tantalising glimpses of such Disney classics as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Mulan, Peter Pan, (the up and coming) Sleeping Beauty and Snow White amongst others! You can dip out of the game at any time saving your progress and pressing the chapter skip button takes you to the next question. At the end, depending on your score, you are rewarded with three behind the scenes featurettes about the writing and producing of the three songs in the film after which a handy contents table pops up where you can access any material you missed or just want to watch again. Neat and not overly complicated but the rewards are so worth the little effort put it,

    Next up is Fantasy Comes to Life featurette, a behind the scenes look at the three main song sequences; Happy Working Song, That's How You Know and the Ballroom dance, each individually chaptered or watchable all together with the play all. Pretty basic stuff really, though each has a slightly different slant on its subject, Happy working Song for example has a digital effects slew, That's How You Know, choreography, but each is interesting in a way but don't expect much depth or insight, they are not that kind of deal.

    There are six deleted (and extended) scenes each with an introduction from director Kevin Lima telling us about and why they were excised. Not really much here, most being superfluous, though there is some interest to be gained.

    The two minutes of Bloopers are hardly worth the effort to press the button.

    Pip's Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure is an 'animated' short aimed fairly and squarely at the youngest members of the audience, centres around the plucky chipmunk Pip trying to save Prince Edward, cheap story book animation but nice narration by Julie Andrews.

    Now we come to the only extra not presented in 1080p HD, the music video Ever Ever After by Carrie Underwood, takes the same route of animation and real life filming as the film.

    Finally there are some glorious 1080p HD trailers for Sleeping Beauty, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Tinker Bell, yes you do have to watch them at the beginning, unless you skip, but they are jaw droppingly sweet to see.
    Enchanted Extras


    I have to say it; Enchanted is adorable. A perfect blend of all the Disney magic served up in one amazing helping. A 'classic' tale with a neat twist that appeals to anyone that watches it and cannot fail to ignite the child like wonder in us all. By staying faithful to the past Disney 'golden age' and unashamedly filling the film with characters, situations and references Lima has managed to create something truly special that warms even the most jaded of hearts.

    As a Blu-ray package Disney have put together a pretty good package, superb picture and sound are backed up with a fantastic Blu-exclusive extras package with the D-files, ok the game might be a bit long winded but the rewards are well worth it. A hugely enjoyable disc and one deserving of a long life.
    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £21.69

    The Rundown



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