Fantastic Mr. Fox Blu-ray Review
'Fantastic Mr Fox' burrows its way on to Region B Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encode framed in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. In short the film looks fantastic with an amazing amount of detail in a pin sharp image with a wonderfully warm colour palette.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio provides us with good clear dialogue throughout and this is great as we need to be able to hear the gags in the witty script. There's very little use of the rears but there is some impressive directionality to the front sound stage.
In among the extras we get a look at the work that went into the production and we also hear more about Roald Dahl, the man behind the books.
As a movie, it's really more one for an adult audience as many kids just won't get the jokes but the stop-motion animation is superb and it looks great on Blu-ray.
'Fantastic Mr Fox' digs its way on to Blu-ray with a truly fantastic looking 1080p image encoded using the AVC/MPEG-4 codec and framed in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
The colour palette uses autumnal shades effectively to provide a nice warm image and as it was shot digitally, there's no real grain presence although at time of writing I have no information on whether the transfer involved a film print or if it was taken directly from a digital file. Judging by the look of it, I'd have to go for the latter.
The image is pin sharp and the amount of detail on show is truly breathtaking. Every single hair in the puppets fur can be made out and even the shadow detail reveals much to the eye. Contrast is consistently good throughout and we have deep blacks to enjoy. This really is a very good looking film and is one to add to the collection of films that showcase just how good Blu-ray can be as a High Definition platform.
'Fantastic Mr Fox' sports a DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel surround track that is somewhat lacking in its use of the rear surrounds. I suppose I was expecting more use of them as most animations these days seem to want to envelop the audience with sound. Instead, what have is a dialogue driven film that has wonderfully clear speech throughout to give the audience the chance to get the verbal gags. There is some directionality to the front soundstage such as off camera characters voices coming from left or right. The sound is lively enough and the stereo pair perk up with music tracks from The Beach Boys and other performers. It's a very competent mix, but it seems that the decision was made to let the visuals be the real star of this movie.
'Fantastic Mr Fox' comes in a 2 disc set of which disc 1 contains the Blu-ray of the movie and extras with disc 2 holding the Digital Copy. We are spared an audio commentary track but the following bonus material is included.
- Making Mr. Fox Fantastic (HD, 45 mins.)
Here we have a collection of six separate featurettes that can be played one after the other by selecting 'Play All', or separately by selecting the specific title from the menu.
'The Look of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' investigates the origins of Roald Dahl's story as well as how Wes Anderson became involved in the film - with information about the 120 different sets that were built for the production.
'From Script to Screen' focusses on the children's story, and the challenge involved in taking a short book and turning it into a feature length film.
'The Puppet Makers' shows us the incredible amount of work involved in making stop motion puppets for the movie.
'Still Life (Puppet Animation)' covers the painstaking work required to animate a stop motion feature film. Wes Anderson describes the way the fur moved on the original 'King Kong' and its influence on the way he shot his picture.
'The Cast' takes a look at the famous names, like Meryl Streep and George Clooney, involved with the voices of the characters.
'Bill and His Badger' is a very entertaining section as we get a decent chunk of time with Bill Murray describing his role as Badger and we also get to see the animators at work.
- A Beginner's Guide to Whack-Bat (HD, 1 min)
Pretty much what it says on the tin - an explanation of the Whack-Bat game featured in the movie.
- 'Fantastic Mr. Fox': The World of Roald Dahl (HD, 3 min)
We hear from Roald Dahl's widow and Wes Anderson as they discuss the original inspiration for the film. Anderson explains that Dahl's love of the English Countryside was what guided him in deciding upon for the setting of the film.
- Trailers (HD, 2 min)
Here's how it was sold to the cinema going public.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £28.99
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- Making Mr. Fox Fantastic (HD, 45 mins.)