Tangled 3D Blu-ray Review
The disc presents a widescreen 1.78:1 1080p 3D transfer with the disc itself being Region free. Once again for a native 3D film made in the digital realm we have something quite stunning. As with the very best 3D presentations, Tangled spends its time in immersion and depth, never (or hardly) throwing things ‘out of the screen’ and as such is a very naturalistic and pleasing image that manages to pull you into the action in a wonderful all round experience. The animation style uses the traditional cell animated look but utilises the latest computer graphics, and when placed into the 3D realm gives a wonderful ‘roundness’ to each and every object, be that character or prop. Even the simplest of scenes is awash with three dimensionality; two shots are framed to show tangible distance between the characters, and those characters are in ‘real’ space while themselves are solid objects. Shots of Pascal on the shoulder of Rapunzel show intimate depth, the chameleon is perched as a solid object on her shoulder slightly out of the frame while Rapunzel’s head and hair are further back, it’s a subtle but obvious effect that is absolutely natural. Slightly more action orientated scenes, such as the collapse of the dam, and subsequent water release, or the early chase scene fair just as well and are well enhanced by the 3D effects; be it overhead or looking up shots, each are peppered with so much depth you swear you can reach into the frame. There are, of course, the occasional ‘wow’ shot, the release of the lanterns, or Rapunzel swinging around her room, for example, but for me the single best shot of the film was something far simpler: the scene where Flynn and Rapunzel are trapped in a small cave just after the dam collapse and the water is rising – it is tight and intimate and the framing enhanced by the 3D which really brings out the claustrophobia of the situation – you are almost trapped with them as the water rises and rises. Top quality stuff.
As to the rest of the picture, being digital it is as crisp and glossy as we’ve come to expect. Detail is superb whether it’s Rapunzel’s freckles, Pascal’s scales or individual blades of grass, there is a sharpness and clarity to match the very best releases. Edges are held well back into the frame.
Colour wise, the entire picture has a very warm hue, oranges and reds are the predominate colours and both come across with relish. Plenty of gradation and no hint of wash or bleed. Blues and greens fair just as well with landscape shots of the kingdom showcasing near postcard quality images, albeit of the CG variety.
Brightness and contrast are set to give strong blacks (with the usual 3D caveat) that contain plenty of shadow detail when required by the artist pen.
Digitally I spotted no compression problems nor was there any edge enhancement, there was no banding or posterization problems and cross talk was its barest minimum.
This is a disc to showcase how 3D should be achieved, it's not the ‘wow’ factor that some might crave, its far more subtle and natural, and that, in my book, is far more successful and one to show off the benefits of the technology.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French and Spanish DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1 tracks are supplied, I concentrate on the former. If ever there was a sound track to immerse you, complimenting the immersive feel of the 3D visuals, then this is it. In a spectacular mix, the track, at all times, places you in the centre of the experience, be it gentle ambience, action effects, or the operatic musical numbers. Bass is handled extremely well, from grounding everything naturally to some terrific LF effects, such as Maximums galloping and jumping, to the thunderous collapsing dam. Dialogue too is well handled, given directionality when needed, sounding perfectly natural and is never in any danger of being drowned out. The musical numbers are an exercise in pinpoint accuracy and layering, particularly with the “I have a Dream” number in the Snuggly Duckling, where individual voices, instruments and effects are clearly audible within the mix. In fact all the musical numbers come through with heart pounding ferocity and gentle wisps as the number requires placing you in the centre of the instruments. Effects give the surrounds plenty to contend with be they forest ambience or sword fighting/frying pan parries. In all a wonderful surround mix that matches the 3D visuals to a tee.
- Deleted Scenes (13.36, HD) – Three scenes that can be played individually or all together with the ply all function, each is introduced by the directors and is a brief, but unnecessary addition to the flow of the picture; they are titled The Jaunty Moose, Chemistry Develops and Vigor The Visionary.
- Original Storybook Openings (3.57, 4.17, HD) – Two of the original openings to the film featuring the classing ‘opening storybook theme’ that has been used in so many classics in the past. Again there is a brief introduction from the directors.
- 50th Animated Feature Collection – (2.03, HD) – a countdown of the last fifty full length feature Disney animated adventures, set to a ‘catchy’ tune.
- Extended Songs (3.35, 4.17, HD) – extended versions of ‘When will my life begin’ and ‘Mother knows best’, with introduction from the directors as to their decisions to cut what amounts to a few seconds from each.
- Untangled: The making of a fairy tale (12.28, HD) – Actors Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi introduce and lead us through the making of this film, and talk about its place in Disney history with a brief retrospective of the animated films to date. Extremely child friendly with padding from the film and other animated classics.
- Tangled Teasers (9.12, HD) – Nine trailers for the film cleverly interpreted to be adverts, infomercials, news bulletins, etc. using excerpts from the film itself; can be watched individually or all together with the play all function.
- Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa– Ad for Blu-ray 3D
- Learn How to Take Your Favorite Movies on the Go– Ad for digital copies of films
- Sneak Peeks– Ad for Disney Channel programs coming soon
- 2D Version – Blu-ray containing the 2D version of the film, also holds all the extra material
- DVD– SD DVD of the film
- Digital Copy – Digital copy of the film
So there you have it, a very lacklustre set of extras for a Disney release, and nothing on the 3D disc itself, very disappointing.
Tangled is Disney’s attempt at rebooting its ‘traditional fun and fantastical fairytale’ film franchise, something that it is most famous for – by utilising the latest technology, including 3D, but keeping everything looking like traditional hand drawn animation and telling a traditional fairy story, but bringing it up to date with the latest Disney ideals. The story is not without its charm and is filled with colourful characters, situations and songs in the best traditions; Rapunzle finds true love, outwits her evil step-mother and lives happily ever after as a princess, with only a slight operatic feel and unsavoury motives behind Mother Gothel being the negatives.
As a 3D Blu-ray package Disney has provided exemplary picture and sound which is only let down by the rather naff amount of extras, however the package is fully future proof containing, as it does, a 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, SD DVD and Digital Copy.
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