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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Horton Hears a Who!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw
    Blu-ray Disc Review




    [​IMG]
    Dr. Seuss’

    HORTON HEARS A WHO!

    [​IMG]
    Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
    Film Year: 2008
    Film Length: 86 minutes
    Genre: Animation/Comedy/Family

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    BD Specifications:
    Resolution: 1080/24p
    Video Codec: AVC @ 34MBPS
    Disc Size: BD-50

    Audio:
    English DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
    Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

    Subtitles: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean
    Film Rating: G







    Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW



    Rating:

    Voices of: Jim Carrey (Horton), Steve Carell (The Mayor of Whoville), Carol Burnett (Kangaroo), Will Arnett (Vlad)

    Directed by: Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino



    One Elephant. One World. One Story.



    Ahhhh…Horton, the silly big old elephant that had this crazy idea that he can hear a speck of fluff speak to him. We all remember this Dr. Seuss story, right? He insisted to all of his friends that he could hear voices on it, and made the solitary discovery that on that speck was Whoville, home of the little people called Whos. He vowed to protect it from danger even after all of his friends began thinking he was nutty. The Kangaroo, who likes to keep the jungle in line is a bit of an autocrat and puts a cap on new thinking and ideas. She eventually turns the whole jungle against Horton, and despite this, Horton doesn’t back down from his motto: “After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.” And on that speck is the mayor of Whoville who is also trying to convince people that he isn’t crazy. No one believes his claim that there is a world out there bigger than the one of Whoville and if they unite as a people, their voices can be heard too.




    While I glance at the image of this digital production, it’s hard to find a fault. Instead of actually looking for faults, I just enjoyed the movie for my second time. I saw Horton Hears a Who! during it’s theatrical run. It was played on film and was probably run more than 100 times before I got to it. Needless to say, this Blu-ray disc looks amazing in comparison. No wobbling, no artefacts, and contrast and colours are about as best as I’m going to see it with the equipment I play it back on. No compression artefacts are visible with this AVC encoding, and edges are much cleaner and defined. One could almost confuse the opening shot with the water droplet rolling off the leaf as reality. The CGI is excellent breathing life into Horton and the Mayor. Really, what more could I want? The aspect ratio appears slightly greater than 1.85:1.




    With animals running to the front of the room and back, bouncing from side to side, or the Whos shouting as loud as they can, the soundtrack is very active and fun to listen to. The sound designers created a good sense of space around all sounds so it doesn’t sound like a manufactured soundtrack. Some sounds sound like they are far away deep in the jungle of Nool. Contrast that with the swoosh of Vlad swooping down at Horton, and the soundtrack gets loud and full of bass. Bass-heads will love this soundtrack as Horton thumps along. The three front channels get a huge bass workout, especially the center channel. Those with full range speakers will appreciate the wide spread of bass among the front channels rather than it being confined strictly to the subwoofer. The subwoofer isn’t spared as gets a good pounding once in a while, too. I’d say the soundtrack is a bit overwhelming with bass, but because it is animation I can let it slide because it’s all fantasy and pure fun.

    TACTILE FUN!!: 4/5

    TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: ON

    Using a bass shaker of some sort will add another dimension to this soundtrack. If it’s not Horton’s crazy stampede-like walk, it’s some other moment that makes you feel the ground is moving beneath your feet and resonating through your body. I’d recommend using a shaker for this film – it’s fun!!




    The special features are a mixture of high definition and standard definition. The HD images are good, but my video processor didn’t always like them because of the amount of combing I saw with motion.

    audio commentary - with Directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino. Both guys are excited to speak about this movie and how the images were set up on screen. They like to explain the imaginative intent behind the work of all who created it.

    watch Horton Hears a Who! with a Who - a bonus view feature where the littlest of the Whos, JoJo, watches the movie with you. He sits in his big chair, eats some popcorn, and then pops up on the screen during his favourite scenes. When he holds up his white sign, you can press the red button on your remote control to see the special features. I’m one of those who can’t figure out how to use the red button my PS3 controller onscreen menu. So I didn’t get to check out this feature. Although once this feature is activated, you cannot access any other special feature.

    deleted footage (SD 16:9) - there are thirteen total. With an introduction by the directors and optional commentary throughout, some footage is presented only as storyboards, rough animation versions, and almost-final versions.

    animated screen tests - includes an introduction with animator Nick Bruno, and features screen ten Horton screen tests, eleven Mayor screen tests, and two Whos screen shots.

    Bringing the Characters to Life (HD, 5:29) – how characters form after the voices are heard, and after animators act things out to see movement.

    The Elephant in the Room: Jim Carrey (HD, 4:52) – Jim Carrey discusses his role as an elephant excited about life.

    That’s One Big Elephant: Animating Horton (HD, 8:08) – the directors discuss the creation of Horton as an animated character, especially in relation to the original artwork from the Dr. Seuss book.

    Meet Katie (HD, 3:49) – the strangeness of this little furry yak character, Katie, is explored. She’s my favourite in the film because she’s so weird…ha hah…

    Our Speck: Where Do We Fit In? (HD, 4:01) – a special feature for kids talking about small things they can do to help make the world a better, safer place to live.

    Elephant Fun: The Facts (HD, 5:28) – an elephant expert gives us amazing facts about elephants using Suzy the elephant as an example.

    A Person is a Person – A Universal Message (HD, 3:42) – with Steve Carell, the writers, the producer, discussing the line from the movie, that even the smallest people or the smallest things can make a difference to the world.

    Bringing Seuss to Screen (HD, 8:14) – all of the participants in these special features have something to add about how Seuss translates well to motion pictures, and what should be filled in where the pages in the story never ventured.

    We Are Here! - a game that requires button sounds to function correctly. Make sure the bitstream output is disabled on the player. You need the disc to be decoded inside of the player for this feature to work (there is an on-screen notice of this). The fate of Whoville is counting on you to make lots of noise – there are five instruments that will make noise in a certain order. You have to memorize the order they play and play them back in the same order. It’s a memory game like that old game “Simon” with the coloured lights (anyone play that?). I saved Whoville!

    Fox on Blu-ray - City of Ember, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in Digital 3-D

    Disc 2 – Digital Copy of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! for portable media players.


    IN THE END...

    Looks great! Sounds great! The special features are worth playing through. Thinking of a Christmas gift? Give the gift of a Who!

    Michael Osadciw
    December 15, 2008.

    Review System
     
  2. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    Nice review.

    I just saw this recently. I never saw it theatrically but the BD image is really nice. This is probably the closest they have come to capturing the essence of Dr. Suess's drawing style on film, at least since Chuck Jones's
    Grinch. I thought this film was much better than any of the live action attempts at a Dr. Suess story.

    I thought the one really big mistake was the inclusion of an anime parody about a 1/3 of the way into the film. It really took a person out of the rythmn that Dr. Suess was so famous for. For me, it was a pimple on an otherwise well done story.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

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    While I thought it looked great and sounded pretty good, I was totally bored and so were my 2 kids who normally eat up animated feature films.
    To me, Dreamworks has done great things to try and catch up to Pixar but Fox is way way behind on every front.
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    It's a typical animated film that can be lumped with all the others over the last five years. Great A/V, boring everything else.
     
  5. frankfarmer

    frankfarmer Well-Known Member

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    "

    Blu-ray Disc Review




    [/b]

    The special features are a mixture of high definition and standard definition. The HD images are good, but my video processor didn’t always like them because of the amount of combing I saw with motion.

    audio commentary - with Directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino. Both guys are excited to speak about this movie and how the images were set up on screen. They like to explain the imaginative intent behind the work of all who created it.

    watch Horton Hears a Who! with a Who - a bonus view feature where the littlest of the Whos, JoJo, watches the movie with you. He sits in his big chair, eats some popcorn, and then pops up on the screen during his favourite scenes. When he holds up his white sign, you can press the red button on your remote control to see the special features. I’m one of those who can’t figure out how to use the red button my PS3 controller onscreen menu. So I didn’t get to check out this feature. Although once this feature is activated, you cannot access any other special feature.

    deleted footage (SD 16:9) - there are thirteen total. With an introduction by the directors and optional commentary throughout, some footage is presented only as storyboards, rough animation versions, and almost-final versions.

    animated screen tests - includes an introduction with animator Nick Bruno, and features screen ten Horton screen tests, eleven Mayor screen tests, and two Whos screen shots.

    Bringing the Characters to Life (HD, 5:29) – how characters form after the voices are heard, and after animators act things out to see movement.

    The Elephant in the Room: Jim Carrey (HD, 4:52) – Jim Carrey discusses his role as an elephant excited about life.

    That’s One Big Elephant: Animating Horton (HD, 8:08) – the directors discuss the creation of Horton as an animated character, especially in relation to the original artwork from the Dr. Seuss book.

    Meet Katie (HD, 3:49) – the strangeness of this little furry yak character, Katie, is explored. She’s my favourite in the film because she’s so weird…ha hah…

    Our Speck: Where Do We Fit In? (HD, 4:01) – a special feature for kids talking about small things they can do to help make the world a better, safer place to live.

    Elephant Fun: The Facts (HD, 5:28) – an elephant expert gives us amazing facts about elephants using Suzy the elephant as an example.

    A Person is a Person – A Universal Message (HD, 3:42) – with Steve Carell, the writers, the producer, discussing the line from the movie, that even the smallest people or the smallest things can make a difference to the world.

    Bringing Seuss to Screen (HD, 8:14) – all of the participants in these special features have something to add about how Seuss translates well to motion pictures, and what should be filled in where the pages in the story never ventured.

    We Are Here! - a game that requires button sounds to function correctly. Make sure the bitstream output is disabled on the player. You need the disc to be decoded inside of the player for this feature to work (there is an on-screen notice of this). The fate of Whoville is counting on you to make lots of noise – there are five instruments that will make noise in a certain order. You have to memorize the order they play and play them back in the same order. It’s a memory game like that old game “Simon” with the coloured lights (anyone play that?). I saved Whoville!

    Fox on Blu-ray - City of Ember, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in Digital 3-D

    Disc 2 – Digital Copy of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! for portable media players.


    IN THE END...

    Looks great! Sounds great! The special features are worth playing through. Thinking of a Christmas gift? Give the gift of a Who!

    Michael Osadciw
    December 15, 2008.

    Review System
    "
     

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