What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.
Yogi Bear 3D
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: March 22, 2010
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 80 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5
It's smarter better than your average 3D Blu-ray
Over the past few months the studios have been very
stagnent in getting new 3D feature films out on Blu-ray.
For this reason, I was very excited about finally getting
my hands on what is probably the first major feature film
3D release of this year, Yogi Bear.
The film is cleverly adapted from the original Hanna
Barbera cartoon series and brought to the big screen
in live action combined with computer animation. It's
the story of a bear named Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd)
and his faithful companion Boo-Boo (voiced by Justin
Timberlake) who spend their days in Jellystone Park
dreaming of never-ending schemes.
As the film opens, it's business as usual for Yogi
Bear who is planning his latest elaborate attempt at
stealing a family's pic-a-nic basket, much to the reluctance
of Boo-Boo and the continued frustrations of Ranger
Smith (Tom Cavanagh).
With park attendance down, things turn drastically
worse when a miscreant Mayor (Andrew Daly) looks
to close the Park forever, selling it to developers, in
order to raise much needed cash for the city. Of course
as one would expect, Yogi and the gang do whatever is
needed to save Jellystone from closure.
The film remains pretty faithful to the original 60s
cartoon series with Yogi constantly dreaming up
gags to outsmart Ranger Smith. The animated
characters are perfectly portrayed by Aykroyd and
Timberlake who have no problem getting the voices and
personalities down perfectly pat. The story moves
along at a good pace though it gets a little sidetracked
with the inclusion of Rachel (Anna Farris), a filmmaker
who is doing a documentary on Jellystone Park, quickly
becoming the eye of affection for Ranger Smith.
Though geared more towards families and a
younger audience, I was surprised to see how
entertaining this film was for adults. I found myself
constantly chuckling at the witty humor scattered
throughout the film. Furthermore, I really appreciated
the fact the filmmakers really went to great lengths
to make this film a first-rate production with terrific
effect work. The combination of live action and
animation is seamless.
What really made this an immensely enjoyable film
to watch was its "In Yo' Face" 3D, which is greatly
exploited throughout the film. Those of you who follow
my 3D reviews know that I enjoy the gimmickry of the
format, and due to the fact that this film is geared
towards a younger audience, there are so many things
thrown at the camera for optimal effect. In fact, within
the first 15 minutes of the film is one of the most
impressive 3D sequences I have seen thus far involving
a slo-motion spilling of picnic basket contents that reach
out far beyond the perimeters of the screen, stopping
inches away from your face. It is truly one of those rare
"reach out and touch" moments that I wish were used more
in these films. If you are sitting with a group of others you
will certainly hear shrieks of delight. Throughout the rest of
the film you'll be treated to all sorts of objects hurdling
themselves forward including fingers, paws, a spyglass,
popping corn and sprayed water.
The transfer quality is exceptional. You have these beautifully
photographed scenes of Woodhill Forrest shot in Auckland
New Zealand which look breathtaking with the added dimensional
levels that 3D provides. Colors look true to form. The quality
of the 3D is as good as it gets with absolute minimal ghosting.
In fact, the only scene I saw ghosting issues with was of the
Picnic Basket Nabber which is put together with a lot of strings
which produced a slight amount of double imaging. Other than
that, the 3D is flawless.
The 5.1 DTS soundtrack is rather vigorous, with a full-bodied
score by composer John Debney. Dialogue is well detailed
across the fronts and the rears do an admirable job of delivering
the film's effects. During the Jellystone Park scenes there is
the constant ambience of woodland sounds (crickets and birds)
heard through the back channels. Many of the action scenes
have some resounding LFE punch beneath them.
As if a satisfying 3D film experience was not enough, the disc
contains a small handful of bonus behind-the-scenes features
all filmed in 3D. Though all the content averages at about 2
minutes each, the quality of the 3D is as just as good as that
in the film. Each feature is hosted by the actors who portray
Ranger Jones and Ranger Smith. They take you to the wooded
locale in which the film was shot in with some glimpses of the
cameras that photographed the 3D action. One sequence in
particular I found most interesting was the original 2-minute
demo reel that the animators presented to the studio heads
hoping to sell the film into production.
Finally, what has become a common inclusion with Warner 3D
titles is yet another outstanding Road Runner short, Rabid Rider,
which looks amazing in 3D.
Yogi Bear comes in a Blu-ray 3D combo pack with lenticular
cover. It includes the 2D and 3D Blu-ray releases as well as
a separate DVD with feature and digital copy
Yogi Bear is the perfect family flick for 3D home technology.
You bring this disc home and your kids will never stop watching it.
As for adults, you'll either be charmed by the film's humor and
3D presentation or end up frustrated with its clichéd story and
simplistic plot. If not for the 3D I would bet on the latter, but
I found Yogi Bear to be one of the most enjoyable 3D feature
films I have had the pleasure to watch.
Perfect scores all around!
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.
LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3808CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer