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.
Studio: Walt Disney
Product Release: December 4, 2012
Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX
Running Time: 102 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4
I really feel sorry for those that don't have the means of acquiring a
3D display or just dismiss the format completely. I say this, because
these are individuals that may never have the opportunity to witness the
many wonderful things that I have seen this technology do in elevating
the home viewing experience.
I have to give a huge amount of kudos to Walt Disney's support of 3D.
For without them, the format may not be as strong as it still stands today.
When considering their entire 3D catalog for the home, there are some real
gems out there that translate beautifully to the home screen. These releases
but these titles are among the most solid 3D animated titles that are available
on store shelves right now. As I am about to post this review, Disney is
readying their 3D Blu-ray release of UP, which I also found to be exceptional.
...but before you consider any of those titles, I think that at this moment,
the ONE Disney animated title that has left the most lasting impression
upon me is the upcoming release of Disney*Pixar's Finding Nemo. I will
get into just why you should immediately put this Blu-ray on your preorder
list in just a moment.
First the story...
Clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Alexander Gould) are the last
of their remaining family members after a horrific shark attack. Under the
circumstances, you would expect a father to be very over-protective of his
only son. It's not before long that Nemo swims out into open waters, gets
scooped up by a diver and then is held captive in an office aquarium. While
attempting to rescue his son, Marlin meets Dora (Ellen DeGeneres), a good-hearted
tang fish that suffers from short-memory loss. Together, the two brave hungry
sharks and a whale in an effort to find Nemo.
There are two primary factors here that make this 3D release of Finding Nemo
an exceptional one. First is the transfer itself. I dare anyone not to have
their mouth hanging open wide in disbelief for the first several minutes of
the film as we are introduced to the Great Barrier Reef. Never have I seen my
plasma display such an exhibition of vibrant coloration. And none of this would be
as jaw-dropping as it is if not for the razor-sharp transfer that brings out the most
intricate of detail and texture across the sea floor.
The second primary factor is the 3D itself. Pixar animators have gone
back to the film's original source files, recomposing 2D shots for 3D. The
end result of that labor is awe-inspiring. The animators have been able to
successfully create a three-dimensional environment that looks as if you
could literally reach in and touch it. Objects, such as plant life, have been
carefully staged in the foreground and background to create a convincing
illusion of depth. There are moments where things look infinitely deep. It's
very easy to notice the different layers of animation with the placement of sun
rays beaming towards the water floor against the sea floor backdrop and the
constant presence of sea specks/spots that seem to float atop everything else.
What I found quite astonishing about this up-conversion is that the fish do
actually seem as if they are residing outside the borders of the display
screen...almost...almost...floating before the viewer. Bird beaks and fish
fins often project themselves outward. It's not an "In Yo' Face" effect by any
means, but it's enough to keep the viewer in awe of the nearly flawless 3D
presentation. There are a few scenes that take place in murky water (such
as the meeting with Bruce the shark and his cohorts) that tend to look more flat,
but in the scheme of things, I'm probably being more anal about the loss of
depth than I should be. Crosstalk/Ghosting not an issue here at all.
We had the opportunity to sit and speak with Disney animators during
our 2013 HTF Hollywood Meet. This is what they had to say about the
revisions done to Finding Nemo:
One of the great challenges and one of the great rewards of Finding Nemo is
all this floating particulate matter. You know, they put all this flowing
particular matter into the original movie to make sure that it felt like the
ocean, it didn't feel like a clean aquarium. And so we would have to
carefully dial in each one those little particular pieces because if we set
the 3D for Bruce the character here, for instance, a lot of that particulate
would be too far out into the audience space and so we may kind of crush it,
you cull it, you move it and scale it so they're going to work on
And yeah, it's just more of the same -- this was a fun shot to convert
because all of those mines are actually a painting, they were all flat in
space and so we had to go in and rotoscope out each of those minds and make
them place between the space. All right, so guys why don't we gear up that
sequence from Nemo and, yeah, hope you enjoy this. Put on your glasses,
we'll -- you'll see what I mean by the particulate being both a real boom to
volume and space, but also kind of be a problem, so I hope you make good
choices that how much particulate to leave in and where to place it [Plays
3D clip from Finding Nemo of exploding mine scene].
See, not a conversion, an actual recreation, we would go back and re-film
it. In fact, we re-filmed it at a higher resolution, it was originally 1600
X 900, we rendered at 2K which was many more pixels per frame, which over
the course of the movie was 91 trillion something more pixels which should
give you a sharper, better picture.
The Blu-ray features a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that was downcoverted
to 5.1 on my system. As you would expect, it sounds amazing. With exceptional
affects panning, expect your entire living room to be turned into a living aquarium
as you listen to the "swooshing" of fish effortlessly darting from one channel to another.
This engaging soundtrack constantly reminds the viewer that they are not only under
the sea, but within one that it is continuously "living." There is a strong sense of LFE
that is used to itensify the action sequences as well as adding "oomph" to Thomas
Finding Nemo arrives as a 5-Disc Combo pack with 3D Blu-ray+2D Blu-ray+Blu-Ray
Bonus Disc+DVD+Digital Copy. The Blu-ray case comes encased inside a lenticular
3D Trailers included here are Monsters Inc. (which will see a 3D reissue),
Monsters University and Planes.
I don't know exactly what I found most mesmerizing about watching
Finding Nemo. I suppose it's a culmination of the film's heart-touching
story, superb animation, and the way it has been translated to the screen
in 3D by Pixar's animation team. There as so many visual "WOW" moments
to be seen from beginning to end that by the time it's all over, you feel as
if you have watched something quite rewarding.
As of the date of the posting of this review, Finding Nemo stands as
the best up-converted animated title I have seen.
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 3311CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer