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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about…™ Coraline & The Box Trolls (Shout! releases) – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Coraline (2009) and The Box Trolls (2014) are animated frame by frame - by humans.

Coraline was directed by Henry Selick, and The Box Trolls by Graham Anable and Anthony Stacchi.

While they share a similar technology, they're very different in concept and artistry, and while I appreciate the world of Coraline, I find myself far more enraptured by that created within The Box Trolls.

Both, along with their brethren Paranorman and Kubo, have been previoulsy released to home video, but Shout Factory has created new editions for fans that add new extras.

These gorgeous presentations both visually as well as aurally.

The story here seems to be in the new restorations, and while I've attempted to find out what went wrong, I've only been able to cull some discussion from the inter-web.

Both digital productions - and we know how sturdy digital files can be - had certain portions of the films go missing. As far as I can ascertain, this has nothing to do with Focus or Universal - the finger pointing toward the home office of LAIKA in Hillsboro, Oregon.

What I had heard, and there have been no "official" announcements, is that something in the soil surrounding the storage facilities holding the original data had some sort of corruptive influence. A similar situation occurred with Pixal and (as I recall) Toy Story, or was it Monsters, Inc.?

But once original visual data is lost or corrupted, restorative efforts must come into play, inclusive of re-animating certain sequences.

Whomever did the work has done a magnificent job, as one would never have known that even the slightest problems existed.

The films appear as original as ever, with fresh, clean colors and a stable appearance. I've reached out in an attempt to interview those involved, but to no avail, as this work seems to have been performed sub-rosa.

Regardless of the backstory, these are delightful films that take animation back to its 20th century roots - think Willis O'Brien and co.

Can't wait to see what LAIKA has up their sleeve next, and hope they'll remember to clone their data files.


Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

noel aguirre

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Thanks for the review Robert. I fortunately have both films in 3D and find viewing as such essential for Coraline as the 3D enriches the story with the added depth and heightened effects. It probably should have at least been reissued in 4K to give a sense of the depth of some sort it requires in showing a parallel universe. IMHO.
 

dukiejosh54

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Is the picture quality a noticeable improvement over the original releases? I own all of these on blu-ray already and I'm curious if they are worth the upgrade.
 

Lord Dalek

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Begging for 4k on films that were output to 2k isn't really worth it.
 

JoshZ

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Is the picture quality a noticeable improvement over the original releases? I own all of these on blu-ray already and I'm curious if they are worth the upgrade.

Sifting through RAH's sarcasm, I take it that the discs either look identical to before, or at best the same masters were re-encoded with perhaps better compression.
 

Robert Harris

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Sifting through RAH's sarcasm, I take it that the discs either look identical to before, or at best the same masters were re-encoded with perhaps better compression.
The reality is that they look beautiful. I don't have the earlier releases for comparison. Doubt they could look better.
 

noel aguirre

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The LAIKA animations need to be seen in 3D to be best appreciated however 3D has been denied even niche status in corporate America.
I just don’t understand how difficult it must be to program a monitor to render 3D?? Or how expensive. Looks like it’s just a brighter image with a dual image- Makes no sense to me but that’s for another thread.

I was fortunate to have seen Coraline for the first time in 3D at the Ziegfeld in NY upon release. Brilliant.
 

Kent K H

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I think I've seen all of their films (apart from Boxtrolls, which for some reason has never interested me) in 3D during their original theatrical releases, and Coraline and Kubo, especially, were worth the upcharge. That said, I don't know if I need to double-dip my original blu rays for the ones I own, especially since they include 3D versions.
 

RJ992

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Have only seen Coraline in 3D. If the set included the 3D versions, I'd get it for the other two movies. But since it doesn't...
 

Jake Lipson

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This release makes no sense. IMHO.
Of course it does. This release exists because Laika ended their relationship with Focus Features and Universal. They wanted to transfer the distribution of their catalog releases to Shout Factory.

This edition is meant to replace the previous Universal discs so that Shout Factory has it in print.

If some of us double dip, that would be a nice bonus for Laika, which is probably why they included a few new bonus features. But the primary purpose of this release is just to change distributors. It is not necessarily aimed at those who have the films already.

@Robert Harris If you don't mind answering, how do the presentations on these discs begin? As seen in these clips from previous releases. the Focus Features logo was originally imbedded into the animation style for the opening sequences. Because Focus is no longer the distributor, I suspect Shout might have taken those shots out, but they feel to me as though they are part of the films. So I'm curious as to what logos appear on the new editions and whether they are similarly made to be part of the animation. Thanks.



 
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Robert Harris

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Of course it does. This release exists because Laika ended their relationship with Focus Features and Universal. They wanted to transfer the distribution of their catalog releases to Shout Factory.

This edition is meant to replace the previous Universal discs so that Shout Factory has it in print.

If some of us double dip, that would be a nice bonus for Laika, which is probably why they included a few new bonus features. But the primary purpose of this release is just to change distributors. It is not necessarily aimed at those who have the films already.

@Robert Harris If you don't mind answering, how do the presentations on these discs begin? As seen in these clips from previous releases. the Focus Features logo was originally imbedded into the animation style for the opening sequences. Because Focus is no longer the distributor, I suspect Shout might have taken those shots out, but they feel to me as though they are part of the films. So I'm curious as to what logos appear on the new editions and whether they are similarly made to be part of the animation. Thanks.


Without having re-checked, my recollection is that the original credits remain, as they should.

Restoring Vertigo and Rear Window, we requested and received permission from both studios to reinstate the original Paramount logos, and add a Universal presentation credit.
 

noel aguirre

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Of course it does. This release exists because Laika ended their relationship with Focus Features and Universal. They wanted to transfer the distribution of their catalog releases to Shout Factory.

This edition is meant to replace the previous Universal discs so that Shout Factory has it in print.

If some of us double dip, that would be a nice bonus for Laika, which is probably why they included a few new bonus features. But the primary purpose of this release is just to change distributors. It is not necessarily aimed at those who have the films already.

@Robert Harris If you don't mind answering, how do the presentations on these discs begin? As seen in these clips from previous releases. the Focus Features logo was originally imbedded into the animation style for the opening sequences. Because Focus is no longer the distributor, I suspect Shout might have taken those shots out, but they feel to me as though they are part of the films. So I'm curious as to what logos appear on the new editions and whether they are similarly made to be part of the animation. Thanks.



Ok that makes total sense for those that don't already own them-and glad to see them in print. But my post was referencing 3D and these really needs a 3D disc option if not domestically then released elsewhere as the 3D is essential for these.

BTW 3D discs are still being released domestically the last being Godzilla vs Kong just a few months ago so there is a market. Flesh for Frankenstein's restoration by 3D Archives and to be released by Vinegar Syndrome is next due this November and I cannot wait as it is another film that must be seen in its 3D version the way it was intended to be seen. I've waited years for this release and didn't think it would ever happen and I highly recommend it to all 3D fans.
 

Malcolm R

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All of the Laika films have previously been available on 3D except for Missing Link. I imagine the thinking is that those that wanted 3D have already got them. These releases can still be found with some retailers.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I certainly don't mean to knock it for those who are interested, but it doesn't seem like very many studios are actually interested in supporting Blu-ray 3D in the United States anymore. We've been talking in other threads about how Black Widow is only receiving a 3D release in Japan, which is prompting some people on the board to import it from there. So I can't say I'm surprised that Shout Factory is not reissuing these films in 3D. It would seem more logical to me to give them a 4K release, which Universal never did, but that's not happening right now either.

I attended a theatrical screening of Coraline in 3D back in 2009 before I figured out that I couldn't actually see 3D because of my disability. I have limited depth perception in real life, so it is not that surprising that I can't appreciate 3D. It really just gave me a headache.

I have seen it since in 2D via Universal's Blu-ray, and then went to the other Laika films in 2D. The movies are still engaging because they have terrific characters, stunning animation and great imagination. While I am sure that 3D adds value for those who can enjoy it, I absolutely reject the idea that seeing the films in 2D is wrong or missing something. If the storytelling is solid, it will work in either format depending on each viewer's preference. If the only interesting feature of a movie is its 3D, I wouldn't think much of that movie.
 

Jake Lipson

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Without having re-checked, my recollection is that the original credits remain, as they should.

Restoring Vertigo and Rear Window, we requested and received permission from both studios to reinstate the original Paramount logos, and add a Universal presentation credit.
Your recollection is correct. I just got the new Shout Factory release of Kubo and the Two Strings and it does retain the custom Focus Features logo on the front of the movie that was animated by Laika. I presume the other releases are the same.
 

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