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.
A Turtle's Tale
Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
Product Release: September 19, 2011
Audio: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
Running Time: 86 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5
A VISUAL 3D FEAST FOR THE EYES!
So, let me begin by stating what I would have said at the very end
of this review....A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures is visually,
the most remarkable 3D title available to those who can get it. I
say this because it's not available in the United States, and if you
try to import it, a region-free 3D Blu-ray player will be your only
means of watching it. A shame, as this is a disc that should be
packaged with every 3D display or player as a benchmark of how
great this format can look in the home.
But what we have here is something that is tremendously appealing
visually, but perhaps a little underwhelming in substance for adults.
It's a very simplistic story about Sammy's (Yuri Lowenthal) adventures
over the course of several decades from hatchling to adult, as he
explores the seven seas discovering friends and finding the love of his
life, Shelly (Gemma Arteron). Along the way Sammy and his friends
have many encounters with humans who either befriend them or pose
a danger to their environment.
Voiced by a mostly British cast, Sammy's Adventures sports amazing
animation, production value and pop-out 3D -- but gets anchored by a
lame story and a continuous effort to push an environmental message
upon the viewer.
The transfer itself looks spectacular allowing an amazing level of detail
to be brought out within the animation. Many of the film's underwater
scenes provide a pallet of vivid, eye-popping colors that dazzle the
senses. The overall level of sharpness not only brings out the tiniest
details of underwater sea life, but makes it seemingly realistic enough
that you can almost reach into it.
The 3D is obviously the selling point here, and I will tell you now that
no other film I have seen makes more use of pop-out gimmickry than
this one. There are so many moments during this film where I caught
myself saying, "WOW," over and over again. The undersea world
becomes a visual obstacle course as the camera weaves in and out
of coral and fish dart towards the viewer from every direction. The
level of depth is very well pronounced as bubbles and debris seem
properly layered as they float between foreground and background.
...but the real treat for home audiences will be watching the film's
characters come to life before their eyes. The animation doesn't
merely poke itself out of the screen -- it moves itself off the screen
and directly in front of the viewer. As Sammy and his friend Ray
(Anthony Anderson) enjoy a playful swim, the animators push the
limits of pop-out as one character attempts to lunge further forward
than the other into the face of the viewer. Sea Horses and other
fish also exist in the empty space between display screen and
spectator, and I can only warn you now to watch out for a snapping
crab that gets a little too close to the viewer's nose for comfort.
I cannot stress enough how unbelievably well the 3D pop-out has
been rendered. It's unlike anything you have seen before in the
home as Hollywood is doing everything it can not to do the things
that this film attempts.
There are small traces of ghosting to be seen here and there, along
the facial lines of Sammy, but it's very brief and seldom that one
Unfortunately, the films 5.1 DTS HD-Master audio is rather lacking in
providing a totally immersive experience. Very rarely did I hear any
sort of effect work being being thrown to the rears. This is a very
front-heavy soundtrack with excellent stereo imaging. Vocals are
effectively spread across the center, left and right channel. Didn't notice
much LFE support here. It seems there was very little effort into making
this a captivating soundtrack.
A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures is only available in the UK
as a 3-Disc (3D Blu-ray+Blu-Ray+DVD) combo or a slightly cheaper
single Blu-ray with both 3D and 2D on the same disc. I went with the
cheaper combination. Once again I warn, if you import it to the U.S.
be certain you have a region-free blu-ray player.
Visually, A Turtles Tale: Sammy's Adventures is a wet dream for
anyone like myself who enjoys 3D pop-out that is exceptionally well
presented. It's the kind of feature you might only expect to see at a theme
park as it's extremely rare these days that anybody is making these kind
of films anymore. In fact, I have only seen it done for mere seconds in the
the IMAX Blu-ray, Under The Sea.
Yes, this is the way 3D was supposed to be before Hollywood decided
that depth was more important than pop-out. Yes, this is the best 3D
Blu-ray that you can get your hands on right now, though unfortunately,
the disc is coded for region B.
Buy this film for its visuals. You will be stunned. You will be amazed.
Just be warned that all of it comes at the cost of a mostly lame story
that gets overly preachy at times. Most adults won't watch this more
than once, though I bet it will shamefully be shown off to friends who
want to be WOW'd.
LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
LG BX580 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3808CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer