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Blu-ray Review Treasure Buddies Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    The Disney company must be making handsome profits on their Buddies comedies since the company continues cranking them out at the rate of one or two per year. Long since relegated to the made-for-home video realm, these Buddies films are now produced merely for the family’s youngest members. Treasure Buddies would be the nadir of the series were it not for an inspired new narrator who brings the only fun to the project. With a lot of ideas stolen from Raiders of the Lost Ark and the most recent reboot of The Mummy, Treasure Buddies is passable entertainment for the younger set.



    Treasure Buddies (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
    Directed by Robert Vince

    Studio: Disney
    Year: 2012
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1   1080p   AVC codec
    Running Time: 93 minutes
    Rating: G
    Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, French
    Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish

    Region: A-B-C
    MSRP: $ 39.99


    Release Date: January 31, 2012

    Review Date: February 6, 2012




    The Film

    2/5


    Professor Thomas Howard (Tygh Runyan as a young man, Richard Riehle as the elderly Thomas) was once a top archaeologist but now serves as a tour guide for a failing museum whose doors are closing unless it can receive a new infusion of interesting artifacts. Suspicious archaeologist Philip Wellington (Edward Herrmann) comes to Howard with the other half of an Egyptian artifact which together with the piece that Howard has will lead them to the famous treasure of Cleocatra, the cat once the property of Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Howard decides to bring his grandson Pete (Mason Cook) along for the expedition, but he isn’t permitted to bring his dog Mudbud (Ty Panitz) with him. That doesn’t stop the plucky pooch from gathering his brothers Budderball (Tucker Albrizzi), B-Dawg (Skyler Gisondo), Budda (Charles Henry Wyson), and sister Rosebud (G. Hannelius) and stowing away on the airplane bound for Egypt. The Buddies get separated from the humans once in Egypt, but thanks to an enterprising monkey Babi (Maulik Pancholy) who’s street smart and wise to the treachery of those who would stop them, the Buddies set out to find the Tomb of Cleocatra and its accompanying treasure before Wellington can pull the rug out from his unsuspecting cohorts.


    Once again, director Robert Vince and  producer Anna McRoberts have written the script for this adventure, and they’ve included all the expected fart, poop, belch, and spit jokes that one would expect would be here. They’ve borrowed liberally from Raiders of the Lost Ark especially in fashioning the opening and climactic tomb booby traps that our heroes must circumvent (complete with deadly rocks and snake pits). Millions of scarab beetles come from the walls during a couple of sequences bringing The Mummy instantly to mind, too. But the Buddies and their rather lame puns and tiresome lingo fade into insignificance when Babi the monkey comes on the scene. Serving as the narrator of the film as well as one of the principal characters, he’s a breath of fresh air as he steals the movie effortlessly from the rather languid canine quintet. Kudos to voice actor Maulik Pancholy who makes this sneak thief the film’s best reason for existing.


    Credit must also be given to the film’s production designer Michael Bolton who has managed to create a decent if low budget Egyptian marketplace, desert, and tomb sets all within the confines of studio walls. Yes, adult eyes can see that the same few yards of “desert” are used every time the Buddies are making their way across the Sahara (likely with green screen backgrounds; this is the first Buddies film that doesn’t have any behind-the-scenes featurettes to show us how it was done), and the same basic vegetation serves as the marketplace and the oasis. Still, with the creatively used sets and decent if one-dimensional performances from Richard Riehle and Edward Herrmann as archaeological adversaries, the film is about as good as it has to be to hang together.



    Video Quality

    4/5


    The film has been framed at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Color is nicely delivered, and flesh tones are natural looking and consistent. There’s a bit of softness to the image, possibly necessary to disguise the animation used for the mouth movements of the animals, but the image quality is always pleasing. There is a slight amount of banding noticed in those blue skies that hover constantly overhead. The film has been divided into 14 chapters.



    Audio Quality

    4/5


    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix is a solid audio encode without ever being outstanding. The music score gets the most surround attention in the various channels, and there is a slight bit of ambient sound used in the fronts and rears on occasion. Dialogue is always easy to discern and has been placed in the center channel.



    Special Features

    2/5


    The video featurettes are presented in 1080p.


    “DIGS: B-Dawg Edition” features Disney Channel reporter G interviewing movie co-star B-Dawg and being given a tour of his fashionable residence. This runs 4 ½ minutes.


    “Roam” music video is performed by Disney Channel stars Caroline Sunshine, Kenton Duty, and Adam Irigoyen and runs for 3 minutes.


    The second disc in the set is the DVD copy of the movie.


    There are promo trailers for The Lion King 1 ½ and The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, Lady and the Tramp and Brave.



    In Conclusion

    2/5 (not an average)


    Families might have a slightly better time with Treasure Buddies than with some of the earlier comedies in the series mainly due to the entertaining presence of Babi the monkey who takes over the narrative duties as well as the heroics of the picture (well, at least the way he tells it). It is still mostly for the younger set, however.




    Matt Hough

    Charlotte, NC

     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Watched this on VOD with my youngest daughter. My lasting impression was: Edward Herrmann - has it really come to this?
     
  3. ajabrams

    ajabrams Second Unit

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    Hey - a paycheck is a paycheck.
     
  4. Guest

    It's not like he hasn't been in other questionable programs before. And maybe he did it for his grandkids or other young people in his life.
     
  5. Adam Gregorich

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    My twin 6 yo watched it for the second or third time tonight so "mom could see it" so it has repeat viewing potential for kids.
     

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