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Alice in Wonderland [Blu-ray]
(Tim Burton, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: The Zanuck Company
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 36,597,560,568 bytes
Feature Size: 25,668,274,176 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.11 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 1st, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3966 kbps 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 3966 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio French 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital EX Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Extras (all in HD!):
Wonderland Characters (27:55 in total):
BD 'Disney' Live
Description: Tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice for a fantastical new adventure from Walt Disney Pictures and Tim Burton. Inviting and magical, Alice In Wonderland is an imaginative new twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time. Alice (Mia Wasikowska), now 19 years old, returns to the whimsical world she first entered as a child and embarks on a journey to discover her true destiny. This Wonderland is a world beyond your imagination and unlike anything you’ve seen before. The extraordinary characters you’ve loved come to life richer and more colorful than ever. There’s the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) and more. A triumphant cinematic experience – Alice In Wonderland is an incredible feast for your eyes, ears and heart that will captivate audiences of all sizes.
It all seemed like such a natural fit -- Burton and Lewis Carroll, Depp
as the key component in fiction's most eccentric tea party, and 3D put
at the service of a story offering unlimited visual possibilities. Not
that it's gone all wrong; not entirely. But for all its clever design,
beguiling creatures and witty actors, the picture feels far more
conventional than it should; it's a Disney film illustrated by Burton,
rather than a Burton film that happens to be released by Disney.
Firstly, this is not the 3-D version of the film - that, I assume, will come out, on Blu-ray, at a later date.
I don't know that I could find a flaw in any aspect of the 1.78:1 Blu-ray transfer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. What impressed me most, outside of all the wonderful colors and characters, was how well the effects blended into the film. The CG was more seamless than I have ever seen. It has a darker edge at times and early childhood scenes display more grain with saturated contrast but the majority of the film is extremely impressive with brilliantly colorful Burtonesque eye-candy flowing in abundance. It's quite a visual spectacle in 1080P. This is dual-layered with a decent bitrate and everything looks tight and pristinely clean. There is some depth but the art direction seems to carry the film presentation making it hard to turn away once we are thrust down the rabbit hole. This Disney Blu-ray does an excellent job of maintaining Alice in Wonderland's exuberant video details - occasionally eye-popping - that run as a continuous stream from start to finish. Not having seen the IMAX version - I'd have to say that this HD image quality is quite flawless. It seems the perfect film to stick on when friends come over.
Matching the dynamic video is an equally impressive DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at a healthy 3966 kbps. Effect sounds are, Predictably, rife but rarely get too aggressive (with the exception of the Bandersnatch and Jabberwocky parts) but separations exist with subtle buoyancy. Danny Elfman continues his collaborations with Burton in another delightfully crisp score supporting specific scenes with deft precision. The audio exhibits excellent range and depth - adeptly moving alongside the image presentation as a strong, if less noticeable, reinforcement. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Aside from an untested BD-Live function and opening previews - there are only 2 sections of short featurettes (6 in each) .The first is under the self-explanatory heading Wonderland Characters - we get about 30-minutes focusing on the casting and matching details of the eccentric Lewis Carroll characters with effects. It has input from Burton and cast. The second is 20-minutes called Making Wonderland and deals with specifics such as scoring the film (with Elfman), more on effects, stunts, positioning etc. So, no commentary or interviews although the BD-Live may cover some of that.
May 18th, 2010
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze