Bolt appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an excellent presentation.
Sharpness looked good. No softness materialized, so the movie seemed concise and well-defined. I noticed no issues connected to shimmering or jagged edges, and no edge haloes marred the image. Of course, the computer-animated affair came without source flaws, so don’t worry about any specks, marks or other defects.
Bolt featured a natural but broad palette that looked great. The movie’s colors seemed dynamic they offered strong vivacity and impact. Exceptions occurred in “Bolt’s universe”, which tended toward intentionally cliché teal and orange.
Blacks were concise and dark, while shadows were smooth. Everything about the image looked terrific.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it provided a strong affair. With the movie’s many action scenes, the audio often got the chance to shine. The soundfield offered a broad and engaging piece of work with lots of unique elements all around the spectrum.
Music presented solid stereo imaging, while effects created a strong impression. All five speakers boasted many different auditory bits that meshed together to create a lively and involving setting.
This was especially true for the excellent opening sequence. The movie started with a big action piece, and the soundtrack really impressed. Expect great movement and excitement there.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess of other issues. Music seemed full and rich, while effects featured solid delineation. Those elements appeared vivid and dynamic. Low-end was bold and tight throughout the movie. Bolt gave us a consistently terrific soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio was warmer and more dynamic, while visuals seemed tighter and more vibrant. The Blu-ray offered a superior rendition of the film.
The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Bolt. The technical comments address the 2D edition – what does the 3D platter bring to the table?
In terms of quality, the 3D version wasn’t quite as crisp and vivid as the 2D image. The 3D edition seemed a little soft in some wide shots, and colors lacked the same punch. Still, the 3D display seemed very good in its own right.
That version also came with nice 3D imaging. This seemed most pronounced during the action scenes that opened and closed the film – much of the rest of the film concentrated on depth. The 3D visuals brought a pleasing sense of dimensionality to the affair – they won’t wow you most of the time, but they gave the movie a little more flair.
We start with two Deleted Scenes. These include “Dog Fight in Vegas” (2:28) and “River Sequence” (2:26). “Fight” offers an interesting alternate method for Bolt to learn that he doesn’t have superpowers, though it seems a bit too dark. “River” performs the same function; it’s more exciting, but I think the final film handles the issue better.
We can view the scenes with or without introductions from directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard. They provide basic notes about the sequences and let us know why the pieces got changed for the end product. They throw out some useful info.
Four featurettes follow. A New Breed of Directors: The Filmmakers’ Journey goes for four minutes, 34 seconds and features Williams, Howard, animators Joe Bowers, Steve Meyer, Marlon Nowe, KC Roeyer and Simon Christen, and executive producer John Lasseter. We learn a little about the directors’ efforts on the film and a few challenges they faced. While Howard and Williams include some nice observations, the piece’s brevity works against it; I would’ve preferred to hear them chat through a full commentary.
For a look at the actors, we go to the nine-minute, 48-second Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt. It includes remarks from Williams, Howard, Lasseter, character animator Amy Smeed, producer Clark Spencer, and actors Miley Cyrus, John Travolta, Susie Essman, James Lipton, and Mark Walton. We learn a bit about cast, characters and performances. I always enjoy these kinds of featurettes because it’s fun to see the actors at work. We get some good insights into this side of things in this fun program.
Creating the World of Bolt runs six minutes, 45 seconds and includes notes from Spencer, Williams, Howard, Essman, art director Paul Felix, and director of look and lighting Adolph Lusinsky. “World” examines the film’s visual style. As with its siblings, the featurette seems shorter than I’d like, but it includes a number of useful details.
Called In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus goes for only 59 seconds. We hear from Williams, Howard, Cyrus, and Travolta. It acts as a very brief look at the Cyrus/Travolta-sung “I Thought I Lost You”. You can skip it and you won’t miss anything.
Next we find a Music Video for “I Thought I Lost You”. It combines the recording studio shots excerpted in “Session” with movie clips. Both the song and the video are exceedingly ordinary.
A new short titled Super Rhino fills four minutes, 27 seconds. In it, the movie’s hamster gets his own time to shine, as the cartoon turns him into a genetically-modified superhero. It’s all action and pretty entertaining.
New to the Blu-ray, we get a collection of Art Galleries. These cover “Character Design” (66 images), “Color Script” (54), “Storyboard Art” (61) and “Visual Development” (64). Some interesting material appears in this nice compilation.
Another Blu-ray exclusive, Bolt’s Be-Awesome Mission offers a game in which Bolt must defeat the Green-Eyed Man. Like most Blu-ray games, it’s both too simple and too clunky to be fun.