Cats appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, this became a pleasing presentation.
My only issues related to sharpness, and I suspect most of those issues stemmed from the less-than-quality computer animation. The movie’s soft spots tended to relate to the depiction of the characters, as some shots could be oddly ill-defined.
Those remained fairly infrequent, at least. This meant the majority of the film delivered nice clarity and accuracy.
Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects impacted the presentation, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear.
Cats offered a pretty broad palette, and the hues came across well. With a nice mix of reds, purples, greens and yellows, the colors appeared vivid.
Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows usually seemed pleasing. Again, CG effects could create some minor distractions, as the low-light shots felt a little thick at times, but these usually worked fine. Overall, this was a mostly appealing image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack heavily favored music. This meant we got occasional impact from effects, but they lacked a lot of involvement.
Instead, the spectrum used the songs and score to fill the room, and it did so in a satisfying manner. The music spread across the channels nicely and used the mix to engage the viewer.
Audio quality worked well, as those important musical elements contributed fine range and clarity. The songs and score showed concise highs and warm low-end.
Speech felt natural and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and well-defined. The track lacked the ambition for a high grade, but it seemed satisfactory for this project.
As we move to extras, we find an audio commentary from director Tom Hooper. He offers a running, screen-specific discussion of the source and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and production design, music and choreography, visual effects and connected domains.
Overall, Hooper delivers a pretty solid look at the movie. He covers a nice array of domains and does so in an engaging manner, factors that turn this into an informative discussion.
10 featurettes follow, and 9 Lives runs seven minutes, 40 seconds. It offers notes from Hooper, producer Debra Hayward, costume designer Paco Delgado, production designer Eve Stewart, and actors Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Francesca Hayward and Idris Elba.
“Lives” looks at cast and characters. It leans toward fluff but it produces a few useful details.
Singing Live spans two minutes, 20 seconds and involves Hooper, Swift, Derulo, Wilson, Corden, Hudson and production sound mixer Simon Hayes. This tells us about the use of on-set vocals in a fairly superficial manner.
With Making Macavity, we find a five-minute, 18-second reel that features Hooper, Elba, Swift and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. It looks at one of the movie’s big production numbers. Other than some good footage from rehearsals, this becomes a lackluster overview.
A Director’s Journey lasts a mere one minute, 31 seconds and offers info from Hooper, Debra Hayward, Corden, and Swift. It’s a lot of praise for the filmmaker.
Next comes Making Music, a four-minute, 37-second reel with Swift, Hooper, Hudson, Francesca Hayward, Corden, Derulo, Wilson, Debra Hayward, executive producer/composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and actor Judi Dench. It’s a lot of praise for Webber.
The Art of Dance goes for four minutes, 54 seconds and delivers remarks from Hudson, Derulo, Corden, Blankenbuehler, Hooper, and actors Robbie Fairchild and Steven McRae. It’s a lot of praise for Blankenbuehler.
After this we get Scaling Up, a four-minute, 16-second featurette that offers info from Elba, Hudson, Derulo, Swift, Corden, Wilson, Hooper, Stewart, Blankenbuehler, director of photography Christopher Ross, set decorator Michael Standish and model maker Hannah Lyons.
We learn about the movie’s enormous sets. Despite a few interesting tidbits, most of the show acts to hype the production.
A Little Magic runs three minutes, six seconds and delivers comments from Hooper, Corden, Swift, Hudson, Debra Hayward, Francesca Hayward, VFX consultant Steve Preeg and actor Mette Towley.
“Magic” delivers a quick overview of the movie’s visual effects. Like its peers, it lacks substance.
Up next, The Dancers breaks into four sections that fill a total of 11 minutes, 26 seconds. We discover comments from Hudson, Elba, Francesca Hayward, Fairchild, Wilson, Dench, Towley, and actors Naoimh Morgan, Danny Collins, and Laurent and Larry Bourgeois.
Here we find out how much the dancers care about their craft. It’s another puffy piece.
Finally, Cat School occupies two minutes, 43 seconds with statements from Swift, Hudson, Elba, Hooper, Francesca Hayward, Corden, Wilson, Dench and cat movement specialist Sarah Dowling. This tells us a little about the actors’ training. It tells us little of interest but we get some good rehearsal footage.
The disc opens with an ad for Downton Abbey. No trailer for Cats appears here.
Both a critical disaster and a box office bomb, Cats provides one of the most “what were they thinking?” big-budget affairs in recent memory. Despite a good cast, the movie ends up as a plodding, bizarre mess. The Blu-ray brings pretty positive picture and audio along with an erratic set of supplements highlighted by an informative commentary. Cats is so weird that it should be probably be seen to be believed, but don’t expect to actually enjoy it.