Escape from Planet Earth appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film delivered terrific visuals.
Sharpness was excellent, as the movie exhibited fine clarity and delineation. If any softness materialized, it escaped me. (Ha!) No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. Source defects also failed to materialize in this clean presentation.
Colors looked great. With its alien environment and characters, the movie boasted a broad palette, and the hues consistently came across as vivid and dynamic. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed clear and full. No issues developed in this outstanding transfer.
I also felt very pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Escape. An action-comedy that didn’t skimp on the “action” side of things, all of the alien and battle shenanigans ensured that the mix offered plenty of involving material. The chaos filled out the spectrum in an active, involving manner that created a lot of exciting audio.
All five channels featured plenty of unique elements, and they fit together in a fine manner. Even quieter scenes used the soundscape in a satisfying manner. Music featured nice stereo imaging, and we found plenty of localized dialogue.
Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess. Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings. Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie in a satisfying manner.
When we shift to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Cal Brunker. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at how he came onto the project and its development, cast and performances, story/character areas, animation and visual design, influences/references, and a few other areas.
Despite an occasional dead spot, Brunker usually makes this an engaging piece. Many animation commentaries focus on the technical elements, but Brunker chats a lot about story and characters, which makes it particularly interesting; it’s good to hear why they made various choices. We find a nice discussion here.
The Making of Escape from Planet Earth runs 21 minutes, 15 seconds and offers notes from Brunker, composer Aaron Zigman, music supervisor Dana Sano, musicians Cody Simpson and Eric Holljes, and actors Brendan Fraser, George Lopez, Jane Lynch, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, William Shatner, and Craig Robinson. “Making” examines story and characters, cast and performances, and music.
While I didn’t expect a deep program from “Making”, I thought it’d be better than this. With 21 minutes at its disposal, I figured we’d get a decent overview of the production; instead, we find a really long advertisement. It’s fun to see the actors at work, but most of the show bores.
Under Alternate Takes and Deleted Scenes, we get a three-minute, 53-second collection. We find 13 different segments, though they all run as one long piece; you can access individual sequences via chapter search but they’re not found on a menu.
Given that we get 13 clips in less than four minutes, one should expect brief additions/changes. They’re entertaining enough, and they’re all finished animation, which comes as a pleasant surprise. (We also hear someone other than George Lopez voice Thurman.)
During the three-minute, 43-second How to Make an Animated Feature, Brunker leads us through the processes required. We see various stages as the director discusses them. This won’t do much for knowledgeable fans but it offers a good tutorial for newbies.
Under Music Featurettes, we locate three clips. We get a music video for Owl City’s “Shooting Star” as well as Delta Rae’s performance of “What Matters Most” and Cody Simpson’s performance of “Shine Supernova”. “Star” provides a bland mix of movie clips and lipsynch footage. Both “Matters” and “Shine” open with musician interviews before they become their own combo of film shots and recording studio footage. None of this entertains.
The disc opens with ads for Hoodwinked Too!, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. No trailer for Escape shows up here.
Disc Two provides a DVD Copy of the film – with a smattering of extras such as the audio commentary – and Disc Three gives us a Digital Copy of Escape From Planet Earth. Finally, Disc Four delivers a 3D Blu-ray Copy of Escape From Planet Earth. Maybe someday I’ll get a 3D TV, but right now, I don’t have that capability, so I can’t screen this version. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention its inclusion.
If you want great animated entertainment, you won’t find it with Escape from Planet Earth. However, you will find a reasonably likable and amusing little action comedy and you could do much worse. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and audio along with a decent set of supplements led by a good commentary. While not a classic, Escape offers a fun time.