Island of Lemurs: Madagascar appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I expected a strong visual presentation and that’s what I got.
Sharpness looked great. Virtually no issues with softness materialized, as this remained a tight, well-defined image. The flick lacked shimmering or jaggies, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws, either.
A nature documentary deserved a natural palette, and Island provided colors of that sort. Given the settings, greens dominated, but other hues cropped up as well in this lively, vivid set of hues. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt quite pleased with the movie’s excellent picture quality.
While not quite as strong, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Island delivered good material. The soundscape mustered a fine sense of place, as the audio plopped us in the settings and habitats in a convincing, engulfing manner. These elements used all the channels in an immersive way, and the score also gave us good presence.
Audio quality seemed solid. Music was lively and lush, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic. Speech appeared natural and distinctive. This was a consistently pleasing soundtrack that fit the material.
The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Island. The picture comments above reflect the 2D edition – what did I think the 3D presentation brought to the table?
Not a whole lot, as it happens. The 3D Island does present more depth, and that can give the image some dimensionality.
However, because so much of the movie displays dense vegetation, the 3D presentation can become a distraction. There’s just too much on the screen for the viewer to easily focus, so the 3D can turn into a nuisance at times. It’s usually a pretty nice viewpoint, but the drawbacks make it less than satisfactory on a consistent basis.
The Blu-ray also provides a slew of short featurettes. We find Making of The Island of Lemurs (4:49), Behind the Scenes (2:20), The Story of Lemurs (5:43), Meet Patricia Wright (3:38), A Baby Indri (2:12), Five Things About Indri (2:15), The Cutest Lemur (1:42) and Go-Kart Racers (2:02). In these, we hear from primatologists Dr. Patricia Wright and Dr. Jonah Ratsimbazafy, director/cinematographer David Douglas, writer/producer Drew Fellman, narrator Morgan Freeman, and scientist Dr. Hantanirina Rasamimanana.
The programs offer some basics about lemurs, those involved in the project, Madagscar, and elements of the film production. Intended mainly for promotion, the featurettes don’t tell us a ton, but they give us a smattering of decent details.
The disc opens with an ad for The Flintstones and WWE: Stone-Age Smackdown. No trailer for Island shows up here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Island. It includes three of the featurettes: “Making of”, “Behind the Scenes” and “Cutest”.
With 2014’s Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, we find a decent overview of the film’s subject matter. I think the documentary could be a little deeper than it is, but it becomes a reasonable combination of education and entertainment. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals as well as very good audio and a mix of mildly interesting bonus materials. Island ends up as a moderately