The Lego Batman Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though largely appealing, the image seemed a little iffier than expected.
Sharpness became the most obvious slightly weak link, as wider shots could lack great delineation. I wondered if some of this was intentional to give the awkward-looking Lego elements a more natural feel, but whatever the case, the movie gave us good definition that simply didn’t boast the tightness I anticipate from a CG animated film.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and the movie showed no edge haloes. In addition, print flaws remained absent.
For its palette, Lego Batman went with a fairly standard orange and teal feel. The colors didn’t overwhelm, though, and the flick offered peppy hues overall. Blacks were dense and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. This ended up as a very watchable image that fell short of greatness.
I felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Lego Batman. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it gave us an exciting presentation.
With a lot of action on display, the soundscape boasted many opportunities to shine, and it took advantage of them. The slew of Bat-battles contributed to most of these, but other sequences bolstered the involvement factor as well. Add to that nice stereo music and some directional dialogue to end up with an engrossing soundfield.
Audio quality also pleased. Music was peppy and full, while speech seemed natural and concise. Effects appeared dynamic and accurate, with solid low-end response. The soundtrack kicked into high gear often enough to earn an “A-“.
When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Chris McKay, editor David Burrows, production designer Grant Freckelton, co-producer Amber Naismith, lead layout artist Laurence Andrews, lighting supervisor Craig Welsh, stereoscopic supervisor Fabian Mueller, associate producer Samantha Nisenboim and others. I say “others” because the participants don’t always fully identify themselves, and even after a thorough scan of the movie’s IMDB listing, I couldn’t narrow down who some of them were.
This large group sits together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cultural, comic book and movie references, cast and performances, visual design and animation, music, and connected domains. The track shows reasonable focus but it doesn’t give us great depth.
The commentary probably includes too many participants, so it tends to spread a little too thin. Overall, we get a decent overview of the production – with an emphasis on technical elements – but it’s a fairly average listen.
Four Batman-related animated shorts appear: “Dark Hoser” (2:08), “Batman Is Just Not That Into You” (2:10), “Cooking with Alfred” (2:02) and “Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?” (1:24). These use the movie’s voice actors and provide brief, entertaining segments.
An animated short entitled The Master comes from the universe of “Lego Ninjago”. It lasts five minutes, 23 seconds and provides a spoof of martial arts movies. While not great, it comes with some amusement.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes. We find “Batcave Studio” (1:43), “Lollipop” (2:24), “Batman & Mayor Swap” (1:22) and “Clayface” (1:45).
“Studio” and “Swap” offer additional exposition for existing segments, while “Lollipop” shows how Batman responds to a lack of crime in Gotham. “Clayface” features that villain in action, and it offers the scene that comes in the most finished form. The prior three provide story reels, but “Clayface” brings nearly finished animation.
“Lollipop” and “Swap” become the most entertaining of the four. The movie doesn’t need them – and “Swap” ruins a surprise – but they’re still pretty good. “Studio” feels redundant and “Clayface” doesn’t add much.
Six featurettes follow. We locate “One Brick at a Time: Making The Lego Batman Movie (16:10), “Rebrick Contest Winners” (2:47), “Inside Wayne Manor” (2:36), “Brick by Brick: Making of The Lego Batman Movie” (3:50), “Behind the Brick” (4:13) and “Me and My Minifig” (0:56). Across these, we hear from McKay, Burrows, Freckelton, producer Dan Lin, producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, head of story Trisha Gum, effects supervisor Miles Green, modeling supervisor Bradley Sick, CG supervisor Damien Gray, design manager Michael Fuller, VP of Design Matthew Ashton, animation supervisors Magali Rigaudias and Rob Coleman, surfacing artist Nerys Lincoln, animators Anne-Marie Denham and Sarah De Gaudemar, rigging supervisor Joshua Murtack, layout supervisor Behzad Mansoori—Dara, lead matte painter Dudley Birch, composer Lorne Balfe, head of IT Alex Timbs, and actors Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Gallifianakis, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes.
The programs discuss McKay’s take on the material, story/character areas and the use of animatics, cast and performances, challenges working in the world of Lego, animation and various design choices, lighting and photography, audio and music. We also see some fan movies and get some in-character bits.
Of the six clips, “One Brick” offers by far the most useful, as it gives us a pretty solid overview of production areas. The others tend to seem more promotional – they can be fun but they lack substance.
The disc opens with a clip for The Lego Ninjago Movie. Promotional Material includes a slew of ads for Lego Batman. It throws out three trailers, pieces for online elements or apps, and other quirky promo reels. These tend to be clever and creative marketing tools.
At times, The Lego Batman Movie offers a decent spoof of superhero tales. Unfortunately, it crams in too many characters and a contrived theme, all of which make it less than effective. The Blu-ray delivers excellent audio as well as generally good picture and supplements. Lego Batman becomes a mediocre disappointment.