Marmaduke appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No issues cropped up here.
Sharpness worked well. A smidgen of softness popped up in a few wide shots, but those instances remained minor. The majority of the flick offered crisp, accurate visuals. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. Source flaws also remained absent.
Colors looked good. The image took on a golden tone much of the time, but the image stayed with a pretty natural impression. The hues seemed vivid and full. Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows showed nice delineation. Across the board, this was a strong presentation.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Marmaduke was unexceptional, though it worked fine for this sort of film. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of kiddie comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that. The “action climax” used the surrounds reasonably well, but I still didn’t think the track ever excelled.
In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, though I noticed a little edginess at times. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a pretty standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.
Don’t expect many extras. We begin with Puppy Marmaduke and Kitty Carlos: Home Movies. In this three-minute, 28-second reel, we see “home video footage” of the movie’s pets when they were young. It’s kind of an odd conceit and not especially interesting, though the animals are pretty cute.
Entitled Marmaduke Mayhem!, a gag reel goes for two minutes, 40 seconds. One might expect it to concentrate on shenanigans related to the many animals on the set, and we see a little of that, but usually it sticks with humans who blow their lines and laugh. A couple of slightly amusing moments result, but not much fun emerges here.
Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 21 seconds. These include “Three Dogmigos” (0:53), “This Is How We Roll In Cali” (0:42), “How Marmaduke Got His Name” (0:30), “We Are Getting a Dog Trainer” (1:33), “I Love Dog Training” (3:08), “First Time at the Beach” (0:55), “I’m Top Dog!” (0:51), and “You Take My Toy, I’ll Take Yours” (0:49).
Most of these offer additional shots of humans, and that makes it clear why they got cut. The filmmakers chose to focus on animal shenanigans at the expense of the human actors. Of course, we still see the pups and kitties in these clips; they simply add more interactions with people. The most interesting feature the dog trainer played by David Walliams; that character barely made a dent in the movie, so it’s good to see a little more of him here.
Cowabarka! runs five minutes, 17 seconds and offers notes from director Tom Dey, executive producer Derek Dauchy, head animal trainer Mike Alexander, “extreme surfer” Scott Chandler, American Humane Association animal safety representative Chris Obonsawin, and animal trainer Jim Dew. We learn about shooting the dog surfing sequences. Though pretty fluffy in tone, the program delivers a surprising amount of information and covers the subject well.
Finally, Canine Casting lasts two minutes, 49 seconds. Narrated by Dey, we see the casting sessions that got many of the film’s main animal actors. It’s not fascinating, but I’m always happy to see pets in action.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Marley and Me: The Terrible 2s, Tooth Fairy, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The disc also offers the trailer for Marmaduke and more promos under Sneak Peek. That area provides ads for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
While I can’t say that I like Marmaduke, I also can’t say that I hate it. The movie lacks any form of real cleverness or spark, but it avoids becoming a painful viewing experience, and that’s a minor miracle. The Blu-ray provides very good picture quality along with decent audio and a small collection of supplements. The movie offers mild family entertainment but nothing memorable.