Monster Trucks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a fine visual presentation.
Sharpness worked very well. Any instances of softness remained confined to a handful of interiors and seemed negligible, as overall definition appeared excellent. No signs of jaggies or moiré effects occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes or print flaws.
In terms of palette, the movie often went with Hollywood Standard Teal and Orange. Within those constraints, the tones appeared well-reproduced. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows looked smooth and clear. The image satisfied.
I also liked the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Trucks. Because I don’t have an Atmos-equipped system, this played back as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix, 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 titular “monster” 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-“.
The Blu-ray comes with a smattering of extras, and Who’s Driving the Monster Trucks? launches these. It goes for seven minutes, six seconds and includes comments from director Chris Wedge, screenwriter Derek Connolly, CG supervisor Chris Downs, animation superviisor Daryl Sawchuk, and actors Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper, Thomas Lennon, Rob Lowe, and Amy Ryan.
“Driving” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, visual effects and Wedge’s move from animation to live-action. A handful of decent details emerge but much of “Driving” feels puffy and insubstantial.
With The Monster In the Truck, we get a four-minute, 57-second piece with Wedge, Sawchuk, Downs, co-producer Kurt Williams, head of technical animation Angela MacGrath, VFX supervisor Nicolas Aithadi, lead digital artist Andrew Doucette, DFX supervisor Axel Bonami, digital artist Chris Sokalofsky, and 2D supervisor John Paszkiewicz. The program discusses design and execution issues related to the vehicles and creatures. It delivers a passable overview.
Next comes Creating the Monster in the Truck. It lasts six minutes, 29 seconds and features Wedge, Williams, Levy, Till, Lennon, Lowe, Glover, Pepper, Connolly, stuntman Anthony Moyer, special effects supervisor JD Schwalm, production designer Anthony Menzies, stunt coordinator Andy Gill and picture car coordinator Tyler W. Gaisford. “Monster” examines aspects of the movie’s practical vehicles, and it becomes another moderately informative reel.
A Gag Reel runs four minutes, 35 seconds. It shows the usual goofs and silliness. A few improv lines from Tom Lennon amuse, but don’t expect much.
Six Deleted Scenes take up a total of eight minutes, 36 seconds. Some of these expand the Tripp/Meredith relationship, while others add a little more action to the tale. The character sequences seem unnecessary and tedious, but the driving shots contribute a little pizzazz.
Finally, we find 10 Production Diaries. All together, these fill 10 minutes, 13 seconds and give us info from Gill, Schwalm, Levy, Till, Lowe, Lennon, Moyer, and Gaisford. The “Diaries” offer snapshots of various aspects of the shoot. They vary in terms of quality but they offer some fun moemnts.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Trucks. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.
Derivative and uncreative, Monster Trucks feels like a conglomeration of elements borrowed from other films. It fails to convey any real thrills or fun as it explores its well-trodden territory. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and audio as well as a handful of supplements. The film may entertain younger kids but that becomes the extent of its appeal.