Thor: Tales of Asgard appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I felt consistently pleased with this strong presentation.
No issues with sharpness emerged. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so donít expect any signs of softness. Jaggies and moirť effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didnít appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Asgard went with a broad palette that favored a variety of earthy hues. The tones looked solid, as they showed positive richness and vivacity. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Asgard seemed less satisfying, as it was rather average. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material. Music presented decent stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material. These instances mainly occurred during storms or bigger action scenes. The back speakers brought out a decent sense of space and environment, but they werenít especially involving; the track remained acceptable but a little bland.
Audio quality tended to be mediocre as well. Speech was intelligible but a little thin and sibilant. Though clear, music lacked much punch; the score had reasonable delineation but not a lot of power. The same went for effects; while they presented decent accuracy, they failed to deliver much oomph or impact. All of this left the mix as a ďC+Ē; it was acceptable but not especially involving.
Asgard comes with a fairly broad roster of extras, and these launch with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from supervising producer Craig Kyle and screenwriter Greg Johnson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character subjects, cast and performances, artwork and visual design, music and editing, and a few other areas.
Though it touches on a mix of topics, much of the track sticks with story/character issues. Thatís fine, as Kyle and Johnson explore those pretty well. They give us a good overview of different concerns/decisions and also help tie in Asgard to the big-screen Thor movie. This never becomes a particularly great commentary, but itís informative enough, and its light humor helps make it fun.
For the second track, we hear from supervising director/producer Gary Hartle, director Sam Liu and character designer Phil Bourassa. The three sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of character and visual design, animation and effects, story areas, music and audio, and some additional topics.
The second commentary proves less effective than the first. This isnít because the participants repeat info from the prior track; itís because they donít say much at all. We get some occasional notes but much of the piece just relates the story or praises the film. Though this isnít a total waste of a commentary, itís not a very interesting one.
Next comes the 22-minute, four-second Worthy: The Making of Thor: Tales of Asgard. This includes notes from Kyle, Hartle, Johnson, executive producer Eric S. Rollman, associate producer Joshua Fine, Perception associate creative director John LePore, and composer Guy Michelmore. ďWorthyĒ looks at the projectís origins and development, story/character subjects, script evolution, influences from the comic books, visual design and animation techniques, music, and a few other areas.
I donít expect much from brief ďmaking ofĒ programs, but ďWorthyĒ works pretty well. Itís surprisingly free from hyperbole and fluff, as it offers a nice little exploration of the production. It proves to be low-key and informative.
After this we get a bonus episode of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes. It runs 23 minutes, 10 seconds as it shows Lokiís attempts to overthrow Asgard Ė and the work of Thor to stop him. This isnít an Avengers tale, as we find none of them other than Thor. And itís not an especially entertaining tale, either, as itís the kind of semi-pompous material that didnít much appeal to me as a kid. Itís not bad but Iíd have been more pleased with an actual Avengers story Ė and also if it wasnít a cliffhanger. Who puts a cliffhanger on a Blu-ray without its finale as well?
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Hulk Vs. Wolverine, Hulk Vs. Thor, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and Ultimate Avengers 2. We also find these in a trailer gallery. No ad for Thor appears here.
Finally, a second disc provides a DVD Copy of Thor: Tales of Asgard. This one comes packed with plenty of special features and seems to be the same DVD thatís available on its own. That makes it a nice bonus here.
Although I donít think Thor: Tales of Asgard makes me a bigger fan of the character, it does provide pretty good action and adventure. The animated program delivers a fun tale and enough excitement to succeed. The Blu-ray offers very good picture along with mediocre audio and a decent set of supplements. This ends up as a fairly satisfying superhero piece.