Open Season (Blu-ray Disc, Animation) (2006)

by | Apr 1, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Open Season (Blu-ray Disc, Animation) (2006)

Voice Talents: Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing Directed by: Roger Allers, Jill Culton, Anthony Stacchi
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Video: 1.85:1, 1080p Widescreen for 16:9
Audio: English uncompressed PCM 5.1, English, French, and Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles & Captions: English SDH, English, French, and Spanish
Extras: Directors’ audio commentary; Featurettes (“Behind the Trees” and “The Voices Behind the Stars”); Two deleted scenes; “Boog and Elliot’s Midnight Bun Run” short film; interactive games; scene deconstruction; still galleries; music video; “Surf’s Up” movie preview; Easter eggs
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

Boog (Martin Lawrence) is a lovable, domesticated grizzly bear that lives a pampered life in a park ranger’s garage.  Life changes quickly for Boog when he meets a fast-talking mule deer named Elliot.  Elliot convinces Boog to leave his current situation to experience life in the wild.  The pair makes several new animal friends in the forest and enjoy some crazy adventures together.  However, their good times may be short-lived as open season is nearing and a hunter named Shaw has his sights set squarely upon Boog.  ‘Open Season’ is an above-average animated film that I would compare to the likes of ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Over the Hedge’.  It is a step above recent box-office releases such as ‘The Wild’ (which was geared primarily towards the younger crowd), but it doesn’t quite reach the quality level and sophisticated adult humor of a ‘Shrek’ or ‘Toy Story’ (which successfully entertained both children and adults on different levels).  The voice talents of Lawrence and Kutcher work surprisingly well together, there are some truly funny moments, and the film moves along at a brisk pace.  Recommended.   

As a direct-to-digital conversion, the overall video quality of this Blu-ray DVD is superb.  Images are crisp with razor sharp detail enough to actually count the hairs on Boog’s back if one so desires.  Colors are vibrant and bright with fully-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is perfect with no flaws or compression artifacts.  In sum, ‘Open Season’ is a reference-quality video presentation.  The overall audio quality is good, but not nearly as impressive as the video.  The soundtrack incorporates all of the discrete channels although the forward soundstage is favored much of the time.  Dialogue is clean and properly positioned in the center channel.  The surround channels are moderately utilized for both the sound effects and the musical numbers.  The low frequency effects channel is deep and has an opportunity or two to rumble during the film.  The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track served as the basis for this review.  (An uncompressed PCM 5.1 surround track is also available for those with the necessary six-channel analog connections to process it).

– Calvin Harding, Jr.

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