Wall-E Blu-ray impressions
On Tuesday, my brother received his copy of the US Blu-ray release of Wall-E (the 2-disc edition, naturally, not the pointless 3-disc version with a useless Digital Copy to inflate the price tag). Almost immediately, he had to leave for London to receive Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) training, so I took the opportunity to nab the disc from his shelf and give it a quick run-through.
I should point out that, until I’ve watched the film on the big screen, which we should hopefully be doing over the weekend, I won’t be assigning the transfer an overall rating, but I was very impressed by what I saw and would, at this early stage, call myself 99% satisfied. As with the BD of Pixar’s Ratatouille before it, the look of Wall-E is smooth rather than pin sharp. I take this to be an intentional cinematographic choice; certainly, it allows the film to avoid the sterile look that plagues most CGI films. As such, while it doesn’t have the razor sharp look of, say, Open Season, it’s by far the more aesthetically pleasing of the two. There is, however, one mild caveat: compression. Don’t get me wrong, it’s almost completely flawless, but as soon as I saw the surprisingly low bit rate of 21.1 GB (on the disc, a total of 28.6 out of a possible total of 50 GB is occupied by data), I did begin to be rather concerned. This is by no means a compression nightmare, but eagle-eyed viewers may be able to spot some occasional artefacts affecting a handful of scenes combining fast motion with high amounts of detail. Take a look at Example 12 for an idea of what to (occasionally) expect.
Overall, it’s a highly impressive transfer, but Ratatouille remains Disney’s best-looking BD. I just hope the film is still as magical as I remember it being.
(Buena Vista, USA, AVC, 21.1 GB)