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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Adventure > CGI > Trucks > Cars > TV > Educational > Children > Muppets > Music > Fantasy > M > Blaze and The Monster Machines: Race Into Velocityville (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/Sesame Street: Singing With The Stars 2 (2017/Warner DVD)/Teletubbies: Big Hugs (2017/Sony DVD)/Trolls 4K (2016/DreamWork

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Race Into Velocityville (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/Sesame Street: Singing With The Stars 2 (2017/Warner DVD)/Teletubbies: Big Hugs (2017/Sony DVD)/Trolls 4K (2016/DreamWorks Animation/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: C+/C+/C+/B Sound: C+/C+/C+/B Extras: C-/C/C-/C+ Main Programs: C+

Our next set of child titles are decent at best, if not great and include some true favorites...

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Race Into Velocityville (2017) is yet another single Nickelodeon DVD of the hit show that has nothing new to offer, but runs a over two hours with the two bonus shows included. This one is as amusing as the previous entries, though I feel there is more room to expand this universe instead of playing it safe. Still, fun enough and one of the better releases in the series.

Sesame Street: Singing With The Stars 2 (2017) is too short at just over an hour, but has the plus of guests like the inarguable Gwen Stefani, Janelle Monae, Macklemore, Michael Buble, Rev Run and more, continuing the tradition of music in the longest-running children's program of all time. The visuals are a colorful plus and the Muppet characters are more than up to the challenge. This even has some charming moments.

Extras include an animated Abby short and full episode ''All For A Song'' worth seeing, though there was room for a bit more.

Teletubbies: Big Hugs (2017) continues the rollout of the (sometimes controversial for no reason) hit show, but this one is also only over an hour when more could have fit, though we do get a clip of the title song and brief look at Po and Daniel Rigby. I give the makers credit for keeping it nice and subtle, child-friendly and consistent. I never remember much about these after seeing them, but they are always at least pleasant.

Last but not least is Mike Mitchell's Trolls (2016), a musical CGI animated feature (Justin Timberlake expanding his horizons by taking on long form music for the big screen) featuring the misadventures of the family of title characters (Smurf comparisons have some validity for better or worse) and they are happy... until the miserable Bergens show up and try to ruin the happiness of their lives. Though there is not much here we have not seen before (including much of the character design), the makers carry on as if it is as fresh as mom-and-pop pizza with some jokes, gags and good voice acting by Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, John Cleese, Kunal Nayyar, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jeffrey Tambor, Quvenzhane Wallis and Timberlake himself.

The studio is serious about delivering a top rate feature entertainment and they sometimes come through, along with the money being on the screen as is always the case with them. I just felt this was very uneven in the end despite the efforts and ambition present. This also means if there is a sequel, there is great room for improvement.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices and paperwork inside the case for a videogame and other interactive goods, while the Blu-ray adds an Original Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scenes, five short Making Of/Behind The Scenes clips and section promoting the rest of DreamWorks Animated line-up of hits.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image on Trolls is easily the image champ here with better color range, depth and clarity than the still-fine 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show off DreamWorks unique CGI look well enough. Still, the 4K is better and this was also issued theatrically in 3D. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD titles are fine and even have their moments, but while watching, I wished for HD versions. You also can get minor, slight flaws at times including video noise, video banding and a little aliasing here and there.

As for sound, Trolls wins easily again with the 2160p disc offering a amusing Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix that helps save the film and brings out the best in the music, while the 1080p regular Blu-ray still offers a high-performance DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix that has some dynamic moments of its own if not as well-rounded as the Atmos. This was also issued in Auro 11.1 sound theatrically.

All the DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, save Street with a good-but-lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix, yet they all equal our sonically as the others are really pushing it with more tracks.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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