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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Education > Children > Muppets > Fantasy > Animation > Sesame Street: Elmo & Cookie Monster SUPERsized Fun! (2016/Warner DVD)/The Smurfs (2011/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Sesame Street: Elmo & Cookie Monster SUPERsized Fun! (2016/Warner DVD)/The Smurfs (2011/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

Here's a new pair of old favorites back again...

Sesame Street: Elmo & Cookie Monster SUPERsized Fun! (2016) is one of the more loaded Warner DVDs of the ongoing series of releases, this time with a main program compilation running over 2 hours on its own, then adding a few DVD-ROM goodies and Lifting Snuffy program that runs about 50 minutes-long. These are always good releases, but I was surprised that they took advantage of the space this time around and hope we see more of this, especially since the catalog of the series is so underseen, undervalued and should be unleashed (how about a Blu-ray of all the old filmed shorts from the beginning of the series restored for HD at 4K? More than just children would love that one, like those Old School sets).

The characters are as fun as ever and the only anomaly is that Oscar The Grouch still has a metal trash can, but he's more fun being noisy than with quiet plastic. One of the nicest DVD singles in the series, you can read about more of them elsewhere on this site, but I'd recommend this one above most despite a few repetitions (the Cookie Monster movie spoofs are a plus).

The original CGI/live action 2011 feature film The Smurfs has been reissued in a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version that includes the original 1080p Blu-ray we reviewed in the Blu-ray 3D set of the film here...


Same film, same mixed reaction to it and not a fan of the franchise, but I was unhappy with the performance of the 2D 1080p Blu-ray, so the upgrade in the 4K 2160p version was needed... especially with a third film in the series about to his movie theaters. Of course, we only get extras on the regular 1080p Blu-ray and they are the same as before.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Fun! is just fine, though most segments tend to be enhanced by visual effects, instead of the people and Muppets being on the street; I find the latter always more compelling. However, detail flaws are minor, color pretty good for the format and we have a stable, consistent performer.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 1.78 X 1 Ultra High Definition image on Smurfs corrects pretty much all of my complaints with the disappointing 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer that Sony has decided not to retransfer (it has some fans, so guess its best left alone). For me, the image is suddenly more colorful (like the 3D version not included), we get more depth, detail and its just more fun overall. That also allows it to match the fine performance of the sequel in 4K (see below), so fans in particular can rejoice.

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Fun! is pretty good throughout and did not need a 5.1 upgrade to be clear, consistent with the good quality of the Sesame Street DVD series in general.

Smurfs still has its impressive DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the regular 1080p Blu-ray (repeated on the Blu-ray 3D version NOT INCLUDED in this set), but the new 2160p 4K edition attempts to upgrade the sound to a Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) lossless sound and though it does had some overheard sounds and opens up some parts of the mix, it also proves even this mix has limits including less overall impact in the soundfield, surrounds and music.

For more on Smurfs 2, try our coverage of the 4K 2160p Ultra HD Blu-ray set at this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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