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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Fantasy > Comedy > Adventure > Action > CGI Animation > Toys > Children > Cable TV > Flight Of Dragons (1982/Rankin Bass/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD Sets)/Rugrats: Season Three + Season Four (1993 - 1995/Nic

Flight Of Dragons (1982/Rankin Bass/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD Sets)/Rugrats: Season Three + Season Four (1993 - 1995/Nickelodeon DVD Sets)/Woody Woodpecker (2017 feature film revival/Universal DVD)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B-/B+ (DVD: C)/C+/C+/C Sound: C+/A/C/C/C+ Extras: C+/B/D/D/C- Main Programs: C+/C+/B-/B-/C-

Our next group of child favorites are of established favorites, one of which is a revival mishandled...

PLEASE NOTE: The Flight Of Dragons Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Made in 1982 around the time they were involved in the animated Tolkien films, Rankin/Bass' Flight Of Dragons (1982) Warner Archive issued the film on DVD a while ago and we looked at it in this review...


Its possible growing cult status, curiosity interest and loose Tolkien connection has led to Warner Archive to issue the film on Blu-ray, which has its moments and may not be very memorable unless you really love fantasy storytelling, but seems rather ambitious in the face of so many bad CGI animated, multi-million dollar gambles that rightly bombed. The film has enough moments to make it worth a look, but it is not great by any means.

However, this transfer may be uneven, but has plenty of great shots and sections that will surprise even non-fans and animation fans will be surprised by when compared to weaker broadcasts and the earlier DVD (my fellow writer had more issues with it than I did, but it is not as good as this Blu-ray version) so the upgrade is worth it. More on that below.

The only extra is a standard-definition version in its original 1.33 x 1 framing dubbed the 'TV' version, but it shows more of the frame than the 1.78 X 1 widescreen HD framing, making one ask why a 1.33 X 1 HD version was not included.

Following the highly successful The LEGO Movie (2014, reviewed elsewhere on this site and now on 4K disc) and The LEGO Batman Movie (2017, covered in 4K on this site), The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017) is a family friendly romp with original characters (known from the hit TV series) as opposed to the past two films, which have borrowed LEGO pop culture icons as cast members. While the animation is highly impressive, particularly so in 4K UHD 2160p high definition, the story here is a bit traditional to the hero's journey and nothing too new or fantastic.

The voice cast includes the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan, Michael Pena, and Olivia Munn. The film is directed by Charlie Bean (TRON Uprising, Samurai Jack, LEGO Batman). Much like the previous films, this is a mix of stop motion animation and computer generated animation as well. The result is seamless and you simply dive into his believable world of pint sized heroes pretty quickly.

Featuring a live action wrap around story starring Jackie Chan himself, LEGO Ninjago takes place in the fictional micro LEGO world where Lloyd (Franco) is a mild mannered high school student by day but crime fighting vigilante, the Green Ninja, by night. Unfortunately, Lloyd's father is the hated warlord Garmadon (Theroux) and is constantly wrecking the peaceful city of Ninjago. Aided by his other Ninja teenage friends and their awesome giant robots, Lloyd attempts to take down his dad and save the city simultaneously. Along the way he grows as a characters and finds out the missing pieces of his past.

Special Features:

Team Supreme: Building NINJAGO - featurette

Rumble in the Bricks - featurette

Rebrick Contest Winners - featurette

Which Way to the Ocean - mini-movie

Zane's Stand Up Promo - mini-movie

The Master: A LEGO NINJAGO Short - mini-movie

LEGO NINJAGO TV Series Sneak Peek

Oh, Hush! & Jeff Lewis Found My Place - Music Video

Everybody Have a Ninja Day - Music Video

Rocktagon - Music Video

Warlord Ballad - Music Video

Animation Bridge Test - Deleted Scene

Baby Fight - Deleted Scene

Dock Scene - Deleted Scene

Gimme Some Outtakes!

Commentary by Director Charlie Bean and Crew

13 Promotional Videos

If you like Ninjas, Samurais, and LEGOS, then this is a film that you can safely watch with the whole family. While not quite as charming or narratively sound as its predecessors, the film is pretty charming and boasts a great presentation on the 4K UHD format in particular.

Rugrats: Seasons Three and Four (1993 - 1995) have arrived in heavy, basic Nickelodeon DVD sets as the first two seasons did a while ago, as covered here...


It is the same kind of framing, sound and with surprisingly no extras whatsoever, but at least fans and completists can have the show this way until Nickelodeon decides to go for High Definition Blu-ray editions. The seasons are interchangeable to me as they are for most non-fans (like Muppet Babies, but without as much humor), but Season Three is twice as long as Season Four, requiring 4 DVDs versus 2.

Last and least is Alex Zamm's 2017 Woody Woodpecker feature film revival that features a decent new CGI version of the classic title animated character in a really, really bad, weak, silly, dull, corny live action world that plays like a very, very bad cable TV movie. In addition, they treat Woody like a lovable Disney character when he is really much closer to a Tex Avery/MGM or Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies character, yet they go the other direction and are lost quickly.

The plot has Woody versus two dumb poachers, with a family trying to have a home in the middle of his forest, which offers nothing interesting, falls flat quickly and the runs barely 80 minutes. Our copy had a classic Woody cartoon stuck onto the end of it after the credits, which is never a good sign. Next time, Universal need to turn this over to a team, that cares (like DreamWorks?) and really get to the wild heart of the character, then do something more edgy that works and loses playing it safe or thinking you can put Woody's name on anything and that will do.

Besides that 'hidden' cartoon short, Digital Copy and three Making Of clips are the only extras.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is presented in a stunning 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image that still seems a little upscaled from some detail limits, and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Aided by and a stunning 11.1 English Dolby Atmos lossless track (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on older systems) which brings a theatrical level sound performance to your home entertainment system. Also included in the 1080p high definition Blu-ray (Mr. Lockhart is more impressed with it than Mr. Sheffo, but it looks good) with lossless DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) 5.1 lossless sound, identical widescreen framing and a digital UV copy, a disc that makes up the Blu-ray/DVD set where the anamorphically enhanced DVD is softer than expected and has the same extras, so if you don't need the DVD, get the 4K set instead to future-proof yourself.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Dragon can still show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and most of the footage will surprise you. Too bad there are too many instances of rougher footage and slightly off color, but when this one delivers, it does so well. Too bad the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless is barely better than a DVD and you should be careful of volume switching and high playback levels. Here I thought we be able to hear Don McLean's theme song better, but sadly not.

Both Nickelodeon Rugrats DVDs offer anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 images with its original 1.33 X 1 presentation bookended in the 16 X 9 frame, also looking good, despite being finished on analog video with slight analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color and staircasing. Any true HD versions will need more work.

Finally, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Woody is as soft as the LEGO DVD and both are somehow just softer than the Rugrats set, which should not be the case, but is. That adds to how obnoxious it is to watch this empty Woody revival. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is a bit more like it, but is not very imaginative, effective or memorable.

To order The Flight Of The Dragons Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo & James Lockhart (4K Set)



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