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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Fantasy > Adventure > Magic > CGIAction > Superheroes > Tracks > Cooking > Cable TV > Sunny Day: Welcome To The Pet Parlor (2019/Nickelodeon DVD)

Aladdin (1992 animated and 2019 live action versions/both Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters (2019/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD + Toy box)/Blaze and the Monster Machines: Ninja Blaze/Sunny Day: Welcome To The Pet Parlor (both 2019/Nickelodeon DVDs)

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

The next set of children/family titles starts with heavy-hitters and concludes with newcomers...

We start with one of Disney's own animated classics that is more recent and gets a little better with age to my surprise. Aladdin (1992) continues to be very popular and the studio knows it, so it made it one of its first live action remakes, which it issued to hit box office, but mixed reviews. I covered the original animated film in its Blu-ray release at this link...


That is the disc included with the new Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray set that is shockingly impressive in many parts, while the live action remake is an HD shoot with plenty of eye candy (digital visual effects included) that has some good moments, but is visually darker and just does not have the energy of the original. Will Smith is as ideal casting for the genie role as anyone, yet his performance is actually a little too restricted (and this is not that he should imitate Robin Williams, but director Guy Ritchie should have allowed a little more of his own comic style come to life) and I was not sure the actors playing the title role was the right choice.

Though he gets into the role, Mena Massoud seems a year or two too old for the role, but then maybe this is what Ritchie wanted, but it just takes away from any surprise on his character's part. Placing it in a fantasy Middle East with decent production design is nice, but it too often reminds us of Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia and Hitchcock's Man Who Knew Too Much remake, and not always in the best ways. As was the case with the recent Dumbo live-action remake, I wish they would have come up with a little more innovation and surprise, though this plays a little better. Fans might like it, but the animated film, like Dumbo in comparison before it, holds up better.

Extras are the same as before on the Blu-ray for the animated Aladdin, but the live action version adds its own large set of them on tis Blu-ray and they include (as explained by the press release)...


  • ' 'SPEECHLESS'': CREATING A NEW SONG FOR JASMINE - Follow the story of Jasmine's inspirational song ''Speechless,'' written by Alan Menken, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul especially for this version of ''Aladdin.''


  • ALADDIN'S VIDEO JOURNAL: A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW - Watch behind-the-scenes moments captured by Mena Massoud (Aladdin) in this fun, fast-paced look at his personal journey.

  • DELETED SONG: ''DESERT MOON'' - Experience a moving duet performed by Jasmine and Aladdin, fully shot and edited, with an introduction by Alan Menken.

  • GUY RITCHIE: A CINEMATIC GENIE - Discover why director Guy Ritchie was the perfect filmmaker to tackle this exhilarating reimagining of a beloved classic.

  • A FRIEND LIKE GENIE - Discover how Will Smith brings talent, experience and his own personal magic to the iconic role of Genie.


    • Falling Petals Into OJ

    • Jafar's Magic Orrery

    • Anders' Gift

    • Wrong Wishes

    • Silly Old Fool

    • Post Yam Jam Debrief

  • BLOOPERS - Laugh along with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of outtakes from the set.


    • ''Speechless'' - Music video performed by Naomi Scott

    • ''A Whole New World'' - Music video performed by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward

    • ''A Whole New World'' - (''Un Mundo Ideal'') - Music video performed by ZAYN and Becky G.

Now you can compare for yourself and 4K is the best way to do it.

A new animated release, LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters (2019) is one of the more amusing, comical and consistent of the LEGO animated films of late, better than the recent theatrical releases and is loosely inspired by the great Batman Family comics of the 1970s (though this is one adventure, we get all the characters together animated for the first time when you think of it, the comic series actually itself inspired by the Captain Marvel/Shazam of the 1940s) though it is a while before they all assemble.

With some references to the 1960s Batman TV series and even 1989 feature film, it is not retro and deals with the characters today as Batman first faces Solomon Grundy, but other members of Batman's infamous rogue's gallery start to show up and I was surprised at the energy and wit we got here. This runs a surprisingly rich 79 minutes and joins Batman's meeting with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as among the better highlights of Batman's 80th Birthday celebration.

Extras include previews and a LEGO Batmobile you have to assemble, so know you will not see it in the window of the packaging like many such releases with bonus figures.

Finally are yet two more basic Nickelodeon DVD releases of two of their current TV shows, the already established Blaze and the Monster Machines: Ninja Blaze and newer Sunny Day: Welcome To The Pet Parlor, so its more of the same for fans in both cases, with the hopes of gaining more fans, but these both have no extras and I again hope they do more in future volumes. These last about 90 minutes each like similar releases of late from Nickelodeon and are no better or worse than previous installments in their respective series. They need extras.

Both Aladdin 4K discs are offered in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with the newer live action film an HD shoot with a 2.35 X 1 aspect ratio that sometimes is a little soft, but also has some good moments of color and detail, just not enough. The 1992 in 4K is stunning, a big surprise and when it really kicks in, looks as good as the film ever had, including any 35mm footage I ever saw of it. The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray still impresses for the format, but the 4K outdoes it ways you have to see to believe.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the live action version of Aladdin is a little softer than expected with some shots a little off throughout for whatever reason, so you are better off with 4K here too.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Batman is pretty good and as good as any of the LEGO Blu-rays have been to date with a fun use of color and some good depth and definition, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD is not bad, but has nowhere near the impact of the Blu-ray. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Nickelodeon DVDs offer simpler animation, but are closer to the Batman DVD than you might think.

As for sound, both Aladdin 4K releases offer lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdowns for older systems) with the older film being so early a digital sound release, the additional tracks only expand the existing sound and show its age in parts, which you can compare to the still-impressive DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on the older Blu-ray version. The live action Atmos track on its 4K disc is better than its DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on the regular Blu-ray, but that is only because it is a mixdown with limits.

Batman has a well mixed and presented DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that can rival the newer Aladdin Blu-ray, but not quite as good as the 4K Atmos tracks or older Aladdin animated Blu-ray's DTS-MA. Still, it has its moments and is better than the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on its DVD version, which is passable at best. The two Nickelodeon DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes, but though they can be loud, they are also reserved and tie the Batman DVD for least effective sonics on the list, though newly recorded and just fine.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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