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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Adventure > CGI Animation > Monster > Music > Dogs > Sea Life > Abominable 4K (Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Art Of Racing In The Rain (Fox Blu-ray)/Bernie The Dolphin 2 (Lionsgate DVD/all 2019)

Abominable 4K (Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Art Of Racing In The Rain (Fox Blu-ray)/Bernie The Dolphin 2 (Lionsgate DVD/all 2019)

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

We start wrapping up the year with these child/family titles...

Jill Culton's Abominable 4K (2019) is actually one of the better CGI releases of the year, not loaded upfront with a bunch of bad comedy cliches and recycled jokes from other CGI releases (et al), but a sometimes familiar but also sometimes charming tale of a young violinist named Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennett) one day (after working some odd jobs) discovers something hiding on her private space on the roof of where she lives: an abominable snow man... or teen yeti. We see in the beginning that it is on the run from a high tech prison where it has been captured for reasons that do not look good.

Naming him 'Everest' and joined by two good friends, they go on a journey out of town to get him back home, but it turns out he was captured because he has special abilities and the one thing that brings him immediately together with Yi is her playing of classical music masterworks. Can they save him?

So this is well done enough, child-friendly and very well rounded, running a fine 97 minutes and issued under the DreamWorks name via the Pearl Studios. That is a company we should keep an eye out for because they are more serious about what they are releasing than their competition. This did well, if not record-breaking, but deserves a much larger audience than it found and I hope it becomes a surprise home video hit. Whether we'll see any sequel or not (it is not really set up for one, which in itself is nice for a change), it stands nicely on its own and all involved can be proud of what they accomplished here. Not bad at all!

Extras include Digital Code, while (per the press release) both disc versions add plenty to enjoy including (the 4K version has all extras in 4K!!!) DREAMWORKS SHORT - MAROONED - Marooned, tells the story of a cantankerous and selfish robot named C-0R13. Stranded on an abandoned lunar outpost, C-0R13 longs to return to Earth. With a partially built ship and his last power source, this determined robot will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

  • SHOW AND TELL - Back home in the Himalayan Mountains, Everest puts on a magical show-and-tell for his fellow yetis after he receives a special care package from Yin, Jing and Peng.

  • DELETED SCENES with Intros by Writer/Director Jill Culton and Co-Director Todd Wilderman

    • Play All

    • Spa Day

    • Villains at the Map

    • Magic Montage

    • Yak Attack

  • MAKING A MYTH (MOVIE) - In this entertaining 'making of' we learn from the filmmakers and stars how they brought the heartfelt and whimsical story of Abominable to life - from the use of magic, music and humor, to the themes of family and nature.

  • ANIMATING ABOMINABLE - From production design to storyboarding and animating, the creative team behind Abominable will take us through the design and animation of the film.

  • MEET THE CAST - This fun featurette introduces the audience to the cast of Abominable and the characters they play. Learn first-hand from the actors what their personal inspiration was for the role and how they went about performing the voicework.

    • Play All

    • Chloe Bennet as Yi

    • Tenzing Norgay Trainor as Jin

    • Albert Tsai as Peng

    • Tsai Chin as Nai Nai

    • Joe Izzo as Everest

  • YOUR YETI CARE GUIDE - Chloe, Albert and Tenzing provide tips and tricks to caring for your newly adopted 'Yeti'. In this case YETI stands for pet - dog, kitten and bird.

  • COURAGE TO DREAM - This featurette explores the character Yi, the strong, independent and untraditional female lead at the center of Abominable. Actor Chloe Bennet and the filmmakers discuss what makes Yi special and why she is the ultimate role model for young girls and boys today!

  • AN ABOMINABLE TOUR WITH CHLOE BENNET - Like her father before her, Yi dreams of traveling across China to see the many beautiful, natural and culturally significant locations featured in Abominable. Chloe Bennet, the voice of Yi, will take viewers on their own magical journey.

  • EVEREST'S TALK BOX - Shooting on the DreamWorks Animation campus, we bring in some real kids to meet the man behind the voice of Everest, Joe Izzo, and the audio team from Abominable to learn about all the cool tech that went into Everest's voice.

  • COOKING WITH NAI NAI - Can Tsai Chin, the voice of Nai Nai, learn to make Nai Nai's famous pork buns in real life? Let's find out!

  • HOW TO ABOMINABLE - Bring Everest, Yi and Nai Nai to life in your home with this How-to-Draw with a difference. Not only will we show you how to recreate your favorite characters from Abominable, but also how to magically bring them to life through a homemade Chinese style lantern!

    • How to Draw

    • Play All

    • Intro

    • Everest

    • Yi

    • Jin

    • Peng

    • Nai Nai

    • How to Make a Chinese Lantern

  • YOU CAN SPEAK YETI-ESE - Inspired by foreign language courses, viewers can learn how to speak Yeti-ese with these easy teaching guides hosted by Chloe Bennet.

  • NAI NAI SAYS - Narrated by Nai Nai, Yi's wise grandma gives us life lessons on how to be a strong, independent, modern woman.

  • and FEATURE COMMENTARY - Writer/Director Jill Culton, Co-Director Todd Wilderman, Producer Suzanne Buirgy, Producer Peilin Chou, Production Designer Max Boas, Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Edwards, and Head of Character Animation John Hill

Simon Curtis' The Art Of Racing In The Rain (2019) is the story of dog named Enzo. Enzo was adopted by Denny Swift a professional race car driver. He loved his life, the race and dreamed of becoming a man one day. As the years and life came by they are joined by his wife Eve and later his daughter Zoe. Everything was perfect until tragedy strikes, Eve gets cancer and then his daughter gets taken away from them. As Enzo looks back over his and his family's life and tell his story and what he learned in this life.

A story of a (narrating) dog and how he loved his life and those those whom he called family. Through his eyes Enzo tells the story of how he met Denny, Eve and Zoe and how their life is like a race, it is about the journey and how they handle the unexpected things in life (and not about winning or losing). Like love and rain, they can change the conditions on the road of life but a true driver learns how to use the road and makes their own destiny. Denny struggles to follow his dreams after facing the challenge of the death of his wife and then the custody battle for his daughter when her grandparents threaten to take her away.

This was the age old story of man's best friend. Voiced by Kevin Costner, it tells the heart warming tale of a dog and his master. Throughout the entire movie the character 'Enzo' the dog narrates and reflects and compares his life like a race and what he would say if he could talk. Extras include featurettes Journey to Screen, Directing the Art, Enzo Cam, Behind the Wheeler, The Dog Stays in the Picture, Enzo's First Ride, Commentary and trailers.

Last and least is Kirk Harris' Bernie The Dolphin 2 (2019, don't remember the first release, if there was one) with Lola Allen and Lagan Alley as young teens who love the title animal and are glad he is back (from being gone, apparently) but the enemy 0of all of them (a bored-looking Kevin Sorbo) is back to torment them (and us apparently) in this very dull, formulaic, flay dud that even Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers) cannot save. To say this is for fans only is stretching it, but here it is and unless you REALLY want to see it for some reason, skip it.

It actually had a Behind The Scenes featurette and you also get a trailer gallery.

Now for playback quality. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1 HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Abominable is easily the best playback performer here, with a nice, solid look and very consistent, even rich and wide-ranging color throughout. You also get a few demo moments, though the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray also included is not bad. However, it just does not flow as well visually as the 4K version.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Racing is also very good and has few flaws, though nothing is very spectacular about its run-on look, you get no serious flaws.

That leaves the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Bernie with some soft shots, but holding up a bit better than expected for the format.

The Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) on both versions of Abominable is easily the sonic winner here with some creative sound and sound editing, plus dialogue and music is well recorded throughout.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on Rain is as reliable as its image, but again, nothing too impressive or spectacular about competent, corporate product. The voice over work sometimes just does not ring true.

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Bernie rings less true overall in acting performance and how dialogue is delivered, so don't expect much here sonically either.

- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Art)


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