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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Superheroes > Comedy > Action > Toys > Music > Satire > LEGO DC Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (Warner w/Toy)/Trolls World Tour: Dance Off Edition (Universal/both 2020 Blu-ray w/DVD sets)

LEGO DC Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (Warner w/Toy)/Trolls World Tour: Dance Off Edition (Universal/both 2020 Blu-ray w/DVD sets)

Picture: B & C+/A- & B- Sound: B & C+/A- & B- Extras: B-/B Films: B-/C

Now for two new high profile animated releases...

First we have LEGO DC Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (2020) which tries in only 81 minutes to add the title superhero (no longer known as Captain Marvel, though we get an in-joke about this) beginning with his origins, then how he gets to be introduced to all the DC Superheroes and maybe become a Justice League member, lay out his origins then (awkwardly) introduce Black Adam!

This is meant to be silly and does have its moments, but was more convincing at time than the live action hit revival of the character. Of course, it is not the great 1940s Fawcett Comics, legendary Republic live action movie serial or underrated live-action 1970s Saturday Morning TV series hit. It is not even the smart, mature, adult revival comic book series form a few decades ago, but it is ambitious considering what it is doing and is as interesting as any recent character-based LEGO home video release we have seen in a while.

With all that info., it might be a little bit much for younger viewers, but they can watch a bit at a time. I hope this also means that future LEGO releases are going to continue to be this ambitious. Most of them have been fine, but they did tend to have some overlap and the obvious rules/jokes of the LEGO world become obvious quickly. Definitely worth a look for fans.

Extras include a LEGO figurine of Shazam you can put together yourself, while the discs add a trailer for this release and three episodes of two other TV shows in HD, including (inexplicably) two of Unikitty! (Spoooooky Game and Pool Duel) and Teen Titans Go! (Little Elvis).

Trolls toys came out in the 1990s and were a passing pop culture sensation much like the beanie baby. (Nowadays, Funko Pops have pretty much taken the mantle.) For some reason, a decade and some change later, in 2016 Universal Studios and Dreamworks Animation decided to make a digitally animated Trolls movie that became a sleeper hit with young audiences.

Now out on Blu-ray, Trolls World Tour (2020) is the sequel that is a mix of modern musical and goofy cartoon feature cut from the same mold as the original. A bit too kiddy for teens and up, the little ones are more prone to enjoy this sort of faire. Everything aside, this movie still made major bucks on VOD even with theaters being closed for the coronavirus pandemic. This means, folks, that these cuddly Trolls aren't going anywhere anytime soon (for better or worse.)

Trolls World Tour features an all star voice cast with Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Jamie Dorman, James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne, George Clinton, Sam Rockwell, and Rachel Bloom to name a few. The film is directed by Walt Dohrn (Shrek Forever After).

Six Troll tribes are discovered, each one representing a different style of music. Rockers Queen Barb and King Thrash threaten to destroy these tribes, while the good Trolls (lead by Poppy and Branch) decide to instead unite them in a massive, uhm, troll dance party...

Universal's animation here is similar to the Despicable Me films, but not as vivid as most of Pixar's work. The film is quite colorful obviously due to the subject matter and these colors are more defined on the Blu-ray than the DVD (and would especially be improved on the 4K UHD). The music is a mixed bag with some newer artists and some recognizable classics thrown in to appeal to the adults in the audience.

Special Features on this Dance Off Edition are vast and include:

Dance Party Mode - learn dance moves and sing along while you watch the film

Exclusive Short Film - Tiny Diamond Goes Back To School

Feature-Length Audio Commentary with Director Walt Dohrn, Producer Gina Shay, and Co-Director David P. Smith

Deleted Scenes

Trolls World Tourist Map

Trolls Dance Academy

Trolls Perfect Harmony

and Trolls World Tour Backstage

This is fine for a kids film and packed with bonus features, but its pure bubble gum fare that the older crowd is likely to be more annoyed by than anything.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Shazam is one of the best animated LEGO and DC Comics releases we have seen as far as color and definition is concerned with the widest range of color and several metallic colors throughout that make this even more fun to watch. Too bad we do not have it in 4K, but I had to try it on a few systems because there are odd flaws and problems with the picture at points on the disc. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound mix is just fine though.

The anamorphically enhanced DVD image is a little softer than I would have liked and does not do justice to the color range, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is weak too and does not have the warmth or impact of the lossless Blu-ray DTS.

Trolls is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless Dolby Atmos mix that is clear and impressive. Also on the disc is an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix, standard for the format. Also included is an anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD of the film with a more compressed presentation and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, a French 5.1 mix, DVS (Descriptive Video Service) and a digital copy. We hope to see the 4K version inevitably.

- Nicholas Sheffo (LEGO) and James Lockhart



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