Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely positive presentation.
For the most part, sharpness satisfied. A few darker shots could seem a bit soft, but these didn’t become a concern.
No issues with shimmering or jagged edges materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Of course, print flaws failed to appear.
Colors were with a subdued sense, as they favored a quiet mix of teal, amber and gray. Given the design, the hues didn’t impress, but the disc replicated them as intended.
Blacks felt deep and dense, while shadows were fairly solid. A few shots seemed a smidgen thick, but they remained in the minority. This turned into an effective depiction of the source.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos audio also worked well, especially during the story’s many magical moments. Whether we got elements that focused on general wizardry or actual combat, these scenes opened up the spectrum in a pleasing way and made engaging use of all the channels.
Audio quality seemed fine, with speech that always sounded natural and concise. Music showed nice range and impact.
Effects appeared accurate and tight, with nice low-end. The soundtrack became a satisfying complement to the tale.
A bunch of featurettes appear here, and Dumbledore Family Tree runs eight minutes, 38 seconds. As implied, it brings a summary of the Dumbledore clan, with the logical emphasis on Albus. It becomes an efficient overview and helpful for those of us who don’t act as “Wizarding World” fanatics.
In a similar vein, Dumbledore Through the Ages lasts seven minutes, 23 seconds and offers notes from directors David Yates, Alfonso Cuaron and Chris Columbus, producer David Heyman, writer JK Rowling, and actors Richard Harris, Jude Law, Michael Gambon, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, and Daniel Radcliffe.
Like one might expect, “Ages” gives us a general overview of the Dumbledore character. It doesn’t tell us much that seems useful, especially contrasted to the effective “Tree”.
Magical or Muggle goes for four minutes, 32 seconds and features Redmayne, Miller, and actors Dan Fogler, Callum Turner, Mads Mikkelsen, Richard Coyle, Jessica Williams, and Alison Sudol.
They play a game in which they’re told the names of various items and asked it they’re magical or muggle. It’s silly fun.
With The Magic of Hogwarts, we find a five-minute, 47-second reel that includes notes from Williams, Law, Turner, Heyman, Yates, Fogler, Redmayne, Coyle, producer Tim Lewis, VFX supervisor Christian Manz, production designer Neil Lamont, set decorator Anna Pinnick, lead graphic designer Miraphora Mina, and actors Victoria Yeates and Fiona Glascot.
We look at sets and production design during this show. It comes with a mix of insights and praise, though I do think “Miraphora Mina” is the most Harry Potter-sounding real-life name I’ve heard in a while.
Even More Fantastic Beasts spans six minutes, 24 seconds and brings comments from Heyman, Law, Redmayne, Sudol, Mikkelsen, Yates, Manz, Miller, and puppeteer Tom Wilton.
This one tells us about various creatures seen in the movie and their creation. This becomes another combination of useful material and happy talk.
Next comes Newt in the Wild, a four-minute, 48-second piece with info from Redmayne, Heyman, Yates, Manz, Lamont, Wilton, and stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam.
“Wild” discusses locations, the impact of COVID, creatures and the sets intended to look like outdoor places. Unsurprisingly, we find a continuation of the facts/fluff combo from the other featurettes.
The German Ministry of Magic occupies four minutes, 57 seconds and includes notes from Redmayne, Law, Heyman, Yates, Manz, Lamont, Mina, Pinnock, Turner, and actor Oliver Masucci.
During this piece, we get thoughts about the movie location alluded to in the title. We find another decent but erratic reel here.
After this we find A Dumbledore Duel. It runs four minutes and offers material with Law, Heyman, Miller, Yates, Manz, and Irlam.
“Duel” covers elements of the titular battle. It brings more happy talk and insights.
The Candidates’ Dinner spans four minutes, 46 seconds with statements from Fogler, Manz, Lewis, Yates, and Williams.
“Dinner” discusses details of that scene. Anticipate more of the same tone from the prior reels.
Up next arrives Erkstag Jailbreak, a four-minute, 51-second piece that features Redmayne, Lamont, Lewis, Heyman, Yates, Law, Manz, Wilton, and Turner.
Like the last two, “Jailbreak” covers a specific sequence. It becomes another watchable but superficial program.
Finally, Battle in Bhutan takes up five minutes, 42 seconds with info from Heyman, Manz, Lamont, Mikkelsen, and Redmayne.
This one looks at the Bhutan scenes. Expect more of the same mediocre material.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 15 seconds. These tend toward character moments, some of which work surprisingly well.
We get a nice look at “young McGonagall”, and in the longest piece – the 3:50 “Newt’s House”- we find a deeper look at the relationship between Newt and his brother. Given that the movie runs long and seems slow already, these probably wouldn’t have helped the final product, but they do offer value.
Finally, the disc ends with The Secrets of Cursed Child, a four-minute, 51-second look at the Harry Potter stage production. We hear from technical assistant stage manager Zak McClelland, deputy head of wardrobe Rebecca Barnett, head of wigs, hair and makeup Craig Forrest-Thomas, and actors Ian Redford, Dominic Short, Madeleine Walker, Susie Trayling, Thomas Aldridge, Phoenix Edwards and Samson Ajewole.
Redford leads us through the tour, as he gives us a look behind the scenes. While we learn a little about the show, this really acts as an advertisement for it.
Three films in and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore shows a faltering, directionless franchise. Too long, too slow and too disjointed, the movie fails to ignite in any real way. The Blu-ray comes with appealing picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Maybe a potential fourth Beasts film will finally deliver the goods, but Secrets turns into a relative dud.