Lightyear appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. As expected, the movie came with a terrific visual presentation.
At all times, sharpness excelled. The film offered tight, concise imagery without a hint of softness along the way.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmer, and edge haloes also failed to appear. In addition, source flaws never created distractions.
Because Lightyear wanted to emulate a movie from the 1980s, it added fake grain. This seemed like a subtle but suitable decision.
Colors offered quality material, as the movie’s palette came across with punch. Though much of the film opted for the usual orange/amber and teal, the settings came with enough variety to add spark to the proceedings. HDR gave the tones added range and power.
Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows were smooth and clear. HDR meant extra impact and punch to whites and contrast. This turned into a top-notch image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack added pizzazz to the proceedings. As expected, the battle or flight-based scenes offered the greatest sense of activity and involvement, as those used the elements to swarm and move around the room in an engulfing manner.
Other scenes created a good sense of the story as well. Even basic environmental sequences worked well and delivered a nice experience.
Audio quality succeeded as well, with natural, concise dialogue. Music seemed full and rich, while effects appeared accurate and distinctive, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack suited the film and added excitement.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio offered some expansion beyond the BD’s mix.
Visuals got the usual format-related boost, so the 4K looked more precise and more dynamic than the BD. This didn’t become a huge upgrade, but the 4K offered the more appealing version, especially if you enjoy an Atmos setup.
As we head to extras on the included Blu-ray copy, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Angus MacLane, writer Jason Headley, and director of photography Jeremy Lasky. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, connections to the Toy Story universe, animation, alternate/abandoned concepts, music, cast and performances, various design choices and related areas.
Pixar commentaries tend to focus on story and development more than most, and that makes them more insightful than average. This track follows that trend.
While we learn a lot about the technical side, I enjoy the emphasis on story/character domains, especially because we find into about the ways these domains evolved. Expect a pretty solid chat.
A few featurettes follow, and Building the World of Lightyear runs 14 minutes, 29 seconds. It offers notes from MacLane, Lasky, sets art directors Garrett Taylor and Greg Peltz, producer Galyn Susman, color and shading art director Bill Zahn, tailoring and simulation supervisor Fran Kalal, sets supervisor Nathan Fariss, set dressing lead Christina Garcia Weiland, director of photography Ian Megibben, character designer Grant Alexander, production designer Tim Evatt, shading supervisor Thomas Jordan, and actor Chris Evans.
“World” examines all the design work that went into Lightyear as well as the execution of these choices. Expect a solid little overview.
The Zap Patrol lasts nine minutes, eight seconds and brings remarks from Susman, MacLane, Evans, and actors Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer and Dale Soules.
Here we cover cast, supporting characters and performances. A few insights emerge but much of this feels fluffy.
With Toyetic, we get a 10-minute reel that boasts notes from MacLane, Susman, Taylor, Alexander, Peltz, consumer products director Jennifer Tan, consumer products associate creative director Chris Meeker, and Lego Creative Head Jesper C. Nielsen.
This program examines the influence of toys on the film. This sounds like an ad for merch – and it occasionally is - but it expands into a broader focus than that.
Including introductions from MacLane, six Deleted Scenes take up a total of 26 minutes, 49 seconds. Rather than offer minor variations on existing material, the scenes deliver some pretty radical variations. That makes them enjoyable and intriguing.
MacLane brings useful insights as well. He doesn’t always tell us why the scenes got dropped/changed, but he adds worthwhile statements.
The disc opens with an ad for Beyond Infinity. No trailer for Lightyear appears here.
As a sci-fi action flick, Lightyear comes with moderate pleasures. These fail to make it better than average, though, as it falls short of the better efforts from Pixar. The 4K UHD comes with excellent picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. Though not a bad film, Lightyear seems forgettable and unnecessary.
To rate this film visit the Blu-ray review of the LIGHTYEAR