Pokémon Detective Pikachu appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. As expected, the movie came with good visuals.
Overall sharpness seemed strong. A hint of softness impacted the image on some wider shots – such as a scene in which Tim and Jack walked down a street - but it usually remained tight and concise. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.
To the surprise of no one, Pikachu opted for an orange and teal orientation. The movie’s nods toward film noir gave these tones a slightly different feel, though, and the Pokémon added other hues as well. These came across in an appealing manner, and the disc’s HDR abilities gave the tones extra pep.
Blacks showed good depth, and shadows offered largely nice clarity and smoothness. A few low-light sequences came across as slightly opaque, but these weren’t a major issue. In the end, the movie provided pleasing visuals.
In addition, Pikachu brought us a strong Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape opened up best when it indulged in its battle sequences.
These used the various channels in a vivid, immersive manner that placed the elements in logical spots and meshed together well. The track gave us a good sense of place and action.
Audio quality also pleased. Speech remained natural and distinctive, while music was full and rich.
Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with tight low-end. I liked this mix quite a lot.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both offered the same Dolby Atmos audio, so no changes materialized there.
As for visuals, the 4K UHD looked a bit tighter than the Blu-ray, and it offered more dynamic colors and deeper blacks. This wasn’t a big upgrade, but the 4K UHD did work better than its Blu-ray counterpart.
All the set’s extras appear on the included Blu-ray Disc, and it comes with an interactive feature called Detective Mode. This provides text pop-ups that tell us about the movie and franchise as well as facts about Pokémon characters.
In addition, we get video footage from the set and some comments from director Rob Letterman, executive producer Ali Mendes, animation supervisor Ferran Domenech, VFX producer Greg Baxter, head prop modeller Craig Narramore, stunt coordinator Franklin Henson, key location manager Richard Hill, set decorator Lisa Chugg, costume designer Suzie Harman, film liaison officer Nigel Crisp, stunt performer Richard Leggett, SFX lead senior technician Matt Veale, SFX technician Alex MacBride, mountain and water safety specialist Graeme Douglas, and actors Kathryn Newton, Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith and Suki Waterhouse.
They touch on various story, character and production topics.
Though the “Mode” starts slowly, it gets better as it progresses. The text bits offer some fun notes, and the video footage mixes good behind the scenes material and useful comments. I’d prefer a straight commentary, but the “Mode” still acts as a worthwhile feature.
A few featurettes follow, and My Pokémon Adventure runs two minutes, 13 seconds. Here Smith talks about his love of Pokémon and experiences with the franchise as a kid. It’s promotional and not especially interesting.
With Creating the World of Detective Pikachu, we get five clips that fill a total of 21 minutes, 22 seconds. These involve Smith, Newton, Reynolds, Letterman, Mendes, Baxter, Domenech, Henson, Veale, producer Cale Boyter, VFX supervisor Erik Nordby, and production designer Nigel Phelps.
The segments look at story and characters, cast and performances, effects and animation, sets and locations, stunts and action.
Overall, “Creating” offers some good info. However, it does so in a fairly fluffy manner, so don’t expect much depth. Still, the segments work well enough to deserve a look.
Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary spans there minutes and gives us exactly what it implies. After a quick mimed intro from Mr. Mime, we see his scene from the movie with zero commentary – because he’s silent. It’s a cute idea but not especially funny.
Next comes Ryan Reynolds: Outside the Actors Studio. A one-minute, 32-second piece, Reynolds pretends that he went Method for his performance as Pikachu. Though not great, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, so it gives us minor laughs – and gives us a cameo from Reynolds’ wife Blake Lively.
An Alternate Opening goes for one minute, 41 seconds. This introduces Tim in a different way that seems amusing but not especially satisfying.
We also find a music video for “Carry On” by Rita Ora and Kygo. It mixes movie clips with a minor plot in which Ora plays detective. Neither the song nor the video do much for me.
The disc opens with ads for Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Shazam. No trailer for Pikachu appears here.
As I went into Pokémon Detective Pikachu with hopes it’d become something clever and memorable, the end result provides a letdown. While not without occasional entertainment value, the film fails to exploit its potential positives well. The 4K UHD offers very good picture and audio with a pretty decent set of supplements. Pikachu could’ve been a clever, fun adventure but it plays it too safe.
To rate this film, visit the original review of POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU