Robots appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this became a solid presentation.
Sharpness depicted concise and accurate images. I’ve seen tighter CG animation presentations, but the image remained well-defined.
No shimmering or jagged edges appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. In addition, the movie lacked any form of source defects.
To match the film’s metallic world, colors were somewhat subdued much of the time. Occasionally they became more dynamic and vivid, but a lot of the movie used a blue tint. Within that palette, the hues were good, and when the picture demanded more from them, they appeared lively and vivacious.
Blacks also seemed dark and firm, while low-light shots offered good delineation. This turned into a consistently appealing presentation.
The DTS 5.1 soundfield broadened the material in a positive way. With all the droids and silly scenarios on display, the movie offered many opportunities for vivid elements, and it took advantage of most.
The big scenes like the dominoes, the Robot City transport, and the climactic battle worked best. Others added spark as well, however, and the movie left us with a rich, involving impression.
Audio quality was positive. Bass response seemed especially appealing, as the film consistently presented deep, firm low-end.
Effects used that dimensionality well and created a good impact along with fine clarity and precision. Speech was warm and natural, and music appeared distinctive and dynamic. I felt pretty pleased with this mix.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio remained identical, as both discs included the same DTS 5.1 mix. I’m surprised a Blu-ray from 2011 failed to include a lossless soundtrack, so I dinged the disc points due to the absence of a DTS-HD MA affair.
Visuals showed improvements, though, as the Blu-ray came with stronger colors, definition, blacks and stability. This never threatened to become one of the all-time great animated Blu-rays, but it looked very good.
The Blu-ray includes some – but not all – of the DVD’s extras, and we find an audio commentary from lead technical director (effects) Tim Speltz, lead technical director (materials) Michael Eringis, lead technical director (layout) Kevin Thomason, layout supervisor Robert Cardone, animation supervisor James Bresnahan, animation technical lead Matthew D. Simmons, and lighting supervisor David Esneault. All those guys sit together for their own running, screen-specific chat.
As one might expect, technical concerns dominate the discussion. They get into character and set rendering, lighting, movement and design, alterations and techniques, and a myriad of different challenges.
Although I’ve heard drier commentaries, I have to say this one becomes pretty yawn-inducing before too long. I don’t fault the participants for this – it’s simply the nature of the subject matter, as such technical issues don’t lend themselves to exciting discussions. Folks with a great interest in the nuts and bolts of CG animation may find this track worthwhile, but I didn’t get much from it.
A featurette called Voices of Robots runs seven minutes, 28 seconds. It includes comments from director Chris Wedge, producer Jerry Davis, and actors Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Amanda Bynes, Mel Brooks, Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Harland Williams, Jennifer Coolidge, and Jim Broadbent.
As expected, the show looks at the voice cast. A handful of decent notes emerge, but most of “Voices: just praises the actors and the film.
We get three deleted scenes for a total of seven minutes, 56 seconds. We see “Tim from the TV Show”, “Rodney and the Rusties” and “Rodney’s Visitor”.
The first is an extended version of an existing sequence and features finished animation. The other two offer incomplete scenes in which Rodney deals with his buddies; they use some crude animation and/or storyreels. None of these seem very exciting, though they’re fun to see.
We can inspect these with or without commentary from Wedge. He offers some nice notes about the abandoned storylines and other issues. He also lets us know why he cut the material in this useful discussion.
A Music Video for Sarah Conner’s “From Zero to Hero”. The song is early 2000s dance pop, and the video offers a basic mix of lip-synch and movie elements. Neither inspires interest.
Robots concentrates so heavily on visual minutiae that it forgets to develop memorable characters or an involving plot. It looks great but lacks any substance to make it worthwhile. The Blu-ray offers positive picture and audio, but it drops too many bonus materials from the DVD. This release makes the movie look/sound good, but it’s still not a very interesting film.
To rate this film visit the original review of ROBOTS