After watching this on my calibrated display this looks amazing. I disagree heavily that this is only average. I thought this was the best story since the first one and overall it is right up there with the original. Of course it would be hard to top that one but it sure does with the visuals. 2 was a tad bit overrated imho. I think this should be nominated for best picture. I loved it that much. I am sure the DVD looks great too but damn it really looks good on bluray. For what it is worth this is not film and the bitrate for literally ALL pixar releases is 24Mbps or somewhere very very close. Animation simply doesn't need a higher average bitrate. It may benefit but you would be so hard pressed to actually see the differences that it would be not worth the time.
This is not grainy film where there are DEFINITE differences with every 5 to 10 or so Mbps you add to the average. Film grain as well as fast moving sequences take a large bitrate to portray accurately and bluray really doesn't even have a high enough bitrate if we are talking near lossless quality or close to diminishing returns imo. The best releases in the 30s and high 20s tend to look very very good though. As I have been saying though it is very apparent that Pixar has chosen this bitrate for a reason as they think this is what their animation needs.
You would think logically then that film would definitely need to be higher than this when shooting live action yet we get releases all the time LOWER than this. Blade Runner couldn't even pass 18 for christ. It tells you a lot about preserving film grain and how that cannot really be done very well for the entire film unless you are into the 30s imo and even then there is still a lot of room for growth.
Diminishing returns really is a bad term to use. It should be more like the point where you cannot see any more returns. Diminishing returns still means there are returns. That would be important to some people. When talking about animation it is more apparent where you cannot get more detail to the naked eye but with film we have not even reached the point where you could say the returns are diminishing to nil even at 40Mbps. Film simply has a way to go before it maxes out its returns.
Anyway, 24Mbps must be what they have decided is right for animation and I did not see any problems, I never do with their releases, on my 42 inch 5 feet away. It was gorgeous through and through. A new benchmark for computer animation.
With animation I have to disagree a bit that it is going to show as much difference as grainy well shot film will at a 35Mbps bitrate or something of that sort compared to a DVD of the same film. Usually, animation is still serviceable with a decent upscaler and dvd version for most people. I am not one of those people so I don't say you are wrong or anything I just don't think it is quite as different as film is. It really is opinion though and depends on the source material as you said and how picky you are. Disney caliber animation usually benefits the most as it gets a lot of special treatment. I personally would never watch a DVD again unless it was all there was.
--Really, Avatar was only 16m longer. That isn't going to bury the bitrate which was at 28Mbps I believe which is about right considering half the film is CGI and most of the film isn't really all that grainy. Now if you take a film at 21Mbps and compare it one at 35Mbps you are going to have some gigantic differences in the encode. Maybe you sit 10 feet away and have trouble seeing this difference. That really doesn't matter as some people watch on 100 inch screens and that kind of encoding difference would be day and night. In all cases I would take higher and higher bitrates as it means there is just going to be more uniformity in the encode until it hits that near lossless point which is higher than bluray can produce at the moment.