The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney/Pixar - 2006
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 116 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English uncompressed 5.1 PCM, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman, Cheech Marin, Tony Shaloub, Jenifer Lewis, Michael Keaton, Jeremy Piven, Katherine Helmond, John Ratzenberger, Larry the cable guy
Directed by: John Lasseter & Joe Ranft
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: John Lasseter & Joe Ranft
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 10, 2009
Hotshot rookie race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is living life in the fast lane until he hits a detour on his way to the most important race of his life. Stranded in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on the old Route 66, he meets Sally, Mater, Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), and a variety of quirky characters that help him discover that there's more to life than trophies and fame. Revved up with a sensational soundtrack, featuring Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, James Taylor and others, plus exciting bonus features, including the exclusive short movie "Mater And The Ghostlight," Cars is full of freewheeling fun for everyone.
Believe it or not I had never seen Cars prior to receiving it for this review. When I was offered the chance to do so via this Ultimate Cars Gift Pack I couldn't resist. This is the third Disney/Pixar review I have written in the last couple of days. I will forego any further commentary on my affinity for their lovable characters, superbly crafted elements and fan pleasing lineage. Cars has been available on Blu-ray since late 2007. This is the same version but also includes a DVD version of the film as well as two limited edition die-cast collectibles cars. Here is an overview:
Steer your family toward the future of home entertainment fun with the all-new CARS: Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set. This limited edition Gift Set from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment includes the stunning Blu-ray transfer of the high octane adventure comedy, featuring eye-popping visual clarity, petal-to-the-metal sound and hours of innovative special features. Also included are a Standard Widescreen DVD version of the film for playback on portable devices, plus two very special, limited edition die-cast cars of the beloved characters Lightning McQueen and Mater. Arriving just in time for the holidays, the CARS: Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set is guaranteed to fuel hours of fun for everyone in your family and is the perfect way to rev up your Blu-ray collection!
Experience the freewheeling adventures of hotshot race car Lightning McQueen with CARS on Blu-ray and DVD! Featuring the ultimate in high definition picture and sound, the Blu-ray edition of CARS also includes the uniquely interactive features Cine-Explore, for the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience; Car Finder, an immersive game in which viewers can discover hundreds of "Car-acters; Deleted Scenes; Radiator Springs Featurettes and Movie Showcase. The Standard Widescreen DVD of CARS also arrives souped-up with hours of entertaining bonus features, including the Animated Short: "Mater WDSHE - CARS Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set, p. 2 And The Ghostlight; the Academy Award® Nominated Animated Short: "One Man Band"; John Lasseter's Inspiration For Cars; Deleted Scenes and more!
I really enjoyed Cars! It's sends a positive message built around a story that resonates with both young and adult audiences (especially those that have an appreciation for Nascar!). The Limited Edition die-cast collectibles come with custom Ransburg paint featuring crusin' Lightning McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater fire truck. Both are sturdily built and very detailed. The two disc set comes in the traditional Blu-ray slim profile case. This will make a wonderful gift and provides a great way to experience this entertaining and spectacular looking animated film.
This film is appropriate for all ages.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Cars is presented on Blu-ray disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio that has a constant bitrate of 6.9 mbps.
This is a reference quality high definition presentation that has justifiable received praise for its incredible imagery. Colors are rich, vibrant, well balanced and visually stimulating. Blacks are stable, with ink like depth, and visible gradational stages. Lighter segments look great but darker ones mixed with lighter onscreen elements is where this presentation excels. The nighttime scene at the beginning of chapter 29 when Lightning McQueen leaves Radiator Springs for LA provides a great example of this. This segment looks stunning as the wide array of bright, crisp colors within the neon lighting/cars within the frame popped against the contrasted and deep dynamic black of the sky background. White and black levels are stable and strike a wonderful balance that highlight the multi-layered grays and delineated whites within the video. Crisp definition and razor sharp focus allow all of the texture, subtle delineation and high resolution inherent in this digitally created film to be fully realized. Depth is excellent but not quite as three dimensionally acute as some of the most recent animated films that I have seen. Otherwise this is a marvelous and pristinely rendered presentation that truly capable of outstanding video quality.
The lossless uncompressed multi-channel PCM soundtrack is on par with the video and is a real treat. This is an engaging mix that utilizes the entire system to create a truly theater like experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated so that sound effects literally traverse the room. Surround activity is abundant and immersive as both directional and spatial information mixed to the rear channels weaves an enveloping pattern of sound. Dynamics are energetic and forceful which lends weight to the plethora of impact felt racing sequences featured in the movie. This is a fairly aggressive mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its already powerful dynamic range. The result is impressive low frequency effects that have authoritative depth and response that can be felt throughout the listening area. Dialogue is rendered with aplomb and sonic details are refined and clearly articulated regardless of their position with the sound field. This is an encompassing and sophisticated surround mix that makes for a fun, involving and demonstration level home theater experience.
- (HD) Movie showcase - Filmmakers chosen scenes (4) to highlight the high definition audio/video
- Cinexplore - Documentary shorts (33 minutes total) :
- Radiator Springs -
- Character design
- Animation and acting
- Real world racing: Getting geeky with the details
- Hudson hornet
- Darrell Waltrip museum tour
- The inspiration for Cars: featurette 16 minutes
- 5 Deleted scenes
- (HD) Mater and the ghostlight - 7 minute short
- (HD) One man band - 4 minute short
- Boundin' Cars - 1 minute short
- (HD) Epilogue - 4 minutes
- Car finder - Interactive game
Cars on Blu-ray Disc needs no real introduction as many have sung its praises for breathtaking high definition video and reference quality audio. I wholeheartedly concur and am pleased to have had the opportunity to finally experience it in my theater room. Disney is offering it to fans in this Ultimate Cars Gift Pack which includes the original Blu-ray release, a DVD version of the film, and two limited edition die-cast collectibles featuring Lightning McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater. This will surely make a welcomed gift for the Cars fanatic in your life. Enjoy!
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package