Ferdinand Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews this entertaining family adventure that is based on the beloved children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

91

Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox – 2017
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 108 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles:English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Jeremy Sisto, Lily Day
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha
Music by: John Powell
Written by: Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle, Brad Copeland based on the book by Munro Leaf
Region Code: A

Release Date: March 13, 2018

“Size Doesn’t Mean Everything”

My Take:

From the creators of Ice Age and Rio comes the most love-a-bull family comedy of the year! Ferdinand (John Cena) is a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast and torn from his home, he rallies a misfit team of friends for the ultimate adventure to return to his family. Based on the classic children’s book, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover!

Based upon Munro Leaf’s children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” Ferdinand is a coming of age adventure about a gentle giant, that doesn’t conform to the preconceived notions about the aggressive nature of bulls. The plots elements are made up of familiar components we have seen from other animated films, some classic, some not. While there is a formulaic essence, and predictability to the story, the heartwarming proceedings, and emotional foundation, combined with light humor and adventure serve it well. The character design and its related plot points are shallower than I would have liked, which doesn’t allow for a viable connection to the elements of drama.

Ferdinand ticks the right boxes to appeal to younger audiences while maintaining enough emotional warmth to keep parents engaged. It doesn’t resonate as deeply as the classic animation films out there, but, it is quality family entertainment just the same.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for rude humor, action, and some thematic elements.

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.**

UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
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Ferdinand comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD, Ferdinand was rendered from a 2K DI, and upconverted to 4K. In terms of resolution the differences between this and the 1080p version are appreciable as there is a noticeably finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the animated characters. This also applied to backgrounds which emphasized depth of field and fine detail. The image has lots of pop as the expanded color gamut and emboldened dynamic range draw out the film’s bright chromatic palate and use of contrast. Whites are gradational and bright and the monochromatic grays, blues and black featured in the sequences with limited lighting are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance.

As good as Ferdinand looks in 1080p, the Ultra HD rendering, while not heads and shoulders above it, enhances its attributes, making for a visually stimulating and top-notch video presentation.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The mix effectively places effects/sounds within the soundstage which place you within the scene, in turn, adding an enriching element that heightens the intended feeling like something is falling from above, charging through the room, or emanating from a specific location. While this is not what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix, it is an active one, that complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
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Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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Ferdinand comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a reference quality video presentation that boasts vivacious colors that are rich in saturation and bold in depth. Detail is superlative as the video has definitive three-dimensional quality with crisp texture and excellent fine articulation. Contrast is strong and well balanced so that whites are crisp and colors pop without distortion or loss of detail. Blacks are deep with excellent dynamic and enriching gradational highlights. This is a beautiful and pristine quality digital transfer that sparkles on Blu-ray.

The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core – UHD version) and the DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack (on the Blu-ray) makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, and crystalline dialog reproduction. This mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with supporting ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack’s elements. Dynamic range and bass response is appropriate, adding thematic emphasis and resonating punch when called upon. This is a solid audio presentation that mates well with the source material.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Ferdinand Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Ferdinand Blu-ray
  • Featurettes:
    1. “Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living” with John Cena
    2. “A Goat’s Guide to Life”
    3. “Ferdinand’s Team Supreme”
    4. “Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes”
    5. “Confessions of a Bull-loving Horse”
    6. “Creating the Land of Ferdinand”
    7. “Anatomy of a Scene: The Bull Run”
    8. “Learn to Dance with Ferdinand”
    9. “Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden”
    10. “Creating a Remarka-Bull Song”
  • “Home” Music Video
  • Gallery
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the beloved children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf, Ferdinand is a heartwarming film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra HD quality, sparkling high definition video, rewarding lossless surround sound, a solid Dolby Atmos mix, and a fan friendly assortment of extras. Ferdinand is pitch perfect family entertainment that is worth checking out on Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems