Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 13.8 GB
Film Size: 10.8 GB
Film Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Region: ABC
The Video
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The video quality is very strong, featuring the crystal clear high-def look that every animated release hopes to be.

Let’s start off colors, the colors are visually stunning and give an impressive level of pop to the high-def presentation. The included DVD copy of the film was also nice when handling colors, but the Blu-ray is still a notable improvement.

The animation quality is good and the film appears to have very solid production values. The encode size is a bit on the smaller side, however I still think the Blu-ray release is given a strong and worthy video presentation.

There is banding which pops up on occasion, but seeing it with almost every other animated Blu-ray release it has become something that doesn’t bug me as much. In this case the banding is noticeable at times, but overall I didn’t find it to be intrusive to the film nor very distracting to the experience.

The high-def upgrade is undeniable and the included bonus episode also looks fantastic and is a significant improvement from the HD-broadcast of the episode. The animation looks terrific and while I do think a slightly bigger encode would have fixed the few issues present at least somewhat, I do find the transfer to be much more impressive than it was disappointing. 8/10.

The Audio
English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital are the audio options included. Optional subtitles include English SDH and Castellan. Spanish subtitles are included as well, but are only available for the special features and not the actual film.

The audio mix included certainly gets the job done, however the lack of lossless audio is certainly disappointing. I don’t even care if there is a major upgrade to be had or not by a lossless track, consumers pay more for Blu-ray and should expect better audio-encodes for even the simplest of audio mixes.

The track features some pretty decent surround use, although tends to be front heavy by nature. The dialogue is generally impressive, but it does help that it is an animated release in that aspect. I thought the mix was fine, there was nothing particularly distracting to mention.

I do think a high-def mix could have given it an added oomph, but I guess we will never know unless a re-release happens (although doubtful). At the end of the day the mix gets the job done well, I just hope studios remember to keep things lossless regardless of what is being released on the format. 5/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Scooby-Doo Spooky Camp Stories (9:12) (SD)
Listen to camp stories from this stupid counselor named ‘Cooper.’ Next.

Bonus Episode: Beware the Beast From Below (23:16) (HD)
The premiere episode from the new series ‘Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated’ is included and presented in high-definition. I think fans of Scooby-Doo will find the new series enjoyable (especially kids) so definitely watch it, if you haven’t seen it already.

Trailers (SD)
Standard-definition trailers are included for ‘Lego Universe,’ ‘Scooby-Doo: Abracadabra Doo,’ and ‘Batman: Brave and the Bold.’

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film
The DVD includes the same features on the Blu-ray disc, although entirely in standard-definition.

Digital Copy of the film
Windows Media only.

The extras are certainly lacking, but this is a direct-to-Blu-ray release afterall. The additional DVD copy is a must and welcome addition for this family release. The Digital Copy is worthless to most however, as it is not compatible with Apple/iTunes devices. 4/10.

The Movie
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare’ is just the latest animated Scooby-Doo film to release and is pretty much the quality of past productions. I am a huge fan of the Scooby-Doo series and always make time for even the direct-to-DVD releases.

‘Camp Scare’ is not a long film whatsoever, in fact is under 75 minutes (If you include opening and closing credits). The film however is actually not too bad, although admittedly is not one of the better Scooby-Doo films I have seen.

Scooby-Doo and the gang find themselves at ‘Camp Little Moose,’ a place which is filled with mystery and plenty of surprises. The mystery is certainly not as epic as seen with some major animated Scooby-Doo productions, but it is still fairly strong and the characters are enjoyable like always.

To be honest, I find the film length to be a bit short, but thankfully Warner has included a bonus TV episode of Scooby-Doo’s latest series and in high-def too! The new series is quite strong and will keep Scooby-Doo relevant with younger audiences and even adults.

‘Camp Scare’ does nothing to stand out among Scooby-Doo films, but for direct-to-video it is surprisingly good and very entertaining. I screened the film for a couple of younger viewers who enjoyed it very much and would both watch it again, if you have children they will likely respond the same way. 7.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare’ is a fun direct-to-video release that the entire family can enjoy. The Blu-ray release features a fairly strong video presentation and audio mix which gets the job done. The extras are lacking, but the additional episode and DVD are very welcome extras. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to any Scooby-Doo fan.

Additional Screenshots:
NOTE: The Blu-ray release of ‘Camp Scare’ is a title I have mentioned on my site via news item. However, I can’t seem to find a retail website which is selling the Blu-ray release whatsoever. I had to make my own high-res Blu-ray art as the cover art is only available in low-resolution.

The Blu-ray release is likely a store exclusive; I am unable to confirm which store at the moment (although it is likely Wal-Mart). If any reader happened to come across this release in-store, please comment and let us know where you found it!

UPDATE: Blu-news.com reader Wes told us he found this release at Wal-Mart. This is likely another in-store exclusive like 'Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.'

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