Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown Blu-ray Review

Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Film Rating: Not Rated
Disc Size: 15.0 GB
Film Size: 9.91 GB
Region: ABC
The Video
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Past ‘Charlie Brown’ Blu-ray releases have looked great, needless to say I had high expectations for a newly produced film.

The Blu-ray release is fantastic as expected. The film captures the same visual style Peanuts has always been known for, very simple. The character drawings are as sharp as can be, there were never any jaggies from what I noticed.

Colors are the best part of the presentation, rich and vibrant from beginning to end. The animation style may not make for demo material, but it certainly looks very strong as a whole. Compared to most animated material on Blu-ray, this one ranks quite highly. 9/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included. German and Spanish Dolby Digital tracks are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, German SDH and Spanish.

The audio isn’t very heavy on surround use, but I have to say I didn’t really expect it to be. Like with previous specials, this film is quite front heavy and features very few audio effects. Dialogue is of most importance and is as clear and crisp as can be.

The film’s music is light but also clear as can be throughout. The audio isn’t a surround sound experience, but the upgrade from the high-def mix is obvious, especially compared to the DVD. There is an added level of ‘oomph’ that is really appreciated. Keep it up Warner Bros! 8/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Deconstructing Schulz: From Comic Strip to Screenplay (12:29) (HD)
See how the creative team behind the film brought the strips together to make a film.

Happiness…Is Finding the Right Voice (11:57) (HD)
Meet the voices behind the new ‘Charlie Brown’ film.

24 Frames a Second (14:25) (HD)
Drawing and animating a Peanuts movie.

Deleted Scene (3:44) (HD)
Featuring an introduction by Director Andy Beall.

Trailers (HD/SD)
Trailers for ‘Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated’ and a few ‘Charlie Brown’ releases are included.

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media devices.

The extras included are very entertaining and informative. The high-def features are especially appreciated, but I do wish an audio commentary track was included. Overall this is a solid package, with a DVD/Digital Copy addition which family audiences may put to good use. 7.5/10

The Movie
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown’ is the latest Charlie Brown special which attempts to capture the spirit of the holiday classics and comic strip we have all come to love throughout our lives. Does this 2011 release deliver? Yes!

The story is based on the infamous comic strip by Charles M. Schulz so I had pretty high expectations. The movie is 45 minutes long, which felt like the perfect run-time. The focus of the storyline is Linus and his blanket, but features several mini-stories throughout featuring other characters.The story is cute and features plenty of charm that is associated with almost all previous Peanuts films. The connection Linus has with his blanket is insightful for audiences young and old, surprisingly. The new voices are actually very good and the film captures the visual and audio style of the classic specials.

While I did find the story charming, I have to say it won’t go down as one of the most memorable ‘Charlie Brown’ films, but it did have some incredible specials to stack up against. Overall I think audiences of all ages will love this, especially those who are fans of the lovable stories and characters from Peanuts. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown’ is a cute film that audiences of all ages will enjoy. The video and audio presentations are very good and the extras are also pleasing. Overall this Blu-ray release is easily ‘Recommended’ to anyone.

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