I normally loathe direct-to-video releases from Disney, but surprisingly, Tinker Bell has enough of a story to keep me interested for the short 78-minute runtime. This is the first in a series of Tinker Bell movies scheduled to hit DVD and Blu-ray, expanding the story of the lovable character from Disney's 1953 version of Peter Pan.
The digital image is highly detailed with fine texture and phenomenal depth, as expected from the CGI wizards at Pixar. Tinker Bell delivers a nearly three-dimensional experience with a vivid color palette, perfect black levels, and amazing detail. The finely honed image is never soft, and it's artifact-free. In fact, it is one of the best encodes I've seen on Blu-ray.
For a direct-to-video release, I am surprised that Disney included an uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrackalthough I’m not complaining one bit! Stereo imaging is excellent with a plethora of panning effects, dynamics are surprisingly strong, and the surround channels offer an enveloping and engaging experience. The musical score by Joel McNeeley isn't that inspiring, but it seamlessly integrates into the story.
The BD-Live disc includes a wealth of bonus features catering to the young demographic. The traditional features include a behind-the-scenes featurette, some deleted scenes, a music video, an interactive game, and some trailers, all in HD. The BD-Live features weren't active at the time of my viewing, but they should be available by the time you read this with real-time chat and some sort of interactive game.
My daughter is a bit older than the intended audience, but she still enjoyed the show. My wife and I laughed quite a bit, which isn't unusual when Pixar tells an animated tale. The reference-quality presentation is surprising, considering the direct-to-video nature of the release, but I expect nothing less from Pixar. Recommended for families with young kids.
Release Date: October 28, 2008
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro 85 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector