Ferdinand 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 226, April 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Rude humor, action, and some thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Carlos Saldanha
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"Ferdinand" is the tale of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast and torn from his home, Ferdinand (Cena) rallies a misfit team of friends for an adventure to return to his family. Based on the children's book, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover! Based on the book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf and illustration by Robert Lawson. (Gary Reber)

Special features include 10 featurettes: "Ferdinand's Guide To Healthy Living" (HD 03:09), "Goat's Guide To Life" (HD 03:08), "Ferdinand's Team Supreme" (HD 03:45), "Spain Through Ferdinand's Eyes" (HD 01:50), "Confessions Of A Bull-Loving Horse" (HD 03:22), "Creating The Land Of Ferdinand" (HD 05:49), "Anatomy Of A Scene: The Bull Run" (HD 04:03), "Learn To Dance With Ferdinand" (HD 07:46), "Ferdinand's Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden" (HD 06:49), and "Creating RemarksóBull Song" (HD 03:51); the "Home" music video (HD 03:14); a gallery; the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was animated digitally and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. While there was a 3D version released theatrically, there is no 3D Blu-ray issued. This is a very colorful- and bright-looking animated feature. HDR and WCG rendering provide well-saturated hues that often pop, such as reds, for an impressive vivid presentation. Colors are especially diverse in scenes with multi-colored flowers. As for contrast, it is well balanced with deep black levels and revealing shadow delineation in the nighttime scenes and realistic lighting highlights. Resolution is excellent, with nuanced definition appreciable throughout. Ferdinand's fur is nicely defined, especially in close-ups. Other textures are finely defined, such as the Spanish tile roofs, stucco walls, and the fur on various animal characters. WOW! segments are from 00:09:38 to 00:10:26, 00:17:24 to 00:19:09, 00:56:10 to 00:59:10, 01:12:14 to 01:14:14, 01:24:47 to 01:25:58, and 01:27:32 to 01:28:32. This is a terrific-looking picture that is wonderfully appealing and sure to engage every member of the family. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding throughout with deep, extended bass activated in all channels and the .1 LFE during sequences of bull fighting and movement and during other action sequences. Otherwise, bass extension provides a solid foundation to the track and music. Surround envelopment often extends aggressively to the four surround channels, providing excellent soundfield dimensionality. The bulls marauding through Madrid is notable for its surround activity. Sound effects also are effectively directionalized. Atmospherics are convincingly realistic. Dialogue is consistently intelligible, but often wanting in spatial integration, as the ADR tends to maintain an even presence without depth.

The Immersive Sound element consists of the orchestral score extension at various levels, but not always, as some music is limited to 5.1, thunder and rain, extremely low-level bird chirps, low-level reverberant ambience, a brief bull voice, an alarm, and a bull ring cheering crowd. An awful lot was missed by the sound designers, as is sadly the case with virtually all of the Dolby Atmos releases.

Still, the ear-level Dolby TrueHD rendering is terrific and reference quality for an animated feature. (Gary Reber)