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Toy Story 4 (UHD Blu-ray) review

Toy Story 4 (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: October 05, 2019, 04:10:41 PM »

Studio: Disney
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: G
Film: 4/5

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy Forky (voice of Tony Hale) calls himself “trash,” Woody decides to teach Forky how to embrace being a toy. But a road-trip adventure, including an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts), shows Woody how big the world can be for a toy. In addition, carnival prizes Ducky (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (voice of Jordan Peele) bring a new level of fun to the film.

My Thoughts
This is one of the few films I saw in theaters this year and I went in with mixed emotions. Toy Story 3, which was supposed to be the final film in the franchise, ended things perfectly with quite an emotional punch in the gut. So why go back to the well one more time except to fatten Disney’s bottom line? So, with that in mind I didn’t have high expectations.

Fortunately, the film that didn’t need to be made actually impressed me. Was it as good as the first three movies? No, but I was entertained, and the film didn’t do anything to ruin the franchise for me. My biggest gripe is the lack of screen time of ancillary characters, but the focus was on Woody’s mission to save Forky and his reunion with Bo Peep. Like the previous films, there’s plenty of humor for the adults and the kids will be wildly entertained.

The video encode is visually perfect on this film. It was reportedly finished in 4K originally, and that really shows from the first shot of the film to the last. The Blu-ray itself looks amazing, but the 4K is mesmerizing by comparison and has added depth and detail that just isn’t there on the lesser 1080p transfer. Viewing the film on a native 4K display is a sight to behold.

Unfortunately, the audio track doesn’t measure up to the video. Like most Disney UHD releases these days, the volume is a bit low and to exacerbate the matter, the dynamics are inconsistent and flat through most of the film. The kids won’t care, but it didn’t meet my expectations.

Video 10/10

Audio 8/10 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features (Housed on Two Blu-ray Discs):

  • Bo Rebooted
  • Toy Stories
  • Audio Commentary
  • Let’s Ride with Ally Maki
  • Woody & Buzz
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Playground
  • Carnival Run
  • View from the Roof
  • Toy Box
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers & Promos
  • Blu-ray+ Digital Copy

For a film that really didn’t need to be made, I have to say that I enjoyed the experience in the theater and especially in my home theater. Woody & Buzz have been a part of my family for most of my kids life and my son’s infatuation with Buzz Lightyear in his youth had me watching Toy Story 2 at least 500 times over the years—seriously, he had to watch it every day for two years. While it’s the worst of the four films, it’s still better than the vast majority of movie releases this year and if it were the first film in the franchise instead of the fourth, I’d be raving about how great it is. Highly recommended.

Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed ChannelsATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 SVS SB-3000 SubwooferJL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (configured as tandem mid bass modules)Mini DSP controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner

Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Toy Story 4 (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 10:54:09 AM »
Finally a 4K DI for an animated film!  And from Disney no less.  Wasn't going to buy this, but if it's as good as u say video wise, i'll pick it up, when the price drops, a bit, no, a lot.

Re: Toy Story 4 (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 11:16:54 AM »
Finally a 4K DI for an animated film!  And from Disney no less.  Wasn't going to buy this, but if it's as good as u say video wise, i'll pick it up, when the price drops, a bit, no, a lot.
Don't expect the price to fall too much. Disney doesn't allow massive discounts on their films--it's one of the reasons why they are in such a long-term fight with Amazon. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: Toy Story 4 (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 11:01:19 AM »
David, I'm with you on the wrap up of the series. I felt that Toy Story 3 was literally the perfect ending for the franchise and for me, anything that comes after that has had the bar set pretty high.

Yes, I will grab it and it sounds like I will most likely enjoy the film on some level. However, I was hoping the "Disney sound curse" wouldn't be in effect with a movie as big as this. You would think that making the audio top-notch would have been the easy part.

Thanks for the review.

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