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Delhi Safari [Walmart Exclusive] Blu-ray Review

delhi-safari-walmart-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 2 (1  x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: VUDU Digital Copy
  • Run Time: 97 Mins.
  • Studio: Arc Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 16, 2013
  • List Price: $26.99

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

 

The Film

[Rating:1.5/5]

Delhi-Safari-Walmart-BD_02

This 3D animated adventure (provided here in 2D-only) from Indian filmmaker Nikhil Advani (Patiala House) is an on-the-nose environmentalist statement that falls down on so many counts as a quality family film. Delhi Safari tells the tale of a young leopard cub who witnesses his father’s death after humans invade their wildlife sanctuary with a construction crew to break ground on a new luxury condo development. The dead leopard, Sultan (Carey Elwes), who was king to all the animals who lived there, is mourned, but a plan is hatched, spurred on by war-loving monkey Bajrang (Carlos Alazraqui) to get revenge on the humans. Only the tempered wisdom of peace-loving bear Bagga (Brad Garrett) stops everyone from that course, until a new plan is devised to kidnap a human-talking parrot and trek to Delhi in order ask the members of the Indian parliament to halt the destruction of their home. Along the way, the wacky group of animals get into plenty of trouble, the monkeys get into mischief, and most of all, they all meet a lot of colorful friends who share their concerns.

There’s nothing subtle about Delhi Safari at all. From its musical numbers about the humans who drilled oil and polluted the air leaving no deserts or land untouched, to the in-your-face antics of all the characters, it’s like Advani and his numerous writers were determined to knock viewers over the head from the start. Well, fine, I have no issue with the environmentalist angles, hey, I like being able to breathe fresh air, but when I’m watching a work of art, I like to be able to escape into it, not feel like I’m watching a PSA.

The film also completely misses the mark as family entertainment, although a big logo on the package says “family approved”. Don’t be fooled. Early on, Sultan is shot dead with a rifle, and we see it on screen, but that’s just the beginning of it. Rude humor abounds that, thankfully, the really young kids might not understand. Firstly we see Alex the talking Parrot (Tom Kenny) with a bag of popcorn and a Red Bull and setting up a videocamera to videotape his owner making out with a really hot woman in a skimpy outfit. Then, it’s on to some Freudian jokes concerning Bajrang and his big weapons and a big banana. Seriously? “Family Approved”?

With all of that aside, the quality of the animation here is not up to the quality of the voice cast at all. The motion of the characters is not smooth, the detail and textures are nowhere near lifelike and the imagery is just, well, more direct-to-video than big budget, even though I’ve seen some Disney DTV productions that look better than this. No wonder the voice actors like Jason Alexander (who puts on a bad British accent) sound like they are phoning it in through the entire film.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Delhi-Safari-Walmart-BD_01

The quality of this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of Delhi Safari from Arc Entertainment is as disappointing as the overall film and quality of the animation itself. The image is rife with banding issues, posterization, and video noise. Some aliasing can be spotted from time to time as well. Whenever the image is clean, such as on close-ups on characters, it does yield a good amount of detail and texture, given the source. There are also lots of vibrant colors to be found, but this is hardly on the level of other CG animated titles on Blu-ray from the likes of Pixar, DreamWorks and others.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Delhi-Safari-Walmart-BD_03

Amazingly, the audio, in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) is on a completely different level than the video, providing a nearly reference quality program. Apart from some low end that could have been scaled back just a tad, this 5.1 mix is a fun ride that places all manner of sounds around you and, especially during the numerous musical numbers, is really engrossing, atmospheric, and bombastic.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

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The theatrical trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24, English Dolby Digital 5.1) alongside the standard DVD and a VUDU digital copy are all that are supplied here.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

Delhi-Safari-Walmart-BD_05

In theory, Delhi Safari has the makings of a really good CG-animated film and there are certainly moments where it still manages to shine. Some of the musical numbers are just so catchy and cute. Beyond that, however, it is so poorly thought out and executed that I cannot advise any family to watch it with their kids.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

 

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