- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Release Date: December 8, 2009
- List Price: $19.98 [amazon-product align=”center”]B002NTDXP0[/amazon-product]
BestBuy.com: Purchase Knut & Friends on Blu-ray at CD Universe Shop with us for more Blu-ray releases at Amazon.comOverall [Rating:3.5/5] The Film [Rating:4.5/5] Video Quality [Rating:4/5] Audio Quality [Rating:4/5] Supplemental Materials [Rating:0/5]
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
In December 2006, a polar bear cub, subsequently named Knut by his handlers, became the first polar bear cub born in captivity in the Berlin Zoo in thirty-years to survive past infancy. Rejected by its mother at birth, the cub became an international sensation when animal rights activists brought attention to the cub by seemingly saying it should be killed rather than be raised by human hands in captivity.
This is the story of Knut being raised by his handler at the zoo in Berlin and it is interwoven with stories of bears struggling in the wild as well. Shown are a family of polar bears in the arctic surviving the harsh winter and a pair of orphaned brown bear cubs in Belarus who must fight to survive without the guidance of their mother to teach them how to be, well, bears.
The documentary is filled with both endearing and educational moments that the entire family can enjoy, from Knut’s first steps in the fresh air to the brown bear brother and sister fighting off a wolf. This is one captivatingly joyous document no one should miss.
Knut & Friends is a little difficult to evaluate on video quality. The 1.78:1 AVC/MPEG-4 10180p/24 encoding from Image Entertainment is split between beautifully clean and detailed nature footage of the polar bear family and brown bear cubs and what appears to be up-scaled standard definition footage of Knut in the Berlin zoo. The latter footage also suffers from motion judder and combing effects. The strength of the true high definition footage, however, is so strong that it is some of the best I have seen from Image to date. There are no signs of compression artifacts or banding and detail is sharp.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is front-heavy and utilizes the surround channels only for low-level ambience. There is a big, open, and dynamic sound with full and clean narration and sufficient low frequencies, but highs sound a little jagged.
The Definitive Word