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A Monster in Paris Blu-ray 3D Review

monster-in-paris-blu-ray-3d-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D)/MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 90 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray 3D/2D + DVD)
  • Digital Copies: Mac/PC Digital Copy
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 16, 2013
  • List Price: $24.97

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:4/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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:4.5/5]

A-Monster-in-Paris-3D-BD_01

After years away in Hollywood working on such films as The Road to El Dorado, Shark Tale, and Flushed Away in various capacities, French director Bibo Bergeron returned to France to make the best film of his career to date, A Monster in Paris (Un monstre à Paris). Perhaps it was the inspiration of returning to his native land or being away from the pressures of Hollywood, but there is a free flowing sense of freedom, wonderment, and originality in A Monster in Paris absent from all his previous works. Even as this film bears his trademark sense of owing allegiance to other works that came before it, in this case Ratatouille and, to a certain extent, the non-animated Moulin Rouge, it is assembled in a way that makes it original and enjoyable. It’s more of an homage and a celebration than it is any sort of blatant appropriation.

Set in a stylish Paris of 1910, A Monster in Paris follows Raoul (Adam Goldberg), a clumsy Parisian delivery man with delusions of being a scientist, and his awkward friend Emile (Jay Harrington), a projectionist who’s simply smitten with a girl named Maud he’s too shy to tell his feelings to. On a late night delivery to a scientist’s lab, the two are greeted by a monkey who speaks with flash cards and Raoul, against the absent scientist’s admonishments, mixes himself up a powerful concoction with various chemicals that causes a tiny flea from the monkey to turn seven-feet tall and flee (no pun intended) into the streets of Paris, where it quickly causes a stir. Meanwhile, the ambitious politico Maynott (Dany Houston) who’s been eying a pretty young cabaret singer Lucille (Vanessa Paradis) as a prize possession, seizes the opportunity of reports of a monster loose in the city to help further his own nefarious cause. He begins a single-minded pursuit of the giant flea. When Lucille, who happens to be a childhood friend of Raoul (who is secretly smitten with her), comes across the giant flea herself, she makes a startling discovery – not only is it not a monster, but it is a musical genius on the guitar with an angelic voice as well. Dressed up in a slick suit and hat to conceal his identity he quickly becomes a part of her act and a toast of the town. But Maynott isn’t fooled, and he’s determined to bring an end to the monster of Paris.

With its beautiful animation every bit on par with the likes of Pixar or DreamWorks, memorable musical numbers that recall more kid-friendly versions of Moulin Rouge, and chemistry between the English voice cast (Paradis appears in both English and French casts as Lucille), A Monster in Paris is truly a triumph for Bergeron. The story is a touching one about friendship and acceptance in unlikely places, stereotypes and prejudices, while Bergeron and co-writer Stéphane Kazandjian even manage to work in a couple of charming love stories for Raoul and Emile. The action sequences are thrilling as well, although, parents be cautioned, there is a lot of gunfire as things heat up.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

A-Monster-in-Paris-3D-BD_02

Despite there not being any real extras included on this disc, the AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of A Monster in Paris shoehorned onto this BD-25 disc does have some slight issues with color banding, a little bit of elevated video noise in dark color fills, and slight softness in spots. Overall, however, it is a satisfying transfer in 2D with rich colors and lots of detail. The 3D (on the same disc) is one of the better CG-animated 3D presentations you will see, despite also being one of the more reserved uses of the effect. You will not have anything really flying out at you or being shoved in your face, but there is a natural sense of dimensionality maintained with little crosstalk and good detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

A-Monster-in-Paris-3D-BD_03

The sound here, offered up in a sublime English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track is truly reference. A natural breadth of dynamics, big lows that stay solid and tight during the actions sequences and musical during the fantastic musical sequences, and balanced spread of sound define this engaging mix. Dialogue is crystal clear as well. Sadly, for those purists out there, Shout! Factory have not included the original French-language track on this release, so English is all we get.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

A-Monster-in-Paris-3D-BD_04

The original theatrical trailer (1.85:1; 2D & 3D) is all that’s included alongside a standard DVD and Digital Copy.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A-Monster-in-Paris-3D-BD_05

There hasn’t been a CG-animated film set in Paris this delightful since Ratatouille. From its silent film inspired opening sequences to the sparkling, big budget musical numbers and overall sense of flare, to the relaxed humor, big heart, and underlying moral of friendship, love, and acceptance that it tells, this one is a winner all around.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
A Monster in Paris - Widescreen 3-D - Blu-ray Disc

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:4/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

 

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