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Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 174 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • List Price: $14.99

[amazon-product]B006W4KRRY[/amazon-product]

Purchase Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All 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 Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention is an odd series at best. The idea of using these beloved, stop-motion animated characters as hosts of sorts to this educational, documentary-style six-part series on the odd, whacky, and sometimes useful inventions that we may or may not be familiar with just seems quite strange. While the animated sequences that announce and act as segues between each episode’s segments are inventively produced, as to be expected, I don’t know that the overall feeling of this show really works.

In the UK, the series ran on BBC One and BBC One HD. For US viewers, think of it as something that might appear on The Science Channel or TLC. It’s a lighthearted look at sometimes odd inventions and their inventors, both past and present. Over the course of the six episodes, some of the inventions profiled are the ejector seat, the jet pack, artificial flying penguins filled with helium, completely wind-powered creatures that can walk on the beach and sense water, and clocks that gain their energy from eating insects, like a Venus flytrap.

While there are some interesting things to be learned in the series, for adults and kids alike, overall the series is a bit dull and a little too condescending in tone. There are better series available that traverse the same themes that also get a bit more informative, although it is nice to see Wallace & Gromit in action.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention comes in a 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Lionsgate. While the true high definition segments, such as all of the stop-motion animated sequences and the new HD-sourced interviews and on location footage, all look quite strong with no signs of compression artifacts or post-processing issues, the series is multi-sourced. That means there is a necessary wavering of quality when, say, standard definition space footage or poor black and white archival footage from nearly a century ago is inserted. Though this may make for an inconsistent program, it’s ultimately unavoidable in a series such as this and this transfer can hardly be faulted.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is surprisingly enjoyable for a series such as this. As one might expect, it is the brief animated sequences that yield the most immersive experience, with wide stereo imaging, aggressive left/right panning and strong ambient and discrete use of the surrounds. Otherwise, during the bulk of the series, the narration is loud and clear in the center channel and the surround channels also offer up an abundance of ambience and atmospherics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The extras, in HD, consist of a brief look at some possible do do it yourself inventions for the adventurous viewers out there.:

  • Atmospheric Railway
  • Wind-Powered Sprinkler
  • Fin Ray Grabber
  • Air Rocket
  • Spy Camera
  • Upside-Down-O-Scope

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention may not be the spectacular return fans were hoping form but there is still something here for everybody and the lovable stop-motion duo offer up a little educational value along the way as well. While not on par with some other series in this genre, it’s still worth watching.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006W4KRRY[/amazon-product]

Purchase Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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