Dolittle 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 249, April/May 2020

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Some action, rude humor and brief language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD100)
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Stephen Gaghan
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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This is an adventurous tale of "Dolittle," the man who could talk to animals. After losing his wife, he hermits himself away behind the high wall of his manor but is forced to set sail on an epic adventure when the queen falls gravely ill. Helping Dolittle in search of a rare cure are his rambunctious animal friends––including Chee-Chee (Malek), an anxious, self-conscious gorilla; Dab-Dab (Spencer), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck; the bickering duo of cynical, neurotic ostrich Plimpton (Nanjiani) and chilly but chill polar bear Yoshi (Cena); as well as a headstrong parrot named Polynesi (Thompson). (Gary Reber)

Special features include six featurettes: "Talk To The Animals" (HD 05:05), "RDJ (Robert Downey Jr. & Harry: Mentor And Mentee)" (HD 03:30), "Becoming The Good Doctor" (HD 02:54), "Antonio Banderas: Pirate King" (HD 02:59), "The Wicked Dr. Mudfly" (HD 02:00) and "A Most Unusual House" (HD 03:58); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Red Monstro 8K camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. Picture quality is terrific with a perfectly natural, earthy and dynamic color palette that exhibits a wide spectrum of hues, which appear warm and rich. Fleshtones are perfectly rendered. The imagery is varied in settings. Outdoor scenes are sun bright while the night scene on the sailboat is subdued. Lighting in interiors is natural. HDR contrast is nicely balanced and realistic with bright, sun-lit scenes and dark shadowy scenes. Blacks are deep and detailed. Spotlighting is nicely punctuated. Resolution is excellent and revealing of fine detail with razor-sharp imagery throughout. WOW! segments are from 12:00 to 14:30, 20:24 to 22:00, 39:10 to 40:46, 41;26 to 44:00, 55:44 to 58:00, 01:02:00 to 01:04:02, 01:16:06 to 01:18:46 and 01:22:43 to 01:23:32. Despite its digital source, this is a very filmic and pleasing picture with intriguing and captivating imagery, which will entertain the entire family. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with engaging sound effects and nuanced atmospherics and energized sound effects. Atmospherics are realistic sounding throughout, even during the at-sea scene. Deep bass supports the sound effects, especially during the cave scene with a dragon and during dynamic action scenes in which cannonballs are hurled through the stage causing explosions and debris enveloping the soundfield. The orchestral score is prominent throughout and fills the soundfield with an aggressively enveloping surround presence, supported with a solid bass foundation. Dialogue, which dominates, sounds a bit forward and, of course, there is lots of ADR with the voices of the animals.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of an extension of the choral portion of the music score to the height layer. As well, various atmospherics and sound effects are supported such as wind, crickets, bird sounds, a net capture, thunder, a female voice heard at sea, whale sounds, sea bubbles, dungeon ambience, a dragon cave ambience and some other minor effects. Numerous opportunities were not addressed, as such the height layer could have been spectacular.

This is a fun soundtrack that delivers an engaging holosonic® enveloping experience that is very entertaining. (Gary Reber)