Sonic The Hedgehog 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 250, June/July 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.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Jeff Fowler
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Sonic The Hedgehog" (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur because of his incredible speed, embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of super-uncool evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Carrey). Now it's super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using his unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, aka Sheriff Tom Wachowski (Marsden), to save the planet. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz; "Around The World In 80 Seconds" Sonic's next adventure (HD 01:48); six deleted scenes (HD 13:23); bloopers (HD 02:13); the "Speed Me Up" music video (HD 03:43); four featurettes: "For The Love Of Sonic" (HD 04:00), "Building Robotnik With Jim Carrey" (HD 04:02), "The Blue Blur: Origins Of Sonic" (HD 06:21) and "Sonic On Set" (HD 03:27); a 16-page comic "The Adventures Of Sonic & Donut Lord" and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa XT camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is good overall. The color palette has a wide spectrum of nuanced and deep hues that exhibit color accuracy and realism. Of course, Dr. Robotnik's big rig command truck's interior is quite the red and blue accentuated environment exhibiting strong primaries. Fleshtones are natural throughout. Sonic's blue physicality is nicely saturated with other accents such as his furry chest, body, and red shoes. Sonic's blue streaks and orange intense explosions, as well as Dr. Robotnik's flight machine's red fiery tails, all nicely pop with intensity. HDR contrast is well balanced and natural. Black levels are natural and satisfyingly deep, and shadows are nicely delineated. White levels are brightly illuminated. Image texture and detail is very sharp. The explosive light effects at the movie's end displays boosted luminance with intensities in the blues and reds playing against the deep black level, which enhances the background depth. WOW! segments are from 20:55 to 22:18, 01:03:00 to 01:04:35, and 01:21:46 to 01:23:08.

The picture is generally natural with satisfying animation highlights and quite the colorful visual effects at times. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with loads of sound effects. The orchestral score is quite active but a bit compressed while delivering extensively aggressive dimensionality and surround envelopment. Surround energy is extensive and energetic, and at times directonalized. Sonic's speedy slips and zooms are always amplified and are panned throughout the soundfield. Dr. Robotnik's big rig command truck rumbles throughout as well, supported with energized deep bass. Dialogue is heavily ADR-produced and forward sounding, though, intelligible throughout.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the orchestra score extended to the height layer, plus numerous panned sound effects, such as arrows flying through the air, strong swooping sounds, a thunderous electrical shutdown, drown sounds, a rocket craft blast off and engine sounds, and sand upheaval. Sadly, the sound effects are extremely short up to perhaps a couple of seconds. While the music extension enhances spherical dimension, the crafters of this soundtrack did not develop the height layer as they should have effectively done.

This is very active and fun holosonic® part spherical surround soundtrack with loads of fun sound effects to energize Sonic's and Dr. Robotnik's presence and antics. (Gary Reber)