Nim's Island

Featured In Issue 134, September 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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For mild adventure action and brief language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Nim (Breslin) lives on a deserted island in the South Pacific, along with her marine biologist father Jack (Butler), where they spend their days exploring and carrying out scientific experiments. One day Jack sails to a local atoll to gather nano-plankton, leaving Nim behind to care for some newly hatched sea turtles. A sudden storm disables Jack's boat, leaving poor Nim with only her faithful animal friends to comfort her. In desperation Nim reaches out via e-mail to her literary adventure hero, Alex Rover (also Butler), and pleads with him to travel to Nim's Island to help find her dad. What Nim doesn't know is that Alex is actually Alexandra Rover (Foster)—an agoraphobic author who hasn't left her San Francisco apartment for 16 weeks. Will Alexandra and Nim find the courage to be the hero of their own story? Based on the novel by Wendy Orr. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include two feature commentary tracks: one by Foster and Breslin and the other by Director/Writers Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett; the following featurettes: Nim's Friends (six minutes), Abigail's Journey (seven minutes), and Working On Water (six minutes); three deleted scenes; two public service announcements; and previews. In addition, the Blu-ray™ includes three games Write Your Own Alex Rover Adventure!, Coconut Soccer Game, and Seaside Shuffle Shell Game; and two picture-in-picture features—Nim's Spyglass and Island Explorer Mode.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD exhibits a sharp picture, with fine detail delivered well. There is a good sense of dimension to the image, brought on by very good shadow delineation and nicely balanced contrast. Black levels are deep and the movie is filled with bright, bold colors, which are saturated nicely. Fleshtones look natural and have good distinction between various hues. Occasional compression artifacts are noticeable, as is edge enhancement, but neither is overly distracting. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc improves upon the DVD's resolution, and colors seem to be brighter and bolder. Black levels are still deep and solid, and shadow delineation is nicely rendered. Contrast is also balanced well. (Danny Richelieu)

The DVD's Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features spotty surround envelopment, with the channels often used at too low of levels to be effective. The LFE channel is used well on occasion for both music and effects, but deep bass is flabby and bloated. There is good extension beyond the physical boundaries of the loudspeakers, creating a wide-sounding stage. Phantom imaging is somewhat limited, though, and dialogue can often sound smeared. Dynamic range is broad, though. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding improves upon the overall fidelity and dynamic range, but dialogue can still sound subtly smeared. Still, it isn't as bad as in the DVD release. (Danny Richelieu)