Blu-ray: CARS 2 (2011)
Disney continues their winning streak with this showroom quality release. The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer has impeccable detail from the slightest dents and rust on the cars to the vast crowds of vehicles at the races. Color quality is electric, giving viewers vibrant primary colors, especially the neon in the Japanese sequence. Digital anomalies are pretty much absent. With so much red in the palette, the absence of banding and aliasing is impressive.
Sonically the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track matches the luxury level of the picture. Combining cars and spy action provides for a great many opportunities to impress and the release delivers. From the engine revving races to the explosions and gunfire of the chase sequences the soundtrack utilizes the full range of the sound field. Races and bullets race from left to right speakers and front and back. The LFE track rumbles as racecars zip by. All the powerful sound effects are balanced perfectly with the dialogue and Michael Giacchino’s classic Bond-esque score.
Like Disney's recent release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, the vast amount of special features are contained on the 3-D version. The standard Blu-ray only contains three. But at least they are the cream of the crop.
Co-directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis give a passionate look at their artistic inspiration for the film. Lasseter is the primary voice and certainly gives a strong case for what he was trying to achieve. The man with the Hawaiian shirts seems to see a little Mater in himself. It's a well prepared and polished commentary. What it lacks in spontaneity it makes up in truly revealing information about the artistic and practical decisions that went into the production.
The disc also includes two animated shorts. HAWAIIAN VACATION is the Barbie and Ken focused TOY STORY short that accompanied the theatrical release of CARS 2 and the new Car Toons short AIR MATER, which tells his tall tale of being a stunt pilot and serves as a set up for the upcoming direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray feature PLANES.