100 Best Blu-Ray Discs Best Picture Quality Animated

Best Picture Quality Animated

Any Pixar Title
How can you argue with perfection? Almost all CG-animated movies come to home video in direct-digital transfers straight from the original computer files. There’s no analog film step that could potentially degrade the image. Since Pixar consistently produces the best-quality animation of any studio out there, it shouldn’t surprise you that its Blu-ray Discs are the most breathtaking. Each and every Pixar disc is a standard bearer of the best that Blu-ray can offer.

Beowulf Director’s Cut
Robert Zemeckis’ over-the-top (and down the other side) take on the legend was shown theatrically in digital 3D. But Beowulf’s image on Blu-ray doesn’t need those parlor tricks to reel us in. The motion-capture animation has its own stylistic flair. This transfer and animation stand up to all challengers by providing astoundingly rich, fine detail and explosive bursts of color. Overall, it’s the kind of eye candy that makes digital animation a go-to for demo material.

Bolt is quite the departure from what we typically see from the mouse house. Composed more in line with big-budget action films, the animation style reminds us more of a Tony Scott film than a Disney feature. The Blu-ray captures all the detail and then some. It serves up some of the best demo material the format has to offer with incredible contrast, clarity, and color. We’ve seldom seen digital animation look this good!

Pixar has changed the way animated films are made, but the days of stop-motion are far from over. Director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) proves this with this visually stunning and wildly entertaining tale of a young girl in search of attention. This is the first stop-motion animated feature to be shot using stereoscopic 3D, although the 3D experience doesn’t translate well to Blu-ray (yet). Regardless, the 2D feature is amazingly clear, with inky blacks, phenomenal contrast, and mesmerizing fine detail in the miniature sets.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
(Warner Brothers)
Unlike Tim Burton’s previous stop-motion features, this one used 4k cameras to capture every frame. It delivers a level of realism and detail that goes way beyond Burton’s previous works. The image’s sense of dimension surpasses what we’re used to seeing in animated films. It gives you the feeling that you could step into the screen. Plus, the intense contrast provides a depth of field that is almost unmatched. It’s one of the best-looking films on the format.

Horton Hears a Who!
(20th Century Fox)
The animators succeeded beautifully in creating a Suess-erific world of fanciful scenery and bizarre animals and humanoids. The animation style is subtler than Kung Fu Panda. But it still features plenty of eye candy, from the weirdness of Whoville to the Jungle of Nool. It’s a visual and audio feast. The audio particularly stands out in the sequence where the citizens of Whoville raise a loud (and musical) ruckus to prove they exist.

Kung Fu Panda
The story of Po, a kung-fu-obsessed panda, is heartwarming and hilarious. But the star of this show is the mind-boggling animation, eye-popping detail, and brilliant color. It’s the most visually ravishing work yet from DreamWorks. In fact, we haven’t seen anything more jaw dropping from any animation studio. If you saw Kung Fu Panda theatrically in digital projection, this Blu-ray Disc will revive that experience. And depending on your video display, it may well exceed it.

Madagascar Escape 2 Africa
From Kung Fu Panda on, DreamWorks has delivered dynamite transfers for its animated titles. We’ve noticed a distinct increase in detail and overall quality from its animation department, and every bit of it shows in this Blu-ray release. Madagascar Escape 2 Africa is jaw dropping in color rendition, detail, and dimensionality. The whole disc serves as a big demonstration of pure reference video bliss.

Monsters vs. Aliens
We all know the folks at Pixar in Northern California are in a class by themselves in computer animation. But DreamWorks Animation has just as unequivocally established itself in the top tier just below. While we want to call out Monsters vs. Aliens’ image quality, it wouldn’t be as impressive without the creativity and extraordinary rendering in character design. This Blu-ray reveals micro levels of detail in the animation and character rendering that we didn’t see in the theatrical 3D presentation.

Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition
Released in 1940, this tale of a little wooden puppet who comes to life and yearns to be a real boy is considered to be Disney’s premier animated film. It’s the only hand-drawn animated feature here, and it has it all. Seventy years in, it hasn’t lost any of its charm, rich drama, or humor. This spectacular Blu-ray restoration also delivers an irresistible video experience.