Blu-ray Review "Adventures in Zambezia"

Adventures in ZambeziaActors: Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy and Samuel L. Jackson
Directors: Wayne Thornley
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Running Time: 82 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Adventures in Zambezia” is a beautiful film but feels like its been done so many times before.  It reminds me of a mix between “Ice Age” and “Rio” but without the heart.  The best thing this film has going for it is the amazing voice cast including Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park”), Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”) and Samuel L. Jackson (“”Pulp Fiction”).  But they can’t carry the whole film on their own.  Kids should enjoy this but parents beware don’t get taken in by the colors and the familiar voices.

Official Premise: When a spirited young falcon named Kai (Jeremy Suarez, TV’s The Bernie Mac Show) learns of Zambezia, the fabulous city of birds, he leaves his remote country home against the wishes of his father (Jackson). But when his dad is captured by an evil lizard who plans to attack the city, Kai must learn the importance of teamwork if he’s to rescue his father, save his new friends and help keep Zambezia lizard free. Samuel L. Jackson, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy give voice to this beautifully animated fun-filled adventure the whole family will enjoy.

Sony is releasing this film as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The 1080p transfer is very sharp and since the film is so colorful it really pops. This film was originally made to be seen in 3D and there are many scenes that are missing that depth. I would have loved to have seen Sony give this film the 3D treatment, as it was made to be seen. I do not think it would have made the film any better though but just a missed opportunity. The audio included is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  This works well with the fun music in the film and compliments the voice actors very well.

The special features are attractable for the kiddies and parents alike. There are four interesting and fun featurettes. “Birds of a Feature” looks at the birds that inspired the film and the voices behind them. “An African Story” looks into the story and the script behind the film. “The Tree City” looks into creating the animated Zambezia. “Technical Challenges” looks into the animating issues during production. Lastly there is a music video included for “Come Fly with Me” by Jewels Jaselle and Benj Heard.

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