Flight Of The Butterflies (Blu-ray Review)

Flight-of-the-ButterfliesShout! Factory will release the breathtaking IMAX® films Flight of the Butterflies and Rocky Mountain Express next in their line-up of 4K UHD films, following the incredible odyssey Journey to Space. Flight of the Butterflies will be available in a 4K UHD / 3-D Blu-ray set, as well as a stand-alone Blu-ray, and Rocky Mountain Express will be available in a 4K UHD / Blu-ray set, and as a stand-alone Blu-ray. Both titles offer exciting bonus features unavailable anywhere else.  For Flight of the Butterflies, bonus features include trailers, an image gallery, a making of featurette, and a special message from Lic. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, President of Mexico 2006-2012.


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Flight of the Butterflies is all at once a natural history epic, compelling detective story, and scientific adventure at its best. This captivating film allows viewers to experience one of the most incredible natural phenomena on earth – the migration of hundreds of millions of Monarch butterflies – and the remarkable story of a determined scientist and his wife who spent decades unraveling the mystery of where the butterflies disappeared to each Fall.

The short butterfly documentary is an immersive experience into a world of wonder, and its story of both animal and human perseverance is truly inspiring. The film has been highly successful in theaters and is still a favorite at science centers around the country today. It is the only film for IMAX® theatres ever to sweep all of the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s annual awards.

Flight of the Butterflies proves to be far more than just “here’s some butterflies and beginners biological facts plus some deeper stuff you may not know…look at this footage!”  Its still a bit of a wonder with the footage, but there’s a good story to coincide with the learning that serves as a history lesson on the study of butterflies and one families dedication to it.  The film is also full of some incredible close up footage of the butterflies, caterpillars and foliage to make you just sit and marvel and forget there’s a documentary going on.

The studies and dedication we learn about in learning what we have regarding the Monarch butterflies is simply eye opening and impressive.  It was a complete homegrown and family/neighborhood run operation.  Almost like a club.  There are neat details here in both learning the anatomy and life cycle of the butterfly but also in little things on how they studied them (For example, they used grocery store price tags to mark the individual butterfly’s wings to track and study).  Its an interesting little tale and it never over welcomes its stay.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  An IMAX documentary comes to 4K, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray.  We should just leave this blank unless something unexpectedly went wrong with the transfer.  As expected, this thing looks gorgeous on Blu-ray.  Its sharp, crisp and rich with details like hairs on the butterflies.  Its also full of color and smooth, fluid movements.  Perfect for that demonstration in the electronics department.  For this review, the Blu-ray edition was used.

Depth:  I didn’t get to watch this thing in 3D but I imagine its quite wonderful.  Spacing, freeness, and fluid movements with clear as day backgrounds highlight the dimensional work.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep, solid and still maintain detail through dark colored objects, hair, fabrics and surfaces.  Darker sequences in the movie carry shadows well.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are vivid and beautiful.  This picture is bright and just an acid trip of color among the flowers, trees, leaves and butterflies. 

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and carry any hint of detail you’re looking for at any given distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Uh…yeah I should have just deleted this section, cuz nothing is wrong here.

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Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 5.1 Dolby Digital French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  For this review, the 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track was checked.  And, as expected, its quite crisp and very clean.  The audio here is precise, accurate and not overdone.  Everything comes in full working order, sounded beautiful and pure.

Low Frequency Extension:  Mostly active during musical numbers where needed and a few sound effects here and there.  Butterfly documentaries aren’t ones to bring the house down.

Surround Sound Presentation:  All 7 channels are used with precision and never underwhelming nor are they overdone.  Movements, environments and all else are accurately captured and displayed.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is lovely, every piece of diction, breath or saliva is accounted for here in this mix.

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This edition of Flight of the Butterflies comes with 4K UHD copy, a 3D Blu-ray copy and a Digital Copy.

Special Message from the President of Mexico (HD, 1:28) – A brief word from the former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon.

Behind the Scenes (HD, 28:37) – This actually digs a bit deeper into the subject and isn’t just fluff.  Includes more interviews and butterfly footage.

Image Gallery (HD, 1:11)

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Without a doubt, the image and sound here on this combo pack is outstanding.  Its got a solid documentary to go with it.  But, there’s a purpose for this.  Its already served its theatrical one, the IMAX “experience”.  Now, its off to Best Buy and other electronics retailers for demonstration rooms and such.  There’s also probably that smug guy who really wants to show off his new equipment to the best of its ability to his eye rolling friends.  And with good reason, this one performs quite well!




Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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