Justin and the Knights of Valor (Blu-ray Review)

Justin and the Knights of Valor I don’t know who or what a Justin and the Knights of Valor is. The Blu-ray cover artwork indicates that it’s a CGI animated film and that Antonio Banderas presents it. Upon further inspection I see the voice talents of some of my favorite actors in the mix. Ok, now we’re talking. I decided to review the Blu-ray in a blind-buy sort of way with absolutely ZERO expectations and I am really glad I did. Will the kids love the film, will the adults? Can both age groups co-exist? Read on and find out if Justin and the Knights of Valor is worth your time.  

Justin and the Knights of Valor


Growing up I used to watch animation, anime, and everything else in between. Nowadays, I am really particular of the types of animation that I watch, because there are countless animated films out there that are simply awful or were just created to cash in on a trend as opposed to telling a good story and leave a lasting impression. When one of my favorite PR folks asked if I wanted to tackle Justin and the Knights of Valor on Blu-ray I figured what the heck. Let’s do it, and by doing so, hopefully discover something special. Boy, was I in for a treat.

Justin and the Knights of Valor is the story of Justin (Freddie Highmore), who longs to be a knight like his Grandfather. Unfortunately, Justin’s father, Reginald, a lawyer, has outlawed just about everything including the mere mentioning of the word “knight.” Justin feels the weight of world on his shoulders due to not wanting to lead a life like his father’s. As young Justin carries on he meets the lovely Talia (Saoirse Ronan) who stands by his side and offers him support. She can also fight. Sir Clorex is the flamboyant swordsman who will try to teach Justin a bit of what he knows in terms of handling a sword. Granted, Sir Clorex seems to have a bit of crush…on himself.

During Justin’s accumulation of “swordsery” and tactics, the evil Lord Sota (Rupert Everett) and his goons seek out to try and take over the kingdom while trying to bring back the age of the mighty sword and knight. Justin will have to rise up and defeat this might foe before the entire kingdom falls into darkness. Kandor Studios handled the animation for Justin and the Knights of Valor and I think they did an excellent job. It’s a highly stylized computer generated film that doesn’t look low budget at all and reminds me a wee bit of Dragon Hunters. It’s not on the same scale as that film was but the animation looks great.

The film is sort of by the numbers in that Justin must find his courage, win over the girl, and defeat the bad guy – in that order. Yes, in between those beats, you will have Justin get himself into trouble with the townsfolk, his family, and various other characters. I should also mention that Justin and the Knights of Valor is an exciting piece of animated cinema. It’s not boring at all and it’s something that both adults and kids can enjoy. I wouldn’t say that it’s downright wholesome but if you want to get away from the Disney norm than Justin is a great start.

I did like the some of the humor that was peppered throughout the film especially the hard as a rock loaf of bread gag. I kept laughing whenever the dreaded bread loaf made its appearance. Another gag that was pretty cool and sort of grounded the film in some sort of reality was the disguising of an alligator in this steampunk-type of contraption and making people think that there was a dragon loose. Now why didn’t I think of that?

Justin and the Knights of Valor is simple fun, with an excellent cast of characters not to mention an excellent cast of actors that were assembled to voice these parts. On that alone is one of the major reasons why Justin and the Knights of Valor deserves a look. If you’re an animation fan then that’s just icing on the cake.

Justin and the Knights of Valor


Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The high definition picture should blow your mind. It’s a reference quality image and I did not notice any tweaks in the contrast or sharpness levels. It’s a stellar looking Blu-ray!

Depth: I don’t know whether this had a 3-D release or not, the Blu-ray is in 2-D, but the level of depth is epic in scope. I don’t know what the budget was but every pixel is on that screen. It’s gorgeous.

Black Levels: Black levels are pristine with zero crush to be found.

Color Reproduction: The color palette works overtime on Justin, as it looks like one of those Skittle commercials without having that garish look.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: The digital file is absent of anomalies, noise, and artifacts. Remember I said it was of reference quality? I still stand by that observation.


Justin and the Knights of Valor


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: The lossless audio track will give anyone who comes into the kingdom a good beating. It’s a reference track, in my opinion.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE rumbles and leaves no pebble still. You will feel every stomp; slam as if you were the being slammed and stomped on.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround channels kick it up a notch as the alligator/dragon flies around and demolishes and burns things. Those scenes are a clear highlight of the film.

Dialogue Presentation: Dialogue is crisp and clear, accents and all.


Justin and the Knights of Valor


We only get two extras: a making of featurette and a trailer.

  • Making-Of (HD, 7:23) – Here’s a short featurette with cast and crew as they talk about the project. It looks like everyone had a ball contributing to the project.
  • Trailer (HD, 1:56) – Here’s the theatrical trailer for Justin and the Knights of Valor presented in high definition.


Justin and the Knights of Valor


It’s really a shame that no one knows about the existence of Justin and the Knights of Valor. Well, that’s what Blu-ray is all about and now you can see what all the fuss (imagined or otherwise) is all about, too. The Blu-ray presentation is gorgeous and the audio will give your speakers a good thrashing. The extras are slight but the quality is not. I highly recommend Justin and the Knights of Valor wholeheartedly.




Order Justin and the Knights of Valor on Blu-ray!

Justin and the Knights of Valor-


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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