Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is ultimately a trite, predictable movie with a by-the-numbers mystery at its center and lacking in genuine humor, but fans of this fantasy universe will enjoy the fun. Pokémon creatures battle on the Blu-ray stage with reference-quality video and great Dolby Atmos soundtrack, but a small set of supplements. Nevertheless, the overall package is Recommended for fans of this fantasy universe.
You can read our full thoughts on Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Warner Home Video brings Pokémon: Detective Pikachu to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer code for a Digital Copy. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits opposite a DVD-9 copy inside a blue, eco-cutout case with a glossy slipcover and collectible trading card. After a couple of skippable promos, the screen changes to a generic static menu with options along the bottom and music.
The great detective follows the clues to a Blu-ray conspiracy, equipped with a spectacularly fantastic 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that's continuously vibrant and imaginatively spirited. On the one hand, John Mathieson's cinematography displays a more lightly muted design with lots of heavy, dark shadows, meant to give the plot a neo-noir feel and tone. True to those intentions, the streets of Ryme City are bathed inky rich shadows while poorly-lit interiors maintain excellent visibility within the darkest corners. There are a couple scenes, many of which take place in daylight exteriors, where black levels lose a bit of their luster, but thankfully, they don't distract too much from the video's stronger aspects.
Presented in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the stylized photography also displays a strong orange and teal palette that really pushes the blues, further complementing the visual's noir aesthetic. Blues impressively range from electrifying neons in the city lights and the cerulean sky in daylight scenes to deep indigos and admiral tones in the clothing and various Pokémon creatures with the Pikachu-Charizard battle serving as a great example. Speaking of which, this entire fighting arena sequence is a flamboyant display of rich yellows, sumptuous oranges, deeply vivid purples and dramatic pinks. Likewise, the reds in Pikachu's cheeks and Charizard's flames are animated while the greens in other areas are lively and dynamic.
The battle continues with a spot-on contrast, supplying the freshly-minted transfer with a vivid and spirited feel that keeps the story lighthearted and comical. Whites are intensely crisp and clean throughout, and the highlights on the edge of clouds and the many neon signs have a tight, radiant glow, allowing for outstanding visibility in the far distance. In fact, the details in buildings, streets and clothing are razor-sharp, showing the tiniest imperfection and every object decorating Harry's apartment. Equally impressive is the clarity in the many CG visuals and creatures, exposing every minute feature and out of place hair with distinct definition and extraordinary realism. Facial complexions are also highly revealing with lifelike textures. (Video Rating: 96/100)
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu debuts on Blu-ray with the same enjoyable Dolby Atmos soundtrack as its Ultra HD counterpart. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the 4K Ultra HD HERE. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 82/100)
Although made with a younger audience in mind, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is nonetheless a bit trite and much too predictable for the parents in the audience to enjoy. While by-the-numbers mystery plot may keep some from sitting through this otherwise visually-captivating fantasy flick, hardened fans of the Pokémon universe are likely the best and strongest draw to this objectively forgettable production. Pokémon creatures do battle on the Blu-ray stage with a reference-quality video presentation and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack that ultimately puts on a great show. Sharing the same set of supplements with the Ultra HD release, the overall UHD package is Recommended for fans of the cartoon series, card games, and the videogame.