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Pixar/Disney Announces BluRays of Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life… Low Res?

Posted by
February 21st, 2009



(Thank you TheHDRoom.com for the usage of your image.)

Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life were rendered for film at 1536×922. HD’s 1080p resolution is 1920×1080. So how can these films be released on BluRay in true, native 1080p resolution? The answer? ONLY if they re-render the films over again at the higher resolution.

A short time ago Pixar and Disney announced that both Toy Story I & II are being re-rendered in actual 3D for re-release in October 2009, as a prelude to March 2010′s release of Toy Story III also in 3D. These would have to be re-rendered in higher quality to insure a native 1080p BluRay release as well.


For the latest DVD releases of Toy Story I & II, Pixar/Disney raised the technological bar by transferring the film directly from the digital frames instead of going to film, then back into a video transfer. The results were stunning. However, standard DVD has a resolution of 720×486 (with rectangular pixels for those ‘technical’), and that resolution is clearly lower than the master files.

However… Both films were created at 1536×922, and are far below the 1900×1080 resolution of 1080p HD (however higher than the 1280×720 of 720p HD), and therefore if they were transferred to 1080p HD, they would look soft and low resolution. (Take a look at the new compilation of Pixar’s shorts recently released on BluRay disc to view some of these lower resolution files on your 1080p quality system.)



It’s my understanding that all of the earlier pixar films were rendered at 1.5k (1526×922); whereas Pixar/Disney’s Cars was their first film to be rendered at 2048×1080; commonly referred to as 2k.

When you consider that the highest resolution of hidef video is 1920×1080, you can clearly see why both Cars and Rattatouie are available in 1080p HD, and none of the previous Pixar/Disney films are as of yet.

So, in order to have nice 1080p HD releases of the previous Pixar/Disney films (in this case Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life), it’s going to REQUIRE a re-render of the entire film in a higher resolution to accomodate a new release.

What also excites me about the idea that Pixar/Disney is re-rendering the films, is the fact that rendering/shading technology has improved so dramatically since those films were originally made, and I hope that the original sources can be ‘plugged-into’ the new software and higher and more natural results will be rendered. I’m sure it will be amazing…

Personally, I can’t want for a my 1080p BluRay of Monsters Inc. I only hope that they aren’t just transferring the film in it’s original rendered resolution and calling it 1080p. When I find out, I’ll update the story.





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