Hotel for Dogs (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Bruce (Jake Austin) and Andi (Emma Roberts) might be orphans, but the siblings still have each other, not to mention their lovable canine companion, Friday. The children keep their pet a secret however, as their assigned caretakers would never allow such mischief. When Friday runs off, the siblings follow and thanks to a huge misunderstanding, are wrongly accused and decide to hide out in an abandoned hotel. At the hotel, the two find two more dogs and decide to let Friday hang out there, instead of risking taking back home. Soon enough, the brother and sister are taking in strays one after another, setting up the hotel as the coolest animal shelter around. But when their secret is uncovered, will the dogs be forced to return to lives on the streets, or will the children inspire others with their kindness?

Although a lot of movies that center on animals tend to suck, Hotel for Dogs manages to not be that bad. Not a good movie per se, but the film has its heart in the right place, to be sure. This movie is positive and delivers great moral lessons, but doesn’t feel like an after school special. In other words, the message comes through loud and clear, but the audience won’t feel preached to. I was also impressed by the solid performances and direction, which help anchor the film’s success. So as a family friendly movie about animals, Hotel for Dogs is a cut above the crowd. Emma Roberts is quite good in her role, while of course, the menagerie of dogs is a joy to see in action. Don Cheadle also turns in some good work here. Hotel for Dogs is no classic, but if you’re after some fun for the whole family, a rental is recommended.

Video: How does it look?

Hotel for Dogs is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. As it should be in the case of a major studio new release, this transfer looks terrific. All of the pooches look adorable in high definition, while general depth is admirable, even if not quite up with the best the format has to offer. The level of detail does shine at times however, so you’ll never forget you’re watching a high definition title. No issues with color or contrast whatsoever, while flesh tones are dead on. All in all, a great looking visual effort that fans will appreciate.

Audio: How does it sound?

A rock solid Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is here, which covers all the basics and then some. This material doesn’t demand high end audio, but all of the needs are covered. In the rare instances where a little power is needed, the track provides it, while the overall atmosphere is well handled also. I found dialogue to be clear and clean too, while the music sounds terrific. This isn’t that memorable of a soundtrack, but it gets the job done. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary brings the director, producer, and two of the stars together to discuss the production. A lot of ground is covered, especially the experiences of dealing with the canine co-stars. This isn’t an insightful session in terms of technical data, but it is a fun, more than decent track. This disc also includes several brief featurettes, some deleted scenes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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