Are animated films worth seeing in a premium format like Dolby Cinema?
You probably have walked into your nearest AMC Theater only to have passed by a black-walled curved hallway with animated projections on it luring you in. This is the entrance to Dolby Cinema, a moviegoing experience designed by the audio and visual masters at Dolby Laboratories.
We had the opportunity to watch a live-action film in Dolby Cinema (which includes Dolby Vision (quality laser projection) and Dolby Atmos (beyond surround sound) and were quickly floored by how immersive and real watching a movie was.
And how real it was derived from the idea that the movie was of real subjects and sets. In essence, the movie world extended into our own. For those who have tried Dolby Cinema, they’d most likely agree that it’s the most incredible thing to experience.
But how does the format match up if everything in the movie is not real? What happens if you were to watch an animated film like “Incredibles 2” in a premium format? We decided to go straight to Dolby to get some answers, and got them from Stuart Bowling, Dolby’s Content & Creative Relations Director.
DE: What does Dolby Cinema do to enhance the viewing experience of an animated film?
SB: Animation is no different to live action. The director is creating a story that is unfolding on the screen. We do that with the way we design theatres to provide an unobstructed view from anywhere from the theatre and unparalleled comfort, so you should have no distractions whilst watching the feature. We use technology like Dolby Atmos to create soundscapes that envelope and immerse the viewer in to the story. Dolby Vision allows the film maker to reveal colors never seen before in standard projection and a whole new level of detail never experienced before. When images have are brighter and colors are more saturated it draws the viewer in much more than if they didn’t have that.
DE: On a more granular level, what are the adjustments (if any) that are made to the original animated footage to make it for Dolby Cinema?
SB: Every movie regardless of if its live action or animation has to go through a color correction process, using the Dolby Vision projection technology. This means the film maker makes creative choices based on what they can see and with a projector that provides a million to one in contrast, allows them to show the viewer far more depth and realism.
DE: What should an average viewer of movies look forward to when watching something like “Incredibles 2” in the Dolby format?
SB: Watching the film in a Dolby format means that viewers will see it in a way that the film maker had intended without compromise, where-as with a regular version they would have to make compromises. So for example the blacks are pitch black but there is detail in them. Where-as in a regular cinema it is not black its grey. The color contrasts are a lot lower in the regular cinema than what Dolby can achieve.
Our special thanks to Stuart Bowling for taking the time to answer our questions for this story! Learn more about Dolby Cinema by clicking HERE.