Shout Factory! Reveals First Ultra HD Blu-ray Titles for Late Spring/Early Summer 2016

Posted Tue Jan 5, 2016 at 08:00 AM PST by

The distributor's first batch of Ultra HD Blu-ray titles includes several IMAX films.    

Shout Factory! has revealed its initial lineup of Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs due for release in late spring/early summer 2016. The first wave of Shout Factory! Ultra Blu-ray titles will include 'Journey To Space,' 'Humpback Whales,' 'Flight Of The Butterflies,' 'Rocky Mountain Express,' 'Wonders Of The Arctic,' and 'The Last Reef: Cities Beneath The Sea.'

"As the Ultra HD devices and entertainment content begin to populate the consumer marketplace this year, we are announcing our commitment to the UHD format joining industry leaders and major consumer electronics companies," stated Melissa Boag, Shout's Senior Vice President of Kids & Family Entertainment. "We look forward to presenting these awe-inspiring movies to a broad audience in the UHD format, around the same timeframe that the traditional Blu-ray™ edition hits national retail."

Shout! Factory Ultra HD Blu-ray titles will feature a resolution of 3840x2160 with HDR (high dynamic range), offering four times the resolution of HD along with superior contrast and colors on supported displays.

'Journey to Space' - Produced by K2 Films, Inc. and Giant Screen Films, JOURNEY TO SPACE will both inspire a new generation of young people to dream of new horizons in space, and engender a new appreciation for the accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program among an older generation who came to take it for granted. NASA’s next era will be its greatest yet. That is the clear “roadmap” painted by JOURNEY TO SPACE. The film absolutely annihilates the perception that the space program died with the end of the Space Shuttle Program by showcasing the exciting plans NASA and the space community are working on, and the challenges they must overcome to carry out audacious missions such as landing astronauts on Mars and capturing asteroids. By using extensive interviews with astronauts Chris Ferguson (Commander of the final shuttle mission) and Serena Aunon (a new astronaut chosen for future flights), as well as a brilliant narration by film and television legend Sir Patrick Stewart, JOURNEY TO SPACE gives a sweeping overview of past space accomplishments, current activities and future plans.

JOURNEY TO SPACE puts into historical context the magnificent contributions made by the Space Shuttle program and its intrepid space pioneers. It uses the most spectacular space footage – including unique views of Earth and operations in space – such as deploying and repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. It then goes on to show how the Shuttle launched and assembled the International Space Station (ISS). Together, these programs have taught us how to live, build and conduct science in space. The ISS will continue operating in space until 2024, and the film shows how it is building a foundation for the next giant leaps into space. The film concludes with a fascinating, realistic scenario of how astronauts will actually get to Mars, live there for long duration, and then return home after a two-and-a-half-year mission.

JOURNEY TO SPACE is co-produced by K2 Films, Inc. and Giant Screen Films. The film is written and directed by Mark Krenzien, produced by Don Kempf, Mark Kresser and Andy Wood, executive produced by Bob Kresser and edited by Dale Beldin.

'Humpback Whales' - Narrated by two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor, HUMPBACK WHALES is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young.  Captured for the first time with IMAX® 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.

A MacGillivray Freeman film presented by Pacific Life, HUMPBACK WHALES is directed by Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins, Everest) and produced by Shaun MacGillivray (To The Arctic, Grand Canyon Adventure). Filmed with 15perf / 65mm IMAX® cameras, HUMPBACK WHALES is written and edited by Stephen Judson (Everest, To The Arctic) with a musical score by Steve Wood (Journey to the South Pacific, To The Arctic).  A One World One Ocean production.

'Flight of the Butterflies' - Produced by SK Films, FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES is a unique and memorable cinema experience that follows a tiny creature’s epic story of endurance on one of the most spectacular migrations on earth. On the trail of one of nature’s greatest events, we will witness, as never before, one generation from some 100 million monarch butterflies as they travel across a continent on a perilous journey of 1,000 miles or more ... and not to just anywhere, but to a remote forest on a Mexican mountaintop, a destination that was once an impenetrable mystery. The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature.  Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent, with pinpoint navigational accuracy, to a secluded place it has never been. Follow the monarchs' perilous and extraordinary journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico. For the first time ever, witness the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans. Be captivated by the true and compelling story of an intrepid scientist's 40-year search to find their secret hideaway, with the help of citizen scientists across North America.

The award-winning production team, including Oscar® winner Peter Parks, followed the year-long migration cycle of the monarch butterflies, from Canada, through the United States to remote 10,000-foot-high peaks in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico, and back, through generations. Featuring extraordinary cinematography, the film showcases the awe and wonder of the breathtaking butterfly sanctuaries. Supported by the National Science Foundation and a high quality, curriculum-based educational outreach program, the film interweaves spellbinding natural history with an uplifting human story. The film has received consistent rave reviews in independent audience tests across all age groups. Unravel the mysteries and experience the FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES!

'Rocky Mountain Express' - Produced by The Stephen Low Company, ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS is the passionate undertaking of award-winning filmmaker Stephen Low, director of more than fifteen projects for the giant screen, including TITANICA, SUPER SPEEDWAY and ULTIMATE WAVE TAHITI.  Kindled in childhood, Low’s love of high-fidelity cinema and his fascination with the steam locomotive have come together in this captivating cinematic experience that brings alive the magic and drama of the steam age for audiences of all ages. Exhibited in IMAX and other giant screen theaters, the award-winning film has developed an unprecedented and devoted world-wide following.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS propels audiences on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and highlights the adventure of building a nearly impossible transcontinental railway in the age of steam.  The film weaves together spectacular IMAX aerial cinematography, archival photographs and maps, and the potent energy and rhythms of a live steam locomotive to immerse audiences in this remarkable story.

The production was filmed with full 15/70 negative—world’s largest film format, guaranteeing spectacular image fidelity. Sound, too, is a vital part of the experience and the team has carefully and faithfully captured and rendered the remarkable symphony of sonic moods produced by a locomotive, matching this with an original musical score by celebrated composer Michel Cusson.

'Wonders of the Arctic' - Narrated by Victor Garber, WONDERS OF THE ARCTIC centers on our ongoing mission to explore and come to terms with the Arctic. Compelling stories are interwoven to create a unifying message about the state of the Arctic today. Underlying all these tales is the crucial role that ice plays in the lives of the people and animals who have adapted to this land of ice and snow. The Inuit and their predecessors adapted and thrived for thousands of years in what is arguably the harshest environment on earth. Today, the Arctic is the focus of intense research. Instead of seeking to conquer the north, scientists working together with the Inuit are searching for answers to some troubling questions about the impacts of human activities on this fragile and largely uninhabited frontier.

WONDERS OF THE ARCTIC is a Science North and Giant Screen Films production. Presented by Giant Screen Films, the film is executive produced by Guy Labine and Brenda Tremblay; producers, Don Kempf and David Lickley; written and directed by David Lickley.

'The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea' - From the creators of WILD OCEAN and PULSE, THE LAST REEF, a new immersive movie that takes you on a breathtaking journey to the heart of a coral reef, as you've never seen it before. From the creators of award-winning film WILD OCEAN, THE LAST REEF: CITIES BENEATH THE SEA is an uplifting, inspirational cinema experience capturing one of nature's more vibrant and diverse wonderlands. Exotic coral reefs, vibrant sea walls in the sub-arctic pulsating with anemones and crustaceans: these biodiversity hot spots are as vital to our lives as the rainforests. Shot on location in Palau, Vancouver Island, French Polynesia, Mexico, and The Bahamas, THE LAST REEF takes us on a global journey to explore our connection with the ocean's complex, parallel worlds. Using groundbreaking underwater cinematography, this film takes us into the heart of the reef, revealing a habitat more diverse and more colorful than you ever imagined...

THE LAST REEF: CITIES BENEATH THE SEA is a production of Yes/No Productions, Liquid Pictures and Giant Screen Films.

Full specs, exact release dates, and suggested list prices for Shout! Factory's Ultra HD Blu-rays have not been detailed yet.

You can find the latest specs for all of the Ultra HD Blu-ray titles listed above linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where they're indexed under PENDING.

Source: Shout! Factory

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
Journey to Space (Blu-ray)
Humpback Whales (Blu-ray)
Flight of the Butterflies (Blu-ray)
Rocky Mountains 3D: The Impressive Natural Paradise (Blu-ray)
Tags: Shout! Factory, Disc Announcements, 4K, Ultra HD, Ultra HD Blu-ray, HDR, High Dynamic Range, IMAX (all tags)