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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray

United States
Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Warner Bros. | 2013 | 161 min | Rated PG-13 | Apr 08, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Five-disc set (4 BDs, 1 DVD)
UV digital copy
Digital copy
DVD copy
Blu-ray 3D

Slipcover in original pressing

Region A, B (C untested)

List price: $44.95, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
3D 4.9 of 54.9
Video 4.8 of 54.8
Audio 4.9 of 54.9
Extras 3.3 of 53.3
Based on 9 user reviews

Movie appeal


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray delivers stunning video and reference-quality audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Return to Middle Earth where the dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug.

For more about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D and the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray release, see the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans (I)
Director: Peter Jackson

» See full cast & crew

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Similar to the palette shift that occurs when moving from The Fellowship of the Ring to The Two Towers, The Desolation of Smaug is a much darker, bleaker film than An Unexpected Journey. The same goes for Warner's 1080p/AVC-encoded 2D and MVC-encoded 3D video presentations. Shadows are greedier, the cloak of night more oppressive, delineation less forgiving, and crush a bit more of a nuisance than before. Even so, the two transfers remain excellent examples of what high definition affords; each one rich in detail, lovely to behold, and utterly faithful to Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie's dramatic digital color grading. Skintones are perfectly saturated (or desaturated, as is typically the case here), black levels are satisfying (albeit a touch muted in Mirkwood and Erebor), and contrast is spot on, with very little in the way of distractions. (The few that do arise trace back to the filmmakers and/or the FX.) Clarity is also remarkable in both 2D and 3D, with crisp edges free from aliasing and ringing, refined textures that capture every last subtlety of the film's production design and costumes, and a pleasing veneer of grain that doesn't hinder the image in any way.

In 3D, the experience is perhaps even more stunning, with a level of depth and dimensionality reserved only for the best of the best 3D releases. The aforementioned bleakness and darkness doesn't take a toll on the MVC-encoded 3D presentation, nor does it muddle Jackson's imagery in any way. Orc swords pierce the screen. Forests extend into the distance. Mountains spill back to the horizon. Rivers rage as barrels race to safety. Elves leap overhead. Spiders lunge at the viewer. Drawn bows point arrows beyond the bounds of the film. The streets of Laketown snake into the city. Dwarven monoliths tower above Bilbo and the Company. And Smaug looms larger and more menacingly above the fray. Then there are the veils of cobwebs, sea of trees, canopy of leaves and butterflies, crowds of onlookers, sheets of dragon scales, oceans of gold, and columns that allow one to sense the vastness of Erebor's halls. All of it is convincing and oh so immersive, with wide vistas boasting as much 3D oomph as the most intimate close-ups. Add to that a lack of significant aliasing, shimmering, ghosting or other issues associated with 3D and you easily have what's already one of the finest 3D releases of the year.

Better still, artifacting, banding and other significant enemies of the crown are held at bay; again, both in the 2D and 3D presentations of the film. (A half-dozen unsightly, lower definition GoPro Camera shots unfortunately pepper the barrel escape sequence, but each one only appears for a split second and, again, is attributable to Jackson and Lesnie, not Warner's encoding efforts.) All told, The Desolation of Smaug is gorgeous regardless of which version you choose to watch. Jackson's rabid fans will be rewarded for their allegiance.

Note: The 3D presentation of the film is spread across two BD-50 discs while the 2D presentation is housed on a single BD-50. As far as the eye can discern, there are no notable differences in quality between the two, even with the bitrate trending a bit higher in the 2-disc 3D presentation.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

There was a small but vocal minority of audiophiles who expressed concern over An Unexpected Journey's lossless audio mix because its low-end output wasn't all it could be. I admittedly didn't notice anything amiss at the time of my review, and still find it difficult to discern any shortcoming when revisiting the first film's Blu-ray release. Did I encounter any such issue with Desolation of Smaug? No, although those who pore over specs and bitrates may find the same problem here. So why even bring it up? I too want the best that a studio can deliver, so bravo to those who uncover these sorts of things. It's important to know. I just wonder how much of the offending issue is actually perceptible to the human ear and how much is driven by the power of tech-spec suggestion.

But I digress. Having listened to Warner's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track multiple times, I have yet to find a single fault. It excels in every area. Dialogue is intelligible, believably grounded in Jackson's Middle-earth, and meticulously prioritized. It doesn't have to compete with the many, many action scenes that threaten to overwhelm it at any given moment, nor does it suffer or struggle when rivers rage, dragons roar or castles crumble. Dynamics are terrific too, and the LFE channel bolsters each element that requires its aid, granting everything from Beorn's rampages to the windstorm of Smaug's leathery wings tremendous weight and presence. The rear speakers are just as prepared for any challenge Jackson presents. The skittering of Mirkwood spiders. A fluttering sea of butterflies atop a deadly forest canopy. The lapping of water in Laketown. The angry tendrils that hiss and screech at Gandalf's light shield. The shower of gold coins that rain down whenever Smaug explodes from his nest. The flames that fill the halls of Erebor when the beast attacks. Directionality is exceptionally precise, pans are wonderfully transparent, and the soundfield is as immersive as I could have hoped for. I'm more than satisfied with the results.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Blu-ray (Pre-orders Up) - February 19, 2014

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the 2D, 3D and Limited Collector's Edition Blu-ray release of the theatrical cut of filmmaker Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, ...

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