Dec 01, 2019 Posted by in DVD/Blu-ray, Reviews | Comments

The latest entry in Shout! Factory’s collection of 4K Ultra HD IMAX/Giant Screen documentaries is Turtle Odyssey: Bunji’s Big Adventure. The documentary follows the life of a green sea turtle named Bunji, from her birth off the coast of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, making her first dangerous dash across the beach towards the ocean, to her travels across vast seas and oceans. The story follows this turtle adventures over the years, until she eventually ends up back where she was born 25 years later, to lay her own eggs and start the whole cycle all over again.

The documentary is narrated by Russell Crowe, who provides an informative, but also fun and comical look at Bunji’s adventures. In additional to portraying the lifecycle of these prehistoric sea creatures, the documentary also stresses the important role the sea turtle plays in the ocean’s ecosystem, and the dangers these beautiful creatures face from other sea creatures such as sharks, as well as human dangers such as fisherman and their boats, and the massive amount of plastic that’s being dumped into our oceans. The documentary also discusses some of the efforts that are being taken to ensure the declining sea turtle population grows and thrives.

Shout! Factory’s 4K release looks and sounds amazing. The release is IMAX Enhanced, which means that those with IMAX Enhanced-certified hardware may experience even better picture and sound. My equipment doesn’t support this new technology/certification, but the film looked and sounded fantastic even with the standard HDR picture and DTS:X sound. The Blu-ray disc already provides an excellent, clean and detailed picture, but the 4K HDR version takes this to an even higher level, with increased detail on textures such as the turtle eggs, the sandy beaches and underwater coral. The colors are also richer, brighter, and more beautiful, especially the green, blue and turquoise hues of the tropical sea. There are so many phenomenal, breathtaking shots in this short film, particularly the underwater footage of Bunji as she feeds off the coral, or when she visits an underwater “cleaning station” where smaller fish feed off of the parasites that have attached themselves to her shell.

The DTS:X soundtrack is also quite impressive. The narration is pretty much isolated to the center speaker, but the rest of the channels are utilized to surround the viewer in the atmosphere of the ocean, from the flow of the rushing currents, to the the cracking of thunder during a storm. The film’s wonderful score helps to add emotional element to the film, whether it’s the intense orchestral score during a moment of action/suspense, the more playful tropical melodies, or the film’s sole uplifting pop song, “Walking on Sunshine”, used to close the documentary.

As for bonus materials, the release includes a trailer and three promos for the documentary, as well as a 13-minute interview with Dr. Ian Bell, who discusses his sea turtle research on Green Island. The credits of the film mention a 3D version, but unfortunately, unlike many of Shout! Factory’s previous 4K IMAX releases, this release does not include the 3D version as an option on the Blu-ray, nor is there a digital copy included this time around.

What’s Included:

Film: (41:09)

    4K Ultra HD:

    • 2160p / Widescreen 1.78:1
    • HDR, IMAX Enhanced
    • Audio: English DTS:X, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
    • Subtitles: English


    • 1080p / Widescreen 1.78:1
    • Audio: English DTS:X, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
    • Subtitles: English


  • Interview with Dr. Ian Bell (13:10)
    Senior conservation officer Dr. Ian Bell talks about his research efforts on Green Island. Topics include measuring the sea turtle population to see fast they are growing, the use of identification tags, changes in the population over last 20 years, the major challenges facing the sea turtles, the effects of climate change, the turtles’ mating process, and more.
  • Trailer (1:31)
  • Promo Spots (3:06)
    Three promotional spots for the film play back to back.


Final Thoughts:

My Rating

Turtle Odyssey: Bunji’s Big Adventure is another solid 4K IMAX/Big Screen nature documentary release from Shout! Factory. It provides fun and interesting glimpse into the life cycle of a green sea turtle, noting the important role these creatures play in the oceans, and taking a look at the conservation efforts that are underway to ensure these prehistoric creatures thrive. With a stellar 4K presentation and a wonderful DTS:X soundtrack, the release provides a fully satisfying visual and aural experience. Unfortunately, the discs contain just a single 13-minute bonus Q&A. This should make another great addition for those who enjoy these IMAX nature documentaries.