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DreamWorks Has 7.1 on the Brain, Starting with 'Megamind'

28 Feb, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey


BURBANK, Calif. — Consumers who have a 7.1 home theater set-up and have picked up DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind on Blu-ray Disc combo pack ($49.99) already know: The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround sound mix is just as good as what they heard in theaters, if not better.

“It’s got the full dynamic range,” said Erik Aadahl, supervising sound editor for Megamind, during a screening of the film Feb. 26. “Most home theater mixes are compressed. Megamind was a fantastic opportunity for 7.1. It has so much more movement. We were all a bit surprised and impressed with what we were able to do.”

From moving explosions along back speakers to the sound of Megamind’s roller-chair doing a circle around the audience, 7.1 provided unique opportunities for Aadahl and DreamWorks, which plans on using the mix for every film going forward, starting with Kung Fu Panda 2.

“Everyone’s saying goodbye to 5.1, which is a good thing,” Aadahl said. “It substantially raises the bar. This is in a sense historic. The only limit is our imagination.”

The debut of Dolby’s 7.1 mix on Megamind was a banner moment for the company, according to Dolby senior manager Craig Eggers. He said there are more than 1,300 cinemas worldwide capable of handling the 7.1 mix, with more coming on line.

“The majority of 7.1 out there today was released 5.1,” he said. “Giving people like Erik the tools helps him with his vision.”

Now, the only way people at home can take advantage of the work is to have a proper 7.1 set-up, both Eggers and Aadahl agreed.

“It really depends on how good people’s sound systems are at home,” Aadahl said. “Obviously I don’t want people listening to the mix on small little speakers.”

The combo pack Blu-ray release of Megamind includes the animated short Megamind: The Button of Doom, an Animator’s Corner picture-in-picture and storyboard feature, a trivia track, an Interactive Comic Creator, featurettes covering the cast, a lost scene, Megamind’s lair, games and more.

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