Kung Fu Panda 3 Blu-ray lacks audio punch

The blockbuster animated sequel misses out on HD audio in the UK

When I sat down to watch the Blu-ray review copy of the hit DreamWorks animated feature Kung Fu Panda 3 at the weekend, it didn't take long to realise that something about the audio sounded a little 'off'. A quick look at the disc's Set-Up sub-menu revealed the problem – the only English language track available (as with the multiude of other language tracks) was presented as 'lossy' DTS 5.1! Which seemed rather strange given that the previous two Kung Fu Panda films had been chanpioned for the dynamic lossless multichannel soundtracks that accompanied them on Blu-ray.

Despite the English DTS 5.1 description on the menu, I still held out some sliver of hope that an error had occured somewhere in the production process and this wouldn't be the case with the finished UK retail Blu-ray when it hits the streets on July 11. So yesterday I contacted Twentieth Century Fox (the disc's distributor) for clarification regarding the discovery.

This morning I heard back from a spokesperson for Fox UK and the news wasn't good. They stated that 'This is a 5.1 DTS standard (as opposed to HD Master). We were notified late in the day that due to a different UK audio stream the master had been set-up without HD audio'.

All of which means that if you want the full Kung Fu Panda 3 HD audio experience in your home cinema (ignoring the fact that it hit theatres with an Atmos soundtrack...) then you might want to look at foreign Blu-ray releases in the hope that they include a lossless mix.