Comedian Tommy Chong always said that making movies was far too hard, so in Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie, he’s got it made. Using recordings and routines from their Grammy-winning comedy albums and previous films with only some brief snatches of new material to fill in the gaps of this episodic movie, a new animated film has been concocted that allows the fabled comedian and his partner plenty of time to mellow out. For those who worship at the altar of the drug-fueled comedians, the film will be a gas, but all others are advised to stay far, far away.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Run Time: 1 Hr. 23 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-raykeep case
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Release Date: 04/23/2013
With no real story, the film strings together almost two dozen episodes featuring some of the famed pair’s most celebrated routines. Of course, their familiar stoner personas (animated in their younger years when their first successful albums and stage work were discovered) weave in and out of these set-ups: the two dead heads participate in befuddled antics in their car, at a drive-in, and watching television (where a host of other personas emerge in shows like “Let’s Make a Dope Deal,” “Un-American Bandstand,” and in commercials for acne and Empire Hancock). But they portray a raft of other characters in skits revolving around a court trial, a schoolroom where a nun and Sgt. Standanko try to hold the class’ attention, and as non-human characters, too: Jacques Culot and Buster “The Body” Crab (who kind of tie the film together as running characters doing their best to infiltrate the beards and body hair of the guys) and dogs Ralphie and Herbie.
The Production Rating: 2/5
You either enjoy the duo’s stoner comedy or you don’t; there’s really no middle ground. I was in college when the team’s popularity first took off so I was the audience they were first playing to, but I’ll be the first to admit that their drug-fueled humor wears out its welcome very fast for me, and I’ve never considered myself a fan though I certainly admire their ability to effect different voices and play an innumerable number of different characters which the animators give nicely creative life to. As for the rest of the film, there are a couple of forgettable musical numbers, and the movie is afloat with jokes about every possible bodily function animated in full color (looking up a dog’s posterior while he’s beginning to defecate isn’t my idea of a good time); the duo’s toilet humor is as tiresome as their endless string of “hey, man”’s and the constant doobie dragging.
The film is presented in its theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is delivered in a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Color is bold and bright without ever blooming, and the simple animation delivers solid lines that never shake or shimmer. There is the slightest hint of banding in some purple backgrounds early in the film, but the anomaly never reappears. The film has been divided into 24 chapters.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix delivers a solid aural presentation. While the majority of the film’s sound design seems concentrated on the front channels, there are some pans occasionally that move through the soundfield to the rears, and the music score by Dominic Kelly and Steve Pacey gets a nice placement through the entire front and rear soundstage. The dialogue-heavy construction of the comedy has been nicely taken care of and has been routed to the center channel.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
Three Audio Commentaries: Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong reminisce in the first one (the best of the three commentaries). Directors Branden and Eric Chambers and producer Lou Adler have an engaging conversation in the second one. Tommy Chong and his son Paris talk in the third track.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
4:20 Listening Mode: plays the film three times so you can hear all three commentaries back-to-back.
“Medical Marijuana Blues” Session (5:07, HD): Tommy Chong as Blind Melon Chitlin’ and Cheech Marin as the song producer have an error-filled recording session for the tune.
Cheech and Chong Slideshow (3:25, HD): a slideshow which features pictures from the team’s early glory days in character juxtaposed with their animated counterparts in the current movie.
Promo Trailers: The Heat, Movie 43
Fans of the pot-puffing pair of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong will have a great time reliving some of their most famous routines in Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie with the added benefit of seeing the guys in younger incarnations and with their other famous characters animated entertainingly. Others will find this an easy release to pass by.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewed By: Matt Hough
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