DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Wild - Definitely NOT Recommended!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
    The
    Wild
    Studio: Disney Year:2006 Rating:G Aspect Ratio: 16x9 encoded 1.78:1 Audio: 5.1 DD English (also French & Spanish) SpecialFeatures: Deleted Scenes, Music Video, 2 behind-the-scenes shorts ReleaseDate: September 12, 2006




    Feature...


    Honestly.

    If you want a poster-child example of how Disney's movie-making magic has evaporated over the years, The Wild is your answer.

    I go into all new movie experiences with an open mind. And you may recall I thoroughly enjoyed the direct-to-video sequel for Brother Bear. Rest assured there's not an automatic prejudice against "new Disney cartoons" going on here.

    But from the first fart-joke, to the kick-in-the-crotch humor, to the tasteless sexual inferences meant to entertain an otherwise tortured adult viewer watching with the kids, the movie really rubbed me the wrong way. Add to that some of the most momentous leaps of faith on the part of the viewer: A bunch of large, African animals walking around the city streets of Manhattan for hours without being seen by a living human soul. They manage to fall into the sewer (giraffe included) and walk for miles without any mobility problems. Then in a scene-cut they are magically transported to the cargo pier. Then they take a 2-day journey across the Atlantic to the African continent (during which time necessities like hunger are as apparent as the toilet in the Brady Bunch bathroom). Barf-city. This is movie-trash at its worst. With direct-to-video animation doing an even better job (Brother Bear 2, Emperor's New Groove 2, Lilo and Stitch 2), I'm at a loss how Disney would bother to execute such a visually beautiful film with so much talented artists and yet manage a story so disappointing. Suspend your belief at the opening credits and don't relax them until it's over if you have any plans to enjoy this film.

    You may have another opinion. I've shared mine.



    Picture...


    The image quality is "good but not great". There's thankfully no sign of edge-ringing anywhere to be seen. That's a breath of fresh air on a Buena Vista DVD. However, the image looks decidedly soft on my front projection system viewed from approximately 1.6 screen-widths distance. I'm sure that viewers who watch their displays 2 screen widths are more will find the image detail satisfactory. But from a wide-angle perspective the DVD falls short of Standard-Definition potential and looks softer than a direct-to-digital transfer should. By the way, I noticed the same problem (worse in that case) with Chicken Little. If you've got a projector or view your new 1080p flatscreen from less than 2 screen widths be prepared not to be in awe of this picture.

    Besides some very slight color-banding as seen via my DVI connection (which may or may not be a function of my signal chain more so than the DVD mastering) and the fore-mentioned softness, the image is stunning. Colors are saturated and golden. The hues are vivid and the artists really enjoyed layering hues and painting gradients that cover a wide range of colors so that the image never has a paint-by-numbers appearance. Blacks are spot-on and the image has what feels like a bold dynamic range. The animation style is also interesting to me... a little stylized in a way that really serves the feel of the film.


    Picture Quality: 4 / 5

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Rating Rationale...


    Rating Key:

    SCORE Description 1-2 An absolute abomination. Hurts to watch even on a 32” 4x3 480I TV. Think Outland or Jean De Flourette (scan-line aliasing, chroma noise, dotcrawl, PAL-NTSC conversion artifacts etc.)-- truly horrid. 2-3 Has some serious problems, but one can at least watch it without getting a headache despite all the problems though you might try to talk your guests into picking a different movie to watch if you have a large projection screen. Think Kill Bill Vol 1. 3-4 Good or at least "acceptable" on a big-screen, but not winning any awards and definitely room for improvement if you view the image wide-angle (though smaller-screen viewers may be quite content). Think the first extended cut of Fellowship of the Ring...decent picture but still some HF filtering and some edge-halos. 4-5 A reference picture that really makes the most of the DVD medium and shows extraordinary transparency to the film-source elements limited only by DVD’s 720 x 480 resolution. Non-videophile observers can't help but remark "WOW" and ask you if they are watching HD. Think The Empire Strikes Back, the Fifth Element Superbit or the new Toy Story 10th Anniversary Edition.



    Viewing Equipment:
    Currently running DVDs on my OPPO DVD player (Faroudja deinterlacing) which scales to 720P, feeding my BenQ 8700+ PJ via DVI, projecting onto a 106” 16x9 Dalite HiPower screen, viewed from approximately 1.6 screen-widths distance. Well mastered DVDs produce a stunningly film-like image in this scenario, and lesser-mastered material quickly shows its flaws.






    Sound...


    This is one of those Dolby Digital mixes that sounds "DTSish". The mix is bold, dynamic, and with a nice sense of micro-detail. Lots of great acoustic information and the use of the 5.1 speaker array is top-drawer. Surround activity is much more pronounced than with the average film and it suits the bold, brilliant nature of the visual style. The surround channels are not only full of life, but they carry mostly discrete information and sound coherent with the overall mix. I was impressed... despite some attention-getting sounds from the rear of the soundstage, the mix was always in character and never felt gimmicky. I wish more 5.1 mixes would use the same mixing philosophy as the this outstanding presentation.


    Sound Quality: 5 / 5

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Listening Equipment:
    B&K AVR 212 processor/receiver driving my Onix-Rocket Loudspeaker system.



    Special Features...



    Even for a single-disc presentation, by Disney standards the bonus material is on the slim side.




    • Deleted Scenes: All are presented in 4x3 lbx and all are presented with optional commentary. Some of the deleted scenes are "digital workprints" and don't have the refinement of the final-rendered film. The deleted scenes are worth watching for anyone who enjoyed the film (I won't judge you) though I can see why many of them were not included. There's the handy "play all" feature you've come to know and love with Buena-Vista deleted scenes.


      Music Video: Those with delicate constitutions stay away. Only the strongest among you should brave the Everlife Music video that awaits behind this particular cursor-click.


      Two behind-the-scenes Mini-docs: These were fun. You get to see some of the antics from two of the voice-actors for lead characters in the film. Neither of the features is more than 5 minutes long and both are reasonably entertaining. This is the special feature I'd recommend for anyone who managed to tolerate the 82 minute feature-length ordeal.





    All Together...


    They don't make'm like they used to folks.

    No sir-ree. The Wild is, in my opinion, a pathetic excuse for a story that steals shamelessly from the Lion King and Finding Nemo without any charisma to give back anything of its own. There are holes in the film large enough to swallow an adult male lion and his troop of bestial companions. The creative level of the script writing is a flush-worthy fart-filled/groin-kicking embarrassment that may keep your kids entertained in the back seat but certainly won't make them any smarter for their time. With so many good kid-friendly films to be had, why not have them re-watch that copy of the Iron Giant instead? Even the direct-to-video Disney-DVD sequels I mention in my feature-review section easily have this film beat. Don't waste your time.

    But if you do, you'll be greeted with a somewhat filtered video transfer that will frustrate wide-angle viewers but probably look fine to everyone else. The 5.1 mix is definitely demo quality but that's not reason enough to go out and buy this disc. Bonus features are on the light side, and don't bring much to recommend... but then again why would you want to sit through hours of bonus materials for a film that's this bad?


    Definitely NOT Recommended
     
  2. MarkBurton

    MarkBurton Second Unit

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    Good review, Dave. I would have to agree. I would say if you want to experience "The Wild" or "Finding Madagascar" without actually viewing it, then just combine:

    [​IMG] + [​IMG]

    but use the story quality from:

    [​IMG] + [​IMG]
     
  3. Tarkin The Ewok

    Tarkin The Ewok Supporting Actor

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    I would agree that it is not worth buying, but it did have some quality laughs in it. If memory serves, Shatner was the voice for one of the island natives.

    As rental titles go, you could do much worse.
     
  4. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I just had to read the review to see why it got the NOT recommended. I like computer animated movies, but i could tell this wouldnt be my cup of tea. I wish i could give you back the time you spent watching it, and writing about it. Life is to short my friend!
     
  5. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    I thought by reading the thread title that the audio/video on this release must be simply atrocious. Given that I just came out of the 66 page Star Wars thread I was already in the mood for reading a scathing review. But nope not today as both video and audio were given high scores...

    So I broke down and read the entire review. [​IMG] Wow! I knew this movie wasn't the best received (in actuality possibly the worst) animated film of the year but this doesn't even rate as a rental now. My Netflix queue thanks you!
     
  6. Brian Little

    Brian Little Stunt Coordinator

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    You would think Keither Sutherland would of known better than to be anywhere near this script even...... oh well. Even Jack Bauer has his bad days. [​IMG]
     
  7. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I thought this was made by a canadian company and disney just distributed it?
     
  8. Tarkin The Ewok

    Tarkin The Ewok Supporting Actor

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    I don't know about the company's location, but The Wild was produced by Core Animation and distrubted by Disney. Disney's next in-house animated film after Chicken Little is Meet the Robinsons in 2007.
     
  9. Adrian_B

    Adrian_B Extra

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    Yeah, this was the first time in ages I can remember sitting in a theater and being bored stiff. Family films shouldn't be torture for parents. How this thing even got greenlighted is beyond me. Lord knows we don't need any more CG zoo animal flicks for a decade or two.
     
  10. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    pretty bad story.
    boring even.

    but watching with the tosh xa1 hddvd player it looked amazing.

    lots of pretty colors.

    no other reason to watch though.
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Yeah, but Shatner was even funnier in "Over the Hedge". [​IMG] My kids (ages 10 and 5) were pretty disappointed in "The Wild" when they saw it theatrically.

    Regards,
     
  12. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    What are you saying about us Canadians?? Eh?

    ha hah

    Mike
     
  13. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    This is something that I expected to happen in a very short period of time. In the world of cel-animated feature films, there is a good amount of quality animation and storytelling, plus an extremely high amount of decent animation with absolutely horrible storytelling.

    It has taken a very short time, but the ratio of top-drawer digitally animated feature films to sub-par, forgettable releases is looking very similar, if not worse. Digital animation is not saving the animated film when two other films are cloning Madagascar. This is what has allowed Pixar to set the bar while nearly every other studio has virtually failed (The exceptions being Dreamworks Shrek and maybe TCF's Ice Age).
     
  14. Ryan Wong

    Ryan Wong Stunt Coordinator

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    Haha. I like the verdict. I need to rent it to see why it deserves a verdict like this.
     
  15. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    I knew this was going to be a stinker when I read about the licensing meeting. Apparently, nobody wanted to touch this thing. No action figures, no fast food deals. NOTHING.
     
  16. Tarkin The Ewok

    Tarkin The Ewok Supporting Actor

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    I guess I just imagined those Wild toys in the McDonald's Happy Meals, then. Of course, the marketing push wasn't as big as the one for Cars, but I did see more ads for The Wild than for Valiant.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Man, I just watched this DVD last night and I wished I had seen this thread before wasting my money on this movie. [​IMG] Ugh! Absolutely horrible!I couldn't agree more. I actually thought they were making an obvious goof about the Lion King at the beginning, but it seems like it was more of a rip off that they tried to pass off as an original idea. [​IMG]
     
  18. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    I liked it.
    And the character with the British accent was best.
    Good animation too.
    Madagasar isn't all that really.

    Emperor's new clothes anyone?

    The kids here love it.
     
  19. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    the character with the british accent was a koala bear. arent they australian
    i know the history of all that but i think it was or should have been an australian acc't.

    also the comedian who voiced the bear i think is british and sounded like he was trying to do a aussie accent using a british voice imitating a scottish? actor billy connolly

    this movie was boring.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, Eddie Izzard. I never heard of him before, but I think I may have seen his stand up (if that was who I was thinking of). He was definitely the best part of the movie. Actually, the deleted scene of him freaking out was probably the best part of the DVD. [​IMG] I love when he whispered "Don't look, but there's a lion driving the boat!!"
     

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