Tags: BD-Live, Cody Cameron, Crispin Glover, Danny Mann, Fred Stoller, Hans Tester, Jacquie Barnbrook, Jane Krakowski, Joel McHale, Larramie Doc Shaw, Matthew O'Callaghan, Mike Epps, Olivia Hack, Sean Mullen, Sony, Steve Schirripa
has an average rating of 5.6 on IMDb
1080p in AVC on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
are in Hi-Def with BD-Live & a Game
– 76 minutes
Street Date: January 27th, 2009
Overall Verdict – Worth A Rental
— Review written by: Danielle Byington —
The Movie Itself is directed by Matthew O’Callaghan, co-directed by Todd Wilderman, and written by David I. Stern. This CG animated film’s story revolves around Elliot (Joel McHale), a spaz-tastic deer who is about to be wed to his doe, Giselle (Jane Krakowski). Accompanied by the other forest critters and his closest friends, a bear, Boog (Mike Epps), a squirrel, McSquizzy, a porcupine, Budd, and two ducks, and one that is missing from the ceremony, Mr. Weenie (Cody Cameron), a wiener dog who has chosen to runaway from his owners, “Mudflap” and “Wild Bob“, to live a life free of domestic oppression, and be, as he says in his thick German accent, “Vild“. Just as Elliot is nauseously trying to spit out his vows of “forever” to Giselle, he notices Mr. Weenie in the far distance devouring a trail of dog biscuits that seem to lead to doom. In panic, Elliot leaves his bride-to-be at the alter running towards the scene of danger involving Mr. Weenie.
As Giselle, Boog, and the others arrive at the scene, they witness Mr. Weenie being “abducted”, coincidentally by his former owner, “Mudflap“. Knowing how he feels about domestic pet-life, the group begins making a plan to rescue him, which only erupts a dispute between Elliot and Giselle, sparking him to track down Mr. Weenie, rather than allow Giselle to make a decision for him, as she travels with Boog, McSquizzy, Buddy, and the ducks. While the forest-friends are on two different paths to find him, Mr. Weenie is riding along in his owners’ RV, which is actually part of a fleet of RV driving pet-lovers, all heading to a place called Pet Paradise; a tropically themed pet resort for the type of owners obsessed with their animals.
Along the way, Mr. Weenie and his friends on a mission to rescue him, encounter other pampered Pet Paradise destined animals; the most vile and manipulative of them all, Fifi (voiced by insane actor Crispin Glover), a fiery toy poodle, whom, because of his own fear of nature, brainwashes the other pampered pets into believing that wild animals are the enemy.
Overall, the film’s story isn’t as strong as other recent animated features, as well as the film’s comedic value; the jokes just don’t seem as intelligent as in a Pixar/Dreamworks film. However, there are some well-thought out characters that offer the said comedic-value, aside from what is present in the dialogue, such as the cat Roger (Sean Mullen), who looks and sounds like a laboratory-tested animal. Again though, aside from the small bits of laughs, the story itself lacks solid structure in the pursuit of rescuing Mr. Weenie. Overall, the movie itself earns a “3.0 Star Rating“.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This CG animated film has a uniquely simplistic animation style (very boxy), and does present a great amount of detail, but more commonly only in elements such as fur and facial close-ups of the animal characters. The color palette is highly vibrant, especially with the scenes of the forest, and even in regard to the wardrobe of the humans, the RV’s they drive, and the tropical look of Pet Paradise. The black level is solid as well, further complimenting the brightness of the color palette. The animated movement of the characters is perfect and realistic, from the smooth steps of the deer, to the feisty and jumpy movements of the poodle. Overall, the video quality for this release is impressive and clear, though not quite as detailed in all aspects as other CG animated on Blu-ray, thus receiving a respectable “4.5 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround. As most animated films today go, the soundeffects are really nice, making excellent use of all channels, and offering some bass presence as well. The score by composer Ramin Djawadi (“Deception“, “Iron Man“, and “Open Season“) is also presented perfectly, again making thorough use of the entire soundscape with clarity. There are also a couple of moments of some very subtle panning; not entirely up to par with some big-title action flicks, but still great use of the soundscape all around. Overall, the audio quality for this release earns a “4.5 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials on this release (titled “Wacky Weenie Arcade” on the main menu) are presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition (HD supplements will be noted), using Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.
- BD-Live is included which allows users on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc Player to access online features and content.
- “Save Mr. Weenie! Game” (HD) is a game played using the arrows on your remote to move 4 characters across obstacles, much like “Frogger“. Each level gives you 5 lives and 30 seconds for each character to cross to the other side.
- “Going Wild! With The Voice Cast” (HD 15 minutes) involves the cast discussing their experience doing the voices for the film, and includes some behind the scenes footage of their recording sessions.
- “How To Draw Boog, Elliot, & Fifi” (HD 18 minutes) involves coaching from Storyboard Artist Sean Mullen as his guides you through the steps of simply drawing some of the main characters.
- “Deleted Scenes” (6 minutes) includes 3 scenes in a rough/raw animation style, prior to the final product’s look.
- Music Video: “Who Let The Dogs Out” by Baha Men
Overall, the bonus materials offer audiences the standard collection of supplements we often see on an animated feature’s menu, from the “How to draw…”, to interviews with the voice-cast, and the movie-oriented game (which is honestly one of the better games I’ve played from bonus materials); all of which should be of moderate interest for fans of the film and animation.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.