Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys (2001)

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Released 4-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Director's Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Animating Rudolph
DVD-ROM Extras-Rudolph's Christmas Cards
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 71:53 (Case: 74)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bill Kowalchuk
Studio
Distributor
GoodTimes Entertain
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis
Richard Dreyfuss
Rick Moranis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Christmas has not been the same since they stopped showing those wonderful stop-frame-animation puppet-based films, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and I think there was one about Frosty The Snow Man as well. I am not sure just why these are no longer aired but it is a great shame. We have one pair of producers to thank for all this wonderful Christmas spirit, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin.

    Rudolph first graced the small screen in 1944 (I have a sneaking suspicion that that date is four years too early) in animated form and then joined us in the world of stop-motion animation in 1964. An endearing (despite its very commercial beginnings) tale that then spawned many sequels. Bass and Rankin followed up in 1975 with another stop frame film called Rudolph's Shiny New Year.

    The particular sequel on this disc is the latest instalment of the Rudolph franchise. It is a far cry from the originals and I thought a bit disappointing. In this version all our world and characters are computer generated. The style of 3D animation is very artificial and in places not very good. Where a character is talking in the foreground the background is a very still rendered image with no life or movement. Some of the characters perform strange feats such as the miraculously quick turn by the main character at 29:22. Considering this was made in 2001, I really expected better.

    The story itself is also a bit pointless with no real direction or characters that really grab your attention. We are approaching another Christmas and Rudolph is a hero, the reindeer that saved Christmas. His buddy is a elf who finally found his true calling as a dentist. Other characters include Frosty, a lumber jack (?) and an abominable snowman. The disaster this time is that someone has stolen all the toys and there is nothing for Father Christmas to deliver. Rudolph and friends are off on the trail of this dastardly criminal in an attempt to retrieve the toys and save Christmas, again.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     I think it would be reasonable to assume that this is a direct from digital transfer, as there are no visible film or video artefacts present in the transfer.

    Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is as sharp as the technology that rendered it, the shadow detail also appears to be good. There is no low level noise.

    The entire image is composed of bright primary colours. If nothing else, young children will be attracted by the colour and motion.

    There don't appear to be any transfer-related MPEG problems; there are a couple of places where digital artefacts are present but I suspect that these are source-related. The edge of the tree at 11:10 and the teddy bear on the couch at 30:40 during the pan are examples of this problem. As mentioned there are no film artefacts.

    The subtitles are reasonably accurate and easy to read. On my system they defaulted to on.

    This is a single layer disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are two audio tracks on this DVD, a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

    The dialogue quality is very good with no problems heard and the audio was in sync as much as any animated feature ever is.

    I was not particularly enamoured with the songs and music in this film, other than the famous Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, of course (still a timeless classic and quite well sung). Other than this, the songs just didn't grab and I had trouble remembering them even shortly after watching the film.

    The surround activity is actually quite good with some good ambience and the occasional split surround effect.

    There was some minor subwoofer activity but nothing spectacular.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    Presented at 1.33:1 the menu is a static backdrop of a Christmas scene from the movie with Rudolph in the foreground with his nose glowing, and there is animated snow falling. The audio is Dolby Digital and the animation loop lasts for 29 seconds after which the movie will begin to play.

Director's commentary (3:42)

    This is not a commentary that runs against the main feature, it is a series of scenes from the film with the director talking mostly about the problems of bringing the film to life in computer animated form. This should have been called a featurette not a commentary.

Trailer (1:22)

    Opening with that most famous of songs about our main character that then gives way to the standard voiced-over American trailer. With particular emphasis on pointing out the big name voice actors, this is a fair representation of the film. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Filmographies

    A series of text pages for Jamie Lee Curtis, Rick Moranis, Richard Dreyfuss and the director Bill Kowalchuk with scenes from the film as backdrops.

Featurette: Animating Rudolph (1:06)

    A very short look at the wire frames and then the completed animations for a series of scenes from the film. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Rudolph Christmas cards.

    From the menu you can browse ten images. These are scenes from the film with a Christmas text message on them. There are printing instructions which tell you to put the DVD into a computer and navigate to the CHRISTMAS_CARDS directory where you will find 10 GIF files that you can print out.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The disc appears identical across the planet.

Summary

    The highlight of this film would have to be the quality of the voice actors, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Dreyfuss, Rick Moranis and Tony Bennett for the famous song. Unfortunately this array of talent is squandered, with a poor script and puddle-depth story line. Not one I would recommend even in the troughs of Christmas cheer.

    The video transfer is good.

    The audio is also technically good.

    The extras are all right.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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Comments (Add)
Stop-motion DVDs avabilable in R1 - Anonymous