Birthday Boy (2004)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Director And Producer
Audio Commentary-Editor
Audio Commentary-Sound Designer And Composer
Multiple Angles-From Storyboard To Finished Film
Featurette-Bringing Manuk To Life
Featurette-Putting The Pieces Together
Gallery-Production Art
Trailer-About AFTRS
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 9:23
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sejong Park
Accent Film Entertainment
Starring Sejong Park
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music James Lee
Adrian Rostirolla
Chris McKeith

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† Nominated in the "Short Film (Animated)" category at the 77th Annual Academy, this Australian made film is the amazing work of some very talented individuals.

††† Set in Korea in 1951, this film introduces us to a little boy called Manuk. Manuk is playful and inventive. He looks upon the world in wonder, even though he lives in hard times. The film shows us another side to the Korean War - from a child's eyes. He doesn't grasp the seriousness of the events around him, and his childhood innocence plays an important part in the story.

††† The animation is excellent, but what is even more amazing is that it was done without a huge company with a huge budget and a huge team. But this film would not be a success if it relied purely on animation. The combination of the story, the direction and soundtrack bring this film to life. The film has minimal use of dialogue, and uses other means to tell the story.

††† The animation was created in Maya. It has a rather unique style. It should certainly serve as inspiration for aspiring CG artists. What the animation does best is showing the emotions of Manuk, our Birthday Boy.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


††††Foreground image quality is excellent. The picture is sharp, colours are rendered well, and the textures are beautiful. The background image quality, however, suffers from very poor colour and grain. This is most clearly evident in the sky shots, where Manuk looks great but the clouds are horrible and distracting. The abrupt changes in colour gradient wouldnít be so bad if the wobbling grain didnít draw your attention to them. Fortunately, these scenes are quite short.

††††Subtitles are available in Japanese, Spanish, French and English.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††††The audio setup on the DVD lets you pick between a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack and a Stereo soundtrack. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is presented at 448 kbps. The sound quality is excellent. The score is sparse, but effective. As mentioned before there is very little dialogue. Your subwoofer will get quite a workout during two sequences in the movie. This contrasts nicely with the rest of the film, where the sound is far more subtle.

††††The "Stereo" soundtrack is actually encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 224 kbps. It is just a stereo soundtrack as the sub and the rears arenít used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††††Commentary is available from the Editor, the Sound Designer and Composer, and the Director and Producer. All three commentaries are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kbps. All three commentaries are quite interesting. One wouldnít think there would be an editorís commentary on an animated film, but the commentary explains what an editor does on an animated film. There is some crackling on the editorís commentary.

From Storyboard To Finished Film (7:41)

††††This shows the entire short film in its three stages: storyboard, un-textured computer animation and the final result. The DVD uses different Angles for each stage, and there is a fourth angle available which shows all three stages on the screen at the same time. The storyboard is interesting to watch as it gives you an idea of how the film would have looked if it was done through traditional animation instead of CG.

Bringing Manuk To Life (0:41)

††††This short segment shows a rotating 3D Manuk in his various forms from just his joints, to a wireframe version, a shaded version, a textured version, a textured version with lighting and the final rendered version.

Putting the Pieces Together (2:53)

††††This segment, which features commentary by Peter Giles from the AFTRS, concentrates on the compositing process. It shows how much 2D compositing was done in the film, instead of doing work on the 3D renders. It shows how different levels of motion blur were applied to different parts of the image, and explains how it reduced the computational complexity of the film by doing things this way.

Production Art (0:32)

††††This is a slideshow of artwork done by Sejong Park for the film. This artwork features in the film as paintings on the wall.

About AFTRS (1:37)

††††This is basically an advert for the AFTRS. It shows some of the work of its graduates in a slick package.

R4 vs R1

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

††††This is an all region DVD. This short film does not appear to have been released on DVD outside Australia yet.


††††Birthday Boy is a good short film, which happens to also have some nicely done animation. The audio quality is high, and the image quality is generally high. There are quite a lot of extras on this DVD considering the main feature is so short.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Brumby (read my bio)
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1300Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE500 Widescreen High Definition Projector onto a 102" screen. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V800
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 Front, Aaron CC-240 Centre, Aaron SS-240 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW320 Sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Not worth a purchase. - J Sebastian
Purchase: No; Watch: Yes - Brian K.