The Animal: Collector's Edition (2001)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary-Luke Greenfield (Director)
Audio Commentary-Rob Schneider (Actor) & John Schneider (Producer)
Active Subtitle Track-Badger Delivery (Deleted Scenes)
Featurette-Comedy Central's Reel Comedy: The Animal
Featurette-What's In Marvin?
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Joe Dirt; Big Daddy; The Cable Guy
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (58:16)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Luke Greenfield|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
John C. McGinley
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
Active Subtitle Track
Spanish Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, blink and you will miss it.|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, after credits voice (no visual).|
The story follows Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider), a police evidence room file clerk who dreams of one day becoming a fully fledged policeman. Unfortunately, the major obstacle standing between Marvin and his dream is the unavoidable fact that he is an enormous loser. He is despised by all the other cops to the point that he only gets to man the front desk of the police station when all the members of the local force are at their softball game. It is while "minding" the desk for his only friend on the force, Fatty (Louis Lombardi), that he gets a fateful call to a robbery. Unable to rouse the real police from their game, Marvin sets off to attend the robbery himself, only to be forced off the road high in the mountains, and to crash to the valley hundreds of metres below. As is to be expected, he does not fare particularly well from such a plummet, and is only saved by the mysterious Dr. Wilder (Michael Caton), who performs a "radical trans-species-ectomy" on Marvin. Will Marvin be able to control his animal instincts? And what will the rest of the world say when they work out Marvin is not quite the same as he used to be? Well, lets just say it involves a love interest played by Survivor alumni Colleen Haskell, the meanest police Seargent of them all (John C. McGinley), and the theory of "reverse racism" as espoused by Marvin's friend Miles (Guy Torry).
The "story" is really not a story as such, but a meandering path that goes out of its way to work as many set pieces and sight gags into play as possible. There is really no beginning, middle and end to this story, more a prologue and a middle - with nothing else. This is not much of a problem, however, due mostly to the movie's exceedingly short running time of 79:47, as there is not enough time for the lack of an actual storyline to be noticeable.
The end result is that The Animal is a very funny movie that is funny in spite of itself. If you were a fan of Deuce Bigalow, then this is definitely worth a look, and if not, then stay away.
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
This transfer is quite sharp, although I have certainly seen sharper transfers. Like a number of recent films, the transfer appears to be attempting to represent a "film-like" image, but the result is that we get a transfer that contains a constant low level of grain throughout. This grain never really presents a problem, but it is annoying at times to anyone who is looking for it. It is most obvious during the opening Columbia logo and as this represents the first few seconds of the feature, it is a somewhat worrying way to start. Shadow detail is superb, displaying more than enough information for all the darker scenes in the movie to be clear and easy to make out. There is no low level noise present in this transfer.
Colours are generally good, without being remarkable. Certainly there are no scenes that are overly vibrant, but neither are there any scenes that appear to be washed out. In general, the colour rendering goes unnoticed, which would indicate it is serving its purpose perfectly.
This transfer exhibits no instances of compression artefacts, and the only aliasing present is so minor and so infrequent that if you blinked, you would miss it. The most disappointing aspect of this transfer is the number and frequency of film artefacts. The entire transfer is marked with both black and white artefacts, although some sequences are worse than others. The most noticeable artefacts are a white splotch that appears over a policeman's jacket at 62:42 and what appears to be a hair that appears over Colleen Haskell's back at 50:12. This problem is all the more disappointing given how recent this film is.
The subtitles presented here are really only a representational effort at best, essentially summarising what is said by the characters. It is rare, in fact, to find a sentence that has not had any words removed from it. Whether the humour of the situation would be effected by these cuts is difficult to ascertain, as I was already aware of what the characters were actually saying.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 58:16. While it occurs during a passage without dialogue, and during a static shot, the pause in the soundtrack clearly gives its presence away.
There are four audio tracks present on this disc. These are the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kbps, a Spanish dialogue dub, also in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kbps, and two audio commentary tracks, both in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 Kbps. I listened to the English dialogue track, and both commentary tracks, in their entireties.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times (excluding those moments of mumbled, or otherwise mangled, delivery from the actor).
Audio sync is never a problem during the transfer, even during a specific line the commentary reveals has been looped by an entirely different actor.
As with most comedies of this nature, there are two elements to the music. There is the score, provided by Teddy Castellucci, that utilises both orchestral and contemporary styles to good effect, and there are the recognisable contemporary tunes interspersed at key moments throughout the film. The score itself is quite good, and on a few occasions mimics the contemporary tunes used at other moments such that I did not notice that they were not "real" tunes until mentioned in a commentary.
Surround usage is extremely aggressive at all times. As this is a dialogue driven comedy, most of the scenes revolve around the conversations happening at the front centre of the soundstage, however, the surround channels are constantly used for ambient effects, ranging from bird-calls in outside environments to the noise of a machine in Dr. Wilder's lab. When the on-screen activities become more action oriented, the surround channels come blazingly to life, presenting an extremely immersive experience all round.
The subwoofer, unsurprisingly, has little to do in a dialogue-driven movie. When necessary, it adds a punch to lower elements of some action sequences and the score, but largely stays silent.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is good, although the number of film artefacts is disturbing for such a recent film.
The audio quality is brilliant, being one of the best comedy soundtracks I have encountered.
Some of the extras are worthwhile, some are not, but the paltry number of deleted scenes presented here (and the fact they have been broken into three separate features, which is really cheating) compared to what is available is a little disappointing.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||RCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|