PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Leunig Animated (2002)

Leunig Animated (2002)

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Released 21-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Storyboard Comparisons-4 x Original Cartoons Comparison
Production Notes
Notes-Freerange Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo-x 20
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Foriegn Language Episodes x 81
Outtakes-x 6
Audio Bites-Additional Music x 4
TV Spots-x 2
Easter Egg-Making Of 5.1 Audio Mix
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 54:34 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Andrew Horne
Fruitcup Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Sam Neill
Julie McGregor
Steve Rodgers
Case Gatefold
RPI $39.95 Music Hylton Mowday

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Leunig Animated is a collection of fifty one-minute animations based on the work of renowned Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig. The clips are divided into the following five categories: Whimsy, Melancholy, Playful, Ironic and Bliss. Each individual clip is approximately one minute in length and is based upon a previous Leunig cartoon strip.

    Michael Leunig is well-known to Australian audiences through his cartoon strips, which have appeared in various publications since 1969. This collection is the first time that his work has been produced for film or television. The clips were animated using stop-motion modelling techniques by Australian company Freerange Animation. This series was originally seen on SBS television and has won a number of awards in various competitions around the world.

    The series was produced by Bryan Brown and the voice of the narrator was provided by Sam Neill. Surprisingly, when viewing the series, the credits for each episode often do not seem to match the material presented, with narration and voice credits appearing for episodes with none and vice versa. The collection is presented on two single layered DVDs that could have easily been combined onto a single dual layer disc - the packaging incorrectly claims that dual layered discs are provided.

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Transfer Quality


    The excellent transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely sharp throughout and is able to easily reveal the details in the original animation. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. The animation is always brightly lit and there are never any problems with shadow detail.

    The colour palette displayed during the transfer utilizes a wide range of colours that are able to capture the subtle shadings that are present in the original animation models.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer. A small amount of aliasing may be seen during the episodes with an opening credit sequence showing two people viewing a sunset on a television. Examples of this minor artefact may be seen at 0:08 and 2:24 during the Whimsy segment and may be an intentional part of the animation. It is never distracting.

    A few very small film artefacts may be seen during the transfer with examples visible at 1:12 and 1:42 during Whimsy, at 0:40 during Melancholy and at 2:17 during Playful. All of these artefacts are very minor and are never disruptive. Some obvious film grain may be seen during some episodes such as at 2:29 during Whimsy and at 3:29, 4:42 and 5:33 during the Melancholy episodes. Whilst obvious, this grain is never annoying.

    Unfortunately, no subtitles are included for the main feature.

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


    An English Dolby Digital 2.0 224 kbps soundtrack is provided in addition to a new English Dolby Digital 5.1 448 kbps surround mix created specifically for this DVD release.

    The minimal dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. As this is an animated feature, there are the expected problems with audio sync. No dropouts were detected during the transfer.

    The original score by Hylton Mowday always works well with the on-screen action and is able to effectively set the appropriate tone for the episode.

    The surround and LFE channels are used effectively throughout the transfer. Many episodes have the soundstage focused across the front three channels, but when appropriate the surround channels are used effectively for both effects and the score.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    All extras are presented at a 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack unless otherwise noted.


    The very minimally animated menus are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and they are 16x9 enhanced.

Disc 1

Original Cartoons

    This is a collection of four original cartoon strips that were animated. Each cartoon is displayed on three separate pages and a fourth page shows a colourised version of the cartoon. A link to the final animated cartoon is also included.

Production Notes

    This is a fifteen-page collection of interesting production notes about the creation of the series from producer Deborah Szapiro.

Production Stills

    This is a collection of twenty production stills from the series.


    This is a seven-page collection of notes about Freerange Animation, the company responsible for animating this series.


    This is a two-page listing of the awards that the Leunig Animated Collection has received.


    Multiple page biographies and select filmographies are provided for Michael Leunig, Sam Neill, Steve Rodgers, Hylton Mowday and Bryan Brown.

Easter Egg: Making of the 5.1 Audio for DVD (4:37)

    This is a short featurette examining the creation of the 5.1 audio mix for this DVD release. This Easter Egg may be accessed by highlighting the Original Cartoons option on the Production menu and pressing the right arrow to highlight a duck in the lower left of the screen.

Disc 2

Documentary (55:28)

    This documentary about the creation of the series contains interviews with Michael Leunig, Bryan Brown and various crewmembers involved with the project. The documentary examines the origins of the project and provides footage from actual production and design meetings. Also included are a number of interviews with other cartoonists and background information on Michael Leunig's career.

Multi Language Episodes

    This is a collection of nine different episodes available with a choice of Greek, Italian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Spanish, Hungarian, Portuguese and Japanese soundtracks. A set of yellow English subtitles are provided for these episodes.


    The following collection of six different outtakes from the series are included:

Additional Music

    This is a collection of the following four different audio clips featuring additional music from the show.

TVC#1 (0:31)

    This is a television advertisement for the DVD release of the Leunig Animated Collection on DVD.

TVC#2 (0:31)

    This is a second television advertisement for the DVD release of the Leunig Animated Collection on DVD.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is not currently available in Region 1.


    If you are a fan of Michael Leunig's work then you should definitely take a look at this interesting animated collection.

    The video transfer presented on this collection is of excellent quality with no significant artefacts at any time.

    The new high quality Dolby Digital 5.1 audio continually complements the original animation design.

    An informative collection of extras is included, providing interesting details about Michael Leunig and his career.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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