Gogs-The Complete Collection (1994)

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Released 21-May-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Claymation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 89:39 (Case: 88)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Deinioi Morris
Michael Mort
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Marie Clifford
Gillian Elisa
Dafydd Emyr
Rob Rackstraw
Nick Upton
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Arwyn Davies


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
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

    This disc is an absolute 'must have' for anyone seriously into claymation and who loves South Park type humour. This collection consists of one 6 minute and six 9 minute shorts, as well as a longer 28 minute episode.

    Gogs is the brainchild of Deiniol Morris and Michael Mort who met at Newport Film School in 1989 and studied animation together. They formed Aaargh! Animation Production when Gogs was commissioned by S4C and BBC Bristol.

    The Gogs themselves are a prehistoric family lovingly rendered in clay, each with its own characteristics.

    Combining lots of toilet humour, witty little plots and a scant disregard for political correctness, the animators have created a very funny series surpassed in quality only by such noted claymation as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit from Aardman.
The Episodes
    Some episodes seem to have two distinct parts so I've noted them for completeness

Gogs I

Episode 1 (9:07):
Part 1- Ogla is spring-cleaning, Igi is drawing birds and dreaming of flying and Oglas decides to practise his bowmanship using Ogo with an apple on his head as a target.
Part 2 - Girj refuses to stop crying so Gogas designs a swing to quieten him down.

Episode 2 (9:07):
Part 1: The family is hungry so Oglas and Ogo set out to search for food (introducing Ninja Dino and Ray).
Part 2: Oglas and Gogas set a trap with Ogo as bait, only to end up trapped themselves

Episode 3 (9:04):
When it starts to rain the Gogs seek shelter and Ogo finds a cave. Meanwhile Gogas is having a problem with a gopher.

Episode 4 (6:39):
Everyone is freezing until a lightning strike starts a fire. Ray the Dinosaur rocks up for breakfast (the Gogs) but can Ogo save the day with the last embers of the fire?

Gogs II

Episode 5 (9:07):
Everyone but Ogo has a cold. After seeing the gopher cure his cold with fruit, they send Ogo to pick it for them, but naturally he blows it. So off goes Ogo to find some more fruit for them.

Episode 6 (9:12):
Part 1: While out searching for food, Girj is accidentally exchanged with a gorilla's baby, so Ogla goes in search of her child.
Part 2: A bear takes over the Gogs cave and everyone is trying to find a way to rid themselves of this pest.

Episode 7 (9:33):
Part 1: Gogas, Ogla and Oglas are out for a night on the town drinking nectar, so Igi and Ogo are stuck minding Girj, who does nothing but cry unless he's fed. Naturally Ray the Dino comes for a visit and things really get out of hand when he spies a nice snack in Girj.
Part 2: The weather has iced over so Ogla and Ogo head off to do some ice fishing. Girj decides to sneak along for the ride, complicating things.

Episode 8 (27:50): - Gogswana
This is one long episode with seven parts to it plus an introduction and ending credits. I won't give away too much of the plot since if you've made it this far into the series you are probably addicted already.
The Gogs are forced from their cave by an earthquake. Seeing their land is now uninhabitable they follow a new star in the heavens in the hopes of finding a new home. They naturally meet lots of problems and have some surprising adventures along the way.
 

    There are some interesting tributes in various episodes including the Evil Dead, the Three Stooges, Rocky and Bruce Lee movies amongst others.

    *Warning*: This disc contains copious amounts of farting, belching, nose-picking, urinating and defecating, all presented in the most tasteless manner. If you are easily offended then do not buy this disc.

    *Addendum*: Do not allow your children to see this disc if laughter offends.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Gogs is presented Full Frame (1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced). Considering that this was made for television, this isn't surprising.

    The biggest problem with this transfer is grain, although it does diminish episode by episode. Sharpness is exceptional with fine detail outstanding (see Episode 1 at 1.33 - you can see the tool marks on Igi's clay nose). Shadow level is very good with lots of detail visible in places like forests and caves. The animators really spent some time on detail. Low level noise was not an issue throughout.

    The colour changes subtly between episodes. It becomes brighter and less faded. The initial colour palette chosen was a little dull, but by Gogswana it really is brilliant

    There were no MPEG artefacts noted. There was a slight telecine wobble in Episode 2 at 8:35, and the few film artefacts present are well within tolerance consisting mainly of small specks of white which did not detract from the overall quality. There was one unexplained item worth mentioning. In Episode 2 there is a 'ghost' that crosses the screen at 0:54. It could have been one of the creatures in the forest, but it looks like something the animators didn't expunge correctly.

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

Audio

    The biggest problem in reviewing a disc like this is that there is minimal dialogue and the music is mostly incidental, although there are copious sound effects throughout to fill in the spaces.

    The soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0 at a bitrate of 192kB/s. This is the only track on the disc so naturally I listened to it.

    Dialogue consists of grunts, groans, screams, exclamations of pain, shock, surprise, fear, and so forth. The animators went to great lengths to sync the characters' expressions with the various sounds emitted. I doubt you'll have any problem discerning the intention of the animators even if you are hard-of-hearing. The effect is quite superb as you would expect.

    There was one noted audio glitch in Episode 4 where the sound diminished notably from 2:12 to 2:20.

    The music is never overpowering, rather more subtle. The incidental nature of it is used to convey danger or used to embellish a comedic sequence and occasionally it is even worked in to enhance a mood setting. Very suitable without being highly noticeable and well done.

    There was no surround or LFE channel usage discernible with this disc. A pity, since the surrounds could have had a field day with all the special effect noises and the .1 would have greatly enhanced the stomping of dinosaurs, the rumble of earthquakes or the crashes of thunder.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The disc begins with the first episode. The main menu is a simple graphic with underlying sound of the family sleeping. There is a slight flickering intended to be like a fire reflecting off a cave wall.

    Selecting Gogs and Gogs II menus: Gogs I shows 4 episodes to choose from, Gogs II 3 episodes. The sound is strange, possibly meant to be a fire burning, but sounding more like the end of a record in endless repeat. To exit back out to the main menu you must select the hand with the snotty finger (amusing).

    Gogswana offers 8 episodes over 2 pages plus end credits, with the same background sound.

Gallery-Photo

    23 static pictures taken from various episodes.

R4 vs R1

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

    There doesn't appear to be an R1 release of this movie at this time. There is an R2 version but it appears to be exactly the same as the R4, and therefore the local version would be the preferred choice.

Summary

    Gogs is not as technically competent as Wallace and Gromit, but this series of claymation is extremely well done and worth visiting if you know little about it. The humour is very base but quite hilarious in spots. Forget the obvious flaws in the plots (like dinosaurs and humans co-existing and the obvious 63 million year discrepancy) and just enjoy this for what it is.

    The video is very good all things considered. The grain was annoying but it improved each episode.

    The audio was adequate for what it was, with good sound effect range. 5.1 would have been nice though.

    The extras aren't worth much. A short interview with the animators would have been of much more value.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Tuesday, June 05, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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