The Good

The animation in this movie is top notch.

The Bad

I liked this film better when it was called Madagascar.

Sadly, The Wild just feels like Madagascar's leftovers. The theme of this film is that New York City is "The Wild." Well, that ends up being the case when Samson, Benny, Nigel, Bridget and the rest of the animal crew leave the zoo and journey into the outside world. In fact, one can tell that this movie didn't live up to the studio's expectations, especially considering the paltry amount of features that they have equipped this DVD release with.

I am wondering, before I get too harsh on The Wild, if maybe I am just growing tired of animated movies with animals "being" people. It seems like with all the great strides being made in animation, some studio could actually tell a story that didn't go in this direction. I guess that Warner Bros. tried that with A Scanner Darkly, but apparently the movie was too cerebral to get a big audience.

Features

Bloopers and Blunders

Featuring Eddie Izzard in these, we get to see mistakes of the variety that only seem to happen in the creation of an animated movie. While I found these funny, I couldn't help wondering if due to this movie's poor performance at the box office, perhaps Disney didn't decide to just gear this whole DVD to very young kids.

Deleted Scenes

One can listen to a commentary from the people behind the movie. I found these interesting, mainly because animated movies usually don't lend themselves to deleted scenes. Based on what I have seen, it looks like they streamline the movie as much as possible before any actual writing takes place. That said, in making my own animated movie (1985-1986), I actually did quite a bit of trimming before it was complete.

Everlife Music Video

Everlife do the song "Real Wild Child." I am not to sure what I can say about this as this music is one aspect of the "tween" experience I just don't go for. I guess the folks in this band know what they're doing, but everything about them seems prefabricated to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Video

Aspect Ratio - 1.78:1 - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. Despite what I might think of this movie in terms of the originality (or unoriginality) of it's plot, I think The Wild looks great on DVD. The transfer of this film is so crisp that I actually think this is the kind of movie that should be in High Definition. Even on my small TV, playing in the "standard" format, this movie glistened.

Audio

Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The audio on this film was very solid. However, I don't think my system really got the full brunt of it. Like I mentioned above, I think if I had seen this film on a better system, I most likely would have gotten the most out of this audio design. As it stands, it sounded good but it certainly didn't grab me like the images did.

Package

This embossed front cover with the main animals of the film is really nice touch. The colors used in this image are so warm, even though there isn't a great degree of detail. The back cover gives us a description of The Wild, a Special Features listing and some technical specs. This vinyl cardboard cover slips off, and underneath that is an amaray DVD case with the same front and back cover that I already described. Disney has kept everything about this release simple.

Final Word

I remember when my brother and his wife came to my house after their viewing of The Wild. What was so interesting when I talked to them about the movie, was how beside themselves they seemed over how bad this film was. It's almost as if animated films are a slam-dunk, and when one bombs, it makes a much bigger splash than a live action film? Whatever the case, after going through this film, I guess despite how cute all the animals are, if it isn't there it just isn't there.

Parents and young kids might like The Wild, but if they already own Madagascar, they probably won't see any need to have this film in their collection.

The Wild was released March 6, 2006.