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A view on Blu-rays by Gary W. Tooze

The Wild [Blu-ray]

(Steve 'Spaz' Williams, 2006)



Re-issued on February 8th, 2011:


Walt Disney Video
Review by Gary W. Tooze


Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:21:35.932

Disc Size: 21,470,169,210 bytes

Feature Size: 18,227,718,144 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.24 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 21st, 2006



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 6912 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 6912 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), French, Spanish, none


• Deleted Scenes with Director Commentary
• “Eddie Izzard Unleashed” Bloopers and Blunders
• “Real Wild Child” music video
• “Meet Colin: The Rock Hyrax”




Product Description:

You’ll roar with laughter as Disney uncages this hip and hilarious comedy on Blu-ray’s high definition disc. Now the hysterical adventure the New York Daily News calls "truly infectious" is wilder than ever in this stunning new format! When an outrageous band of furry friends escape from the city zoo, they discover that New York City is the biggest, craziest jungle of all. Feast your eyes upon the ferociously funny animal antics in spectacular 1080p, while you heed the call of The Wild’s bonus features, hysterical bloopers and blunders, deleted scenes and more in fierce 5.1 48 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. Harness the power of Blu-ray™ High Definition to captivate and entertain your whole family!




The Film:

With its narrative resemblance to last year's "Madagascar," the latest zoo-animals-gone-native adventure, "The Wild," makes you suspect that both projects benefited from the same uncredited script doctor. The animation, however, is a different matter: where "Madagascar" was all sharp edges and blocky slabs of uniform color, "The Wild" is filled with softness and texture. When a breeze stirs the coat of Samson the lion, the hairs lift and separate just like the real thing.

The plot is at once familiar and unexpectedly original as Samson (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland,) along with a gaggle of noisy friends, escapes from the fictitious New York Zoo in pursuit of his cub, who has stowed away on a ship bound for Africa. The rescue mission allows a domesticated Samson to finally get his beast on; it also allows for inspired voice work from Eddie Izzard as a snooty koala bear and William Shatner as a menacing wildebeest with plans to reverse the predator- prey dynamic. Some of the film's images, in fact — like a pair of sewer-dwelling alligators with hideously pockmarked hides — are shivery enough to inspire night terrors in all but the most precocious toddlers.

But while the kids are giggling at gambling pigeons and psychedelic chameleons, parents can enjoy a screenplay sensitive to the travails of single fatherhood and the evils of oppression. In "The Wild," the most valuable weapons are honesty, tolerance and the ability to be oneself.

 Excerpt from Janet Catsoulis at the NY Times located HERE




I wasn't overly keen on this film plot the first time it was pushed into the Blu-ray player (I just wasn't in the mood for another Madagascar, I think), but I was surprised at how attentive my children were during viewing. What happens with The Wild is that it grows on you - immensely. NY zoo lion Samson (with the un-expectantly effective deep voice of Kiefer Sutherland) is a father and he has a secret. He is not from the wild although all the other zoo inhabitants believe he is... including his son Ryan. Samson's embellished tales of encouragement to the fruit of his loins (in the context of battles with Water Buffalo - their Relentless Enemies, as it were) becomes a tall order for young Ryan to live up to (he has a weak roar). With support voices of James Belushi, Eddie Izzard, Janeane Garofalo and William Shatner as giraffe's, a smitten squirrel, a python and a gregarious koala we are taken on an adventure of self-discovery and parental bonding - going back to The Wild (akin to Madagascar but much better in my eyes). It is one of my boys most requested discs to play (and they have a lot to choose from). Really, the more I watch this with its subtle humor and vintage Hollywood references ('Top of the World Ma!') - the more I like it. Take pause - this may also grow on you quickly... but it's a fun, warm ride that achieves through projections of belief and persistence. It's a lovely children's film that adults can also enjoy through repeat viewings. 

Gary Tooze

Video:    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The animators of today’s CG marvels (actually these chaps are from my home city of Toronto) have excelled to unbelievable proportions - the animals fur is so real you fight yourself from walking up to the screen to pet them. Actually the production has done and intelligent thing - like many modern digital animation it infuses blurriness for motion to make the picture quality more real - BUT it is used extensively here with limitations in the still motion which tends to cause you to swoon over the incredible sharpness and bright colors. I watched this in a pitch black room on a plasma TV and it looks absolutely perfect - pristine. I may regret saying that as improved stuff continues to amaze us weekly, but its been a while and nothing beat this ... yet. I hope the captures below bear that out to some degree. My fellow Blu-ray reviewer Leonard Norwitz ('Lensview') agrees with me whole-heartedly. "It's the best image yet - reference quality."

2010 additional comments: Hold on - this came out on Blu-ray 4 years ago? Wow - early days of the format - it was reference at the time - and I am still incredibly impressed with the image quality - magnificent in color, detail, depth - fabulous.

















Audio: Comes in two 'original' flavors - English: linear PCM 5.1 at a gargantuan 6912 kbps and standard Dolby Digital 5.1. Plus there are two DUBs in French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 The uncompressed PCM track is... perfect. Samson's roars are intense to say the least. The track is very buoyant with plenty of subtle effects. I have absolutely no complaints with the audio and dialogue is supported in optional English (CC), French or Spanish subtitles. The disc is region 'A'-locked but this is available in Europe as well.

Extras: A plus in that it is more than zilch which bodes well that the trend for Disney improving to develop and produce viable supplements. The enjoyable deleted scenes (with commentary) are humorous. The Eddie Izzard blooper reel is super cool. There are also music video for those keen.

BOTTOM LINE: I can't say enough about the image and as far as the film, at present , I am liking this maybe more than I should. The Lifehouse song "Good Enough" is a perfect addition to The Wild and helps bring this movie up another small notch. Hey, it also has Don Cherry commentating the curling match ('Beauty, Eh?'). Give this a chance (or two) I say - you may enjoy it as much as I (or my sons)... or just get it as a unseen change of pace when the family/friends with kids in tow head over - the quality is superlative. That's a recommendation folks - a fairly big one. Don't be discouraged by some of the film reviews - judge for yourself.



Re-issued on February 8th, 2011:



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About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze