Ryan (Greg Cipes) is a lion who wants to go to the wild where his dad Samson (Keifer Sutherland) once lived. When he gets himself shipped to Africa, Samson and his zoo friends must work together to bring him back. Once in Africa, they find themselves in the middle of danger. They have to fight Kazar (William Shatner), an evil wildebeest. However, battling Kazar is nothing compared to the dangers on the other side of the island - a volcano that is on the edge of eruption. Can the animals find Ryan and get out of Africa before the volcano erupts?
For more about The Wild and the The Wild Blu-ray release, see the The Wild Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on September 15, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Computer animated movies used to be something of a novelty. I vividly recall packing into the theater on Thanksgiving day back in 1995 to watch Toy Story. I remember thinking: "Wow… I wish Hollywood would make more movies like that!" Well, be careful what you wish for. So, here we are twelve years later, and there seems to be a new CGI animated feature hitting theaters almost every weekend. The fresh and original storytelling of Toy Story has been replaced by many imitators with a different version of an already-told tale. Is The Wild more of the same, or something unique?
Samson (Kiefer Sutherland) and Ryan (Greg Cripes) are father and son… they also happen to be lions. They live with a host of other animals in the confines of the New York Zoo. Samson loves to spin grandiose tales of his days roaming the African plains and killing wild game to his impressionable son. One day, Ryan is mistakenly shipped off to Africa. This leaves Samson and his animal buddies no choice but to venture into the city, find their way to Africa and save Ryan from the dangers that await him.
An animated Times Square is among the many bits of eye candy in The Wild
The Wild is definitely derivative of many other animated movies. The Lion King, Madagascar, Finding Nemo and a whole host of other tales are all obvious influences. Regardless of these similarities, The Wild does manage to find some originality in its unique and well scripted characters. The real strength of this movie is in the fine voice work. Eddie Izzard, James Belushi, Janeane Garofalo and William Shatner are all obviously having fun with their roles. There are also some exceptional animated sequences in The Wild. The very stylized opening sequence as Samson tells his son about fighting off predators is nothing short of astounding. I was also very impressed with the animated fur on all of the animals. This meticulously animated hair floats naturally with each movement and is so cool that it even becomes occasionally distracting. There are many breathtaking scenes in the film, but even then they can't match up to the best computer animated films of today. It's no secret that The Wild was made on a relatively small budget and it does occasionally show. Ultimately, The Wild is entertaining if not quite up to the storytelling and animation standards of a Pixar film.
This is, quite simply, a stunning high definition transfer. Colors are vivid and lush while detail is absolutely amazing. This is the very definition of eye candy. Black levels are fantastic as are shadow details. There just isn't a flaw to be found on this disc. I literally sat and watched The Wild with my eyes bugging out. This transfer is that good. From now on, The Wild is going into the rotation as one of my showcase discs for showing exactly what Blu-ray is capable of. This is a must own title and is one of the many reference quality discs on the Blu-ray format.
Again, Disney provides a stellar uncompressed PCM track. While this isn't the best PCM track I've yet heard, it is still very good. There is a nice amount of ambient fill in the rear channels and dialogue is cleanly presented from the center channel. The film's several action sequences are also quite lively with excellent directional effects and hard panning. There is also quite a bit of popular music on the soundtrack that is well defined. This isn't reference audio, but it is still very effective and impressive in parts.
The supplements on The Wild are a little more comprehensive than what is now standard from Disney thus far on their non-special ediition Blu-ray releases. The deleted scenes are entertaining, but the Eddie Izzard blooper reel is the real standout here. There are some genuinely hilarious moments contained in this feature. It's always great fun to hear Mr. Izzard cut loose. Finally, the music videos are sure to be entertaining for the kids and will probably drive most adults stark-raving mad.
While The Wild is certainly derivative, the movie is genuinely entertaining. There are some real visual treats to be found in this release and the absolute reference video will not disappoint. I found the animation to be very impressive in parts, but on the whole a bit of a letdown compared to the best of what Pixar has to offer. Still, there is a lot of substance here and the film is extremely endearing. If you have kids in your household, this is a must buy. If not, The Wild merits purchase consideration on the strength of its visual presentation alone.