Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie displayed excellent visuals.
Sharpness seemed terrific. From start to finish, the flick offered solid delineation, with a consistently concise and tight presentation. I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws also failed to materialize in this clean transfer.
Animated Movie used a bright palette that came across well. The colors were always lively and dynamic, with no issues on display. Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows were smooth and clear. I found a lot to like about this positive presentation.
While not particularly impressive, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Animated Movie was perfectly adequate. The film offered a good sense of environment and used a few action scenes to open up matters in a decent way. Not a lot of these moments occurred, but they worked well when they did, and the general sense of setting satisfied.
Audio quality was fine. Speech usually sounded natural and warm, with good intelligibility; some of the source material could be distorted – especially during the shouted moments of “Sister Mary Elephant” – but overall clarity remained positive. Music was lively and dynamic, and effects fell into the same realm. Those elements appeared concise and accurate through the flick. Nothing here dazzled, but the track seemed solid.
We get a bunch of extras here, mostly via the disc’s three audio commentaries. The first comes from writers/actors Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of the sketches featured in the film and other aspects of their career.
This tends to be nostalgic and interesting, if not scintillating. The track probably sounds better on paper than it ends up in reality, but it still offers a fun collection of notes. Heck, it’s just cool to hear the old partners hang out together and look back on their work together. Nothing here dazzles, but it entertains.
For the second commentary, we find directors Branden Chambers and Eric D. Chambers and producer Lou Adler. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the project’s origins and development, animation, adapting the original sketches, and some related notes.
Adler occasionally contributes his memories of working with Cheech and Chong, but the Chambers boys dominate this track. While they give us decent nuts and bolts info about the film, I can’t say that I feel like I learned much other than the fact they love C&C. There’s a useful commentary buried in this fairly dull one.
Finally, we hear from writer/actor Tommy Chong and son Paris Chong. They offer another running, screen-specific piece that covers the same territory as the C&C commentary; Paris essentially acts to prompt his dad on topics, while the elder Chong gives us his memories.
Even though this Chong/Chong chat reiterates a fair amount of material from the Cheech/Chong one, it works better. Tommy seems more lucid and invested here, so we get better info about his career. It’s not quite as fun as the Cheech/Chong discussion, but it’s more illuminating.
With the 4.20 Listening Mode, we fail to locate anything unique. It’s just an option that lets you play all three commentaries back to back to back.
The ”Medical Marijuana Blues” Session with Blind Melon Chitlin’ gives us a five-minute, seven-second clip with modern-day Cheech and Chong. We see them in character as musician Blind Melon Chitlin’ (Chong) and his manager (Cheech) as Chitlin’ goes into the studio. It’s a minor curiosity that fans might like.
Within the Cheech and Chong Slideshow, we see a three-minute 25-second reel. It compares shots of C&C in the 70s with their animated versions. The format’s a little annoying – it won’t let you fast-forward or rewind – but it gives us some nice images.
The disc opens with ads for The Heat and Movie 43. No other promos pop up here.
Maybe if I’d been of stoner age in the 1970s I’d better understand the appeal of Cheech and Chong. Alas, I was born too late and find myself perplexed by their continued popularity. Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie packages a lot of their old routines into cartoon form with generally unfunny results. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals as well as good sound and a bevy of commentaries. The Blu-ray is a quality product but the movie itself leaves me cold.