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Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Yuri Lowenthal, David Howard Thornton, Laila Berzins
Writing Credits:
Domonic Paris

A daring parrot recounts how Robinson Crusoe came to be stranded on a tropical island.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,342,696 on 2,493 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 11/29/2016

• “A Wild World” Featurette
• “Meet the Characters” Featurette
• “Tips for Your Trip” Featurette
• “Musical Adventure”
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Wild Life [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 16, 2016)

For an update on the Robinson Crusoe tale, we go to 2016’s animated adventure The Wild Life. Pirates view a signal fire and rescue shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal). He comes aboard with his pal, a chatty parrot named Mak (David Howard Thornton).

From there the film launches into flashback, as we see the animals on the island prior to Crusoe’s arrival. After he lands there, we watch their interactions, as Mak – who dreams of a bigger world beyond the island – views Crusoe as his ticket to adventure.

Originally a production that used German dialogue, Wild Life gets an English translation here. I find it unsurprising that the project lacks the original material, but I would've liked the chance to examine the movie as intended.

Not that I expect this derivative production would’ve done much for itself in any language, as Wild Life remains persistently ordinary. It follows standard storytelling tropes with little inventiveness or creativity.

I suspect the absence of any “name” voice actors demonstrates the USA studio’s lack of faith in the project, as one would expect a few stars to add to the film’s marketing. Even bargain basement animated flicks still boast “C”-list actors, so the lack of anyone with any publicity power surprises me.

I’d like to report that the English cast of Wild Life adds to the material, but all seem lackluster. They create generic animated characters without much personality and do nothing to elevate the story.

Then again, I still can’t imagine that great performances would turn Wild Life into an enjoyable effort. The movie simply fails to present anything new, as it devolves into a series of animated film clichés without an original notion along the way.

Wild Life takes its inspiration from a classic story but leaves little more than the bare bones. It favors all the obvious animation influences it displays and never gives us a narrative that holds together.

Instead, the movie proceeds in a vaguely episodic manner. It doesn’t connect segments or characters in a positive way and just feels like a bunch of gags/action sequences cobbled together without logic.

I suppose I’ve seen less entertaining animated movies than Wild Life, but that shouldn’t be viewed as praise. The film comes with bland animation, forgettable performances and a murky story. Youngsters may take some enjoyment from this flick but they can do better.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

The Wild Life appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked solid.

Sharpness worked well, as the movie boasted consistently detailed elements. No softness emerged in this tight, accurate presentation. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The flick also lacked any print flaws.

Given the tropical orientation, the film boasted a broad palette. and The movie showed these colors in a vivid manner and gave us lively tones. Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. Everything about the transfer pleased.

The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack seemed less impressive, but it worked reasonably well. The most prominent scenes involved treacherous weather, so storms opened up the spectrum nicely. Other natural environments presented a good sense of place. Not a lot about the track impressed, but the mix gave us fairly positive localization and movement.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music was perky and full, while effects appeared accurate and packed a nice punch. I felt this ended up as a “B” mix.

A few minor extras fill out the disc. A Wild World runs nine minutes, 23 seconds and features director/producer Ben Stassen, executive producer Eric Dillens, director Vincent Kesteloot, producers Mimi Maynard and Gina Gallo and writer/producer Domonic Paris.

“World” looks at story and characters, themes, design, cast and voice recording, animation and technical elements. It covers the basics and does no more than that.

During the 10-minute, nine-second Meet the Characters, we hear from Paris, Kesteloot, Stassen, Gallo, Maynard, and actors Yuri Lowenthal, Joey Camen and Laila Berzins. “Meet” focuses on characters, cast and performances. Like “World”, “Meet” seems superficial and without more than minor nuggets of information.

Tips for Your Trip lasts four minutes. It takes shots from the movie and offers a primer on how to survive being stranded on an island. It’s a passable way to promote the film.

Finally, we find Musical Adventure. It goes for three minutes, 15 seconds and just offers a melange of clips from the movie. I don’t understand its purpose and it becomes a forgettable piece.

The disc opens with ads for Shawn the Sheep, Norm of the North, The Adventures of Panda Warrior, Alpha and Omega: Dino Digs and Amazonia. No trailer for Wild Life appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Wild Life. It comes with the same extras as the Blu-ray.

An inexpensive European import, The Wild Life updates the Robinson Crusoe story in a forgettable manner. The film seems wholly mediocre and never threatens to develop into anything enjoyable. The Blu-ray brings us excellent visuals and good audio but lacks notable supplements. Wild Life comes and goes without any form of creative impact.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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