Imagine It! (2011/Cinema Libre DVD)/Wallace
& Gromit: World Of Invention (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray)
C/B- Sound: C+/B- Extras: C-/C Episodes: C+/B
In an era
of too many codependent computer connections, the idea of doing something with
your hands that takes thought and effort away from they cyberworld becomes
increasingly important and valuable as the following releases show.
Poe’s Imagine It! (2011) is a good
(albeit short at 52 minutes) documentary about educational endeavors that get
young people to think creatively and for the most part, it is a pretty good
program that inspires and furthers the natural creativity of younger people and
children, shows how this can apply to today and is generally upbeat without
being phony. Again, I just wish it were
get a bit carried away about it “change the world” aspirations, but is overall
a decent program that is very child friendly and welcome in a glut of programs
and even feature films that are merely toy tie-ins that have nothing to do with
imagination, progress or anything good in the long run. Even Astronaut Sally Ride is featured, a
physicist and groundbreaker as this is for females as well as males.
extras is an odd Post-It project that I found unintentionally amusing, but also
maybe a bit frivolous, though I do not want to be negative.
first saw the six-part mini-series Wallace
& Gromit: World Of Invention (2010) was coming to Blu-ray, we figured
it would be another all stop-motion animation release like previous titles in
the franchise like this DVD:
it is instead a fine documentary series for young adults about the history of
inventing things, strange inventions that did not quiet work out, how others
that were once groundbreaking are no longer with us and the many new kinds in
the works and that do work. New
animation introduces each segment and guess narrators are also on board. I also liked the use of music (including
actual James Bond tracks, themes from British classics like Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds and other clever
licensing) so this is smart all the way.
episodes also have energy, a great sense of humor and are constantly offering
new ideas and tales that make it all very watchable and involving including jet
packs, cyber technology, robots and the simple basics that back complex things. We have not seen a U.S. show like this for a
while. This is easily one of the best
child-friendly Blu-rays of the year and I liked it so much that I hope we get a
sequel. The only extra are several brief
segments enhancing the episode’s content.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Imagine
is a little softer throughout than expected, including an insistence on white
backgrounds that blow out the Video White.
Besides that, it is watchable, though some archive footage may be rough,
which can also be said on parts of the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition
image on the episodes of Gromit. Still, this has some nice new animation, some
good archival film footage and fresh new HD that makes this fun to watch.
Dolby Digital 2.0 sound on Imagine
is simple stereo at best, though we get some good sonic moments along with a
few weak ones, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Gromit is better despite having its
monophonic sound and location audio limits.
- Nicholas Sheffo