Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
"Did They Realize That This Wasn't For Kids?"
I used to watch a lot of kids movies back in the day, but, I never came across the film until last year while searching the stack of movies on VHS and DVD at the local Goodwill. And low and behold, I find an unopened Blu-ray copy of this film with a $5 price tag on it. I decided why not? I liked a lot of the Don Bluth films as a small child.
This film deals with a real adult/mature situation. We deal with a penguin named Hubie who is head-over-heels and stalker-ish-in-love with Marina and proceeds to look for the best pebble to present to her so that they can be married and live happily ever after; blah, blah, blah! Hubie is then beaten by the evil penguin/monster named Drake; and is then floating out to see and is captured by a fishing boat. Hubie and another penguin named Rocko escape and help Hubie get back to his love and to save her from Drake.
I feel that this movie isn't honestly for children at all. If I ever had children, I don't think I would expose them to this film as opposed to say something like Happy Feet or Finding Nemo. Plus, I found this to be the weakest Don Bluth production that I've seen. Such a shame. I give this film a 1/5. Not for children and not for adults either.
The print that MGM/FOX used for the transfer is in rough shape. Presented in MPEG4 and in 1.85:1, the colors can get pretty subdued at times. In the opening of the film where Hubie tells about how much he's in love with Marina; one of the birds is a nice strong yellow-ish color in one shot and when it cuts, it's a drab and almost orange color. Print damage and dirt and scratches are pretty much riddled throughout the film. No real effort for a remastering process will probably be given to this film and should we be surprised? No; 3/5.
FOX has given the film three different audio tracks for the film on this Blu-ray; English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. The dub tracks get flat and flatter after audio switch. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is decent and probably could do with some remastering along with the video. I give the audio presentation a 4/5.
Extra features is about twenty minutes in length. We have two behind the scenes featurettes; with one regarding the voice acting and the other regarding the music as Barry Manilow did some of the songs for the film. And finally, the trailer. The extras are somewhat interesting, but, I wasn't completely satisfied with it. 2.5/5.
If you a fan of Don Bluth animation, I don't even know if I can recommend this film to you. I would not know what to say if a child asked me why they are doing what they are doing. Because then you have to go into what the whole; "Where do babies come from" aspect of life. I only paid $5 for this. I don't know if it's worth it at that price. 2.5/5.