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Click above to purchase "The Animal: Special Edition" at
David Manning Zach
Running Time: 83 minutes
Starring Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, John C.
McGinley, Guy Torry and Edward Asner
Screenplay by Tom Brady & Rob Schneider
Story by Tom Brady
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Retail Price: $27.95
Features: Audio Commentary with Rob Schneider and
Producer John Schneider, Audio Commentary with Director Luke
Greenfield, Badger Delivery, Comedy Central Reel Comedy: The
Animal, "Animal Instincts", What's In Marvin? Filmographies,
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround,
English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, French
Subtitles, Scene Selections (28 Scenes)
Released: October 30th, 2001
I happen to enjoy stupid comedies. Sure they're not
favored by critics, but the audiences enjoy them, and that's
what's important. While "The Animal" wasn't adored by
critics, it was a modest success at the box office and even
caused a little bit of controversy with our little fake
reviewer friend David Manning. Despite it all, "The Animal"
re-teams executive producer Adam Sandler with SNL cohort Rob
Schneider for another comedic movie outing. While I missed
"The Animal" in theaters, let's see what the film cooks
The premise of "The Animal" is a pretty good idea. We
start out by meeting Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider), an
evidence clerk at the local police department. He wants to
be a cop and live up to his now deceased father who died
while in the line of duty. Poor Marvin his picked on and
treated badly by almost everyone at the department. Yet,
Marvin's destiny changes when he picks up a 911 call and
decides to show he can help out. But on the way to the scene
of the crime, he gets into a car accident. A few days later,
Marvin awakens and soon has some incredible abilities and
makes the cut as a cop. Marvin soon finds out why he has so
many great abilities: someone rescued him from the car crash
and put animal parts in him. Marvin does not believe it, but
he soon comes to realize it. Sometimes, however, Marvin has
some urges due to this. Basically, it's up to Marvin to win
the heart of Rianna and stop the public from hunting him
down after he goes on some crazy escapades due to his new
I thought "The Animal" started out great, a movie you can
just sit back and laugh at, but it slowly loses its way. The
movie is really predictable (as expected), and it can be
fun. But I found it to be a bit of a mess. Tom Brady and
Schneider wrote the script, which is pretty decent. It has
some laughs, but as far as telling the story, it could have
been better and expanded more on some plot points. It felt
even, I just felt there needed to be a little more depth to
it. But this is a comedy, and some good, fun comedies have
no depth at all. I give them credit for making a fairly
decent story here, but the movie needed some bigger laughs I
thought. But what I did enjoy were the various abilities
Marvin did gain and how they were used, and how they did
cause problems for Marvin.
Luke Greenfield, who has directed some short stuff
before, makes his feature film debut here and does a rather
good job. The movie is a pretty painless experience,
probably since it lasts a little over an hour and has a nice
flow to it. The score from Teddy Castelucci is pretty good
and again, this is a movie that you can kill time with.
The acting in the film is pretty noteworthy if I say so
myself. Schneider is perfect in the role he more or less
co-molded and proves once again that he is a strong comedic
talent with his likable, goofy charm and comedic timing. The
always reliable John C. McGinley, a fine character actor, is
good as Marvin's rival, while supporting performances from
Edward Asner and Guy Torry are fine. Oh, and there's
"Survivor"'s own Colleen Haskel, who surprisingly does hold
her own and is strong as Marvin's love interest. Haskel has
good chemistry with her co-stars and is rather good for the
role. Oh, and there's some fun cameos by Norm MacDonald and
Adam Sandler as well.
While "The Animal" disappointed me, it does have some
genuine laughs and a fine premise. If the writing was a bit
stronger and the execution was a bit more on target, this
would have been a new comedy favorite for me. While it does
fall a bit short, it's worth checking out for some laughs.
Columbia/Tri-Star has presented "The Animal" in its
original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, complete in anamorphic
widescreen. This transfer is near perfection, and I'd say
it's a great demo disc to show off live-action transfers. It
may not seem like it, but the transfer is that good!
Columbia/Tri-Star has hit the mark this time quite nicely. I
didn't notice any scratches, pieces of dirt or blemishes on
the print, while the only distractions I really saw were
shimmering and noise which popped up now and then for short
periods of time. Everything else here is fantastic. Colors
and fleshtones are rich and bold; they are really saturated
nicely. Black levels are rock solid and detail is pretty
incredible. This transfer really stands out and is really
crisp. I was really surprised how good this all looked, and
you should be too.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital English mix is one fine mix,
especially for a comedy. There's some wonderful surround use
throughout the movie. Whether its people speaking or the
various animal sounds, the film delivers with a rather
strong track. Dialogue is clean and all the sounds are
crisp, while other sounds do not interfere with other
elements. There are some action scenes that bring activity
to the mix, such as the finale and car crash scene. Music
tends to light the channels up as well, while .1 LFE is good
too. Dynamic range and fidelity is fine. Overall, this is a
pretty impressive mix. Also included are French and English
Dolby Surround tracks, plus subtitles in those languages and
English closed captions.
This is a nice special edition, as we are treated to a
lot of stuff. First off, we have two audio commentary
tracks. The Audio Commentary with Rob Schneider and
Producer John Schneider (perhaps they're related) is
pretty good. They're some fun improvised moments here that I
laughed out loud at, but basically they talk about stuff
that's specific on screen. Thoughts, actors, music, the
production... it's straight forward. I'm not a big fan of
commentaries where they talk about what's going on screen,
and while it seems like that, they share a lot good tidbits
about the production. I absorbed a good amount here.
The Audio Commentary with Director Luke Greenfield
is also pretty good. Greenfield has a nice, soft spoken
attitude and seems very grateful he got to direct the movie.
This is a nice track and worth the listen to since "The
Animal," as mentioned, is Greenfield's first feature length
film. He talks about ideas, challenges he faced during the
production and as a first time director and more. He does a
lot of praising. Pretty cool stuff here.
Badger Delivery is your standard "click the icon
while watching the movie" to see a deleted scene that was
supposed to fit there. Luckily for you, there's a separate
section for them under the heading Deleted Scenes.
These scenes were either cut are extended and they pretty
good, as they probably could be fitted back into the movie.
They're enjoyable, but it's too bad they're non-anamorphic,
have two channel mixes and the quality is a bit shoddy.
Comedy Central's Reel Comedy: The Animal is their
usual featurette that airs on the network to promote a movie
that's a comedy. Filled with movie clips, sketches made for
the special, this is a decent watch. It's pretty fun, and
has interviews with Sandler, Schneider, Haskel and others.
"Animal Instincts" is a near nine minute
featurette with interviews from Greenfield and Schneider,
clips from the movie and behind the scenes footage. It's
more serious in a sense, but still has some fun moments.
What's In Marvin? is a deleted scene that should
have been included originally if you ask me explaining what
Marvin has inside in him. Then choose a seal, a lion or a
dog and you're treated to a poor quality film clip of Marvin
in that animal role. Why didn't they use a clip right from
Rounding the package out are some Filmographies
and Theatrical Trailers for "The Animal," "Joe Dirt,"
"Big Daddy" and "The Cable Guy."
I felt "The Animal" could have been better, but the movie
is pretty entertaining. The presentation is great and the
extras are rather substantial. This is a nice special
edition, so if you're into the movie, do check it out.
(3/5 - NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)