Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 31st, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 2012
Director: Marçal Forés
Writers: Marçal Forés, Enric Pardo, Aintza Serra
Cast: Oriol Pla, Augustus Prew, Dimitri Leonidas, Roser Tapias, Javier Beltrán, Martin Freeman, Maria Rodríguez Soto Maria Rodríguez Soto
DVD released: November 26th, 2013
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Catalan / English, Dolby Digital Stereo Catalan / English
DVD Release: Artsploitation Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.99
Synopsis: A young man who is emotionally dependent to a talking teddy bear has his life turned upside down when one of his classmates mysteriously disappears.
Though there are some fantastical elements to the story, most notably a talking teddy bear that only the film’s protagonist can hear. This film is more rooted in the drama genre with the emphasis on melodrama. And at the core of this film is a tale about the dangers that arise when parents withhold information from their children. Also it is this lack of being forthcoming that ultimately proves to be most harmful, when all is said and done.
From a production stand point there is not a single area of this film that does not hold up really well. The film’s first rate cinematography greatly reinforces the message the director is trying to convey. Also the film’s soundtrack in conjunction with the aforementioned cinematography does a remarkable job setting the mood of the film. Pacing is never an issue and the entire cast is all very good in their respective roles. Especially Oriol Pla in the role of this film’s protagonist a disturbed young man named Pol.
However there are a few areas where some viewers may be put off by this film, these include the bleakness of the story at hand and how the director uses subtext to get his point across instead of spoon feeding for the masses. Ultimately Animals greatest asset is not what you except going in, but how feel after its moment of truth.
Artsploitation Films Animals in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Black and contrast levels look very good, details look crisp, colors and flesh tones look accurate. There are no issues with edge enhancement or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Catalan / English and a Dolby Digital stereo Catalan / English. Both audio mixes sound clear, balanced and robust when they need too.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film, a seven minute segment filmed at LGBT film festival, the original short film that inspired the film (11 minutes 12 seconds – 1.33:1 full frame), a ‘Making of’ featurette (18 minutes 11 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Catalan English with English subtitles) and a insightful audio commentary with director Marçal Forés and moderator Travis Crawford. Other extras include trailers for titles also available from Artsploitation Films, reversible cover art and a twelve page booklet with a interview with Marçal Forés. Overall Animals gets a first rate release from Artsploitation Films.