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STAR WARS: CLONE WARS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Voice Stars: Matt Lanter (Anakin), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan), Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Troopers), Tom Kane (Yoda), Ian Abercrombie (Chancellor Palpatine)
Director: Dave Filoni
Audio: 5.1 DD-EX
Video: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 98 Minutes
Release Date: 11/11/2008

Film **

I watched this twice before sitting down to review it, and I have to tell you, the second time around was better, but not by much.

The first ever animated feature from Lucasfilm Animation drops us right in the middle of the war between the Republic and the Separatists Armies.  Itís a chess board where the endgame has already been played out, and all the pieces are just trying to catch up.

Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano are tasked with a very dangerous mission, a mission that will determine whether or not the Republic can maintain the upper hand against Count Duku and the Separatists loyal to his cause.

Leading the Clone Army into battle are none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda.  Fighting both the Droid army and the Dark side proves frustrating for the valiant Jedi Masters.  Can they defeat the dark side and prevent the droid armies from becoming more powerful, or will they have to sacrifice one for the balance of the other?

I donít really know what vision George Lucas was trying to realize with this movie, but it seems to me he needs to get his prescription checked, because vision like this is usually diagnosed as legally blind!

Okay, so yes, that was a bit harsh but come on, we (the movie going public) are a sophisticated, technologically advanced group of people.  In this day and age we expect a lot more from an animated feature than what was delivered to us in this film. 

In my opinion the animation was just bad.  I didnít like the sharp angles, and the character movement was very stilted and just didnít flow well.  Seriously, there are people out there right now doing more exciting things with animation on their home PCís than what Lucasfilm Animation produced here.

The story itself wasnít half bad.  On my second go round, I was able to get past the issues I had with the animation (somewhat) and actually give most of my attention to the story they were trying to tell. 

I found that I honestly didnít care either way about Anakinís Padawan.  I believe we are supposed to think of Ahsoka as an image of what Anakin was like as a learner.  They could just as easily have given us flash backs of Anakinís time as Obi-Wanís Padawan, that would have been more interesting for me.

Obi-Wan and Yoda were on character and easy to watch.  Anakin himself was fun to watch, and he does have some really great stunts.  However, I would have rather seen this play out in live action, than in faux-animation any day.

After two viewings, I donít hate it, but I am far from loving this new incarnation of the Star Wars franchise.  If you are a true fan of the series you will probably give it a view no matter what this reviewer has to say.  However, my advice: find a friend whoís already shelled out some cash for it, and invite yourself over for a viewing party, on the house!

Video ***

This cartoon was presented in a 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format.

I like the fact that some of the coloring seemed dull and blunted.  This gave scenes a more realistic appeal visually.  However, there was no mistaking this as anything other than a cartoon and I use that term loosely!

No visible issues with the video quality on this DVD.  Then again with animation they can simply airbrush out any bad effects, which is a bit unfair when comparing this to actual live action films, so it gets 3 out of 4 in my book, on that alone.

Audio ****

The audio quality for this film was excellent.  Everything was very crisp, clean and easily discernable.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital SS is made available to us in English, Spanish, and French, and subtitles for the hearing impaired are available in English, Spanish, and French as well.

Over all the audio quality was everything we have come to expect from THX, and George Lucas.

Features *

The only extra this single disc release contained was a commentary by Director Dave Filoni, Producer Catherine Winder, Writer Henry Gilroy, and Editor Jason W.A. Tucker.

There is a double disc version of this movie that contains a bunch of extras.  I guess they figure us poor people who canít afford to pay the extra for the double disc version donít deserve real extra features.

Summary:

A great addition to the family, this little one isnít.  However, it is always nice to get another slice of the pie, to satisfy my Star Wars hunger.  Then again, fans will always eat up anything good ole George throws at them, so calling us gluttons for punishment where this film was concerned would not be too far off the mark!

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