Just finished watching The Tale of Despereaux on Blu-ray and I have to say I’m fairly impressed with the quality of the animation, the depth of the characters, and the presentation on Blu-ray.
CG animation has always impressed me on Blu, notably TMNT and the recent Watchmen animated comic, but Despereaux brings my appreciation for CG animation to a new level. This is due in no small part to the detailed texture work and the incredible lighting, both of which lend the film a painting-like quality.
Finishing off an animation double-header, Despereaux blows Disney’s Bolt right out of the water. Don’t get me wrong, Bolt was enjoyable and had its moments of creativity, but all in all it was hampered by the same flaws shared by the majority of Disney’s animated flicks: too much sap and characters and storylines that are too shallow at times. Countless critics have lambasted Despereaux for not being kid-friendly enough and for being too high-minded. Disney either doesn’t give their audiences enough credit or they’ve become too large and unwieldy to deliver a product with a singular vision more than once a year (case in point: the spectacularly perfect Wall•E floating amidst a sea of direct-to-DVD animated drivel). Disney is a commercially-motivated machine, and no one can blame them for cashing in on a formula and presentation that works for them.
And this has become a rant…
Anyway, Bolt good, Despereaux better. Probably the best animated film I’ve seen since last years Wall•E.