By the time I left work yesterday, I had decided on my movie preference for the night, the underdogs. But unfortunately, I got a late start DVD watching because I had quite a backlog in my Hulu queue that I needed to clear out first, so I only made it through one movie last night.
Before Disney officially merged animation studios with Pixar, they put out quite a few CG movies that, in a word, bombed. But not all of them were bad, they just didn't get a fair chance. Last night's selection, The Wild, was one of them, but I think it's unfairly discriminated against. Disney was embroiled in a turf war with Dreamworks at the time, so The Wild was released almost a year after Madagascar, which had a very similar storyline (technically, even though most people think that The Wild rips off Madagascar, actually, it went into production long before Madagascar, so Dreamworks actually did the ripping and just rushed theirs through to come out first, same with Antz and A Bug's Life, but that's another story for another day).
I saw Madagascar on video before The Wild ever came out and frankly, I didn't care much for it. If I'm honest, part of it probably was because I knew the history of the production and had preconceived prejudices towards it, but a good chunk of my dislike of it was the quality of the animation on Madagascar. Disney had made real strides in CG animation by that point (the hair on the lions is so realistic it's almost scary), and it really does show throughout the entire movie, including the backgrounds (which often get overlooked, even in the Pixar movies). There were lags in the story of Madagascar and I often found myself not paying attention. I have seen the Madagascar sequels as well, but again, they never got better (but I do tend to look at the animation visually instead of paying attention to the story, so I'm easily distracted/annoyed if the visuals are bad). The Wild is just a better movie in both storyline, humor, and animation (and I don't think I'm saying that from my prejudice Disney mind...I'm pretty sure I'm not anyway!).
Plus, I absolutely ADORE Eddie Izzard, and he literally MAKES the entire movie! Eddie's done a few voices for Disney, but seriously? A Koala named Nigel? Bloody flippin' brilliant!!
Here is the trailer for The Wild
And I found a copy of the behind the scenes footage of Eddie Izzard in action, so be sure to put on your "party hats of death" and enjoy!
Here's another compilation of some of the Nigel parts..."oh, the hor-ror!":
Live Action - 4
Full-Length Animation - 9
Animated Shorts - 23