PicturePresented in it's original 1.33:1 format with a respectable average bit rate of 6.87 Gandahar is showing it's age, this is not the best of transfers. There are no artefacts to speak of and no enhancement to distract the viewer. The colour palette is broad enough. Whilst there's a definite blue hue to the film in general this is punctuated by swathes of bold reds, lush pinks and deep purples. The style of animation employed and the use of colour could be regarded as somewhat limited, but it suits the environment of Gandahar perfectly. Contrast is never an issue with no scenes being crushed at either end of the spectrum. No detail appears lost from the original if somewhat limited animation style.
The source print itself though is what ultimately lets this release down, brightness fluctuates in certain scenes, occasionally blipping into slightly lighter or darker moments. This itself is a little distracting and although these fluctuations are not drastic they are more than noticeable.
SoundThe only audio track on offer here is French Dolby Digital 2.0. This in itself is never a problem, as a perfect English subtitled translation is offered. Dialogue is always pin sharp emanating from the two fronts, whilst the bright but haunting score of Gabriel Yared (Cold Mountain, The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley to name but three of his multitude of work, suits the often dreamy animation and structure of the film perfectly.
Steerage from left and right channels is handled well. There's always some detail, speech or effects you can pick from either one of your left or right fronts.
- La Prisonniere
This is a rather odd 7-minute short 1985 animation from Laloux. Narrated with no dialogue, a little obscure perhaps but another insight into Laloux's work.
Unfortunately the extras contained in this promotional release from Eureka do not come with the advertised 16-page booklet, and as such I obviously cannot comment on it's worth or merit. From it's description of interviews with Laloux and some artwork I feel it would be a worthy addition to this disc.
VerdictGandahar was a worthwhile watch, and one I can heartily recommend. It is probably only for those viewers who do enjoy decent Sci-Fi story telling. Those expecting fast, bright and vivid animation in the Anime style will be disappointed but that in no way distracts from Gandahar one jot. At last Eureka have taken the bull by the horns and released an original version without the damaging restructuring of the Americanised Light Years with dubious overdub and scandalous removal of Rene Laloux as director, being replaced in the credits by Harvey Weinstein!
Gandahar certainly belies it's origins from a gentler age obviously a progression of Laloux's own work from the 60's and especially the 70's Fantastic Planet. However in discussing subjects which only now are receiving some spotlight it seems that Laloux was a little ahead of his time. Eco-friendly, genetically aware with a spot of time paradox thrown in, it's certainly worth a watch for lovers of Sci-Fi and animation alike. I'm giving an overall score of 6 for Gandahar, only because I'm unable to comment on the final product release. If, as indicated, the booklet forms part of the final material then this final score would undoubtedly increase somewhat.
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- La Prisonniere