PictureI am always a bit unsure how to judge an animation. I think that the more controlled creation methods would ensure a better level of quality than a live action equivalent. So, do I be even harsher on animation than live action or not? I suppose that it matters not, as this THX transfer is wonderfully crisp and more than a little vibrant. Artifacting is kept to a minimum, save in a few places where the picture completely lost it. So much so, that I think it is a mechanical fault with my disc, rather than anything encoded there. Detail is thin on the ground, but only due to the design of the animation. Instead we have clean sharp lines which work well with the overall style. Very good.
SoundWonderful, fantastic even. The sound quality of this title is one of its best assets. Of course, the sounds of familiar things such as shuttles and light sabres are all intact. Most of the voices are well done with Mace Windu in particular very close to the Jackson original (only Anthony Daniels provides his vocal talent from the original cast). The Dolby Digital track allows free reign to the surrounds and sub, but not to the OTT extent at the beginning of Attack of the Clones. There are some cases where the sound is a bit hard edged and looses out on some of the smoothness of the recent movies. This is again due to pacing, but this sound style also fits in well with the overall design intent of Clone Wars. To be honest, there is very little here to complain about.
ExtrasConnecting The Dots is a pretty good attempt to explain how Clone Wars S2 has developed from the original series and how a number of designs were implemented. The focus in this documentary is to look at how Clone Wars interacts with the movies and how the implemented designs add to the Star Wars mix rather than be apart from it. Explanations as to how grievous got his cough, how Anakin got his scar are looked at. It is also rather telling that one person states: “We took a lot of inspiration from the original movies, so how could we go wrong?” Or to paraphrase “We didn't take much influence from the recent moves, so that we couldn't go wrong.” Connecting the Dots does show how Clone Wars S2 is influenced by the original movie and in a round about sort of way proves that Clone Wars is all the better for it.
Revenge Of The Brick is, without a doubt, the best part of this disc. There are more ideas in this short than entire movies, and the whole of the prequels. Basically Revenge Of The Brick is a CGI short done in the Lego Star Wars world. Sounds tacky, but nothing could be further from the truth. I won't spoil things by explaining plot or anything, but I was in stitches! Irreverent in a nice way, Revenge Of The Brick is as startling a surprise as I have seen. Put it this way, the end credits have Darth Vader conducting an orchestra of Storm Troopers playing the Imperial March! Brilliant.
The commentary is fun and informative. These guys are clearly Star Wars fans, and I would love to see a more expansive remit given to them to allow some of the ideas discussed to bloom.
VerdictThere is no time for any extraneous padding or badly written intimate scenes Clone Wars S2. Instead, Clone Wars distils what is good about Star Wars and proffers it like a fine single malt whiskey: You take it in short measures but thoroughly enjoy the experience all the same.
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