November 12, 2009 — Reviews for Fantastic Mr Fox, Ice Age 3, Cars, Peanuts and Tinker Bell, plus Zemeckis and Carrey on their Christmas Carol!

It’s something of a CG celebration this week at Animated Views, though good old stop-motion is ready to fight back with the upcoming theatrical release of Fantastic Mr Fox! But with “Pixar Day” this past Tuesday seeing both Up and Monsters, Inc. 4-disc combo Blu-ray and DVD editions, plus a new repackaging of Cars in stores, you couldn’t argue that the Studio is going to be rewarded with big sales numbers this week.

The Cars DVD and BD pack is just one of many offerings this week, but that’s not to say Pixar are the only ones out there at the moment: enjoying good sales is Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, the third go around for Manny, Diego, Scrat and co, and with good reason, as my Blu-ray review explains: the Ice Age franchise simply continues to be great fun!

Also new on Blu-ray, Randall presents his comments on Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure, calling the second in the Disney Fairies line “seriously good; if you are reading to see a straight, adult male trash the latest Disney direct-to-video offering for little girls, you’ve come to the wrong place. The inventiveness of the artists in creating a world filled with constructs made from natural things is wonderfully captured on Blu-ray. The team of artists have made a film that raises the bar for direct-to-video movies”. Wow…sounds like I’m going to have to go and finally watch the first one and catch up with The Lost Treasure soon!

To accompany Rand’s review is our latest contest, with a chance for Nintendo DS players to grab one of five copies of the Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure game!

Rand’s also been looking at the nostalgic this week, going back to his childhood for Peanuts: The 1970s Collection, Volume 1, which includes six specials “from the first part of the bad fashion decade”, as Rand puts it! He continues to address Warners’ formatting of the specials, particularly this set’s double-dipping of two shows. With only two new-to-DVD specials, Rand criticizes the “smoke and mirrors” involved in “stretching a meager collection into a two–disc set [when it] could have easily held all twelve specials from the 1970s with space to spare”.

In a shock-wave of loads of new content, Jeremie has also provided transcripts of two short interviews with the filmmakers, including director Robert Zemeckis, behind the current number one movie in America, Disney’s motion-captured A Christmas Carol. Both commenting at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Zemeckis explains why he felt the time was right for yet another version of the story, while star Jim Carrey reveals how he relished the chance to play Scrooge and several other characters, bringing a new slant to the festive classic.

Lastly, I weigh in with my own full review of Fantastic Mr Fox, open already in the UK and set to open on America’s East and West coasts tomorrow, ahead of a country-wide release on November 24. Basically, forget whatever you’ve heard about director Wes Anderson being on set, or not being on set; the movie is his, pure and simple. Although hard pressed to compare Mr Fox to anything, I was most reminded of Aardman’s Chicken Run and also of Watership Down, another rare occasion when a live-action director brought a unique perspective to the animation medium. Its inventiveness and originality may not be for all, but I have a feeling that serious connoisseurs of animation are going to be surprised and impressed.

Reviews of this week’s other Pixar titles, and more, are on the way, so stay tooned! — Ben.