The Wild appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although this wasn’t the strongest transfer I’ve seen for an animated flick, it seemed more than satisfying.
Few concerns affected sharpness. A couple of wide shots displayed minor softness, but nothing unusual developed. The majority of the flick presented excellent clarity and delineation. Jagged edges and shimmering appeared absent, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. In addition, the movie suffered from no source flaws.
The Wild featured a natural and vivid palette that the DVD replicated very well. Colors always came across with terrific clarity and life. The sumptuous hues seemed very well-rendered. Blacks also appeared deep and tight, while low-light shots were clean and smooth. This was a consistently positive picture.
I also liked the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Wild. Much of the movie favored the front channels, but the mix opened up well when appropriate. All the animal escapades gave us a lot of exciting sonic activity, and the soundfield matched the film nicely. Music always demonstrated positive stereo imaging, and the effects created a realistic and involving sense of atmosphere. When the action heated up, the surrounds added a fine layer of material that contributed some lively and engaging audio.
Audio quality seemed very positive. Dialogue always came across as natural and warm, and I detected no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Music appeared bright and dynamic, with concise highs and rich lows. Effects also were tight and realistic. Those elements betrayed no distortion, as they consistently appeared clean and accurate. The effects provided some strong bass response as well. The track wasn’t quite active enough to enter “A” territory, but it was still a very good mix.
Only some minor extras fill out the package. Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes and 50 seconds. We find “Benny’s Weird Dream” (0:43), “Back at the Zoo” (1:01), “Bridget and Larry Doomed” (0:37), “Back on the Boat” (1:16) and “Thumbman” (1:12). Most come in rough animation form; “Doomed” is the only one to boast final flick quality, while “Thumbman” mixes crude animation with a storyreel. None are particularly compelling, though “Boat” and “Zoo” offer a little extra character depth and we get an unused mother lion character in “Zoo”. “Thumbman” is mildly interesting in a trippy way, I must admit.
We can watch these with or without commentary from director Steve “Spaz” Williams and producer Clint Goldman. They tell us a little about the scenes and the production as well as the reasons they chopped out these clips. Their comments remain informative.
Next we get a music video for “Real Wild Child”. Everlife does a remake of the Iggy Pop song with less than memorable results. The video combines movie clips with some band shots. Yeah, the female member of the band are much more attractive than the Ig, but their version just redoes the song with that generic pop-rock tone so often found with Disney-friendly bands. It wasn’t ever much of a tune, but this edition renders it even less effective.
Two short featurettes finish the set. Eddie Izzard Unleashed goes for three minutes, 28 seconds and mostly shows the actor in the studio as he improvises. He also gives us a couple of remarks about his work, but the recording shots fill almost all the piece. These are moderately fun to see.
The two-minute and 18-second Meet Colin: The Rock Hyrax shows lighting lead Colin Cunningham and has a laugh at his egotism after he gets the part as the movie’s hyrax. A few crewmembers talk about how his elevation to voice talent changed him in this amusing little piece.
As the disc starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for The Little Mermaid, Meet the Robinsons, Cars, and Airbuddies. These also appear in the disc’s Sneak Peeks domain along with promos for The Fox and the Hound, Twitches, Cinderella III, and Get Ed.
An uninspired melange of stories borrowed from other flicks, The Wild can’t overcome its derivative nature. Few parts of it ever manage to bring the screen to life, and this leaves us with a fairly dull adventure. The DVD offers very solid picture and audio as well as a small smattering of extras. Kids might enjoy this lackluster flick, but those who hope for something more will leave disappointed.