Cult animation on Blu-ray

Everyone is excited when acclaimed cinema classics make it to Blu-ray disc, but it`s also nice to find more obscure  favorites.  Instead of relying on late-night showings or  hours watching segments on YouTube, you can view  hard to find cult films at your convenience, and more of them are being transferred to a Blu-ray format.  Last fall, the  animated epic Rock and Rul e(1983) was released for the second time as a Blu-ray, this time with more extras.   The film was made by Canada`s Nelvana Studios  and directed by Clive A. Smith.  Due to problems with investors, script alterations, and other production delays, it got off to a rough box office start, not finding a true audience until it was released on cable and the fledgling home video industry.   Many fans originally saw it on cable TV, as I did when it kept showing up as a late night animation staple, especially around the holidays. Since Rock and Rule made it to DVD a few years ago, it`s become much easier to find.

The feature was billed as a post-apocalyptic  sci-fi story mixed with 80`s rock music, set in a world where humans are extinct and a new breed of mutated dogs, cats, and rats now reign.  The “mutants” are portrayed as VERY anthropomorphic, though, so it`s easy to forget about this trope and you kind of just see the characters as people after a while.  Quite a few of them are drawn in a weird Disney-like fashion, like placing Goofy or Chip and Dale in adult situations.  Basic plot follows the adventures of a small town garage band led by cynical guitarist Omar (voiced by Paul LeMat) and his girlfriend, singer/keyboardist Angel(speaking voice Susan Roman, singing voice Debbie Harry). In their quest for fame, they accept an invitation from evil superstar Mok, who`s kind of like a mixture of Mick Jagger and Sauron.  But he`s only interested in Angel, whose pure voice is the key to unlock a dimension of evil and help  him gain world dominance.  After he kidnaps her, the band must find her and somehow stop his takeover.  The plot is somewhat cheesy, but the characters  and sardonic humor draw you in, as does the  excellent soundtrack dominated by Cheap Trick, Debbie Harry, and Lou Reed.

Rock and Rule translates to Blu-ray technology quite nicely: it`s  standard hand-drawn animation, an older format but still visually appealing in this version.  The opening of the film looks very dark, not in an atmospheric way but in a murky, foggy manner.  Then again it looked  like a blackout in some TV prints.  The music can be heard in Dolby Digital sound or in the original 2.0 stereo mix.  Extras include director commentary-very intriguing , and director Smith`s affection for the project comes through vividly.  There`s also a mini-doc on the making of the movie and the music, and an alternate version of Rock and Rule which is slightly longer, about 20 minutes, and features  some  different voice actors.    There are plenty of movies that have better animation in these CGI-dominated times, but there`s something special about this  one-its timeless theme of the conflict between good and evil still resonates.

pixel Cult animation on Blu ray

More fun articles: