Animated Movie Dvd Extras
May 31, 2005 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for animation dvds with good extras? Specifically, I'm interested in finding animated movies on dvd that include pencil tests and/or footage of the voice actors. The more extensive the better.

I'm interested in learning more about the behind the scenes world of animation. I have loads of books, and have enjoyed the dvds I have, but would like MeFiers opinions on the best sources for dvd extras. The Pixar dvds have excellent supplemental material (Monsters Inc, Incredibles, Finding Nemo, etc). What I'd really love is some dvds that have lots of footage of the voice actors actually recording their parts, and/or pencil tests of the early animation. Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Favourites?

(Oh, and if anyone else reading this is interested in voice acting, there is a link to Mark Evanier's great site on the subject in this Ask MeFi thread. It's fairly way down; just search for "Evanier")
posted by NewGear to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
I don't know if this qualifies, but the extended DVD versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy had a lot of pencil sketches, and there was an entire dvd devoted to how Gollum was created with number II, I think.
posted by dejah420 at 8:06 AM on May 31, 2005

Beauty and the Beast, Special Edition has everything you want, and more. While the movie was still in production, Disney realized that it had something special on its hands, and did a limited special release (and Laserdisc--remember those?) in order to try to qualify the movie for "Best Picture" Oscar.

This is my favorite of the new-era Disney animated features, and the special edition is filled with fascinating detail, and behind-the-scenes production information.
posted by curtm at 8:33 AM on May 31, 2005

Akira tin box is pretty good, and Spirited Away special edition has some voice acting too.

posted by Neosamurai85 at 8:40 AM on May 31, 2005

It's Pixar, but it's not in your list, so I'm not sure if you're familiar with the "Toy Box," the 3-disc set of the TOY STORY movies. It's got tons of very interesting additional features, some of which I've used in teaching an Intro to Film Studies class, fwiw.

The 2-disc version of FINAL FANTASY has a lot of nifty extras, too.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2005

There is a movie from 2001 called Waking Life with really fantastic extras. This movie is a bit different from most animated films because it was shot on video cameras then rotoscope-animated and later transferred to 35mm film.

Also, the film Triplettes de Belleville (the Triplets of Belleville) had great extras.
posted by amelliferae at 10:54 AM on May 31, 2005

Invader Zim (vol. 1 at least) has the pencils for many of the episodes (you can click between the two versions while the episode is in progress, which is very cool), as well as some of the best commentary going on a DVD from the people who worked on it.
posted by dong_resin at 11:41 AM on May 31, 2005

If you can find it (it's out of print, and beware of eBay bootlegs) the three-disc Fantasia boxset (Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and a bonus disc) has some of the best and most exhaustive extras I've seen.
posted by Prospero at 12:17 PM on May 31, 2005

The Simpsons DVDs have special features where you can watch scenes being built stage by stage using the angle button on the remote.
posted by forallmankind at 1:55 PM on May 31, 2005

The Futurama DVDs have some of the same kind of stuff, and the DVD of DJ Q-Bert's Wave Twisters has quite a bit of explanatory information.
posted by box at 2:33 PM on May 31, 2005

Quite a lot of the Disney DVD sets have pencil tests, etc. The Snow White extras I recall were quite interesting, featuring not just pencil tests but also things like storyboards and shots of the actors and actresses the animation artists studied to get realistic motion down for some of the scenes.

The "Mickey in Black and White" special collection has pencil tests for some of those old 'toons; I imagine that the rest of the collectors sets would have them as well.

For what it's worth I find those old hand-painted cel animation techniques to be leaps and bounds over the 1-frame-per-second schlock that floods the TV today. If I was going to learn animation techniques, I'd learn from the old stuff. Technologically we've come a long way, but I really think that the mass production techniques used today cheapen the media. I'll take an old Chuck Jones short over a Dragonball Q Poke-whatzit any day of the week.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:02 AM on June 1, 2005

Thanks SO MUCH to everybody! All of these are GREAT suggestions. Your collective ideas have managed to swell my Amazon shopping cart to well above the hundred dollar mark! (Hmmm...I may have to shift some of that over to the "Wish List" for birthday time, so I won't become instantly poor.)

I'm particularly excited about the leads to Invader Zim, Waking Life, Final Fantasy, and Snow White. And I had no idea about the Simpsons camera angle feature. Thanks, all!
posted by NewGear at 10:10 AM on June 2, 2005

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