Illumination Films has released a Blu-ray/DVD combo set for its animated Dr. Seuss adaptation.
As I detailed in our original theatrical review of The Lorax, the film itself is a lot of fun, and, while it may not stay on message the entire time and a lot of the plot is fabricated, the style of Dr. Seuss is well represented, the songs are great, the vocal performances are good, and the plot is great fun for a wide audience.
But, if just having this great film in your collection is not a good enough reason to pick up the set, well, there are plenty of special features to help convince you. It boasts all the typical stuff, like some director commentary, cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and so forth, but also includes some fairly non-typical features.
The most noticeable, and most marketed, of these is the three 'mini-movies' included on the disc. These are three very short - just a couple minutes apiece - videos, which use the animation assets already created for the film.
One of them is clearly just a deleted scene from the film, but the other two are clever, and at least a bit amusing. It would have been cool to see some more lore, or a wider use of the existing characters - both are about bar-ba-loots (the little bear-things) - but it's more than most Blu-rays end up with.
Serenade is about two bar-ba-loots trying to win the affection of a lady bar-ba-loot with song and dance. The creatures go through increasingly complex dance numbers which are parodies of modern music styles. It's clever and has some funny moments, but it's not really a plot in its own right. The other, Wagon-ho, is a bit better, the same two bar-ba-loots accidentally take off in the Once-ler's wagon, and have a very brief adventure. There is a lot of physical comedy, and while it doesn't actually develop the lore of the film any, it's still a fun little adventure, and would be especially fun for children who have just finished watching the film itself.
In addition, there is a bunch of concept art, character profiles, and even some art-instruction - showing kids how to draw some of the film's creatures - hidden around in an interactive environment that resembles the film's setting.
In addition, there are a couple of surprisingly well-made menu games. There is not much one can do making a game that is programmed with the same engine as a disc-menu, and plays with the remote for the player. Both of them are essentially 'dodge the falling objects' style games, but they are cute and clever, and feel more like flash games than menu games.
The best feature of the disc, however is the O'Hare TV mode. With this mode turned on, the film will periodically be interrupted with a 'commercial break', featuring the products of the in-canon O'Hare corporation. Unlike most of the other features on the disc, these do develop the lore of the film, and manage to add some depth to the character of O'Hare and his company.
As I said, the film alone is definitely worth having in your collection, especially if you have kids, since it's the type of film that one would not mind if the kids requested to watch it every day, but even if you're the type of person that doesn't rewatch films, this Blu-ray/DVD set is worth picking up, just for all of the great extras.
The Lorax Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack is will be available on August 7th, 2012. You can preorder on Amazon.