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'Star Wars: Clone Wars' *** 041405
The Work = ***
For those of you who don’t know Tartakovsky is a director working in animation. He has a distinctive style that I almost instantly recognize in anything he does. To my knowledge there really aren’t any other current directors working in animation these days who have such a distinctive look and are so successful. (I suppose, Mike Judge, Matt Groening and Seth Macfarlane also fall into those categories but they are strictly making comedies.)
I think my problem with 'Samurai Jack' was that it was advertised as an adult oriented show. When I heard that I thought it would be, you know, adult oriented, something tonally akin to say 'The Shield' or 'Sopranos', or hell even 'South Park'. It’s not. It is still a cartoon for all ages and as such has a light tone about it. However, what Tartakovsky does do is work in fairly complex storytelling while still making the show something for all ages.
That may have been what George Lucas saw in Tartakovsky when he asked him to make the 'Clone Wars'. Tartakovsky leaps in headfirst and seems to be a natural at adapting the series. Clearly a fan, he pulls in many details while still adding his own touch to the series. I enjoyed 'Clone Wars' more than 'Attack of the Clones'.
Of course 'Clone Wars' had the advantage of a much shorter running time. Actually, at first I was not into Clone Wars, it was just a lot of fighting with not much story. Slowly though Tartakovsky works in several stories within the action. We see Anakin pitted against a young up and coming Sith and we Obi-Wan go up against a bounty hunter.
I really got in to the brief section following Mace Windu. Mace got way too little screen time in the movies and here in 'Clone Wars' I got to see him strut his stuff. Mace takes on an army of robots all but single handedly and the way he dispatches them shows off Tartakovsky’s ingenuity and skill as an animator and storyteller. Good stuff.
This is not a long flic. It was originally several short episodes and here on the DVD it is presented as one long unedited feature. It still only runs around an hour. I think Lucas should have given Tartakovsky more time and money to make a longer feature.
Look, I make the worst animation in the world so my opinion doesn’t count for much but Tartakovsky is an impressive director. I recommend this short series on the bases of what he is able to do with a short running time. I wish it had been longer and he had been given more freedom. It would be nice to see what he could do with a feature release. I look forward to seeing more from Tartakovsky and I have read that he is working on an 'Astro Boy' feature film.
DVD = ****
The second so-called “hyperspace commentary” is much better with the director talking about behind the scenes info on working on this 'Star Wars' adaptation. Although there is no explanation on the DVD, searching on the internet revealed that the second better commentary track was originally a StarWars.com member exclusive. It would have been nice to have had some explanation on the DVD as to why one commentary is good and one does not have any real behind the scenes info.
There are two brief featurettes on the making of the cartoon. They have some neat interviews that give some interesting behind the scenes information but I wish they were longer. There were also some game trailers, one of which was for 'Episode III' so I didn’t watch that much of it since it seemed like it might show half the new film in videogame form. There also still image galleries and lastly a demo of the game 'Republic Commando' for the Xbox.
All together = ***
'Star Wars: Clone Wars' Links:
My review of 'The Amazing Screw-On Head' can be seen HERE.
Copyright 2005 - 2012 Nate Bundy. All rights reserved.