Wall-E / Three-Disc Special Edition : 5 of 5
I can't believe it took me so long to get around to watching Wall-E at home, especially since I loved the movie so much and remember thinking to myself "I can't wait to see this on DVD!" But finally I took the time to truly enjoy this spectacular special edition DVD set, which has some wonderful bonus materials, starting with director Andrew Stanton's excellent commentary track. He's so articulate when he describes the filmmaking process (and does a nice job of commenting on the actual scene), which only proves his brilliance as a director (since communication seems to be such a huge part of the job). There are tons of great short features (selectable from cool Buy-N-Large menu screens) that taught me so much about this film, such as how hard they worked to simulate actual motion picture camera lenses to properly recreate rack-focus and other effects. They even studied with a real cinematographer to properly use lighting and other techniques to a degree never before attempted in animation. A few more cool things I enjoyed were the weird "gel" designs for humanity, the nice deleted scenes (including one fully animated masterpiece that was re-done so Wall-E and Eve could switch roles), and the in-depth look at Ben Burtt's (of Star Wars and R2-D2 fame) sound design. The bonus materials don't stop there, because the complete hour and a half documentary film The Pixar Story is also included (such a bargain!), which covers the fascinating history of the company from its origins as a division of Lucasfilm, to the purchase by Steve Jobs, and finally to the Disney merger. Every bit of this material hammers home the point that Pixar is a company who cares about creativity and simply will not compromise, and it's always shown in their work so far. It's estimated that it would take one person 442 years to create Wall-E on their own, so that should give you an idea of Pixar's commitment! Of course, the movie is fantastic and everyone should own this DVD, but for me, it's all about studying this new "golden age of animation" that's going on right now!