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Miramax Pictures presents
Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui (2004)

“Prove yourselves worthy Toa...”
- Toa Lhikan (Michael Dobson)

Review By: Matt Peterson   
Published: October 19, 2004

Stars: Tabitha St. Germain, Brian Drummond, Paul Dobson, Trevor Devall, Alessandro Juliani
Other Stars: Christopher Gaze, Michael Dobson, Gerard Plunkett, Lee Tockar
Director: David Molina, Terry Shakespeare

MPAA Rating: PG for action violence and scary images
Run Time: 01h:15m:00s
Release Date: October 19, 2004
UPC: 786936235876
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B-AA C+

DVD Review

Legos sure have changed since the days I interlocked countless colored bricks together to make spaceships, pirate ships, houses, and whatever else came to mind. Now, the Lego creation of choice is Bionicle, a collection of popular robotic characters who are steeped in a rich mythology, spewing terms and names that sound like lost islands of Hawaii. Bionicle 2: The Legends of Metru Nui is a prequel to the original animated tale, Bionicle: Mask of Light, tracing the origins of Bionicle civilization.

The tale begins with a legendary Toa, or warrior, named Toa Lhikan, who travels to various Metrus, or cities, to deliver stones of power to various Matoran, or young robots. Confused yet? These young Matoran, including Whenua, Nuju, Matau, Onewa, Vakama and Nokama, meet in a dark cave and are endowed the status of Toa by Lhikan. However, each individual must discover their own “mask power” through discipline, patience, and a few Obi-Wan-esque training sessions. Time is short, though. They must overcome self-doubt and master their newfound abilities in time to stop Makuta, who has infiltrated Bionicle society, bent on complete control and domination. Armed with the dark Vahki warriors, will the six young Toa band together stop evil in its robotic tracks?

Indeed, there are many detailed terms to grasp, but most kids who enjoy Bionicle can probably use these words like a second language. The story here is relatively straight forward, but the real attraction is the impressive CGI visuals, which are only hampered by character designs that must match the toys for obvious reasons. Important themes such as teamwork, discipline and belief in things greater that oneself are positive and uplifting, but for every message, there are at least two explosions. The majority of the film is a string of action scenes that, though dazzling in their own right, make this film somewhat predictable. Still, the colorful characters and rich mythology will certainly interest kids.

Miramax’s DVD looks and sounds superb. The anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer is no doubt taken from the digital source, creating a flawless, detailed picture that astounds. There is some occasional edginess to some of the renderings, but the backgrounds, buildings and environments are especially impressive. You can choose between dynamic Dolby 5.1 and dts tracks that fully engage the split surrounds. The visuals, impressive sound design and score by composer Nathan Furst create a fun experience, but don't expect much educational value.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes
Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Frenchno
DTSEnglishno
Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Incredibles, Spider-Man: The Venom Saga, Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, Bionicle: Mask of Light, Aladdin Trilogy, Jetix, My Neighbor Totoro, Porco Rosso, Nausicaä: Of the Valley of the Wind
3 Featurette(s)
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Metru Nui Explorer interactive character guide
  2. Insert with booklet advertising Bionicle products and Legoland
Extras Review: The extras begin with Making of Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui (09m:39s). This piece looks at every aspect of the film’s production, from storyboard to animation to post, and takes a brief tour through the Lego headquarters in Denmark. There is also a look at the new, soon to be released Bionicle figures. Additional segments can be accessed via a small icon that pops up on screen from time to time.

The Metru Nui Explorer is an interactive guide to the film’s many characters. Information is conveyed through animated visuals and voiceover, activated by selecting certain icons. The Legend Revealed (04m:41s) features the filmmakers answering fan questions about the series. Bionicle Extras (02m:15s) is a collection of commercials for various Lego Bionicle products, Legoland and a brief teaser graphic for the next Bionicle movie. A section of additional trailers (titles listed above) is also included.

Inside the keepcase you will find an insert with a chapter listing, and a small booklet advertising Bionicle products and the Legoland theme park. The keepcase comes in a spiffy holographic cardboard slipcover with a fold-open flap that contains Bionicle city information. There are some intriguing portions here, but most amounts to marketing fluff.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

The prequel to the first Bionicle movie, Legends of Metru Nui is a colorful, mythical coming of age tale that has some good messages, but more mindless action. Miramax’s disc sports great a/v quality and some informative extras. Bionicle fans will eat this up.

 


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