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ADV Films presents
Reboot #1 (1997)

"I await your unconditional surrender."
- Megabyte (Tony Jay)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: November 30, 2000

Stars: Kathleen Barr, Tony Jay, Christopher Gray
Other Stars: Andrea Libman, Shirley Millner, Scott McNeil, Gary Chalk, Michael Donovan
Director: Steve Ball, J. Falconer, James Boshier, Michaela Zabranska, Mark Sheiman

Manufacturer: JVC
MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:29m:45s
Release Date: November 28, 2000
UPC: 702727013324
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AAA C+

DVD Review

Welcome to Mainframe, the location for the computer animated series Reboot, and the name of the company formed to create it. The winner of consecutive Gemini awards for Best Animated Program or Series in 1995 an '96, Reboot debuted in 1994 as the first ever 100 percent CGI animated series, an accomplishment that also got Mainframe inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's 1998 Innovation Collection, after being nominated by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. For this DVD release, ADV was only able to secure the rights to the third season of the series, so they have included the final scene from the second season, and a brief summary of season's one and two to get us up to speed.

The series takes place inside your personal computer. The citizens of Mainframe are protected by a sprite designated as a guardian, whose job it is to keep all of the threats to the city at bay. When their former guardian is uploaded to the Super Computer, his protege Enzo (Christopher Gray) is left in charge To Mend And Defend against the evil forces of Megabyte (Tony Jay), the virus trying to take over Mainframe, and his psychotic sister Hexadecimal (Shirley Millner) who is out to reign chaos on the system. Even more destructive than these two evil foes are the ever invasive game cubes that drop into the city, forcing the sprites they land on to assume roles in the game, with only the guardian to defeat the user and save the inhabitants. The ever wise Phong (Michael Donovan), Enzo's older sister Dot (Kathleen Barr), a game sprite named AndrAIa (Sharon Alexander) and a firey hacker, Mouse (Louise Vallance) battle to save Mainframe from the perils of the computer world, while Enzo tries to gain confidence, both in himself and from the Mainframe citizens, for his new role as guardian. Just when things look to be settled down, expect something to cause trouble.

The three dimensional CGI animation in this series is excellent, with lots of camera movement and extremely detailed rendered characters and settings. As each game cube descends, the characters must "reboot" into roles for the game, leading to a number of wacky scenarios ranging from shoot 'em up zombie games, to wabid wodents wunning down the highway. The theme of each episode also takes on its own theme, with some witty references to popular culture. Our sprites get morphed into some pretty strange personalities, which make the series even more fun. This one's definitely a keeper.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: As a completely computer rendered source, the image on this series is eye popping, with rich textures and vibrant color throughout. Only some slight interlace shimmer and aliasing detract from a perfect score.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The surround soundtrack is flawlessly presented, full and enveloping. Lots of ambience and directional sound effects. Nothing here to complain about.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Shadow Raiders, Gasaraki, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Monster Rancher, ADV preview mix
Packaging: other
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Animation tests
Extras Review: Trailers for Shadow Raiders (another Mainframe project), Gasaraki, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Monster Rancher and an ADV preview mix are included. These are accessable from the menu. The season two finale follows an ADV trailer as the disc loads.

A brief summary covering seasons one and two, a character overview and a game guide are also present. The Character Mainframe section which covers the creation of the series from concept artwork to character and background animation tests, and a character gallery.

All the menu section feature animated screens, transitions and background music.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Sheer eye candy. Great CGI animation, plus lots of zany situations make this a recommendation for any action cartoon fan. The first four episodes from the third season of Reboot look great on DVD, and the content is suitable for all ages. Power on, jack in and Reboot.

 


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