New CG-animated feature QUACKERZ is a colorful family movie, bringing to life a unique tale of unlikely heroes with action, comedy, heart and even a bit of romance! Brimming with whimsical characters, vibrant animation and high-energy fun, QUACKERZ features a flock of all-star voice cast, including Robbie Daymond (Nickelodeon’s Get Blake!), Michael Gross (Family Ties), Enn Reitel (The Adventures of Tintin), Andrea Becker (Storage Wars: New York), Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde), Bruce Nozick (The Last Ship), Jesse Corti (Beauty and the Beast, Frozen) and Jimmie Wood (The Wild Thornberrys). When the peaceful island of the Mandarin Ducks is mistakenly invaded by the Military Mallards, a conflict flares up between the Mandarin Emperor and the Mallard Commander. Longway, the Emperor's son, and Erica, the daughter of the Mallard Commander, meet… and before long, a friendship takes wing. While their feathered fathers fight and egg each other on, the wicked Ms. Knout is con-duck-ting a scheme to destroy the sun. The kids will have to get all their ducks in a row to battle their foe… but waddle they do if her foul plan succeeds? Come journey with us through this wondrous movie adventure that is filled with wholesome values, universal appeal and laugh-out-loud fun for the family. QUACKERZ emphasizes the importance of family, friendship, teamwork, respect, and acts of generosity and kindness.
You think you've seen it all, when it comes to movies or in this case, CG animated movies, but then a film like 'Quackerz' comes along, which is the latest CG animated film from another country. The country in question is Russia and the only American voice actors here that are recognizable is Michael Gross from 'Tremors' and possibly Allana Ubach from 'Sister Act 2'. Being from another country, this isn't the usual set up or story plot. Even most of the jokes don't translate well here, but it's original enough to keep your interest or at least see where the film goes.
There are a lot of moving parts to 'Quackerz', almost too much, as the film at times feels a little jumbled and not set on the straight path from point A to B. Still, the animation looks good and the visuals are colorful for sure. So what is 'Quackerz' all about? There are a group of ducks that live in China on the ocean, where their leader Emperor Peng Li believes that if he doesn't pray every night, that the sun won't come back to shine.
His son Longway is foretold to be the almighty Sun Duck, which will sacrifice himself to keep the sun ticking for a long time. The emperor doesn't want to lose his son, so he tries to keep Longway involved in video games and not worrying about the sacrifice. Then another group of war hungry, military-like ducks show up at the shore led by Duckmus (Michael Gross), who was supposed to be in Hawaii, but ended up in China. Go figure. Duckmus has a daughter named Erica, who falls for Longway, which ends up in a duck-style Romeo and Juliet type of situation.
If that wasn't enough to boggle your mind, a human woman named Ms. Knout (Ubach) comes to land of ducks in order to kill Longway and harness the sun's power for eternal youth, complete with her steam punk contraptions and idiotic henchmen. I know, it's a lot to follow, and none of it really makes any sense. There are some fun moments here and there, but the pacing and jokes really miss the mark, and that might be the case with this being a foreign CG animated film that doesn't know the mainstream American audience. Still, there are some creative scenes and characters for sure, but there is just so much going on, that the film has a difficult time staying on track.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Quackerz' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc, a DVD Copy, and a digital download insert from Shout Factory and is Region A Locked. Besides the download code, there is no other insert. The box art is reversible. The discs are housed in a hard, blue, plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. A trailer plays before the main menu arrives.
'Quackerz' comes with a fairly good 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There are two discs included here, one is the Blu-ray, which has the option to view in 3D or 2D. Then there is the DVD copy. The overall look of the film is colorful and beautiful. Colors pop right off screen with tons of greens, blues, reds, yellows, and purples. Everything is well-saturated and is a visually pleasing experience. I wouldn't go as far as to say the detail is as good as Disney or Pixar, but the feathers and hairs do stand out nicely.
The 3D looks good here too, but there aren't really any pop-out sequences really. It's more about the depth here than anything, which looks good. The landscape and characters on screen in 3D give the film some visual depth and makes the whole picture look bigger and almost immerses you into this chaotic land. The 2D version looks very good as well, and is the one I prefer, since there weren't any big gimmicky type of 3D moments here. There were surprisingly no big moments of aliasing, banding or video noise either, leaving this video presentation with some good marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds impressive. The audio here is quite fun and is well executed. The sound effects are robust and full of life and come from the surround speakers with ease. It's a packed audio presentation as it needs to be, and this audio presentation fully immerses you. Ambient noises of other ducks and seaside life come into full effect here as well.
Dialogue is crystal clear and easy to follow and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and high shrills. The dialogue and sound effects have some great directionality as well here. The bass thumps nicely without going into rocky territory. The original score sounds great too and always adds to the entertainment of the film, however the song 'Who Let the Dogs Out" makes an early appearance in the film, which is just not cool.
Behind the Scenes Animatics (HD, 8 Mins.) - This is like a picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture, where several different screens pop up that show the actual film, while showing storyboards, the voice cast doing their lines, and not fully rendered animation, all at once. There are four different scenes to pick from.
Promotional Slideshow (HD, 5 Mins.) - A ton of promotional artwork for the film in slideshow form.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'Quackerz' is a strange film. It doesn't quite hit the mark for American audiences as it doesn't nail some of the jokes and seems to have too much going on for its own good. That being said, the visuals are quite stunning and the voice work with the American actors are pretty good. The 3D isn't stellar, but the depth is quite good, while the audio presentation is excellent. The bonus features don't have much to them either. 'Quackerz' is worth a look, despite its chaos.