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2.5 Stars out of 5
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Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Movie Release Year: 2010
Release Country: United States
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Firebreather

Review Date March 15th, 2011 by
Overview - Cartoon Network is on FIRE with the new Firebreather Blu-ray. Firebreather, Cartoon Network’s first world premiere original CGI movie event, delivers fierce action in the clash of two worlds where dragons roam the Earth and past secrets are exposed. At the center of it all, teenager Duncan struggles to find his place as half-Kaiju and half-human. Based on the comic book series by Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn, Firebreather is directed by Peter Chung (Aeon Flux). This Blu-ray is hotter than ever.
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: BD-25 Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/VC-1
    Length:90
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.78:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1,English Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions: English SDH
    Special Features: 2D animation test
    Deleted scene
    Animatics
    Visual development
    Movie Studio: Warner Brothers
    Release Date: March 29th, 2011

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

1.5 Stars out of 5

'Firebreather' is meant to be a kid's movie. However, I'm sitting here wondering how many parents want their children to sit down to a movie based entirely on man-beast relations. That's right, 'Firebreather' is all about mythological bestiality.

Duncan is the love child of Margaret, a human, and Belloc, a towering one-hundred foot tall dragon-like creature from a race called the Kaiju. Apparently, years ago Margaret saved much of the human race with her bravery when she stood up against Belloc's rampage. In a completely logical solution, the two of them mated, and had a child. That's right a giant lumbering dragon who can breath fire had a one night stand with a human woman and didn't wear protection. That'll teach him right? The sheer mechanics of their coupling is mind-boggling. At one point Margaret says to Duncan, "You're wondering how you were conceived right? It was actually very easy." Duncan rightly plugs his ears so he can't hear the gruesome details. Somehow I think that it wasn't all that easy for mom to live out her inner most bestial fantasies, but hey, it's a cartoon. It's all done for an excuse to give a human character dragon powers.

Duncan is sick of being the outcast. He's got orange scaly skin, and has had troubles in his past schools. His temper usually gets the best of him when kids turn to bullying. Duncan has numerous superpowers due to his mythological genetics. Super strength, super agility, but sadly super wittiness wasn't added to his list of tricks.

Duncan soon learns about his infamous dad, and is now tasked with becoming the next king of the monsters. His dad is king right now, but he's heir to the throne. Talk about a deadbeat dad. Doesn't see his son for sixteen years, and then comes stomping right back into his life expecting his son to fulfill some sort of mythological destiny.

Duncan's new school is full of the same hackneyed high school characters we've seen infinite times before. There's the hot girl that Duncan falls for, the thick-necked jock that picks on him, the nerdy kid who keeps to himself, and the curious girl who knows a lot more than what she lets on.

The short, hour-long Cartoon Network special at least goes by pretty quickly. It's filled with first-person camera shots that make you feel like you're playing a video game, rather than watching a movie. The animation also feels video game-like. Characters are stiff and lifeless. It's a lower budget affair, but still it's hard to take any of these sharp, angular characters seriously.

'Firebreather' is a chore to get through. I'm sure many Cartoon Network fans out there love it for some reason, but it's just so dumb. So, some lady got knocked up by a giant dragon and no one really questions it? How does something like that take place? She says it was easy, but was it worth it? When Greek gods came down and had sexual relations with humans, they at least changed to human form. What did Balloc have to do to woo her? Did he show her his dance moves, cook her a little dinner, and then throw on some Marvin Gaye? 'Firebreather' is missing out on the most interesting aspect of this story. Who cares about Duncan and his whiny teenage angst, let's see them explain how he actually got here.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    BD-25 Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/VC-1
    Length:90
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English Dolby TrueHD 5.1,English Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Special Features:
    2D animation test
    Deleted scene
    Animatics
    Visual development
    Movie Studio: Warner Brothers
    Release Date: March 29th, 2011

Video Review

4 Stars out of 5

As you may expect the 1080p presentation for the CG animated feature 'Firebreather' is as clean and clear as they come. Technically, the image is perfect. Free from artifacting, noise, or anything else that would hinder the picture.

Colors are bold and bright, from Duncan's orange skin to the yellowish glow of the fire spewed forth by father and son alike. The characters, however, look like they were created on The Sims video game. They're stiff, ungainly people lacking expression and realistic movement. Personally, I didn't enjoy the animation here. Textures are too phony, the monsters walk around like they have a Redwood stuck where the sun don't shine.

Even with the flawless transfer, technically 'Firebreather' still lacks that extra oomph that would make it true demo-worthy material.

Audio Review

3.5 Stars out of 5

Even though this soundtrack is full of loud booms and explosions, the Dolby TrueHD experience here seems a little forced.

Dialogue is a little soft, but when the action kicks in it's like everything is turned up ten notches. All of a sudden the LFE kicks in and the room is rumbling, but it seems like overkill. None of the action scenes seem mixed all that well, instead they hit you directly in the face. Sure it rumbles the floor and couch you're sitting on, but what good is that if you can't hear anything else going on? The action scenes just seem too forced, too loud. They don't mesh well with the rest of the movie. Sound effects, like crashing metal or exploding ammunition shells are pumped up to maximum volume and it just doesn't fit with the rest of the sound design.

Special Features

1.5 Stars out of 5
  • Deleted Scene (HD, 1 min.) — Duncan frets about what to wear to Homecoming. Although this scene does explain the huge plot hole that involves his mom being at the dance with him.

  • 2D Animation Test (HD, 1 min.) — This is an animation test using 2D animation for one of the movie's intense action scenes.

  • Animatics (HD) — Duncan Goes to School (2 min.) is a storyboard version of Ducan's first person view walking to school. Parkour Chase (2 min.) is a bunch of rough sketches pasted together of Duncan running through the school away from the bullies. Duncan Asks Jenna to the Dance (1 min.) is the rough animatic of Duncan asking Jenna to Homecoming. Kaiju Attack (2 min.) this is an animatic of the big battle at Homecoming.

  • (HD) — Firebreather the Comic (2 min.) is a bunch of stills from the comic, created by Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn, which the movie was based on. Character Designs for 2D (1 min.) this is stills of 2D animation for character designs (which look tons better than the CG). Character Designs for CGI (2 min) these are the same animated renderings of characters, but now with CG in mind.

Final Thoughts

'Firebreather' teaches a very important lesson. Bestiality is completely fine as long as it is used to save the world and is with a giant mythological creature that has no hope of existing in the real world. Imagine a movie like this that replaced the giant dragon with something much more real, like a horse or tiger or something. Doesn't the movie all of a sudden become deeply disturbing? Still, I find it rather funny that parents will buy this for their kids not really realizing that the basis behind this story is the fact that a woman had sex with a dragon. The video features pretty average CG animation, but it's clearly defined nonetheless. The audio seems oddly mixed, with the thumping sound track and crushing action scenes drowning out everything else. I recommend just skipping right over this release.

Sale Price $15.97
List Price $15.97
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3rd Party $6.38
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    BD-25 Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/VC-1
    Length:90
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English Dolby TrueHD 5.1,English Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Special Features:
    2D animation test
    Deleted scene
    Animatics
    Visual development
    Movie Studio: Warner Brothers
    Release Date: March 29th, 2011