KOOKY blu-ray review

Czech Region-free blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 1.85:1

Czech: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English

IMDB

MOVIE: 9

VIDEO QUALITY: 9

AUDIO QUALITY: 9.5

ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 10

EXTRAS: 7.5

 

Kooky is a great film for children as well as adults. It’s basically a combination of:
1. Toy Story films
2. Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are
3. that Bjork forest video
4. Hayao Miyazaki
5. Jan Svankmajer

Jan Sverak’s movie is about cuddly lost Kooky, Czech’s most famous toy doll, and his adventures to get back home. Along the way, he meets up with forest creatures, animals, garbage creatures. Some are nice and some are out to catch him. This movie is almost like a children’s version of The Road Warrior with plentiful car chase scenes (the forest creatures have their own little organic vehicles). Even though the story is a little bit similar to the ones in the Toy Story movies, this movie is like the anti-Toy Story. In Toy Story, everything is spotlessly clean, shiny, and bright. Kooky the movie is the most organic earthy film I think I’ve ever seen. The audience is face to face right in the nature, in the dirt, mud, water, dust, insects, but in a charming, cheerful way. This movie is an uplifting charming film. The direction in this film is just amazing, some of the best nature cinematography I’ve seen all year.

This movie also stars the director’s usual go-to-leading man Zdenek Sverek (the father of the director), who starred in Empties, Kolya, Accumulator 1, and Dark Blue World. If you’ve seen any of these good films, you’ll definitely recognize his voice as one of the forest creatures.

The Czech blu-ray is very solid. There are a lot of browns in this film (creatures and forest) and the video handles the very organic colors of the forest and the creatures very nicely. The Czech audio is very engrossing and you feel lost in the forest along with Kooky. A very impressive mix. The extras are all not subtitled – there’s a making of the film, two trailers, some photo galleries, and my favorite extra was a 3-minute making of how the factory workers make the actual Kooky doll. I wish that featurette would be longer and I would have loved to have seen a more in-depth documentary on the pop culture based around this popular Czech toy.

A very nice movie. Since it’s subtitled only, it’s mainly for older kids (and anyway there is one mention of sex in the movie and there’s a character named Captain Goddamn), so it’s definitely for those European kids more than the conservative American kids. But this film is a work of art and it’s worth seeing!

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