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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE SKY CRAWLERS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:   121 minutes, two featurettes, previews

VIDEO:   1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:    Japanese, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:   English, French

 

STUDIO:  SPHE/ NTV/ Production I.G./ Imagica

RELEASE DATE:  5-26-2009

THE SKY CRAWLERS features animation that sometimes is almost photo realistic when it comes to the airplanes when they’re in the air or in dogfights.  The film makes you think as THE SKY CRAWLERS takes place in an alternate universe where forever youthful pilots known as the Kildren fight in a war they fail to understand.  They fly in the air as two corporate factions face off against each other.  They fight on end and their memories blur.  They drink, smoke, and have sex in their downtime as for today could be their last day.   The unit’s commander, Suito Kusanagi, even has a daughter and a wish to kill herself (or to be killed).  Every pilot is obsessed with a legendary pilot called the Teacher (who is on the other side) and no one has lived to tell about it if they get too close to the Teacher.  Also the corporate concerns even clone the Kildren if they feel they don’t want to lose a certain pilot’s skills.  THE SKY CRAWLERS starts with a mystery as a new pilot wonders what happened to the previous pilot of the plane he now flies.   Also the European setting of the film and the unique fighter planes add to the universe of THE SKY CRAWLERS.  This film has me thinking about it still even though it has been days since I have watched it.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

ANIMATION RESEARCH FOR SKY CRAWLERS-  a featurette that focuses on the director and animation team’s visit to Poland where they mostly take pictures at a Poland Air Force base and visit a book store (where the director buys a huge amount of books).  Director Mamoru Oshi believes one most visit the places they are going to model scenes and locations after (they even visit a bowling alley).

THE SOUND DESIGN AND ANIMATION OF THE SKY CRAWLERS-   This is like a making of featurette/ post-production featurette as it shows a visit to the Skywalker Ranch where the sound is mixed and created, a look at the music being recorded, animation deisgn, and the voice actors.

 

The DVD rounds out with previews for other animation titles available from SPHE.   Sadly the interview with director Mamoru Oshii is only available on the Blu-Ray.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE SKY CRAWLERS is an experience within itself as I’m still thinking about it days after watching it.

 

This DVD review is (c)5-26-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com