Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mad Monster Party|
Actors: Boris Karloff, Allen Swift, Gale Garnett, Phyllis Diller, Ethel Ennis
Director: Jules Bass
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Baron Von Frankenstein (voice of Boris Karloff) has decided to retire as the head of the Worldwide Organization of Monsters. But first, he must inform the other monsters about his plans. How to deliver the news? How else -... more »
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Great Movie - Somewhat Disapointing "Special Edition"
Joseph Brando | NJ, USA | 09/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Please note that this review is for the "Special Edition" DVD of Mad Monster Party, and not the actual movie, which is an easy 5-star animation classic.
The bonus material consists of 3 featurettes - a "Making Of"; a "Music Of"; and a "Secrets Of Animagic". While it was enjoyable to see Arthur Rankin talking about the history of the film, I found it almost unforgivable that the two surviving stars (Phylis Diller and Gale Garnett) were not interviewed for this. Especially when footage of Phylis speaking about MMP already exists and only had to be purchased and tacked on. What's even worse is that Gale Garnett's name was not even mentioned, I kid you not! Every other person involved with the making of this movie was talked about except for the voice behind two songs in the film, and the most memorable character, Francesca. Apparently it was a legal issue, but one that should most definitely have been resolved.
Also included is the theatrical trailer which was present on the previous release but the TV spots and photo stills gallery which were on the original DVD were omitted from this one. This "Special Edition" has a better cover but the first DVD has much more attractive menus. If you are a Rankin/Bass fan, you will probably still want to pick up this new release (even if you already have the other one) but I do feel that more effort could have been put out to make this "Special Edition" more special."
3 GREAT SPARKHILL documentaries on this NEW DELUXE EDITION!
Richard J. Goldschmidt | Oak Lawn, IL USA | 07/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just watched the rough cuts and REALLY like what SPARKHILL did! GREAT editing and it makes you want to watch the film all over again! SCREEN NOVELTIES (Seamus and Mark) explain ANIMAGIC perfectly! MAURY LAWS gives some insight to his scoring in a seperate documentary about the soundtrack. Loved seeing ARTHUR RANKIN and DON DUGA talk about their parts and hearing ALLEN SWIFT do the voices again! You will not want to miss this 2009 edition!"
Should have been more
R. Monteith | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 09/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I completely agree with Joe brando's review. This is a disappointing release, most especially for the lack of even a mention of Gail Garnett, but also because the featurettes appear as rushed and shoddy things. You have to wonder why they even bothered. If you still own the previous DVD -- keep it. There was a nice booklet with the original release that really makes it overall better than this one. But both versions don't properly offer an anamorphic 16X9 transfer, which they should, and it would be nice if the soundtrack were "stereo-ized.""
Great Visuals, Excellent Vocal Talent, Lots Of Filler
Robert I. Hedges | 07/21/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a longtime Rankin-Bass fan, I stumbled across "Mad Monster Party" while browsing Amazon's site. I wondered why despite being in the approximately correct age demographic I had never heard of this. After all, weren't "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" among the most-loved Christmas specials on the planet? How could I have possibly have missed this Rankin-Bass creature feature with it's brilliant visuals and excellent vocal talents? I mean Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, what could be better than this?
Then I saw it. All 95 minutes of it. That's when I realized that despite the Rankin-Bass nameplate, despite the spectacular look of the film, despite the great voices, there was one thing inherently weak about the movie: the plot. In a movie of feature length, there needs to be a well-crafted plot to prevent the onset of boredom. In "Mad Monster Party", we have instead a series of dull gags interspersed with filler masquerading as a plot. Here is the plot in a nutshell: Dr. Frankenstein has decided to retire and cede his empire to his nephew Felix. A large cast of monsters attends the party at which he intends to unveil this news, and they plan ways to double cross each other and kill Felix. That's pretty much it, other than to say that the conclusion is equally bleak, nihilistic, and humorless, without revealing the actual plot resolution. In other words, this wasn't fun and wholesome enough to be a true children's classic like "Rudolph", but wasn't really suitable as adult fare either, mostly due to the terrible quality of the jokes, the even worse quality of the songs, and the plodding pacing between plotpoints. This should have really been a 30 minute television special, not a 95 minute feature.
I have a real soft spot for the Rankin-Bass team, but went back and forth about a rating on this one. I finally settled on three stars, as the visuals are outstanding and quirky, and the vocal characterizations (especially from Karloff) are wonderful. This is the only Rankin-Bass production that I have seen once and am content to never see again. Enjoy it for what it is, but don't expect it to be in the same league as their other justifiably better-known works."