Rick L | California | 10/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not recognizing the story by it's title, and not particularly a huge fan of animation, I plugged this DVD into my machine with only mild interest and little expectation. And within the first three minutes I was hooked! The feature itself is a mere half an hour length, and it ended way before I was ready for it to finish. The presentation evoked feelings I haven't experienced in years, with Orson Welle's commanding voice bringing me back to long car rides home from my grandparents house, sitting next to my father in the front seat, and listening to recordings of the old radio shows on the powerhouse "WJR Detroit - The Great Voice of the Great Lakes." There is a quality in the animation of this version of "The Hitch Hiker" which makes the story seem bigger and more important, like wonderful illustrations in a classic book. And there is an absolute intrigue in this production that will appeal to old and young alike. This story has been captured in various productions throughout the years, but none like this. This is a fresh and unique concept, combining the vocal performance of a master story teller with the visual allure of a gallery of wonderful renderings. I haven't finished watching all of the extras on this DVD, and I don't that I will. But the feature presentation was well worth the price, and I've shared it with many of my family and friends who are anticipating the next installment in this series as much as I am. Bravo!"
Disappointing at best
Jay S. Meade | Dublin, NC | 02/23/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I approached this DVD with an open mind, even though I believe radio shows turned into animation is akin to the colorization of classic black and white films. It did not take long to confirm my suspicions. The animation is computer generated and jerky, and the characters robotic in movement and general appearance, and Ronald Adams' car seems to be more like a fugitive from a ZZ Top album than from 1940. Don't waste your money on this turkey."
A Cinematic Experiment
Mister Myst | Corona, California | 11/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's get the bad points out of the way.
The extras, which include the famous "Frozen Peas" outtake, are nothing to write home about.
The animation is laughably bad. It's much more like an animatic than a finished product. The only thing that they got completely right is the main character's face.
That said, this is still a good DVD and I can recommend it fully.
Basically, the filmmakers took an old radio play directed by Orson Welles and made it into an animated short.
As I said, the animation is disappointing, but it's a fascinating and, I feel, successful experiment in cinematic storytelling.
Having only an audio script gave the crew a lot of leeway and freedom in what they could actually put on the screen. Rather than simply "adding illustration" they chose visuals, angles, and colors that complimented the audio. The result accomplishes something that neither audio or visuals could accomplish on their own. In other words, the result truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
I would have liked a commentary or at least SOMEthing that let me into the crew's heads and let me see their passion and drive. As it is, the DVD has a very impersonal feel to it. This, along with the other faults I mentioned earlier, prevents me from giving it a perfect 5 star rating."