The Prodigies DVD Review
This is one of rare diamonds in the rough flicks you’ll accidentally find while wandering at the video store, and let me tell you that it’s quite worth your time. The Prodigies is a captive and exuberant animation movie and falls under those lines of “don’t judge a book by its cover” type-deal.
Jimbo Farrar (Jeffrey Evan Thomas) has superhuman intelligence and the power to control others with his mind, turning them into puppets devoid of will, who obey his every order. He works as a researcher at the head of the Killian Foundation for Gifted Children. His one goal is to find others like him. He finds five teens who decide to meet in New York’s Central Park.
They’re not alone. When they’re violently assaulted in the park, they decide to use their brilliant minds to plot out the perfect revenge. Jimbo is the only one who understands, but also the only one who can stop them…unless he decides to join them.
Filled with a good story and surprisingly dark and violent scenarios, it makes a good point of getting right to its message. Evoking strong themes, such as bulling and peer pressure, with an adult-context, it does an awesome job at aiming at an older audience and still being able to be taken seriously, regardless of falling under the animation section.
You might be concerned with the type of animation at first, neither being the most expensive nor mainstream type, but after five minutes in it grows on you. The CG/cell shaded animation is superb in the most intense scenes and makes a good use of Motion-Cap. It gets really imaginative and powerful at some pivotal points in the story. The artistic direction is thrilling and captivates every emotion and intensity of the violence when it occurs. It’s the perfect compromise due to a low budget.
The voice overs are just fine. Evan Thomas is quite charming as the protagonist and kinda carries the rest of them. Some of the other voices aren’t as compelling and rich as the characters they impersonate, but that definitely won’t ruin the experience.
Content-wise, it’s a dull. The DVD offers the movie on 16:9 or 2:35 format and it’s available in English and French language (with both subtitles) in the usual 5.1 Dolby Digital. For a DVD, it’s nothing exciting.
However, it offers no special feature whatsoever. Like, at all. It’s kind of a downer since the feature has a lot to offer, and would’ve been at least satisfying to see a featurette on how the movie is made, or a table read with the actors. Also that this movie is not presented in Blu-ray is a bigger downer.
With all that said, The Prodigies is a highly recommended work to keep on your radars. An intricate sci-fi story with a heart-felt and strong moral aimed at an adult audience and meant to resonate like very few animation movies succeed.
Studio: Entertainment One
Blu-ray Release Date: June 12, 2012
Run Time: 87 minutes
8 – The Movie
8 – The Video
8 – The Audio
0 – The Extras