The Nut Job Blu-ray Review
Nut Job is
an animated family film. It has
a lot of star power behind it's animated characters with Will Arnett,
Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Liam Neeson, and Katherine Heigl
offering their voices to the film. It
has been released by Universal and is a decently fun family outing that
particularly please younger children in the audience and offer up mild
entertainment to anyone who is a little bit older. Parents may only
watch The Nut Job once but their
children might actually want to see this one again and again because of
nice characters, silly story, and decent humor (which will especially
revolves around Surly (Will Arnett), who is a bit of a mischievous
Unlike the rest of the squirrels living in the park, he's gained a
for taking nuts solely for himself. He doesn't play that well with
his sole friend is a rat who doesn't speak but is always by his side.
the film, he is confronted by Andie (Katherine Heigl), who attempts to
in him a need to help the community of the park and to share his nuts
animals in need of food. Surly doesn't react to this with much thought
keen only on keeping the nuts for himself.
long(ish) action sequence, it isn't long before a fire accident
food that the park had saved and managed to have for the upcoming
finger is pointed towards Surly and the manager of the park, the
Raccoon (Liam Neeson) suggests that the community banish Surly from
leaves the park community behind disheartened and downtrodden. He
enters the big
city alone (but is soon accompanied by his friend even though he tried
him to not leave the community just to be with him). He soon discovers
advertised as a coming soon Nuts shop, where all kinds of varieties of
should be held for sale. Surly gets the idea that he's going to break
store and get a ton of nuts for himself.
a meeting is held at the park. It is decided that someone needs to go
look for food for the other animals because of their lack of available
following the loss of their stock. Andie leads the team along with
(Brendan Fraser), who is at first a wannabe heroic leader before
one before the movie's end. The pair set out to find possible food
they soon come to the same nut shop.
course of the film, Surly begins to work with Andie and Grayson to get
the store for himself AND for the other animals to have food. As the
unfolds there is also an element to the park leader Raccoon that is
Will the squirrels be able to find some way of delivering enough food
entire community? Will Surly be accepted back by the other animals
helping them? These are questions the movie poses through its storyline.
the main plot-line, there is also a somewhat generic and boring
involving gangsters attempting to rob a bank who are using the nut shop
'front' to robbing. This storyline is far less interesting than the
involving the squirrels, but the
storyline is something that gives attention to both plots as an
of the movie (but with much less screen time devoted to the gangsters).
animation in the movie is something that one would expect to be one of
points considering the 40 million production budget. The
Nut Job is something one would want to deliver as good of an
animated presentation as possible within that kind of framework. Yet it
manage to be the best thing about the movie as it's actually rather
that while the whole film has a clean and vibrant color palette the
less detailed and more generic feeling. There are some nice elements to
artwork. However, nothing in the production design comes close to the
by major animation studios like Pixar (the best of the best), Sony
Animation, or Dreamworks Animation. Everything is too cold and
mechanical by comparison.
seems to be something a bit off in regards to the movement of the
and the details. The animation is just a bit less fluid and effective
sequences. While sometimes impressive (such as the hair on these
where you can see many lines of their fur) it is also less notable art
came to character designs and those details. Background details are
close to being almost nonexistent (these are generally not very
feel so much more like mere afterthoughts in this film's design).
isn't that bad in the sense that it's family friendly with only a few
that might be considered as "crude" but the film isn't really all
that funny on the whole. The Nut Job
manages to convey a nice approach to the humor though
that makes it work as a cute and charming
slice of family fun. For the most part, I think that the jokes will be
appealing to young kids, who are the primary audience that this movie
entertain. The director Peter Lepeniotis is trying hard to make this
much fun for children as possible and that's not such a bad thing.
voice-work from everyone involved is really quite sensational. I
hearing the voices as performed by such an interesting cast of actors.
great hearing Brendan Fraser doing a solid job here, especially as he
actor that I usually like and have been disappointed to see his career
dropping off over the years. Heigl offers the most warmth to her part
everyone else in the cast. Arnett is slyly humorous simply from his
and tone as the most comedic actor out of the bunch.
favorite thing about the film is actually one of the least developed
the movie. The film has a message within it about the need of sharing
within a community and the way caring for others and working together
to positive outcomes for everyone. I like the inclusion of such
messages, but I
feel they are not as well conveyed as possible for younger viewers.
With a good
conversation with a parent about these underlying ideas, I think this
something that could make a viewing of The
Nut Job become much more meaningful than it would be solely from a
viewing that doesn't explore these issues that are connected to this
There are some good messages that could be learned from the film with a
discussion following the film.
thought this film was a solid distraction; a decently done film that is
charming, sweet, and good-natured but not the best made animated effort
there. The plot-line almost feels like a throwback to cartoons of the
80's (which is sort of nice) but the writing and delivery is less
done this time around. The movie offers few genuine surprises with it's
wish The Nut Job had been more polished
before release as there's a part of me that feels like this could have
significantly better animated effort with a bit more time invested into
actual film is just mildly entertaining but it's still a decent effort
worthy of at least renting. The themes of the film that are underlining
the film's greatest strength but the filmmaking needed to explore these
to a greater extent to have a larger impact. I'd heartily recommend to
post-viewing discussion with their kids.
Nut Job is
presented on Blu-ray with an
impressive 1080p High Definition transfer which retains the film's
theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. The animation looks as
as it ever will with a good clean presentation that provides the
all the detail and clarity one expects from a solid digital animation
is presented with a lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation which
something that preserves the dynamics of the audio with its music and
effects laden production in a high quality that is notable for OK bass,
vocal clarity, and strong surround usage.
are provided in Spanish, French, and English SDH (for the deaf and hard
This is a Blu-ray
Combo pack release with an additional DVD copy of the
film and a digital copy (which works with iTunes). The packaging
includes an o-card slipcover.
5 min.) presents a few
select moments that were left on the cutting room floor.
3 min.) presents a few short select
moments from the film as they were as storyboarded before the sequence
Great Nut Heist (HD,
2 min.) is a standard
promotional behind-the-scenes piece with interviews and clips from the
End Credits (HD)
is nothing more than the end
credits sequence presented as something selectable as a standalone
Keep in mind this still has the
biggest inclusion is two animated shorts, one with a
presentation while the other is in sparkling HD. These shorts were
produced as precursors to the bigger production of The Nut
Job and seem to be early test films of some sort. (15 min.)
Nut Job is a
decent family film that will
entertain kids and keep adults at least mildly amused throughout the
a cute movie that doesn't entirely work, but there are qualities to it
nice (the stylistic throwback to 70's cartoons, nice voice work, and
messages that are quite positive and worthy of discussion with kids).
viewers will consider this film one where a single viewing is enough. I
think that the replay value wouldn't be too high. However, parents
to add a couple of stars to the replay value rating as young children
want to revisit this one many times over. If this is something you
kids might enjoy, it's worth purchasing. For
everyone else a rental should likely suffice.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.