Friday, April 4, 2008

The Wild : Walt Disney Production

The Wild is a computer-animated film directed by Steve "Spaz" Williams, produced by Clint Goldman, assistant produced by John Burton and C.O.R.E. Feature Animation, and was released by Walt Disney Pictures on April 14, 2006 in the US.

The Wild received some harsh responses even before the trailer premiered. described it as "Madagascar meets Finding Nemo with The Lion King thrown in for effect."

The movie has many similarities to Madagascar including its setting in New York, similar animals as characters, and the primary plot of introducing zoo animals to the wild. The name of the film and the tag line, "Start spreading the newspaper", a play on the opening line from the "Theme from New York, New York", were both used as integral plot points in Madagascar. The koala's line "Sprechen Sie Koala?" mirrors Madagascar's: "You. quadraped. Sprechen Sie Englisch?" Because of this, some people believe that the movie is a possible plagiarism of Madagascar, a Jack Bauer-meets-Madagascar film. Rotten Tomatoes describes the critics' consensus on The Wild as "With a rehashed plot and unimpressive animation, there's nothing wild about The Wild". The similarities to Finding Nemo are having a young animal being kidnapped somewhere else, and his parent goes out to find him.

There is evidence that The Wild was in production for a decade. The director, Steve Williams, said that he received the script in 2001. His contract with Disney stated that C.O.R.E would animate, and this contract was green-lit in 2003. The Wild has reportedly been in some form of production for a decade, first being called The Big Break, then Wildlife, and finally The Wild. Animators from the film have come forward on internet communities such as IMDb and stated openly that they had been working on The Wild already when they first saw the trailer for Madagascar. Several even believe that Marty's line "I wish I could go to The Wild!" from Madagascar is a direct mocking of their own efforts.

It is the belief of some that Madagascar was rushed into production to "beat" The Wild into theaters. Many supporters of this theory cite their personal opinions on the story and animation quality of Madagascar as being poor. Despite that, Madagascar was more successful financially than The Wild.

This would not be the first time for Disney and Dreamworks that two films with a similar theme were released in close proximity. In the fall of 1998, Dreamworks released its talking bug film "Antz" mere weeks before Disney/Pixar released "A Bug's Life". A similar scheduling occurred in 2000 when Dreamworks released The Road to El Dorado against Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, both set in Central/South America, using similar animation styles. Later on in 2004, Dreamworks released Shark Tale, which had an underwater theme resembling that of Pixar's Finding Nemo (2003), and the new film Ratatouille has a rodent themed world like Flushed Away(although Flushed Away was merely helped by Dreamworks). It has also been suggested that Disney's rebranding of Rapunzel: Unbraided as Rapunzel was due to its original similarity to Shrek's parodying of fairy tale worlds.


After the New York City zoo closes, all the animals play a game of turtle-shelling except five, who are looking for their leader's son Ryan, who has been shipped to Africa. Along the way, they encounter dogs, crocodiles, geese, and chameleons who think they're covert agents. At sea, thanks to Larry, they escape a crash with a cruise ship. In Africa they encounter a wicked wildebeest named Kazar, voiced by William Shatner.




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