Oblivion Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review
“Oblivion Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror” is an overlong bore.
The plot: After a masked fox esque creature takes a mirror from her, a teen girl named Haruka is led to the wondrous Oblivion Island to reclaim the mirror that was given to her by her late mother. While in this land, she encounters a secret society of creature pillagers who apparently take neglected items from humans. Unfortunately for Haruka, her quest turns out to be a bit more difficult than she imagined when the villainous Baron wants the mirror for himself as well.
Visually, there’s much to admire about “Oblivion Island.” From the storybook opening to the stunning island bridges, tunnels, and cityscapes, it’s a dazzling CGI anime feature to be sure. Alas, the visuals can’t save this paper thin story. For a majority of this overlong film, Haruka simply looks for the mirror and is chased around ad nauseum. That’s about it. Sure, there are themes of memories, love, neglect, and friendship scattered in, but they beat you over the head with these ideas constantly as well.
Another annoyance is the fact that film so desperately tries to emulate the magic and wonder of films like “Spirited Away” and “The Wizard Of Oz.” ‘Island’ is not THAT magical nor does it even come close to being as memorable as those films.
Summary: With a few rewrites, “Oblivion Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror” could have been so much more. Instead, it’s a repetitive snooze.
Even though the film is presented in widescreen 1080i instead of 1080p, it still looks visually stunning. If you just compare the DVD copy to the Blu-ray copy, it’s literally like night and day. The colors are so much more vivid in hi-def. It’s really the only way to see it (if you have to see it at all).
The set contains English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio tracks. The English dub is pretty lifeless while the Japanese track contains a far better voice cast.
* Trailers for “Summer Wars,” “Origin: Spirits Of The Past,” “Okami-San And Her Seven Companions,” “Tsubasa,” “Dragon Ball Z Kai,” “Fruits Basket,” “One Piece,” “Disgaea,” “Hero Tales,” and Funimation.com.
* DVD Copy.
* The U.S. trailer, 10 TV commercials,4 original teasers, and 2 original trailers for “Oblivion Island.”
* “Sierra Leone Relief Spots”- 2 charity campaign ads.
* “A Journey Through Fox Folklore”- A 26 minute featurette about fox legends.
* “Haruka And Teo’s Panel Puzzle”- Footage of a “Oblivion Island” activity students are doing at a school.
* “The U.S. Premiere”- Naoyoshi Shiotani goes to NY for a special screening.
* “A Word From The Cast”- A cast and crew Q&A from a special screening.
* “Greeting At The Premiere”- Speeches from the cast members.
* “Battleship Island: An Actual Oblivion Island”- An abandoned island visit by the director and others.
* “A Visit To Fushimi Inari Shrine”- Voice actress Haruka Ayase visits a shrine.
* “Behind The Scenes Of Oblivion Island”- A standard featurette that runs down the story, the cast, the characters, the animation style, etc.
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