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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
2-Disc Collector
Genre: Computer Animation

Reviewed In Issue 54 (Nov 2001) Of Widescreen Review®

The Voice Talents Of Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Keith David, Jean Simmons & Matt McKenzie

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 5
DD Sound Rating: 5
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3.5
Internet Links
Special Features
Columbia TriStar has assembled an impressive array of supplements for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. For a movie that is such a landmark for computer animation, these extensive supplements nicely address how it was achieved. Disc one includes three audio commentary tracks. The entire film can be viewed in storyboard comparisons (amazing!), with optional production commentary, or optional subtitled factoids. DVD-ROM content and trailers are also found on Disc one. Disc two includes a 30-minute segmented documentary with special features in itself. During the documentary, additional animation or informative segments pop up on the bottom corner of the screen, which, when pressing enter, will play with or without commentary. Final Fantasy really pushes the limits of reality, and the interviews with the individual artists who painstakingly lip synced the characters lips and voices, detailed Aki

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 06249
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $29.95
(DVD Type): Two DVD-9 Discs
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 93
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2001
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 10/23/01
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Hironobu Sakaguchi
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
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(Production Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Visual Effects): Subscribe Now!
(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
(Executive Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Co-Producers): Subscribe Now!
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(Academy Awards): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Picture Information

(Principal Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Anamorphic Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Sound): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(DTS Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within takes place in the year 2065. A meteor has crashed onto the Earth, unleashing millions of alien creatures who threaten life itself. Yet the spirit of humankind is resilient and embodied in the brilliant and beautiful Dr. Aki Ross (Ming-Na), Earth's last hope for defeating the alien predators. With the guidance of her scientific mentor, Dr. Sid (Sutherland), and the courageous Capt. Gray Edwards (Baldwin), Aki races to save both the planet and herself.

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD picture is simply superb. Images appear lifelike, while at the same time remaining true to the video game. The human characters are incredibly real, from highlights across their faces and in their hair, to detail in their clothing. The picture can be appropriately dark, but

The Dolby

This Disc Contains The Following WSR-Rated Superb Qualities:
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  WSR DVD-ROM Review
DVD-ROM Enhancements Rating:

DVD-ROM Review:
Final Fantasy is another new DVD-ROM release without the usual InterActual features, and - get this - it is well done! Another amazing feat is the fact that this title also works using your Macintosh! It just keeps getting better. Immediately after inserting the disc into your drive, it checks to see if you have Quicktime 5 or higher installed on your system, then loads to its own independent DVD-ROM main menu. Do not worry, if you do not have Quicktime installed on your computer, it automatically installs for you from the disc. After the main menu has loaded, you are shown links for Interactive Film Exploration, Tour of Square Pictures, FF Web Gallery, and Aki Screen Saver. The Interactive Film Exploration is an awesome feature where you can watch the evolution of the film from initial storyboards, to layout animations, to definition and lighting tests, to the final version. The great part about this section, though, is it shows them all periodically while playing the movie on the same screen. So, instead of seeing just the storyboards then seeing that scene as a layout animation, they morph into each other giving a great feeling of the amount of work that went into this production. By taking a Tour of Square Pictures, you can read about the seven different departments used while making the film. Also in this section, you can find the two original theatrical trailers, and the original theatrical teaser trailer. Clicking the FF Web Gallery link will send you to a Web site on the disc with links to the official movie site, the Final Fantasy DVD online gateway (which is just a site dedicated to selling the DVD), and Sony Pictures and Columbia/TriStar Pictures sites. The Aki Screen Saver is a great little screensaver showing the transformation of Aki (the main character in the film) from initial computer models to her final form. There are versions for PC and Macintosh computers. This is a truly awesome DVD. The features available for us DVD-ROM users are wonderful, and are great at demonstrating just how dedicated the creators of this title were. My only grip is the poor video quality in the Interactive Film Exploration, which is easily overshadowed by the pure brilliance of the section in whole. A must see for all fans - fans of the film, and fans of DVDs in a whole.