UMD Review: Animal House

This is Animal House. It doesn't matter what's written here, what the comments say, or what type of analyzing goes on. This is Animal House, and this 1978 piece of flawless comedy will always be one of the greatest of all time and nothing written can ever change that.

It's impossible to find fault in this classic. It's pacing is the key, along with the writing, to space out each laugh perfectly. By the time you're recovering from the previous jolt, the next one comes in. There's an iconic performance from John Belushi here, setting up a stereotype of the typical college slacker that's still relevant today.

Even the attempts at drama between Boon and Katy end up as straight comedy. There's not a single flat joke in here, and the actors sell their characters every step of the way. The sheer amount of quotable content is exhausting.

The AFI selected Animal House to their list of 100 greatest comedies at #36. That's not enough recognition. This is a film that nailed everything a comedy should, and just shy of 30 years later, it doesn't feel dated in the least. (***** out of *****)

This PSP edition of the film keeps the aspect ratio proper at 1.85:1. This is a wonderful transfer to the small screen, sharp, colorful, and with only a few compressions problems. Things get muddy when the black levels come into play, but that's the only minor fault of this UMD transfer. (****)

Audio is superb on this tiny disc. Clarity is wonderful, and the highs and lows of the unforgettable soundtrack are captured perfectly. There's that slight ever-present hiss over everything. That's expected and unavoidable due to the age. A little more separation in the stereo channels would have been proffered however. (****)

The sole extra here is the Where Are They Now? "documentary." It lets the actors reprise their roles from the film to update the audience as to what they've been doing since. It's a great piece, and not only to see the actors again. They obviously loved playing these characters if they were willing to play along for this. At a half hour, this is a great addition to the film. Menus are ripped mostly from the recent DVD release, Double Secret Probation Edition. (***)

"Ask for Babs" is the final gag in Animal House, pasted on an ad for Universal Studios. For a while, saying that when you buying tickets would land you a discount on admission. They stopped handing out freebies in 1989.

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