Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
146 of 150 people found the following review helpful
New, but familiarNov. 16 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
Animusic 2, like its predecessor "Animusic", contains computer rendered animations that are set to music - in fact, the essence of the animations is that they are driven by the music, each musical note being connected with some action in the animation. While this fact may be of more interest to people concerned with the "how" rather than simply the experience provided by the final product, I think that understanding the process that goes into Animusic is part of the fun. If Rube Goldberg conducted an orchestra in cyberspace, it might look like some of the animations in Animusic 2.
I enjoyed the first Animusic tremendously, and this DVD presents more of the same. While there are a few aspects in which Animusic 2 differs from its predecessor, the similarities outweigh the differences and the overall experience is remarkably similar.
This album is similar musically to the original. It features a range of styles, and relies mostly upon struck or plucked strings and melodic percussion (such as xylophones / marimbas) to carry most of the tunes. Drums and synthesizers also feature heavily.
The music is interesting enough when played with the animation, but does not stand alone simply as music as well as the first album did. Still, the tunes are catchy and enjoyable, and you will find yourself tapping your toes and bouncing your head as you watch / listen.
The animation is detail intensive and exceptionally well rendered. The instrument models and sets are clever and interesting to watch. On the whole, even if the experience is essentially another iteration of the original Animusic concept, this is not at all a bad thing.
There are some differences, and they are generally for the better. For example, the instruments/players show more "personality" than in the previous outing, swinging their arms or bouncing to the beat even when they aren't actually playing. And the special features are more varied than they were previously. But these differences are evolutionary, rather than dramatic.
On the whole, this is a great example of musical animation and is lots of fun to watch (I watched it 3 times through the first time I put it in the player). Although I may enjoy the original slightly more, this is a worthwhile experience for anyone who enjoyed the original, or has an interest in animation. I have no doubt I will watch this many, many times.
There are 8 animations on Animusic 2, and while most make use of instruments that are different from those seen in the first album, the overall style is similar. Included are some acoustic pieces that feature organic sounding (albeit fanciful looking) instruments, such as "Resonant Chamber" and "Pipe Dream 2", as well as pieces that make extensive use of synthesized sounds, such as "Heavy Light" and "Fiber Bundles". Also included is a drum solo, "Gyro Drums".
The special features include commentary by the director, as well as design stills, set build-ups, and some interesting multi-angle presentations of the animations. The disc includes both 5.1 and 2.0 surround audio mixes, as well as full-screen (4:3) and widescreen presentations of the animations, so this disc can be fully appreciated on a wide variety of systems, whether you have a standard stereo television or a home-theatre with all the bells and whistles.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Computer Graphics Wet DreamNov. 22 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
I was a big fan of the original Animusic, and the even earlier "Pipe Dream" animation, so it was with great anticipation that I popped in Animusic 2 to my DVD player. Simply put Animusic 2 doesn't disapoint, it's fabulous! There are 8 animations, one of which is a sequel to Pipe Dream, imaginatively called Pipe Dream 2 ;-) The graphics are all top notch and the music is terrific. On occasion the music seems to drag on but the graphics picks up the slack. The DVD should win an award for DVD mastering (if there is such a thing). Both wide screen 16:9 and standard screen 4:3 versions are on the disk. I must confess I haven't bothered to watch the 4:3 animations since I was busy salivating over the wide screen version.
The extras included for each animation are also terrific. Some show different musical mixes, and others let you control different viewpoints via the Angle capability of DVD players. The director's commentary is also quite fun and Lytle sounds like he sitting there with you discussing the show.
Note to Pixar: use this stuff for backgrounds in a movie
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Step Forward...Yet Backwards...Dec 28 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
I saw the preview for `Animusic 2' and was very eager to get my hands on this new 8 track DVD. After watching it I would have to say that this DVD was just a bit over hyped. `Animusic 2' is not a bad watch at all. I enjoyed watching it, but I think that is the secret word here. This DVD was more visual than musical. The original's music was what really made the overall DVD great. I loved the new sequences from a visual standpoint. It was a huge step forward from the original. The highpoints were the return of the stickman with his new posse as well as the starship grooving robots and who can forget the amazing finale in `Heavy Light'. The visuals were great but the music was just not the perfect match and that was a huge step back. If there will be an `Animusic 3', which there are very few rumors about, I feel Wayne Lyttle needs to remember that its not `Animusic' with out the music.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
instruments come to life!July 7 2006
A Kid's Review
- Published on Amazon.com
When I first saw animusic, I was dazzled by the animation, I loved the music, and it's really fun to watch. My brother and I were going insane because we had to wait so long for this DVD to come out. Now that it's here, I'll rate each of the animations...
1.Starship Groove: Has a good beat to it. It's kind of a mix of Jazz and techno. 9/10
2.pogo sticks: My dad's favorite and one of my favorites. It's just a song with two diffrent types of basses and drums. It's fast pace, but when they go under tunnels it lows down 10/10
3.Resonat chamber: The backround looks like it's in a tall tower. The music is simply beutiful, but theres nothing really special about this song 8/10
4.Cathedral Pictures: This animation has a mix of 3 classic songs. It's a really good song. 9/10
5.Pipe dream 2: the sequal to the first pipe dream. The only thing thats diffrent is the music it plays. It's still cool 8/10
6.Fiber Bndles: another one of my favorites. It looks like it takes place in a UFO. It's a very intresting techno song 10/10
7.Gyro Drums: the new generation of drum machine. Little robots float around the drum set and play the song. 8/10
8.Heavy light: the last animation on the DVD. It's my all time favorite on the DVD. It's pure lasers that takes place on a planet or a Egyption area. 10/10
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Animusic does it again!April 23 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
This second installment of the Animusic video albums is freakin' cool. It is definitely different and innovatively more stylized than the first. What's interesting is that every object designed to play the instruments are all supported by levers and strings, in other words there are no floating sticks or mallets anymore.
These are the eight different animations not in video order but how I rank them:
1. Starship Groove (definitely kickin'; come on, how could you not like the sweet robots playing drums and little electronic pads on themselves on an open space freighter; love the design on the spaceship)
2. Gyro Drums (it's the new "drum machine"; robotic arms and attached to rings fly all around on this scientific module lined with all types of drums and cymbals; love the part where the drummer in the center and the drums surrounding turn upside down and the electronic drums play; neat sound; very, very rhythmic)
3. Cathedral Pictures (the only one not containing original music; just interestingly arranged by Wayne Lytle, the creator; I like the rotating drum set with two sets of arms playing it, the one string bass, the hammered string instrument (like in "Acoustic Curves", the big organ pipes, and the firework-like thing near the end) (It's "Pictures at an Exhibition": Promenade; Hut of Baba-Yaga; Great Gate at Kiev)
4. Pogo Sticks (It's no "Stick Figures" but still cool. Mr. Bass Man, the stick, returns with two strings, and on wheels bouncing up and down, and brings in his distant cousins which are a higher sounding string instrument, two percussionists, and two mallet instruments)
5. Fiber Bundles (Whoa, this is flashy. Give a listen to the different mixes in the special features section. You'll hear one group of instruments playing separately on three different mixes, plus a fourth one which contains all instruments playing. It's freakin' cool, there's all this buzzing and beeping, it's insane!)
6. Pipe Dream 2 (You kind of know what to expect from the first. Except the music's slightly different. It has almost the exact same intro. The chimes on the ceiling have more on-screen time. It's interesting seeing an older animation with a new piece of music being programmed into it. The set also looks as if it has a used and dirtier look, plus the lighting is a bit different.)
7. Resonant Chamber (Kind of like the "Aqua Harp", except this is indoors in the center of a room. It's one giant instrument with numerous parts to it. It's kind of bizarre-looking. The music changes from being mellow to having a groove to it. Each of the windows of the room have different phases of the moon for some reason.)
8. Heavy Light (A bit too spacey sounding. It's still cool though. The structure is outdoors and looks like ancient ruins. Light projecting instruments pop up out of the structure and flash all these lasers everywhere. The music's definitely out there.)
Nothing short of aamzing, proving yet again, that Animusic is a feast for the eyes and ears.