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    Review: Mask of Light DVD Extras
    ReviewTuesday, September 16th, 2003 at 12:26am by Kelly, BZPower Co-Owner

    The DVD version of BIONICLE: Mask of Light contains numerous extra features, some of which are certain to appeal to fans. Read on to find out how much they add to the entire MoL experience. But two words of caution: watch the movie itself before watching the extras, since they discuss things you probably don't want spoiled; and there is a big fat juicy spoiler for 2004 at the bottom of this story, so read at your own risk.

    Yes, there will be a quiz in the coming weeks, so pay attention!

    Once you've watched the movie, the DVD extras are icing on the cake. First, let's look at what's included:

    Again, be sure to watch the movie first. If this is your first-time Bionicle experience, the only exception I'd recommend would be turning on the Wall of History (see below), or you'll probably get too much information the first time around. Sit back and enjoy the show.

    MoL Bonus Menu

    Scene Selection
    Standard picture menu of the twelve scenes in the movie, presented in sets of four. Minor spoiler alert: From the movie previews and the MNOLG2, it's fairly obvious the new game of Kolhii has increased in significance and makes an appearance in the movie. It looks like the new spelling of the game went through a couple of iterations: it started as "koli" but then we saw it as "kolhii" (as on Bionicle.com). However, one of the scene selections spells the game "Kohlii" which may be a simple typo, or could've been an earlier spelling, since the DVD was likely finalized months ago.

    Sneak Peeks
    Want to see what Disney's coming out with soon? Check out the Sneak Peek section. Take a look at "Disney's Holes", "George of the Jungle 2", "MXP: Most Xtreme Primate", "Pokemon Heroes", and "Power Rangers Ninja Storm (ABC Family TV trailer)". These also run before the movie starts, which you can skip by pressing the menu button on your DVD. However, there is one sneak peek you'll want to view - for BIONICLE: The Video Game. This 30-second commercial has the requisite screen movie clips of the heroes in action, including a transformation from Toa to Toa Nuva, but missing is the mysterious Seventh Toa. The game commercial also features some high-quality CGI animation that looks like it was produced by Ghost ApS, who produced all of the short video clips of the Toa, Bohrok, and Rahkshi. It's all tied together with a soundtrack from the Power Pack. That 30 seconds is well worth a look, even if you don't intend to pick up the video game.

    The Making of "Bionicle: Mask of Light"
    This is probably where most fans are headed right after watching the movie. This 10-minute behind the scenes brings out all the secrets of how the movie was made. It includes interviews with Bob Thompson, executive producer; Terry Shakespeare and David Molina, directors; Sue Shakespeare and Janice Ross, producers; Henry Gilroy, screenwriter; Michael Rose, art director; and more. There are a lot of scenes from the movie, as well as storyboards, video of the characters being animated, and the voice actors performing in the studio.

    A fair portion of the behind-the-scenes featurette focuses on changes made to the characters for the movie, in itself a fascinating subject. You'll be able to read more about that in the next few days when we reprint an updated version of our "Mask of Light Special 3-Part Feature" - including all-new descriptions and images of how the characters were developed. In fact, several parts of the behind-the-scenes feature were filmed the day BZPower interviewed most of the people mentioned above, last March (yes, I peeked around the corner once in a while as they filmed the interviews).

    Anyone interested in how the characters and story evolved from plastic figures to an animated feature will want to watch this at least once.

    Mata Nui Explorer screen 2

    Mata Nui Explorer
    Take a tour of the island of Mata Nui, specifically the six Koros and Kini-Nui. It's a bit perfunctory, and really only focuses on the characters shown in the film. New Bionicle fans will appreciate the info, but most is already known to the hardcore Bionicle fan. There are some nice 3-D spins of the characters, however.

    Wall of History
    Although it's not exactly what it sounds like, this is a great feature. The Wall of History consists of snippets of back story, inserted into appropriate places throughout the film. A small box with some text appears at times with some additional information to help new viewers understand the history of Bionicle. For example, the first time the word "Kanohi" is spoken, a small text box appears off to the side with a short bit of text about that mask. Of all the special features, this is probably the most appropriate one to have on during the first viewing.

    Filmmaker Commentary
    The two directors, Terry Shakespeare and David Molina, share obligatory commentary duty on this disc. Most of their comments center around the more technical aspects of making Mask of Light, but there's also a fair amount of insight into the people who made the film as well. The pair sound a little subdued, perhaps due to their hectic transcontinental directorial style, and there are a few "dead" spots in their dialogue.

    Sneak Peek at the Next Storyline
    A big, big, big misnomer. There is a sneak peek at what's coming elsehwere, but this isn't it. Executive producer Bob Thompson speaks for a minute about what might be in store for the inhabitants of Mata Nui, but there are no teasing visuals on the DVD past what you see in the movie.

    Mata Nui Explorer screen 5

    Cutting Room Floor
    Unlike the teasers for Pixar films, these really are outtakes from the film. The various scenes comprising a minute and a half of animation were removed mostly because they slowed the film down, or gave something away too soon. The Kolhii game had a lot of outtakes as well. It's amusing, but be sure to watch it with the director's commentary.

    Storyboard to Film Comparison
    If you're interested in how closely the initial vision matched the final version, this is the section for you. It's amazing how closely the animatic storyboards matched with what made it into the film.

    Translation Chart
    A handy translation chart for the circular glyph language of Mata Nui. There's a bit of a faux pas, however - see if you can find it.

    Translation Chart

    The Real Sneak Peek
    I promised there would be a sneak peek into 2004, but it's not on the actual DVD. A small booklet comes with the DVD (not sure about the VHS version, but it probably has the booklet as well), featuring toothbrushes and shoes and other Bionicle goodies, all of which we've seen before. The very last page, however, contains a spoiler...











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    Bionicle 2004
    Metru Nui - City of Legends

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