Night Of The Animated Dead (Blu-ray Review)

When Night of the Animated Dead was announced about a month ago, it rather took me by surprise. I had no idea this project existed, let alone was being worked on. George Romero’s legendary film has been remade a few times over the years to vary degrees of intrigue and success (I do like the Tom Savini directed HBO movie quite a bit). An animated take is an interesting spin if done right. The film boasts a casts of notables including horror queen Katharine Isabelle in a role as well as the likes of Josh Duhamel, Dule Hill and Jimmi Simpson. There’s a featurette on making it included in this release as well as a digital copy. Night of the Animated Dead will arrive on Blu-ray on October 5th, giving you plenty of time this Halloween season to add it to your roster of spooky movies to marathon through.



Siblings Barbara and Johnny visit their father’s grave in a remote cemetery in Pennsylvania when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbara flees and takes refuge in an abandoned farmhouse along with stranded motorist Ben and four local survivors found hiding in the cellar. Together, the group must fight to stay alive against the oncoming horde of zombies while also confronting their own fears and prejudices.

So remaking Night of the Living Dead as an animated film sounds neat on the surface. But, at the end of the day I guess “it depends”.  There’s a lot you could do with it and I’d encourage creators to take a lot of liberties with it. That’s not the case here as they’ve chosen to go for a straight remake route and add a cut scene back in and touch some gore here and there. And at the end of the day, it just becomes rather boring and making you wonder why you’re just not watching the original film instead. There’s nothing here to offer much in the way of needing to see it.

For the animation style, its a flash style animation, which is likely the go-to for cost and time reasons. And I’m not against this style when necessary for a project. I’m a big fan of it in the Doctor Who world. They use this type of style when making animations for missing 1960s episodes that only have existing audio. Its fun and it helps fill the gaps, trying to follow camera snaps and telesnaps to form some kind of accuracy on their backbone. That’s a very niche thing and so therefore the limitations become understandable as it makes the serial “complete” again or just infinitely more watchable. Here, however, Night of the Living Dead exists and it feels like they are doing just that with it, utilizing exact shots, camera movements and cuts.

Night of the Animated Dead could have been an interesting curiosity had they taken more advantage of going crazy with the format instead of just almost shot for shot remaking some of the original Romero movie. There are new aspects to it, but mostly it renders itself sort of a bore after a couple of the first scenes. The gore is kind of funny to see added at points, but that’s not really close to enough to tip this thing over. At the end of the day, I’m not sure anyone’s coming away from this having not wished they just spent their time watching the original film instead.


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Night of the Animated Dead debuts on Blu-ray with a pretty nice, crisp sharp image. Good coloring, plenty of details where the animation allows. Overall, this is about the best you can hope for with this flash type of animation and its very nice and vivid, popping to look at.

Depth:  While this is a very 2 dimensional animation style there is still a good separation and sense of spacing from the characters, zombies and moving object from their environment. Movements are smooth, flash-like and have no issues regarding motion distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and do well in shading and nighttime darkness. The contrast really helps bring out the color and sharpen the image. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors have a nice strong pop to them in this primary based palette. There’s a solid glow from them without being ragingly vivid or having any bleed troubles. They come off strong in the frame whether its a bright orange or a rustic brown.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: None


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Dutch, Spanish,

Dynamics: Night of the Animated Dead has a rather rock solid 5.1 mix that really livens up and enhances the viewing experience. It has a nice balance mix with terrific layering and depth. The speakers are utilized in a very good way of filling out the room. This mix does more than do the trick.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Shotgun blasts, explosions, engines roaring, musical stings, hammers pounding and even some bites get a good bump from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Zombie moans are fun and ambient ones are inserted through all the channels. This mix features some good, lively sound travel and good environment building.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with good presence on the actor’s vocal inflections and mouth sounds.


Night of the Animated Dead comes with a redeemable digital code.

Making of: Animating The Dead (HD, 9:46) – This goes over the genesis of the film with the director, producer, Dule Hill, Josh Duhamel, Will Sasso. They discuss taking liberties with the original, showing things the other film wasn’t able and the idea that this project was to prove how powerful the original film was. Includes plenty of footage of recording sessions with some of the actors.


Night of the Animated Dead for the most part is just a bit of animated shot for shot copy of the original Romero film using a more flash style of cartooning. The Blu-ray features a pretty lovely presentation and a decent, brief Making Of supplement as a bonus feature. I’m not sure this isn’t more than a rental curiosity for most folks at best.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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