|Discussion Boards | Reviews | News | Trip Planning | Shop | Travel | Site Map|
|Home Theater & Entertainment||
|Kevin Krock, editor|
Herbie: Fully Loaded stars Lindsay Lohan as Maggie Peyton, an aspiring race car driver who rescues Herbie from the junkyard. Maggie doesn't watch old Disney movies, so she doesn't realize Number 53 has a mind of his own. Although her dad (Michael Keaton) forbids her to race, Maggie puts Herbie through his paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor when challenged by a nationally known race car driver Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon.) With the help of her mechanic/love interest (Justin Long,) brother (Brekin Meyer) and Herbie, Maggie sets out to achieve her dream of competing on the NASCAR circuit. The film has many slapstick moments and mainly appeals to younger kids who will enjoy Herbies antics. A full review of the movie by Alex Stroup can be found here (link).
I expected to see a retrospective on past Herbie films in the bonus features, but no such luck. The earlier films are mentioned in passing with a few short clips of Herbie in the previous filmsmainly to illustrate technical points rather than past stories. Instead of a retrospective, I ended up being slightly more knowledgeable about NASCAR racing and what makes Lindsay Lohan laugh and squeal. Since I knew zero about either topic, I suppose the special features did their job adequately.
Deleted Scenes (11:47)
This is a good collection of scenes, complete with editing and sound, that were cut from the finished movie. Most of the scenes are related to Maggie's brother and father. Director Angela Robinson does a nice job of explaining why the scenes were cut from the film, giving essentially a basic film editing 101 for kids course that is interesting and informative.
Alternate Title Opening (3:26)
This clip is presented in storyboard form with background music and is an attempt to play off the 1970s nostalgia with throwback illustrations depicting Herbie in his heyday. The director mentions in the commentary that test audiences wanted to see more of the old film clips leading up to Herbie in his present state. I agree with the test audiences; the final opening sequence is one of the best parts of the film.
The bloopers section mainly consists of Lohan blowing her lines and squealing as cast members tease her with plastic spiders and carry her around the set. It would have been cuter and /or funnier 10 years ago.
Music and More
One music video barely qualifies under the title Music and More but I won't quibble. The skinny, blond version of Lohan sings First accompanied by clips of the film. The song is not horrible, just not that memorable.
A Day at the Races (13:54)
This section features interviews with Lohan, Matt Dillon, and other cast members about their experiences learning to drive at the RicHard Petty Driving Experience in preparation for their film roles. Deborah Renshaw, one of the few female NASCAR drivers, gives a basic overview of stock car racing and some personal insight about how she came to be a competitive driver. It seems she was included in the DVD to give Maggie's character some credibility; regardless, she does a good job explaining racing terms to younger viewers without talking down to them.
"Breaking the Rules: Stunts from Herbie: Fully Loaded" (9:05)
This section concentrates on the scene with Herbie at the Demolition Derby and the more technical aspects involved in making the scenes more realistic. Lots of technical talk that will appeal mainly to car buffs.
"Bringing Herbie to Life" (11:40)
Robinson wanted to keep the same look that Herbie had in previous movies where computer generated stunts and visuals were almost non-existent. She also wanted to keep Herbie's look as genuine as possible, so for the most part the car is operated by radio controls instead of having a computer generated personality. How many radio controls does it take to make Herbie roll his eyes? A lot more than you would ever expect.
Audio Commentary by Director Angela Robinson
One of the mysteries of Herbie: Fully Loaded is why Angela Robinson was tapped to be the director, since her only other work as director was in the small film D.E.B.S. in 2004. She never explains the mystery in the commentary, but does relate how when she read the script, she thought of Herbie's story as sort of a Seabiscuit with wheels. That must have been good enough for Disney. Mysteries aside, Robinson sounds like she knows what she's talking about, and keeps the commentary moving with lots of anecdotes about the cast as well as more technical aspects of filmmaking.
The Video, Audio and Interface
The main menu features an animated Herbie speeding across the screen leaving behind the bright red, white, and blue stripes of his logo. It blends perfectly with the rest of the DVD theming, and the titles and directions are easy to navigate.
Audio and Video
The movie is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds crisp and clear. The dialogue is not overwhelmed by the roar of the engines during the many racing scenes, and the music used as background adds to the scenes without taking center stage. The DVD is an extremely high quality transfer presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio and looks incredibly bright and sharp.
The Final Evaluation
Compared to some of the bare bones DVDs released by Disney recently, Herbie: Fully Loaded has some worthwhile extras, especially for those interested in NASCAR racing, Lindsay Lohan, or some combination of the two. People looking for a lot of nostalgia for the vintage Herbie movies may be disappointed, but the majority of the audience for this DVD will probably be kids who have never seen the original films and will not mind.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Lisa here.
Kevin Doc Krock is been a long-time animation buff and home theater fan. He's been following the rise of the DVD format in the home market since its introduction, and he hopes to help you make the most of your family's home theater viewing time and video collections.
You can contact Kevin here.
is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its
subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available
This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary,
editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts
of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change.
Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.