Family. Funny situations. Animals. Dick Van Dyke. These words could be used to describe any number of classic live-action Disney comedies, but in this case I’m talking about a Disney comedy from 2014. A film with the longest title in Disney history: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (yes, even longer than The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band).
Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner headline this hilarious comedy about how a bad day can reunite a family in unexpected ways. Of course, the film is based on the popular children’s book of the same name that was first published in 1972, but the film really goes beyond Alexander’s bad day and extends to the rest of his family. It all starts with Alexander, who seems to always have bad days while his family finds success in their daily routine. After making a birthday wish that they would know what it’s like to have a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” his family finds unexpected obstacles that put their patience to the test.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Dick Van Dyke is in the film playing a role that he was born to play… himself. It’s a hilarious cameo in a film that also features surprise appearances by Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) and the Thunder From Down Under (yes, that Thunder From Down Under). The surprises never stop and it’s touching to see the family still capable of being there for each other after having such horrible days.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was one of my favorite films of 2014. It’s funny on multiple levels so everybody can enjoy it and it’s surprisingly touching. It is being released on a Blu-Ray/Digital HD combo pack on February 10th (the DVD is being released separately that same day).
Alexander looks excellent on Blu-Ray. The video presentation is exactly what you would expect from a film made in 2014. The film has a bright, dynamic color palette and it looks amazing in HD. It is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1, an epic ratio for an epic bad day.
The main audio track is English 5.1 DTS-HDMA. The surround sound does a great job of filling all of the speakers, with lots of off-screen sound effects and music filling the rear speakers. Other audio options are English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, and 5.1 French and Spanish tracks.
- Alexander… In Real Life (5 minutes) – This featurette is about author Judith Viorst and the real life inspiration for the story, her son.
- Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos: The Australian Outback Yard Party (7 minutes) – Meet the team responsible for creating Alexander’s birthday party, which includes animal wranglers who handle crocodiles, kangaroos and emus.
- Walkabout: A Video Diary (6 minutes) – Follow Ed Oxenbould (Alexander) around the set in this video diary he made while making the film.
- And the Delightful, Magnificent, Very Good Bloopers (3 minutes) – This blooper reel features some goofy moments, including more Dick Van Dyke and the creepiest fake baby ever.
- “Hurricane” by The Vamps – Music Video (4 minutes) – British pop band The Vamps live through their own bad days during the music video to this song from the soundtrack, which also features Bella Thorne.
Packaging & Design
Alexander arrives on Blu-Ray in a standard Blu-Ray case. Inserts include your Disney Movie Rewards/Digital Copy code and an ad for Disney Movie Club. The case is housed in an embossed slipcover. If you pay close attention to the back of the box, you may notice a quote from yours truly.
The disc opens with ads for Disney Movies Anywhere, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition and Big Hero 6. Selecting Sneak Peeks also plays ads for Disney Movie Rewards, Aulani, Once Upon a Time, Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Lost Episodes, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast. The menu features a collage of photos and clips from the film with an outback theme.
The digital copy can be redeemed through iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon Instant Video. If you’re planning to redeem it through all except Amazon, you might as well link it to Disney Movies Anywhere. That way you can unlock it in all three. The iTunes copy features the same bonus features found on the Blu-Ray.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a return to form for Disney, a family comedy the likes of which haven’t been seen for the past decade. It’s got a little something for everyone and more often than not, the humor is universal. The addition of Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke playing himself make this a must see for any Disney fan, I highly recommend it.