Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were not the first marijuana advocates in the entertainment industry by a long shot, but they were the first to tap into the audience demographic in the 1970s and ‘80s when they created what is now considered the first stoner comedy, Up in Smoke (1978). The truth is that the two had already been a comedy duo for years prior to their film career, with a successful comedy routine and several albums to show for their efforts.
Many of their original characters and sketches are perfectly suited for the imaginative style of animation, though this film often now feels a bit dated. In fact, much of Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie, from the skits to the animation style, belong in the 1970s. The lingo alone may be too foreign for younger audiences, but fans of this pair aren’t likely to be younger. Those little stoners have Harold and Kumar in replacement of the Russian and Mexican icons from the past.
The film includes many iconic personas that are well suited for animation, including the
skit. Then there are the usual
marijuana-smoking hijinks of the pair, though the film has no real plot. It is
not unlike many of Cheech and Chong’s live-action films, such as Nice Dreams,
which feature a series of skits within the main narrative. As Cheech and Chong
get stoned and watch TV, we are given more of the skits, including a game show
called “Let’s Make a Dope Deal.” Chihuahua
The Blu-ray includes three separate commentary tracks over the 83-minute animated film; the first with Marin and Chong, one with the Chambers Brothers and Lou Adler, and the final one with Tommy and Paris Chong. There is a 4.20 Listening Mode, which plays all three of the commentaries. Also included in the special features is a jam session with Blind Melon Chitlin’ and a slideshow photo gallery.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Disc Features: 7/10