FireBreather (2010/Cartoon Network/Warner Blu-ray + DVD) + Go Diego Go! – Diego Saves The World + Max & Ruby – Rainy Day PLAY! (Nickelodeon DVDs)
& C+/C+/C+ Sound: B- & C+/C+/C+ Extras: C-/D/D Main Programs: C-/C+/C+
and fun in children’s animated TV has changed and whether it has become better
or worse is hard to say. Certainly more
money is being put into shows, but the results are not always better
shows. The advent of cheaper computer animation
notwithstanding, can even shows of some quality be memorable and even fun?
Superhero genre has been popular for a long time, but in almost all cases,
attempts to render it in the computer animation world for TV has been a dud,
from Johnny Quest to pretty much all the DC and Marvel shows. FireBreather
is a new potential franchise for Warner’s Cartoon Network, has the look of the Bruce
Timm DC Comics shows in the simplicity of its animation with the nice lines
that go with it, but also adds fantasy and anime elements as lead character
Duncan Rosenblatt turns out to be half human, half dragon or Kaiji.
short 69 minutes, it is child-safe for the most part, but it is everything we
have seen before, following the familiar 1980s noble hero formula which is well
past its prime. Some may like it, but I
was bored. It is just too similar to too
much that network and many others are making.
Extras include Animatics, Visual Development, Deleted Scenes that could
have stayed in and 3D Animation Tests.
does this really compare to similar programming for younger children that is
not hero-based, but still asks the young audience to get involved? A quick look at the latest DVD singles from
Nickelodeon gives us a clue.
Go Diego Go! – Diego Saves The
World offers six
more shows of the same adventures we have come across before, as this clip will
there is the gentler Max & Ruby –
Rainy Day PLAY!, 12 adventures in four episodes not unlike what we have
covered form this series before:
two of the better Nickelodeon offerings and are more memorable than FireBreather, yet these are for very
young children and though they are even more child friendly (as they are aimed
at younger audiences), they are good quality shows, but I do not consider
either of them all-time greats. Like FireBreather, none of this is very
educational, though I guess there are some incidental values being taught here,
but none are any match for the pro-active educative TV that NET (which became
PBS) inspired out of the Big Three TV networks of the time.
not those kinds of shows and we do not have enough of such shows, though these
are not awful, they are competent franchises at best and boring at worst. IT is time for even smarter children’s TV to
make a comeback, because these shows are only doing so much. They also show that the genres and types they
represent have become too complacent. Picture
and sound quality on the Nickelodeon releases are the same as the previous DVDs
issued and neither have any extras.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on FireBreather
may have simple, streamlined animation, but color is the surprise with its
range better than expected and the overall picture more defined and solid than
the anamorphically enhance DVD sold separately.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray has some limits in its
soundfield, something the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD has more problems
with, but it is well recorded just the same.
- Nicholas Sheffo