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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Comedy > Action > TV > FireBreather (2010/Cartoon Network/Warner Blu-ray + DVD) + Go Diego Go! – Diego Saves The World + Max & Ruby – Rainy Day PLAY! (Nickelodeon DVDs)

FireBreather (2010/Cartoon Network/Warner Blu-ray + DVD) + Go Diego Go! – Diego Saves The World + Max & Ruby – Rainy Day PLAY! (Nickelodeon DVDs)


Picture: B & C+/C+/C+     Sound: B- & C+/C+/C+     Extras: C-/D/D     Main Programs: C-/C+/C+



Action 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?


The 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.


Running a 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.


So how 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 show:





Then there is the gentler Max & Ruby – Rainy Day PLAY!, 12 adventures in four episodes not unlike what we have covered form this series before:





These are 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.


They are 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.



The 1080p 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


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