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Category:    Home > Reviews > Children > Comedy > Drama > Fantasy > Animation > Literature > Shorts > Educational > Reading > Math > Music > T > Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD) + Scholastic Sets: Good Night Gorilla + I’m Dirty & I Stink (DVDs) + Team Umizoomi + Victorious – Season One, Volume One (Nickelodeon DVDs

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD) + Scholastic Sets: Good Night Gorilla + I’m Dirty & I Stink (DVDs) + Team Umizoomi + Victorious – Season One, Volume One (Nickelodeon DVDs)


Picture: B- (DVDs: C+, save C for Umizoomi)     Sound: B- (DVDs: C+)     Extras: C/C/C-     Feature/Episodes: C/C+/C



And now the latest cycle of children’s market releases…


Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011) is the sequel to the first Diary Of A Wimpy Kid we reviewed last year at this link:





I thought the film had its moments and that the could do better, so I wondered if the sequel could improve on things, but despite getting the cast back (who work well together), this first sequel may have some amusing moments and even a couple of charm, but there is more toilet humor and predictability, so the makers missed out on what did work and settle for more of the same.  Sad, but that is what we get with the clichés as Rodrick gets into more trouble and the film goes nowhere.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 34 MBPS digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray is a little weak throughout with a slight softness and other imperfections that hold the image back, which becomes more pronounced on the anamorphically enhanced DVD also included.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is dialogue/joke based and has a limited soundfield with music often taking over the soundfield, which is also apparent on the weaker, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD.  Overall, this is slightly better than the set for the first film.


Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, 7 “My Summer Vacation” shorts, Gag Reel, an Alternate Ending, 10 Deleted Scenes and feature length audio commentary track by author Jeff Kinney and Director David Bowers.


Good Night Gorilla and I’m Dirty & I Stink are the latest DVD sets from the educational Scholastic series, which releases its hare of singles and sets, the latter of which we have covered before including at this link:




Gorilla is a set of three singles in slender cases including the title short and five other somewhat related shorts, Danny & The Dinosaur has four fun shorts of its own and The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate The Wash has six animal shorts in all and adds two extra interviews: What Do You Do With A Tail Lie This One? author Robin Page & Illustrator Steven Jenkins and First Egg author Laura Vaccaro Seeger.


Dirty has two separate singles in one case with Dirty itself being about a construction backhoe and offers six shorts in all that more or less revolve around building like Johnny Appleseed and The Paperboy.  Extras include two extra interviews: Dirty authors and illustrators Kate & Jim McMullan and Fletcher & The Falling Leaves author Julia Rawlinson.  I Stink is about a trash truck and we get six shorts in all that relate to either travel, dirt or how some things or living creatures can be more that one thing.  Picture and sound is the same as the previous sets.  All have Read-Along functions and many have alternate Spanish soundtracks.


Finally we get two new Nickelodeon entries, with Team Umizoomi trying to do for math what Dora does for travel and exploration, but like 3-2-1- Contact and some other educational shows past and present, tit comes up a bit short and is a bit odd with four episodes of the trio breaking the fourth wall and trying to make things add up.  The combination of live action taping and computer animation does not always mesh, but at least this is a somewhat ambitious affair.  A game and three Meet… the character videos are the only extras.


Finally we have Victorious – Season One, Volume One which offers the first ten lame episodes of Tori Vega (what a name) in High School becoming the next pop music sensation singing songs forgotten as soon as she stops singing them.  Guess the idea is to take advantage of the end of the Hanna Montana debacle and that whole franchise’s crash, but this is no better, though maybe this will be some kind of hit anyhow.  Any of the starts staying out of posing semi-nude with a relative in a major magazine would help.  Extras include two superfluous Music Videos and two Meet… the character videos.


The 1.33 X 1 image on both is good, but not great, with Umizoomi softer throughout than expected, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is serviceable in both cases, but as is the case with pretty much all Nickelodeon titles, nothing spectacular.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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