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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Animals > Literature > Children > Science Fiction > Comedy > Teens > School > Education > Babar: Best Friends Forever + School Days (E1 DVDs)/Olivia: Princess For A Day (Nickelodeon DVD)/Phineas & Ferb: The Movie – Across The Second Dimension (Disney DVD)/Prom (2011/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)/T

Babar: Best Friends Forever + School Days (E1 DVDs)/Olivia: Princess For A Day (Nickelodeon DVD)/Phineas & Ferb: The Movie – Across The Second Dimension (Disney DVD)/Prom (2011/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)/Team UmiZoomi: Journey To Numberland (Nickelodeon DVD)


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



The latest series of children’s titles include some appealing to teens, supposedly, but the more animated, the more animated in this case.


This is remarkably the first time we have covered anything involving Babar The Elephant, another charming, underrated children’s character and the two single DVDs we start with are Babar: Best Friends Forever and School Days, both of which are designed to teach social skills and values in the best possible way.  From the late 1980s, the shows hold up well and is another character that has yet to peak as far as I am concerned.  I hope this marks the beginning of a new wave of Babar and each DVD has four episodes and a bonus mini-coloring book, the same one.  The 1.33 X 1 image across both discs have some softness and aliasing issues, but also have good color, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is simple and fine for its age.



Olivia: Princess For A Day continues Nickelodeon’s DVD releases of this decent character that we have covered twice before at these links:





Merry Christmas, Olivia



This is more of the same with eight episodes plus a ninth bonus show.  I am not stunned by the show, but pleased with its consistency and child-friendly approach.  Picture and sound are the same as those singles.



Also new to us is the feature debut of a series I have seen at times before.  Phineas & Ferb: The Movie – Across The Second Dimension is an extended variation of the show and that is not awful, the humor can be good without being silly battling Dr. Doof (what a name) using the “Otherdimensionator” and has some fun moments.  No, I was not stunned by it, but it is serviceable and child safe enough.  Despite some good color, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is still softer than expected and I wondered why this was not issued as a Blu-ray, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix fares better with some good surrounds despite being lossy.  Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, 8 Music Videos, other music interactivity, 8 Deleted Scenes, Platyputt Kit in the case to build and bonus episode of the show, which makes for a good comparison.



Unfortunately, Disney’s Prom (2011) directed by Joe Nussbaum is corny, phony, tired, formulaic, silly, unrealistic and I was so bored that I hoped Carrie White (from the Stephen King book and De Palma film) would show up just to make things explode.  That is how boring this is.  The all unknown actors (unless you watch the Disney Channel, maybe?) leave no memorable impressions, this is weakly shot and it goes nowhere.  With that said, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has motion blur all over, is awkwardly edited and falls flat, while the anamorphically enhanced DV version included is the worst look disc on this list.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray sounds like it is from a lossy source, so the Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Blu-ray is lossier and weaker.  Extras include that DVD, unfunny Bloopers, Deleted Scenes that are no worse than the final product, 7 weak Music Videos, a short and a making of featurette.  This simply does not make the grade.


By the way, Chico and Harpo Marx of The Marx Bros. once did a very funny TV advertisement for a body wave kid called Prom.  That was actually funnier than anything on this set.



Finally we revisit Team UmiZoomi with a new single DVD titled Journey To Numberland.  It has the same picture and sound as the previous single we looked at here:




We get four more episodes and a non-bonus that is dubbed “call to action” but is just a promo for a web link.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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