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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Fantasy > Battles > Children > Animation > Toys > Animals > Educaction > TV > Adventures Of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (2005/Miramax/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Bratz 3-Movie Collection (Lionsgate DVD Set)/Celebrate With Dora (Nickelodeon DVD Set)/G-Force 3D (2009/Disney Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray +

Adventures Of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (2005/Miramax/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Bratz 3-Movie Collection (Lionsgate DVD Set)/Celebrate With Dora (Nickelodeon DVD Set)/G-Force 3D (2009/Disney Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray + DVD)/Holidays With SpongeBob (Nickelodeon DVD Set)/Leap Frog: Scout & Friends Phonics Farm (Lionsgate DVD)


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



Our next children’s titles are more obvious choices with the Holidays coming.


Robert Rodriguez’s Adventures Of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (2005) arrives on Blu-ray (2D only) on Lionsgate Blu-ray and is now a curio for being more than just a variant on his Spy Kids formula, but because the male lead is a young Taylor Lautner, but it is a very slight work overall though not as annoying as the Spy Kids trilogy (and here comes the fourth “installment”) telling the tale of more oddly empowered children.  David Arquette, George Lopez and Kristen Davis are among the supporting cast, but this is mostly boring and more so in 2D.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is not bad, but not great and you can see how this was intended to be 3D.  The visuals are so-so and better clarity does not make it more interesting.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is towards the front speakers, though it has its surround moments.  A feature length Rodriguez commentary track and “Creating” featurette on the film.


The Bratz 3-Movie Collection is the latest of the increasingly long series of CG animated installments of the toy tie-in series, but this one combines the first two titles we ever covered (Starrin’ & Stylin’, Genie Magic) with Rock Angelz, which is new to us and more of the same.  This one happens to be include a clip for the Video Game of the same name, has a Music Video, a CD preview and bonus episode, while the box also includes four special tie-in gum bands.

We just did a similar set Leap Frog, but already a new DVD single Leap Frog: Scout & Friends Phonics Farm is here with the gang of puppy dogs teaching children how to speak and they don’t mean barking.  It is amusing and a quality release, but is a short 38 minutes.  Sing-Alongs (including with ‘The Band’), another Music Video, storybook and parental section are the extras.


Not to be outdone, Nickelodeon has two new 3-DVD box sets of their own: Celebrate With Dora (with Big Birthday Party, which we previously reviewed plus Halloween and Christmas discs we never covered) and Holidays With SpongeBob (the new-to-us To Love A Patty, Halloween and Christmas discs) that makes for nice catch-up sets.  Picture and sound are consistent with previous releases and little simple games are included on all three Dora releases, while SpongeBob has a bit more including Audio Commentary & Storyboards on Christmas, a Music Video & Video Game Sneak Peak on Halloween and Karaoke Music Video & Original Animation on Patty.


Finally we have one of Disney’s sillier projects of late, G-Force 3D (2009) now issued on the Blu-ray 3D format, but also including the regular 2D Blu-ray and DVD we covered at this link:




Picture and sound on the regular 2D Blu-ray and DVD are the same and the 1080p 2.35 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image (accompanied by the same DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix as the regular Blu-ray) is no real improvement over the 2D HD image with too many gimmicky shots and some shots that have odd alignment.  Needless to say this upgrade is for fans only and that would be 99% children.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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