The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends: Friends To
The Finish (Shout! Factory Kids)/Dora’s Easter Adventure (Nickelodeon
DVD)/Disney’s Geek Charming (DVD
Set)/My Little Pony: Friendship Magic:
The Friendship Express (Shout! Factory Kids)/Treasure Buddies (2012/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)
C+/C+/C/C/B & C- Sound: C+/C+/C+/C+/B
& B- Extras: C-/C-/D/C-/C- Main Programs: C/C+/D/C/C-
Here is a
mix of undistinguished children’s titles that are more of the same and
The Adventures Of Chuck &
Friends wants to
capitalize on the Pixar CARS
franchise and construction subgenre of special interest titles that appeal to
children, but Friends To The Finish
is average, though child-friendly and offers ten stories running 100
minutes. Nice for young children, this
is passable, but nothing too impressive.
Not that Cars 2 was that
good, but this is only going to appeal to so many children and many will get
bored quickly, though I could imagine some enjoying this more than I did. There are no extras.
President’s Day is not here yet, Dora The Explorer is back with Dora’s Easter Adventure as I guess
going to Mt. Rushmore is somehow not as interesting
as colored eggs? With that, we get the
title adventure and two more episodes listed as bonus, but should not be, so we
barely consider those extras.
live-action Disney’s Geek Charming
is a would-be comedy aimed at pre-teen gals that is a cable telefilm as phony
and processed as any of their battery of such efforts of late and I found this
one especially formulaic and boring.
Everyone seems plastic and like an animated mannequin, while the
dialogue is flat and dull. Instead of
falling in love, I wondered why in the midst of all this beauty and make-up,
they did not get bored with themselves and fall asleep like I did watching this
one. What a big yawner, this is as
charmless as it gets. Oh, and did I note
this thinks it takes place in the filmmaking business? Well, its portrayal has zero to do with
anything in real life and is embarrassingly so.
Ten episodes of the rather obnoxious series Shake It Up and some charm toys are the extras.
My Little Pony: Friendship Magic:
The Friendship Express is a CG animated revival of the toy franchise with revised designs
for the horses. This was odd more than
boring and nothing we have not seen before, but unless you like the toys, this
was rather generic for being so colorful.
We get five episodes, but this is more simplistic than usual. Slight extras include sing-a-longs, the debut
episode of the new Pound Puppies
show and digital coloring sheet.
we have the latest entry in Disney’s ever-bizarre talking dog franchise. Treasure
Buddies (2012) takes the supposedly “cute” pups to Egypt and we get every Middle
East cliché possible. The five
friends also find themselves on a quest for a treasure against an evil female
cat, Cleocatra! You can’t make this
stuff up, but they did and some moments might be considered even politically
incorrect on some level, which makes this entry one of the more bizarre. You have been warned. Extras include Music Video and a DIGS: B-Dawg Edition of the film. Oh, boy.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Chuck
is a little soft from its simpler CG animation, but is passable and has some
good color as does Pony with its odd
and softer animation and Geek is
very weak for a live action presentation with the same playback. The 1.33 X 1 on Dora is actually equal to or better than those entries when it
should not be. The 1080p 1.78 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer on Buddies
is easily the champ here, but still has softness issues, but not as badly as
the anamorphically enhanced DVD included with it.
Dolby Digital audio on all DVDs here are underwhelming and above average, with
the 5.1 mix on Buddies faring barley better than the 2.0 Stereo on the other
DVDs, but the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Buddies Blu-ray
is better than expected and even a tad better than its picture.
- Nicholas Sheffo