Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Animals > Children > Computer Animation > TV > Adventure > Music > Educational > Literature > Li > I Love Minnie (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse/CG Animation/Disney DVD)/Nickelodeon: Dance To The Music (DVD)/Stellaluna (2004/Scholastic DVD)/Treasure Train (aka Odyssey Of The Pacific/1982/Odyssey Blu-ray)

I Love Minnie (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse/CG Animation/Disney DVD)/Nickelodeon: Dance To The Music (DVD)/Stellaluna (2004/Scholastic DVD)/Treasure Train (ala Odyssey Of The Pacific/1982/Odyssey Blu-ray)


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



Here is a new cycle of children’s titles and it is an odd mix.


I Love Minnie is the latest Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode compilation, though it offers Disney’s classic characters in Computer Animation.  If you can tolerate the change of format, these are fine and children may not mind as much, but they do not impress me as “modern” as they may be.  They are child-friendly and of course, young ladies will be happy to see Minnie get the spotlight, but there is little else here.  Extras include Digital copy for PC and PC portable devices plus bonus episodes, while the inner sleeve of the cover has games you can draw on.


Nickelodeon: Dance To The Music is a compilation of musically inclined episodes of Dora, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Diego, Wonder Pets and Ni Hao.  Except as a starter disc, I was not impressed, especially since some of these shows are better than others to me.  A weak sing-a-long is the only extra.


A little better is the animated Stellaluna (2004) about the title bat, based on the popular book.  It has some charm and is child-safe, but the animation is a bit limited and is a short 41 minutes, though they stopped while they were ahead.  Interesting at times, you could do worse, but it did not stick with me.  Extras include sing-along and read-along features on the disc and an activity booklet in the DVD case.


Finally we have Fernando Arrabal’s Treasure Train (1982), part of a cycle of more intelligent children’s fantasy films with Mickey Rooney as a mysterious man in the middle of the woods living alone, but with unusual friends, adversaries and knowledge.  The tale begins when a well-to-do family adopts a young boy who has survived the genocide in Cambodia, then they do what they can to help him fit in, including the brother and sister.  The brother keeps having fantasies of being part of all kinds of adventures, but this does not necessarily prepare the trio for Rooney’s character or how he will change their lives.


More honest than similar surreal films and TV shows since, Rooney gives one of his most interesting performances and the cast is not bad.  This can be a quiet, even thoughtful film, though it does not work all the time.  It is still ambitious for its time and has more interesting set pieces (furthering the narrative) than expected, but I can see why it was lost in the shuffle.  Still, it is worth a look, especially since it has some heart to it and I liked its ending.  The only extra is a new interview with Rooney.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Minnie is fine for a DVD showing its kind of simpler computer animation, but will do as will the 1.33 X 1 on the Dance DVD.  The 1.33 X 1 on Stellaluna is weaker and looks like an older transfer with staircasing, softness and color issues.  The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Train shows the age of the print used, but the transfer of that problematic print (including being able to see dust on transparencies used for credits) is as good as it can be.  The film needs some restoration.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the three DVDs are about even with each other, having their sonic limits and flaws, but despite Train being here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless Mono, the age of the soundtrack is the oldest of all and it is no warmer or better.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com