Dora’s Fantastic Gymnastic Adventure/The Fresh
Beat Band: The Wizard Of Song (Nickelodeon DVDs)/R.L. Stein’s The Haunting Hour: The Series, Volume One + Volume Two/The Adventures Of Tintin: Season Three
(1992/Shout! Factory DVDs)/The Winx
Club: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom (Nickelodeon DVD Set)
(Tintin: C) Sound: C+ Extras: D/D/C/C/D/C Episodes: C+/C+/C/C/C+/C
latest round of children’s titles here are child-friendly enough, but age is
still a factor and some are a bit better than others.
Dora’s Fantastic Gymnastic
Adventure is here
in time for the Olympics and also includes two bonus episodes. Give Nickelodeon credit for good marketing
and continued releases of what has become one of the most popular show’s in the
network’s history. The quality stays
consistent and never wears thin.
Unfortunately, there are no extras.
The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard Of
Song is a newer
musical series from Nickelodeon and it is not bad, having some of the same
energy as Yo Gabba Gabba, but it did
not stay with me and their take on the original 1939 Wizard Of Oz is at least different and amusing, if not too
memorable. They do fare better than The
Muppets did, though. Whether this will
be the beginning of a show with a long run is hard to say, but it is a quality
show and we’ll see where the four lead cast goes from here. There are no extras here either.
R.L. Stein’s The Haunting Hour:
The Series, Volume One + Volume Two is remarkable the first time we have covered adaptations
of the famous child horror author, though this is horror-lite and I have mixed
reactions to what is a subgenre that is safe and maybe amusing, but overrated
and only so effective. It is of note
that we did not see this kind of storytelling until the 1980s, when the genre
went into decline and was hijacked politically.
As a result, these are not as honest or fun as similar tales aimed
towards a youth audience before it. This
and Goosebumps have their audience
and they do get the young to read, but I still find this too limited for its
own good. Each single DVD has five
episodes and the same two extras: A Look Behind The Scenes and Original Promos.
The Adventures Of Tintin: Season
the rollout of the more recent animated series from the early 1990s and it
continues to be entertaining and fun, but not extensively and the shows are
starting to repeat themselves as expected.
The makers apparently agreed and ended the show with these last 13
half-hours over two DVDs. There are no
extras, but fans will be happy.
we have The Winx Club: Secret Of The
Lost Kingdom, a CG animated feature version of the angel team on their
latest adventure issued by Nickelodeon, but I actually thought the material and
more traditional animation from the seven bonus episodes included her as extras
are relatively more interesting. I had
never seen any of this material before, so this is a nice introductory DVD set
for those unfamiliar or interested.
X 1 on Tintin is just a little
softer than I would have liked, matching the performance on the previous DVD
releases, but the same frame on the Nickelodeon releases look better and anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Winx
CG feature is as good. Haunting Hour has anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 episodes, the only one on the list and they might have been
the best performers on the list, but they are softer than expected and some of
that is the shooting style chosen for the show.
The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on all the DVDs are about equal, but
can have minor flaws and limits depending on the recording.
- Nicholas Sheffo