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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Dogs > Holiday > CG Animation > Fantasy > Puppets > Literature > TV > Adventures Of Bailey, Christmas Hero (2012/E! DVD)/Chilly Christmas (2012/Anchor Bay DVD)/Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search For Santa (2012/Lionsgate DVD)/Itís A SpongeBob Christmas (2012/Nickelodeon D

Adventures Of Bailey, Christmas Hero (2012/E! DVD)/Chilly Christmas (2012/Anchor Bay DVD)/Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search For Santa (2012/Lionsgate DVD)/Itís A SpongeBob Christmas (2012/Nickelodeon DVD)/The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)/The Swan Princess Christmas (2012/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)


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



Here is a new round of holiday titles for children vying to be a favorite, including one arriving on Blu-ray.



Adventures Of Bailey, Christmas Hero and Chilly Christmas (both 2012) go the live action animal route to be entertaining and fun for the holidays, but the former is only passable and the latter a mess.Bailey is sometimes bizarre involving a Native American (guess we can put genocide on the side during the holidays?) as the dog has a connection with a ďbraveĒ of that can help the dog make his wishes come true.This is so odd, you have to see it to believe it, but it has some amusing moments outside of that nonsense and might become some kind of cult item.I cannot say that about the other talking dog madness in Chilly, which has C. Thomas Howell and Tom Arnold where the dog might be put up for adoption since the widowed dad (Howell) might accept an offer to join the FBI (???) and it just gets more ridiculous as it goes along.Whatever the intent, it is a mess.There are no extras on either.



Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search For Santa (2012) is a toy and candy tie-in that lasts a very (thankfully?) short 50 minutes and is a CG comedy (we think) about the title character as he and his friend try to find an abducted Santa Claus.Yes, you read that right.Maybe Santa is just eating tons of Gummy Bears to have extra energy for 12/25, but this is silly and pointless including the Music Video extras.



Itís A SpongeBob Christmas (2012) on the other hand offers an even shorter 22 minutes show and is still marginally better.I just felt this should have been much longer and had more content.Still, we get a few extras including a Yule Log, Animatic, MP3 songs and Behind-The-Scenes featurette, but this should offer more like other SpongeBob releases.



Disney has issued The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) on Blu-ray, but still retained the DVD edition we covered in a DVD set a few years ago at this link:




Trying to take advantage of new interest after The Muppets feature film revival worked out so well, it will likely find new fans but I am still not totally convinced this one works as well as it could have.It still has some amusing moments, but is far from my favorite adaptation of the Dickens classic despite the presence of Michael Caine.Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices and the extras from the previous DVD, which are just fine.



Finally we have The Swan Princess Christmas (2012), another CG animated holiday program, but one aimed at young ladies, for which it is child-safe and not awful, but it is also everything we have seen before so it is intended for a very young audience.Princess Odette is spending her first Holiday with Prince Derek, but villain Rothbart intends to ruin the holiday unless they can stop him.Not very memorable, young ladies might find it charming just the same, but the rest will probably ant to move on, but they manage to keep this going for 84 minutes.

Extras include two Music Videos and two Sing-Along Videos.



The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Muppets obviously is the visual winner here shot on 35mm film and despite showing its age (this might be a slightly older HD master) still looks good enough and is better than the anamorphically enhanced DVD version that does not look as good as when I covered it a few years ago.SpongeBob is actually in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image this time along with the rest of the DVDs here and they all rank second to Muppets save Chilly and Princess, which are much softer than expected.At least Princess has styling as an excuse, though.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Muppets is also the sonic winner here and though the sound can be towards the front speakers, dialogue is very good despite being in the center channel as the recording integrates well with the rest of the mix, even in the slightly lesser lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD version. Lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is also featured on Chilly, Gummy, SpongeBob and Princess, but Gummy is surprisingly lite and weak sounding throughout.That leaves Bailey with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but it actually plays back just fine for that format.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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