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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Comedy > TV > Supernatural > Canada > Education > Asian > History > Music > African Ame > Animaniacs, Volume 4 (Warner DVD set)/Bubble Guppies On The Job!/Dora’s Butterfly Ball (Nickelodeon DVDs)/Elmo’s World: All Day With Elmo (Warner DVD)/Ghost Trap (2010/Inception DVD)/Stone Soup … and

Animaniacs, Volume 4 (Warner DVD set)/Bubble Guppies On The Job!/Dora’s Butterfly Ball (Nickelodeon DVDs)/Elmo’s World: All Day With Elmo (Warner DVD)/Ghost Trap (2010/Inception DVD)/Stone Soup … and other stories from Asian tradition + Stories About African American Heritage featuring March On! (Scholastic DVDs)


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



Now for the return of more children’s favorites and a Canadian import with odd results…



After a very long time, we finally get Animaniacs, Volume 4, the final installment of the award-winning hit TV series on Warner DVD that we have rarely covered and years ago covered Volume Three at this link:




It is more of the same, which will make fans happy, but become more than enough for the rest of us.  Needless to say the show has a following, but Warner and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg ended things while they were on top and that was indeed a good thing in this case.  We get the last 8 hours/24 episodes of the show with no extras, but this will make completists happy and it’s nice to see them wrap this one up.  The packaging, including the paperboard slipcase is a nice plus.



Nickelodeon has two more new singles in Bubble Guppies On The Job! Which is a child-friendly CG animated show about water-bound characters in their simple adventures that looks to be the network’s next hit (we have only seen single shows on compilation sets) in six episodes and the more familiar Dora’s Butterfly Ball where TV’s most famous female explorer goes on a fantasy trip of the title and we get two bonus adventures, though the only real extras is not on the disc itself.  Instead, the three shows are enhanced by a nice sheet of color stickers inside the DVD case.  Also back is Elmo in Elmo’s World: All Day With Elmo, which runs over 2 hours making it the longest-running of several Elmo DVD Sesame Street and Warner has issued to date including the several we have covered to date.


I had been complaining about these discs not being long enough, so this is the one I would now immediately recommend.  There are no extras, but you get eight episode sections and that’s not bad.



Mark McNabb’s Ghost Trap (2010) is a children’s Horror Comedy made in Canada that is silly, badly edited, not very well directed, not well acted and not very memorable as school students involved with science have a silly teacher who invents a prototype goggle set that accidentally allows the wearer top see ghosts, which comes in handy when a local old house is haunted.  Too bad this is everything we have seen before and better, but at least it is not offensive or child-unfriendly.  There are no extras, no surprise, but there is not much to say anyhow.



Finally we have the newest DVD releases from Scholastic.  We have a DVD single in Stone Soup … and other stories from Asian tradition and a new 3-DVD box set called Stories About African American Heritage featuring March On! Which includes a disc we cove red in another set led by Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears and the terrific Duke Ellington DVD we covered at this link:





The main DVD is March On!, covering the thick of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement telling us about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. narrated by the great Lynn Whitfield and written by Dr. Christine King Farris.  Martin’s Big Words, Rosa (on Rosa Parks) and Henry’s Freedom Box are the other great shorts with Dr. Farris and Box author Ellen Levine interviewed as extras.  It is another solid set worth going out of your way for and meets the high quality standards of the Scholastic releases.


Stone Soup is a great companion to the Tikki Tikki Tempo set we covered from Scholastic on Asian culture at this link:




Soup offers four tales including the title one Jon J. Muth narrated by B.D. Wong, The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Bishop, Lon Po Po by Ed Young also narrated by Wong and The Stonecutter by Gerald McDermott.  Muth is interviewed in the extras and all the Scholastic DVDs offer read-a-long functions as always.  Expect some older filmed shorts and they tend to be underrated.



A 1.33 X 1 aspect ratio is on every single release here save the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Ghost Trap, which is actually the softest the most problematic of all the DVDs.  The other transfers can have depth, detail issues and aliasing errors, but color is usually good.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on all the DVDs are evenly matched with sonics ups and downs, but nothing stunning either as expected.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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