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 > Comedy > Animals > Action > Adventure > Fantasy > CGI Animation > Satire > Spies > TV > Shorts > Educational > S > Adventures In Zambezia (2012/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)/Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files – Animal Agents (Disney DVD)/Scholastic Springtime Collection: Max’s Chocolate Chicken (Storybook Treasures DVD Box Set

Adventures In Zambezia (2012/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)/Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files – Animal Agents (Disney DVD)/Scholastic Springtime Collection: Max’s Chocolate Chicken (Storybook Treasures DVD Box Set)/Sesame Street: Best Of Friends (Warner DVD)/A Turtle’s Tale 2 (2012/Gaiam Vivendi DVD)


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



Now for an interesting mix of new children’s titles heading your way…



The computer-animated Adventures In Zambezia (2012) barely hit theaters, but is not bad in its amusing tale of a young falcon named Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez) who wants to go to the big bird city of the title and by disobeying his father (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) in going, finds trouble and it gets worse when he needs to save his dad!


Amusing and child-safe with some good moments to be enjoyed, Zambezia may not be the best CG feature of late, but it is ambitious, fun and consistent enough for its 82 minutes of running time.  Additional voice work by Jeff Goldblum, Abigail Breslin, Richard E. Grant, Jennifer Lewis and Leonard Nimoy are all a plus and it is nicely done.


Extras include a Music Video and a Making Of featurette in four parts.



Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files – Animal Agents is the latest compilation of the adventures of the Disney duo sending up spy tales in the main program here in ways as amusing as their recent Movie release on DVD (reviewed elsewhere on this site) having fun with codes, clichés and the old spy look among other things.  I can see why this franchise is a hit with children and may only be getting started.


Extras are terrific here too, including a Spy Kit with Binoculars inside the DVD case, while the DVD adds a Take Two segment that shows real life celebrities on the show, plus 12 bonus shows from the actual series.  That makes for an exceptional DVD single.



Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Springtime Collection – Max’s Chocolate Chicken is the latest DVD box set from the company with three discs.  Two of which we already covered at these links:


Chicken Little …and…



The Red Hen …and…




The Max disc is the cover disc out in time for Easter and includes four shorts in all.  Max’s Christmas (narrated by Jenny Agutter, also here in Spanish) has Max staying up to see Santa even if he is told he cannot, Morris’s Disappearing Bag has Morris receiving a gift he never expected for Christmas and Otto Runs For President has a political bear competition that is amusingly fun in itself.  An odd mix and the two holiday shorts seem out of place, but it completes a good box set worth your time.


Extras on the Max disc include Read-Along and two Rosemary Wells clips associated with Otto, one an interview, the other a visit.



Sesame Street: Best Of Friends is one of the best compilation discs in the series to date, running over two hours and showing highlights for all the characters.  With clips running the whole history of the show, each section focuses on one of the classic characters and often includes songs.  As well, we get class music appearances by James Taylor (singing to Oscar The Grouch), Lena Horne (singing to Grover to help him with his shyness), songs by the characters themselves (Cookie Monster in his original performance of “C Is For Cookie”), Johnny Cash singing to Oscar, Gloria Estefan and Little Richard singing to the underused Rosita, Elvis Costello singing with Elmo as he meets Cookie Monster, Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in separate skits with The Count, a few more amusing Count clips, a classic Super Grover skit, the famous Grover the Waiter skit, the same duo in a recent spoof of the troubles with the Broadway Spider-Man musical (can actor Grover fly on stage?) and many more surprises.


It also shows how great the show was, is and will always be, demonstrating its classic status and making it a great intro disc as well for those not in the know or who have not looked at the show in a very long time.  Tips for parents and a DVD-ROM downloadable activity book are the only extras.



Finally we have the highly unnecessary A Turtle’s Tale 2 (2012), a follow-up to the surprisingly good A Turtle’s Tale (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that was fun, charming, smart and worth going out of your way for.  This has two characters trapped in an aquarium tank, which makes it an overdone stuck-in-a storyline and it just goes on and on and on with no point.  The animation is not as good as its predecessor and they threw in the ever-boring Darius Rucker (of the dreaded Hootie & The Blowfish…fish, get it?  Let’s hope not!) as a voice actor and let’s not talk about the so-called music here.


So lame it might make people skip the first one, there are no extras.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Zambezia Blu-ray is easily the visual champ here with good color, some good depth and usually good detail, but its anamorphically enhanced DVD counterpart is the worst here being way too soft for its and our own good.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Phineas and Tale are better, as is the 1.33 X 1 on the Scholastic shorts and 1.33 x 1 with some 1.78 X 1 letter boxing on the Sesame DVD.  The rest of those DVDs are on par with each other, as the newer two still have some softness issues, while the older two have some aliasing issues and analog video flaws where applicable.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Zambezia Blu-ray is the sonic champ here as well with a very consistent soundfield, well recorded and often warm, and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on its DVD counterpart ranks second place sonically.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1on Tale is on the weak side with a limited soundfield and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the rest of the DVDs are not bad, though the Scholastic shorts and Sesame DVD have some monophonic audio.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com