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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Action > Adventure > Fantasy > Musical > Monster > Education > Math > TV > A Monster In Paris (2011/Shout! Factory DVD)/Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical (Warner DVD)/Team Umizoomi!: Animal Heroes (Nickelodeon DVD)

A Monster In Paris (2011/Shout! Factory DVD)/Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical (Warner DVD)/Team Umizoomi!: Animal Heroes (Nickelodeon DVD)


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



Now fort some child-friendly fare worth your time…



A pleasant surprise is Bibo Bergerson’s A Monster In Paris (2013), taking place in 1910 Paris as shy dreamer and film projectionist Emile (Jay Harrington for the English version here) and eccentric inventor, businessman Raoul (Adam Goldberg in the English version) find themselves hunting for a monster Raoul accidentally creates by messing around in a scientist’s lab in a green house when delivering supplies.  Lucille (Vanessa Paradis) has a thing for Emile and lands up joining him in their search before a corrupt politician can take advantage of the situation for the worst of everyone.


Made in CGI 3D, Bergerson has topped himself after the disappointment of The Road To El Dorado (2000) and the amusing A Shark’s Tale (2004) he did for the animated division of DreamWorks.  Though the first half-hour has the usual formula “funny” dialogue, the film then takes off and despite some minor short-comings is one of the best of the genre in the last few years and deserved a big, giant theatrical release.  It is getting a nice push from Shout! Factory and even in this DVD version is fun, though Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray 2D editions have been issued we would highly recommend if you can play those formats.


With more great voice work by Bob Balaban, Danny Huston, Catherine O’Hara and Sean Lennon, this might just become a minor-classic of the genre.  Definitely go out of your way for it to see for yourself.  Very good!!!


A trailer is the very sadly the only extra here.



The new Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical DVD sounds like a good idea, but sadly, it is not a new musical but five musical short moments put together and passed off as such.  Of course, they are just fine and can be fun, but I wish they would have saved the title for something new (especially with the new voice coming in to be Elmo) and I did not even think the five parts were as great as they could have been.


Still, it is amusing and children will likely not be quite as critical.  However, this is the title with the most extras here including Tips For Parents, Downloadable Activity Pages and the full-length video “Let’s Make Music”.



Finally we have the latest Nickelodeon single DVD, Team Umizoomi!: Animal Heroes which teaches math nicely enough, if very simply.  There are only four episodes here, though and I wished they had “added” a few more.  Still, it is a good show for teaching this skill and is adequate.  There are no extras.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Paris is narrowly the best-looking transfer here, but not by much since the DVD standard definition holds back what must be some extraordinary color range and usage that could be viewed on the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray 2D editions.  The result is some softness due to the tradedown.  The 1.33 X 1 on the other two DVDs have good color and hold their own well.


The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Paris easily has the best sound design with some good surrounds, but the lossy nature of the codec is obviously holding back the performance here.  The other two DVDs have good, clean, clear-enough lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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