A Monster In Paris (2011/Shout! Factory DVD)/Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical (Warner DVD)/Team Umizoomi!: Animal Heroes
Picture: C+ Sound: B-/C+/C+ Extras: C-/C/D Main Programs: B-/C+/C
some child-friendly fare worth your time…
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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”.
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
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.
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