Angelina Ballerina: Mousical Medleys (HIT DVD)/Babar
Adventure Pack (E1 DVDs)/Barney:
Imagine With Barney (HIT DVD)/Nickelodeon
Double Pack + Let’s Learn Colors
(DVDs)/Marine Boy: The Complete First
Season (1966/Warner Archive DVD)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+/C+/C+/C/C+/C Extras: C-/C/C-/C-/D/D Main Programs: C+/B-/C+/C+/C+/B-
PLEASE NOTE: Marine Boy is only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a variety of new children’s titles, almost all fully animated and all of note…
Angelina Ballerina: Mousical
Medleys is our
first look at the CGI animated series of a female mouse with a world of drams
and ambitions that might be hard for some to get adjusted too, but is aimed at
young ladies and is of a higher quality as well as being more child-friendly in
general than expected. This sadly only
runs an hour and the actual music is not very memorable, but there is more of a
market for this content than you might think (this runs just over an hour) and
I’ll be curious to see how it compares to the installments in the series.
and Karaoke Music Video are the only extras.
The new Babar Adventure Pack combines three
previously released singles we liked and have reviewed at these links:
Babar The Movie
Best Friends Forever + School Days
the same exact pressings of the same exact content and makes for a nice way to
catch up on the character’s DVD releases.
I am waiting on some kind of Blu-ray release and again think Babar in
general is underrated. This is rightly
dubbed "3 Pack Fun” for young children and extras are the same.
Barney: Imagine With Barney is only the second time in over a
decade we have come across and I was never a big fan (it was a box set the
first time) and this single is weaker than most of the content of the previous
programs, so this is for fans and very young children. He somehow endures, but is not my favorite, though
I guess he and the show help children develop social skills. The four episodes here are joined by two
slight Music Videos as the only extras.
two releases are of a compilation nature from Nickelodeon and feature material
we have not specifically seen before.
The Nickelodeon Double Pack has
an early Dora The Explorer DVD
entitled Musical School Days that
makes for more than a fine companion to the Angelica DVD above and is joined by
a Blue’s Clues release entitled Blue’s Big Musical Movie from a popular
show we have hardly ever covered, but is pretty good. This one has both hosts and is the only discs
here with extras including a game two Music Videos and an especially
interesting featurette called Backstage At Blue’s Clues. The second DVD is dubbed Let’s Learn Colors and has episodes from Bubble Guppies, Dora The
Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi! and two (geez) from Wonder Pets! there are no extras, but the theme is
consistent and it is a healthy enough sampler from the show, though you could
look up all the individual shows on this site and pick from whole discs for
certainly not least is the animated early Japanese anime TV show Marine Boy: The Complete First Season
(1966), which might sound familiar, but you may or may not have seen it. Following Astro Boy, Gigantor and Speed Racer, the series (with the
quartet who voiced the U.S. Speed Racer and Ultraman on hand) was co-produced by Seven Arts (a company Warner
soon merged with) with an eye on the U.S. market as well as the Japanese
market and worldwide distribution.
Playing a bit like Astro Boy,
the title character can swim with the help of special propeller shoes, chews
Oxy-Gum so he does not have to wear (or the animators have to draw) scuba gear,
uses an electrified boomerang to fight evil and has an outfit that looks like a
cross between Kid Flash and Aqualad, almost making him the original Teen Titan who never was.
those points, the show is very well made, well done, well written and made fun
for a road audience. He is human, not a
robot and has a father (we never see any mother though) as head of the Ocean
Patrol, as well as help from his white dolphin friend Splasher, a female
mermaid friend with a special orb named Neptina and a crew who back him up with their technology and cool vehicles of
shows are simple, others take more risks, but the show is often fun and like Speed Racer, has an exceptional use of
color at its best along with more than a few episodes that get as thematically
dark as that show’s best episodes and that also means more wild gadgets,
machines and villains. Why this was not
syndicated heavily is a huge loss to animation and action/adventure fans
everywhere, but it is a real gem and one of the year’s biggest, most pleasant
surprises on home video.
characters are fun and likable, even when they seem a little closer to some
from Speed Racer than some would
like, but I just took it as the style of the show and considering how poor the
live action film from a few years ago was, this is a great antidote on top of
seeing the original version of that classic.
I do not
know if there are more graphically violent versions of these shows, but these
versions play very well and this 3-DVD set with 26 half-hour shows is worth
going out of your way for. There are two
theme songs, the original instrumental with the proper sound effects that works
very well and a second vocal theme that does not work as well and likely did
not help the show become more popular later.
The lyrics are pretty forgettable and they should have left well enough
sadly no extras, but the show deserves some and maybe the next set will offer
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Angelica
should have some kind of edge over the 1.33 X 1 color images on the rest of the
DVDs featured here, but there are flaws in all releases including softness on Angelica, aliasing errors on all the
titles and some color variance on Marine
Boy from print to print that is minor, but those prints look amazingly good
for their age and it is the one show I wish were in HD here. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Marine Boy and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo on Nickelodeon Double Pack are
the sonic disappointments here being just too low sounding throughout, so be
careful of volume switching and high levels, though I will add that there is
nothing problematic like pops, clicks or harshness on the soundtracks. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the
rest of the DVDs here are sufficient and simple as expected with normal volume
settings and decent clarity.
To order Marine Boy, go to this link for it and
many more great web-exclusive releases at: