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Category:    Home > Reviews > Art > Crafts > Creating > Comedy > Drama > Animation > Rabbits > Fantasy > Racing > Literature > Outer Space > A > Drawing With Mark: Good To Grow!/Life Farm + Something Fishy/Day At Aquarium (Shelter Island DVD)/Guess How Much I Love You: Friendship Adventures (E1 DVD)/Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adv

Drawing With Mark: Good To Grow!/Life Farm + Something Fishy/Day At Aquarium (Shelter Island DVD)/Guess How Much I Love You: Friendship Adventures (E1 DVD)/Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adventure (2013/Lionsgate DVD)/Moon Man (2012/Tribeca/Cinedigm DVD)/Nickelodeon Essentially Spring DVD Series: Dora's Easter Adventure, Egg Hunt, Easter With Max & Ruby, Peter Rabbit: Spring Into Adventure (all 2014)

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

This is a new set of children's releases with some surprises and a dud...

Mark Marderosian is an artist and the enthusiastic host of Drawing With Mark: Good To Grow!/Life Farm + Something Fishy/Day At Aquarium which we hare seeing for the first time on DVD. Far better than the mixed Picture Pages, episodes of his show run 30 minutes and each of these DVDs have two, plus extras. A pleasant surprise, I can see why the show is so recommended, encouraging viewers to do more than watch and treating them with respect and appreciating their intelligence. The kind of live-action series we never see enough of, this deserves a much wider audience and can never be long enough.

Both releases have extras that include a booklet on quality paper that shows you how to draw, while the DVDs add an additional drawing lesson and a making piece for crafts. Farm has how to make a Horse Puppet, Day an Origami Fish. Nice!

Guess How Much I Love You: Friendship Adventures is the second DVD single from the charming Nutbrown Hare series we first reviewed at this link:


This time out we get seven more quality episodes that last 80 minutes and are as entertaining and child-friendly as the first disc, but I wish there are more episode or something else. This is a basic release, though a good one and there are no extras.

Park Young-Kyun's Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adventure (2013) is a Korean/Chinese CGI comedy about the title penguin determined to be in a Super Sled race, but can he and his friends get there and participate. It has good music, is child-friendly and worth a look a 77 minutes, but not in the English-dubbed version also included that has loud sound effects, different inferior & lame music and dubbers overdoing it badly like Rob Schneider and Jon Heder. It is loud, a little angry, obnoxious and has cliches the original, ruining anything the original accomplished.

Color is decent and the Korean subtitled is so good, you could use it to teach your children to read. If you get this disc, go for that version. The flat extras include voicing the English version and 4 episodes of Miniscule.

Stephan Schesch's Moon Man (2012) is based on the Tomi Ungerer book about how the title character is accidentally taken out of his home by a comet and brought to earth where he is trapped in the near future where a goofy dictator has taken over the whole planet. At the same time this happens, said dictator has just finished taking over the whole planet and looks to the moon as his next conquest. This animated adaptation of the book is not very political and has its share of comedy and inconsistencies, yet has so many charming moments, fun moments and interesting situations that it is worth your time, is child-friendly and another pleasant surprise.

A French/German/Irish co-production (first issued as Der Mondmann in Germany), we only get an English language dub, but it is well made, has some fine artwork, great use of color and deserves a much larger audience than it has received in the U.S. and other territories. If you are looking for something special for child viewers, this just might be it, so go for it!

There are sadly no extras.

Finally we have the Nickelodeon Essentially Spring DVD Series: Dora's Easter Adventure (3 episodes, 66 minutes), Egg Hunt (4 episodes, 98 minutes), Easter With Max & Ruby (12 episodes, 97 minutes), Peter Rabbit (8 episodes, 82 minutes) and Peter Rabbit: Spring Into Adventure (7 episodes, 118 minutes). We covered Dora's Easter Adventure at this link:


The other Dora disc is also fine for the same holiday, Max & Ruby is as charming & funny as ever and Peter Rabbit is an Irish-produced CGI version of the Beatrix Potter classic that does a fine job of bringing the storybook and its art style to life. That is three rabbit franchises in this review and they are all good. Issued during some very bad weather, this cycle is wishful thinking as of this time, but these are quality shows we'll see again soon we gather.

None of the discs have any extras save the Dora releases and Hunt has a game and two brief clips with Linny. Rabbit was later inclufded as a free extra in the Whiskers & Paws 2015 release from Nickelodeon.

All the DVDs are here in anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image presentations save the 1.33 X 1 Dora and Max & Ruby releases, but they tend to be on par with each other. You get some detail issues, some cases with aliasing and some softness via the format. As for sound, Penguin and Moon are in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but the former is harsh in its English dub and the latter has a lesser lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix that is no match for its 5.1 version. The rest are also Dolby 2.0 Stereo and all play fine, though none are spectacular. I would like to hear a lossless version of Moon since its sound is narrowly, slightly better than the rest.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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