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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Animals > Children > CGI > Educational > British > TV > Chuggington: Explorer Koko (Anchor Bay DVD)/Dora & Boots: Best Friends Forever/Paw Patrol (Nickelodeon DVDs)/Poppy Cat: Birthday Treasure (E1 DVD)/Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure (Warner Blu-ra

Chuggington: Explorer Koko (Anchor Bay DVD)/Dora & Boots: Best Friends Forever/Paw Patrol (Nickelodeon DVDs)/Poppy Cat: Birthday Treasure (E1 DVD)/Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure (Warner Blu-ray w/DVD/all 2014)

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

The latest children's titles...

Chuggington: Explorer Koko is not a bad DVD single in the series with six episodes at 64 minutes, but I would have liked more episodes of this fun, child-friendly show. Guess they think this is just enough for young minds, but they may be underestimating their audience. Still it is not bad.

Irving & Chatsworth spotlights, Badger Quest bonus episode and DVD-ROM printable coloring and activity sheets are the extras.

Dora & Boots: Best Friends Forever runs 192 minutes (!) and might be too much for adults, but at least you get your money's worth with a bunch of episodes to keep young viewers busy, but not much else to distinguish this from so many releases on DVD from the series before. Still, it is a solid release, but there are no extras.

Paw Patrol is Nickelodeon's new show with a team of heroic animals (and one guy) to the rescue that is on DVD here for the first time and it is amusing, entertaining and likely their next long-term hit. Child-friendly, amusing and written well enough, the show has its moments and establishes the animal characters just well enough to keep up with them. It was not wildly memorable, but it might just grow on us all.

There are no extras.

Poppy Cat: Birthday Treasure is another show new to us and DVD with a very charming, very child-friendly title character and adventures that includes some fun friends. Rivaled only by Chuggington as my choice for the best of the child titles by a narrow margin, this runs 80 minutes and deserves to find as big an audience as anything on this list.

There are no extras.

Brian Levant's Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure (2014) has a very young duo of British female child singers in a would-be comedy where they open up with a Rap act (no joke) that starts this dud off on the wrong note. From there, we get more formula than most babies in a week and this drags on and on and on and on for a long 75 minutes. I do not know who this is meant for, but it never really works. It is also outright odd and pushes the child-friendly envelope. Parents, you have been warned.

Bloopers, a clip about the history of the color pink, the duos appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a Behind The Scenes featurette and Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices are the extras.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Royal is barely the best performer on this list, but its anamorphically enhanced DVD version is easily the worst, softest and lamest. The 1.33 X 1 on Dora and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 presentations on the rest of the DVDs fall nicely in between the two for playback quality and have decent color across the board.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Royal is sonically the best mix on the list here, while its lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD version joins the same 5.1 mix type on Paw and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the rest of the DVDs as the next best releases sonically.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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