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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Stellaluna (Animation/Children)

Stellaluna (Animated/Children)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Main Program: B-



What happens when a lost fruit bat is adopted by a nest of birds?  Well, in real life, who knows, but in Stellaluna (2004), the title bat character finds a home she would not otherwise have.  Though this type of set-up in children’s literature (this is based on a book from co-producer Scholastic) and programming has been done a few times before, this variation is not bad.


Nicely voiced and drawn, Stellaluna is taken in and hopes to fit in, but there are the usual awkward moments and the noticing of differences is at first offsetting to her, but the community of animals eventually accepts and embraces both her and her differences.  Running at 41 minutes, this gets to the point and is very nicely done.  I liked the animation and was pleased with how children-friendly this was.  As far as mildly socially aware children’s programming is concerned, Stellaluna is (even though the songs are not that memorable) high quality entertainment for young people.


The full frame animated, color image is nice, smooth and clean, even if it is not as sharp and clear as it might have been if it was a widescreen and anamorphically enhanced DVD release.  This is still brand new and it looks it.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is nice, but not harsh, problematic or too loud, so you get enough clarity for the young audience to enjoy it without being put off by distracting noises or loudness.  Dialogue and singing are just fine, also offered here in French & Spanish 2.0 Stereo mixes with Pro Logic surround.  Extras include DVD-ROM activity printouts, a learn-to-draw section, art & crafts activities, sing-along functions, and a good live-action section about real bats.  That adds up to a nice DVD on Stellaluna that will hopefully inspire children to read the books as well.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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