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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Educational > Comedy > Adventure > Cable TV > Mystery > Detective > Dogs > Magic > Let's Learn S.T.E.M. (2015/Nickelodeon DVD)/Scooby-Doo! And Scrappy-Doo!: The Complete Season 1 (1979/Hanna-Barbera/Warner DVD Set)/Wallykazam! (2015/Nickelodeon)

Let's Learn S.T.E.M. (2015/Nickelodeon DVD)/Scooby-Doo! And Scrappy-Doo!: The Complete Season 1 (1979/Hanna-Barbera/Warner DVD Set)/Wallykazam! (2015/Nickelodeon)

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

Our newest children's titles are trying to set a record for the use of exclamation points...

Let's Learn S.T.E.M. (2015) is another Nickelodeon DVD disc where S.T.E.M. Stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, but also an excuse for another compilation single from the company, this time bringing together episodes of Blaze & The Machine Monster, PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, Dora and Blue's Clues. I like the theme and tie-together works well enough, but this still only runs 138 minutes-long and more should have been on this disc if it was interested in pushing science. Still, it is not bad, so it is worth it if your children need a change of pace.

Scooby-Doo! And Scrappy-Doo!: The Complete Season 1 (1979) was launched when Hanna-Barbera was doing well commercially, but their animation quality was in decline. The show did well and introduced Scrappy-Doo, who was amusing at first, but wore thin quickly. I suspect the fearless (unwise) nephew of Scooby might have fared better had he arrived by the early 1970s, but even in the 16 half-hours here, he only goes so far as the Scooby Formula had worn thin very quickly. For fans or the curious only, especially as Scrappy only got more boring from here.

Finally we have Wallykazam! (2015), a best entry on the list is a nice new educational show with energy and fun in four long episodes (running 92 minutes) that is colorful, amusing and decent as the magic title work takes on the various ways you can pronounce and use letters of the alphabet. We have not had enough such shows, but this is a welcome entry and worth going out of your way for. Nice.

Learn has a combination of 1.33 and 1.78 X 1 images that average out well enough, while Scrappy has decent 1.33 X 1 with limited wear or film flaws and Wallykazam! is here in anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image shows, which should make it the best, but the video presentation are equal across the three releases.

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is good across the episodes on Learn, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the Scrappy episodes tend to be lite and lower in volumes than they should be, so be careful if high volumes and volume switching. Wallykazam! has its episodes in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that should make it the best here, but they are limited in soundfield.

There are no extras on any of these sets, save previews, though Wallykazam! has stickers kids can put their names on, while a small worksheet is on the inside of the Learn cover.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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