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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Educational > Comedy > Cable TV > Satire > Superhero > Rock Music > Mystery > Numbers > Muppets > Nickelodeon: Let's Learn Kindness (2015 DVD)/Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Count On Elmo (2015/Sesame Street/Warner DVD)

Nickelodeon: Let's Learn Kindness (2015 DVD)/Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Count On Elmo (2015/Sesame Street/Warner DVD)

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

Here's a mixed bag of new children's titles...

Nickelodeon: Let's Learn Kindness (2015) is another 6-episode DVD of various series from the various hit shows they have (Wallykazam!, Bubble Guppies, Blue's Clues, Team Umizoomi!, Dora and Ni Hao, Kai-Lan in this case) tied together by the title theme. That does not make it a deep concept release, but just fine for what it is. There are now a good number of these DVDs issued and though it is a good idea, I wonder if they should soon quit while they're ahead.

There are no extras, save being able to color in the inside paper cover illustrations.

Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery (2015) brings back the infamous rock band's superhero personas invented at Marvel Comics (Warner, who issued this Blu-ray/DVD set, owns rival comic book company DC) and also appeared in the TV movie Kiss Meets The Phantom In the Park (a widescreen theatrical film issued in the U.S. finally in its 2.35 X 1 scope framing on the third KISS Anthology set; see elsewhere on this site) in a pairing that makes some sense, but some parents might not approve of considering the sexual nature of the band, et al.

We get the original KISS line-up, though two of the personas are voiced by new men, but KISS fans will love this enough, as will diehard Scooby fans. I did not love it and was not that impressed, but it is passable and they're lucky it turned out as well as it did. See it only if you are curious.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, while the discs add a Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette, KISS Cut-Ups Blooper reel and two bonus Scooby cartoons.

Count On Elmo (2015) features a specific special where The Count and Elmo from Sesame Street spend a particular amount of time together counting, talking and having fun. Lasting about an hour, it works just fine and has its moments, but I personally think more could have been had out of it. Still, it is fine and extras include the Elmo's World: Friends episode and Preschool Is Cool: ABCs with Elmo.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the KISS Blu-ray is easily going to be and is the best performer on the list, a newly animated release for which the band would never settle for second best, though the DVD version is softer. It is equalled by the various aspect ratios of the Kindness DVD and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Elmo DVD, so this all plays as well as expected.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the KISS Blu-ray is loud and maybe a little hard at the edges, but some of that is intended, though it may not be as child-friendly as it could be. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD version is not as good, but is still very active, yet has some of that harshness. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the remaining DVDs play as well as can be expected and are just fine, in live with what we've encountered from both respective series before.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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