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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Animals > Children > Fantasy > TV > Toys > CGI > Dinosaurs > Drama > Africa > Desert > Peppa Pig: Cold Winter Day (2015/EOne DVD)/The Toy Story That Time Forgot (2015/Disney Blu-ray)/Zarafa (2011/Cinedigm Blu-ray)

Peppa Pig: Cold Winter Day (2015/EOne DVD)/The Toy Story That Time Forgot (2015/Disney Blu-ray)/Zarafa (2011/Cinedigm Blu-ray)

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

Here are new children's releases to know about...

Peppa Pig: Cold Winter Day (2015) is 10 more episodes of the charming, child-safe show that has a healthy sense of humor and healthy interaction with the characters in their various adventures. A highlight of the Nick Jr. Network, the show continues to keep its quality good and consistent, making it one of the best shows of its kind on TV (and DVD today). This runs only 50n minutes, but that seems to be enough for each disc.

There are no extras.

Steve Purcell's The Toy Story That Time Forgot (2015) only lasts 22 minutes, but that is somehow enough to make it a good (if not great) entry into the uber-successful Disney franchise. The original voices (esp. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen) are here, so that's a plus in a story about action figures turning up for the holidays and not being in the most sound of mind condition. Reviving some old classic toys and adding some new ones, this is fine, but just too short. I wanted this to be longer, but we'll guess the makers did not think they could get this concept to feature length, so better brief and not at all versus a disastrous feature that could hurt the franchise.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds an audio commentary track, Toy Story Goes To The Comic-Con, Deleted Scenes, a Karaoke Video, animated opening for Battlesaurs and Reptillus!, origins of the Battlesaurs world.

Finally we have Directors Remi Bezancon & Jean-Christophe Lie's Zarafa (2011) has to do with the title character kidnapped when we meet him, with plans to sell him into slavery when he is able to escape to his captor's surprise. From there, it flows his adventures and misadventures that are interesting until they hit a bit of a wall and slow down when he is out in the desert (with too much of a desire to reference Lawrence Of Arabia, then Around The World In 80 Days, holding the more original aspects back), so it becomes uneven and the conclusion is not as satisfactory as I would have liked. Still, it is worth a look, save a toilet joke or the like.

Extras include the Original U.S. Theatrical Trailer, a Making Of featurette, Giraffe Mania and vintage 1957 short color film Giraffe in Paris film.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Peppa is as good as previous DVD releases, making one wonder when its Blu-ray debut will happen. Looks good for the format and consistent with previous releases, but at this point, why not more. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Toy has Pixar's top-rate CGI and plays well with really nice depth, detail and usually good color for the most part. The likes of Cars is more colorful, but this is worthy of the theatrical trilogy of films. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Zarafa is 2D only, though this has been issued in 3D elsewhere, yet this is impressive and has some nice images. Color is held back a bit because much of this takes place in the desert, but it is never monochromatic.

As for sound, the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Peppa is soft, but clear as always to remain child-friendly and is just fine. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on Toy is just fine for a short program with some nice detail into the surrounds, but there is the odd option of a DTS-HD HR (High Resolution) 5.1 mix that reminds me how the rarely used HR version (not lossless) is on the weak side to the point that you might as well play the 7.1 even if you only have 5.1 speakers as the sound loss is that noticeable. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Zarafa is here in a lesser English dub that cuts into the sound effects, soundfield and is not very convincing, but the original 5.1 French version is the best soundtrack on the list with some demo moments, occasional aggressive surrounds and a flow we don't hear in multi-channel films enough.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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