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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Mystery > Animals > Trucks > Racing > Trains > Adventure > Muppets > Stop-Motion Animat > Be Cool Scooby-Doo!: Spooky Kooky Fun! (2015/Warner)/Blaze & The Monster Machines: Rev Up & Roar (2015/Nickelodeon)/Chuggington: Delivery Dash At The Dock (2015/Anchor Bay)/Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots

Be Cool Scooby-Doo!: Spooky Kooky Fun! (2015/Warner)/Blaze & The Monster Machines: Rev Up & Roar (2015/Nickelodeon)/Chuggington: Delivery Dash At The Dock (2015/Anchor Bay)/Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots (2015/E One)/Paw Patrol: Brave Heroes Big Rescue (2015/Nickelodeon)/Sesame Street: The Cookie Thief (2015/Warner)/Shaun The Sheep: Sheep On The Loose (2009) + Season 2 (2011/Lionsgate/all DVDs)

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

Even I'm surprised by the number and ambition of the latest group of child-aimed releases, but here they are...

Be Cool Scooby-Doo!: Spooky Kooky Fun! Is a new version of the series with slightly revised versions of the characters (they are drawn more simply and voices more loosely, which might throw older fans) in a 13-episode collection meant for young children at best and is not bad if you can get past the style. Thus, there is not much new here, but it is a double DVD set and does not skimp on the content.

There are no true extras here.

Blaze & The Monster Machines: Rev Up & Roar is the still amusing-enough world of talking truck and their adventures with some humans that is at least energetic and consistent, meant to be a little rougher than Chuggington, Cars knock-offs and Thomas, but remains child-friendly and a quality product. This runs a healthy 87 minutes total, more than enough for youngsters.

A Video Storybook is the only extra.

Chuggington: Delivery Dash At The Dock continues the more subtle charms of the train crew in their continuing adventures with the title character, et al, but this runs only 74 minutes and maybe a little more would have helped here. Still, another high-quality enough show that you can understand its appeal. Not bad.

Coloring pages you can print, 2 Buddy Badge episodes and Olwin character profiles are the extras.

Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots is especially child-friendly and has a really healthy sense of humor, offering 10 adventures in all that run only an hour. That is the only real disappointment as the disc could fit so much more and the makers should really consider beefing up these releases. Otherwise, another on-target, winning-enough release.

The title program is actually listed as an extra, though you can look at it the other way and we'd give the same rating out. However, there is a gift box (pictured on the side of this review) that includes a plush version of Peppa (we'd rate that box a B) and is your best option for this release if you can find it. Wish more child titles would do that.

Paw Patrol: Brave Heroes Big Rescue might be the most unintentionally funny of all the entries here with animals saving other animals (if only) in charming adventures that are a little louder than the likes of Peppa, but I am surprised they can keep this going for the 92 minutes here and then some. The makers obviously know how to build this world and push it to the limits.

There are no true extras here either.

Sesame Street: The Cookie Thief is an unintentionally howler of a new release from the classic TV series that takes Cookie Monster's obsession (and many of ours) to new highs and places that only he could. They must have to do retakes because this is just too hilarious and preposterous, but that;s the point and the whole family can really enjoy this one. Elmo and the gang also show up, though I am so used to the original voices for the classic pre-Elmo characters that I get a bit thrown off by the new ones. Oh well, guess that is just me... hopefully.

Extras include Elmo's World: Drawing and the entertaining full-length Cookie Hood episode that is longer than the main program.

Last but not least are Shaun The Sheep: Sheep On The Loose (2009) and Season 2 (2011), another charming British animal franchise like Peppa Pig, but the only one on the list that happens to be in the highly underrated claymation and stop-motion animation art forms. Loose is shockingly short at only 42 minutes, the shortest release on this list, but Season 2 is 280 minutes (!) and the content champ bar none. Because of the stop-motion, these tend to go beyond your usual child titles since this kind of animation has a big following and thanks to the great Nick Park and Aardman Studios, people love these shows. I hope this franchise breaks big in the U.S. because it is that good and the fan base is growing. Cheers!

Extras on Loose include featurettes Building A Pig and The Mini Making Of Shaun, while Season 2 has the same Mini featurette, then adds Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, a Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery, 3 simple games, 3 Videos and two previews for Timmy Time.

All 8 DVDs have anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image presentations that are about even with good color, good playback and minor flaws at best, though the Cookie supplements have 1.33 X 1 frames for the extras in bookended 1.78 X 1 anamorphic frames that look just fine. All 8 DVDs also have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, save lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Blaze and Scooby. All sound even, but both Sheep DVDs are a little on the weak side, so be careful of volume switching and high playback levels.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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