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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Comedy > TV > Drama > Melodrama > Horse > Fantasy > Adventure > CGI > Travel > Reading > Educ > Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (2016 second remake/Sony DVD)/Gypsy Colt (1954/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/LEGO Friends: Always Together (2016/Warner DVD)/Sesame Street: Elmo's Favorite Stories (2016/Warner DVD

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (2016 second remake/Sony DVD)/Gypsy Colt (1954/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/LEGO Friends: Always Together (2016/Warner DVD)/Sesame Street: Elmo's Favorite Stories (2016/Warner DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Gypsy Colt DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Our latest child-aimed releases are a mixed bag, but you should still know about them if you deal with these releases and materials.

Chris Marrs Piliero's Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (2016) is the second attempt to revive and remake the underrated, classic Sid & Marty Krofft hit TV show, this time with a flat, bored, tired, joyless script and unknowns Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart taking over the title roles. Actually more depressing than the fortunately-never-released-on-video first remake, this does not know if it is a superhero launch, bad teen cable show with its smart-pants dialogue or just a lite anger fest.

This time, they not only fight crime in Los Angeles, they somehow land up in Ohio! There was no script there either. With some enthusiasm and risks, this would have been worth relaunching, but like other recent Krofft relaunches, all we get is another joyless package deal. Sad.

Extras include an audio commentary by the co-stars, Making Of featurette, Inside Creative Masked Management featurette and eight addition featurette clips on the telefilm.

Andrew Marton's Gypsy Colt (1954) is one of MGM's entries into the all-child film market and not a great one, sappy as it is. Still, the old and now-tired 'girl (Donna Corcoran) and her horse' tale is at least tackled with consistency and the studio was hoping for a quick buck on a low budget. The film probably broke even, but I barely remember it and it is not discussed much, though the likes of The Wild One (see the Blu-ray review elsewhere on this site) was having more success on the big screen (though it is arguably not for all children) so MGM was falling behind in the market a bit and TV had arrived.

That is why in part they pushed the color and future TV father Ward Bond is also here. It is the kind of film that should still be on DVD and its good Warner Archive has issued it, but the illicit appeals to pity are more numerous than the cliches and outdoors shots throughout. Maybe parents who might stoll be interested might want to give it a look. Frances Dee also stars.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.

LEGO Friends: Always Together (2016) is the latest in the new young adult series entry where the female LEGO characters do not look like the toy namesakes at all, again aimed at the Barbie/Bratz market and again, is just as good and maybe better than their home video counterparts. This time, Olivia, Mia, Stephanie, Emma and Andrea are taking a few trips in separate-but-related episodes. This one runs only 66 minutes, so it is a minimal, basic release. The writing is limited and offers nothing new or distinct from the previous DVDs in the series, so they are playing it very safe. OK at best, it is for fans only.

There are no extras.

Sesame Street: Elmo's Favorite Stories (2016) is built around reading, which is more relevant and important than ever, but as those who might know the classic TV show all too well, their sly send-ups of legends and fairy tales has not dimmed over the decades and this is a fun, solid entry. The main program is about an hour and is just fine, plus encouraging reading that is not internet chat is more important than ever before. Up to the high quality standards of this DVD series, it is the best entry on the list.

Extras include the bonus show Elmo's Musical Adventure and the animated storybook Rise and Shine!

Though there are different formats and even eras going on here, the four DVD presentations are about even in playback. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Dyna is a generic HD shoot that looks poorer than the old analog NTSC videotaping of the original 1970s TV show with far less form and color, LEGO is a good CGI presentation like the previous releases in that series and Colt was shot on Ansco 35mm color film stocks that MGM was trying out at the time, then printed in 35mm dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor, we can see what that version of the film looked like at its best. Still, a restored print will be in order at some point. We sadly get more than our share of worn and faded shots, even damaged clips, but the color is so good when it is good that it is still able to compete with the other releases here.

Elmo is here in a 1.33 X 1 color transfer can show the age of any older materials used (like analog videotape flaws slight video noise, video banding or a little cross color), but it also looks as good as any entry in this series.

Dyna is the only title here to offer a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, but the mix is badly laid out and turns out to be the worst sonic performer here, while Colt has consistent lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Elmo has good, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and LEGO also has lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but with some Pro Logic surrounds.

To order the Gypsy Colt Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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