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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Adventure > Musical > Fantasy > Cats > Action > CGI > Circus > Backstage > Animals > TV > Gay Purr-ee (1962/UPA/Warner Archive DVD)/Justice League: Gotham City Breakout - LEGO DC Comics Superheroes (2016/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD & Toy)/Lili (1953/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Paw Patrol: S

Gay Purr-ee (1962/UPA/Warner Archive DVD)/Justice League: Gotham City Breakout - LEGO DC Comics Superheroes (2016/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD & Toy)/Lili (1953/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Paw Patrol: Sports Day (2016)/Shimmer & Shine: Welcome To Zahramay Falls (2016/Nickelodeon DVDs)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Gay Purr-ee and Lili DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's are latest look at family and child releases...



Abe Levitow's Gay Purr-ee (1962) was a one-time collaboration between the innovative UPA Studios (Mr Magoo) and Warner Animation to make an animated feature film for theaters. Concerning a lonely country cat named Mewsette, voiced by none other than Judy Garland. This was enough for her old ''Over the Rainbow'' composer Harold Arlen and lyricist by E.Y. Harburg to create the songs for the entire film. Written by Dorothy & Chuck Jones, Chuck Jones' style is here and trusted in the hands of friend/director Levitow.


Mewsette makes it to Paris, but a mysterious male cat (Paul Frees) and his odd female friend (Hermione Gingold) are up to exploiting her and turning her into a mail order bride-cat to be shipped to Pittsburgh! Fortunately, old two cat friends (Robert Goulet and Red Buttons) have followed her.


The film is a mixed bag because it has its child-animation that looks like Jones' style, but also Disney a bit, then you have these remarkable, bolder animation moments that are the UPA style that push the color and artform. Garland is in great vocal form as well and gets the best songs with ''Roses Red, Violets Blue'', ''Take My Hand, Paree” and ''Paris Is A Lonely Town''. The supporting voce cast is just fine, but obviously with garland's loss way too early, she becomes the focus in all kinds of ways unimagined when the film was first released. I'm glad Warner Archive reissued this on DVD because there is more than enough for rediscovery here on this child-friendly release and the narrated montage where Mewsette is portrayed in the style of every great French painter to explain to the audience each special style they had is a gem in itself.


Definitely worth your time, this is marginally my favorite release here.


Extras include Cast & Crew text, Musical Notes text, Jump To A Song menu and an Original Theatrical Trailer.



Matt Peters & Mel Zwyer's Justice League: Gotham City Breakout (2016) is the latest LEGO DC Comics Superheroes comical animated romp, this time with Batman being pushed to take a vacation, but while he is away, all the criminals from Arkham Asylum land up escaping and terrorizing Gotham, et al. Can the rest of the JL gang stop them?


This one runs on 78 minutes, yet I was disappointed it had a little more filler and predictability in it, but that could have been tolerable if there was not this annoying motif of people being hit on the head all the time as if that were a good thing. It is not and played for laughs, it is never funny. At least this is technically competent, but could have been better.


Extras include a LEGO figure of Nightwing and Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs only add an Original Trailer for the most recent LEGO Scooby-Doo film.



Charles Walter's Lili (1953) is the earlier Leslie Caron hit as the lost title character who comes across a traveling circus and gets involved with the group, including Mel Ferrer as a one-time dancer whose injury ended his career and he has never recovered emotionally from it, Jean Pierre Aumont, Kurt Kasznar, Amanda Blake, Zsa Zsa Gabor as a married performer who is oddly threatened by Lili and the result is a backstage musical, but set at a circus. Very colorful, you definitely get money on the screen and there are charming moments, but it is not the family entertainment it might be.


Lili is a woman who loves too much and Ferrer becomes abusive of her in ways that cross a line and make this a bit toxic, but that's the film MGM made. It is still not bad and much of it holds up well today, but it has more than a few parts that slow the film and I had not remembered as much of it as expected from seeing it many years ago. Still, it is worth a look, but I would give it a PG-13 for the family-unfriendly moments. Glad Warner Archive has issued it.


An original theatrical trailer is the only extra.



Finally, Nickelodeon has issued their latest single-DVD entries for the new hit show Paw Patrol: Sports Day (2016) and one on the way to likely becoming a hit in Shimmer & Shine: Welcome To Zahramay Falls (2016), each 90 minutes and showing off episodes that are entertaining and child-safe enough, but not very distinguished from the other releases in their respective series. I got more chuckles out of Paw and realize Shine is more aimed at young ladies, but the network rightly stays as diverse as it can and they are worthy entires just the same. You can read more about both shows among other Nickelodeon series elsewhere on this site.


There are no extras on either disc, though, oddly.



There are no extras.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Purr and 1.33 X 1 image on Lili are both releases originally produced and issued in 35mm dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints and they both look good in their representations of the format, especially Purr. Lili has some color shifting, here and there, but is just fine otherwise. Purr is the best-looking of the DVDs and a huge candidate for Blu-ray, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both Nick DVDs are just fine., tying with Lili and LEGO for second-best DVDs here.


However, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on LEGO is easily the performance winner, looking good like most of the previous LEGO Blu-rays with nice color, surprising little touches of color, depth and definition for its somewhat simple animation style to begin with.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the LEGO Blu-ray is even more impressive by just being very clean, clear and consistent, though some might find the voices too forward in the soundfield, mixing takes advantage of the multi-channel possibilities and is fun. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the LEGO and Nick DVDs fall behind into second place, but are just fine, leaving presentations of lossy Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono on Purr and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Lili sounding a generation down and needing upgrades, though it sounds like the elements are in good shape if compressed and low here.



To order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


https://www.warnerarchive.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo


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