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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > Musical > Fairy Tale > Myth > TV > Documentary > Horse > Animation > Animals > Mystery > Wres > A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits (2016/Warner DVD)/Dark Horse (2015/Sony DVD)/Once Upon A Time: The Complete Fifth Season (2015 - 2016/ABC/Disney Blu-ray Set)/Peppa Pig: Sunny Vacation (2016/Fox/E

A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits (2016/Warner DVD)/Dark Horse (2015/Sony DVD)/Once Upon A Time: The Complete Fifth Season (2015 - 2016/ABC/Disney Blu-ray Set)/Peppa Pig: Sunny Vacation (2016/Fox/EOne DVD)/Scooby Doo! And WWE: Curse Of The Speed Demon (2016/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Supergirl: The Complete First Season (2015 - 2016/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray Set)

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

Here are our latest children and family titles...

Michelle Johnston's A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits (2016) is a would be comedy trying to be a would be musical and not succeeding in anything, starting with a sequence that looks like it is trying to be tribute to the ''Greased Lightning'' sequence from Grease (1978) with a gal in John Travolta's place. From there, the project tries to show off lead Sofia Carson, but a ton of cliches, formula and played-out tiredness stop her and everyone else (including a welcome Jennifer Tilly as her stepmother) never go anywhere in its long, long 93 minutes.

These shoes ought to be burned and thrown out.

Three featurettes, two Music Videos, Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel (at least they had fun making it) are the extras.

Louise Osmond's Dark Horse (2015) looks at first like it might be another lame, tired, played out 'gal & her horse' melodrama, but instead, it is the true story documentary about ho a group of people in Wales took on taking care of a horse and how that led to success for them in racing and in real life. Nice things worked out as surprisingly well as it did, but the pacing, editing and arrangement of the story told is very predictable and hurts the telling more than expected, so the energy and any fun, joy or surprise is actually diminished a bit throughout its 86 minutes, but its good otherwise. At least its not more awful, tired fiction.

A Photo Gallery is the only extra.

Once Upon A Time: The Complete Fifth Season (2015 - 2016) surprises me that the show has somehow made it this far, but one-liners in a one-joke mode where every fairytale and myth is mocked as part of a would-be slick show about the fantasy world, mythology and the Fantasy genre found its young audience and they just kept with it (like say, Supernatural, an endless TV show that never seems to end) and getting into the storyline and lot at this point is useless, so you'd better start at the beginning yourself with the premiere season and work your way up to this one if you can handle it.

This five-Blu-ray disc set is offering more than enough, but as you can see from the following coverage a few years ago of the sophomore season, I thought it had gone as far as it could then...


Extras inside the packaging include 1 of 3 postcards (hope they don't expect fans to keep buying these sets until they own all 3!), while the Blu-rays add audio commentary tracks, two Making Of/Behind The Scenes featurettes, a Gag Reel, a clip about the show reaching episode 100 and The Fairest Bloopers Of Them All.

Peppa Pig: Sunny Vacation (2016) is the latest high quality compilation of episodes form the charming TV show that has its moments, is one of the best releases on the list and runs a never-long-enough 60 minutes and 12 shows. As child-friendly as ever, I continue to be impressed with the show's attitude and sensitivity. I just continue to wonder why this is not even more popular, because it is not from a lack of quality.

There are sadly no extras, though the artwork continues to be some of the best on the field.

Tim Divar's Scooby Doo! And WWE: Curse Of The Speed Demon (2016) is the worst of the crossover Scooby releases, serving essentially as an 80-minutes-long brainwashing exercise in telling us how wonderful all the WWE owners and participants are and stars are so great. This is especially hard to buy since the franchise peaked long ago, but here they are flatly animated and BORING!

The plot has Scooby and company watching them in action, but then coming across a hunted vehicle of some kind, but the real exorcism should have happened to this script and this whole concept. This is really insulting from the get go and only gets worse. Yikes indeed.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs adds two episodes of Scooby TV shows and a brief Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette.

Supergirl: The Complete First Season (2015 - 2016) is the comeback show for one of DC Comics most underrated characters, the cousin of Superman, we have not seen enough of her in animation or live action. She landed up with a white shirt redo in the underrated Superman: The Animated Series and before that, a perfectly cast Helen Slater played her in the 1984 theatrical feature film that was so badly written and directed that a great franchise was instantly killed despite everyone STILL talking about how Slater was so good in the role. That film and Slater's Legend Of Billie Jean (you can hear the Pat Benatar hit now) resulted in cult films and Slater shows up on the show here.

This time, Melissa Benoist takes over the title role, as well as alter ego Kara, becoming a reporter and reporting to an inquisitive boss (Calista Flockhart in equally perfect casting) just trying to keep a job and have a 'normal life' with maybe the possibility of happiness. Instead, more trouble arrives than the DC universe of heroes can handle and the title character is born. We get 20 decent hour-long episodes that fit nicely in the Arrow/Flash cycle of these heroes, creating DC Comics best non-print moment since the animated cycle of the 1990s arrived. Save some visual effects that did not work for me, the show is rightly a success and worth your time if you have not seen it yet.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds three Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurettes including one from the 2015 Comic Con, Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Cinderella, Horse, Peppa and Scooby DVDs are good, decent and fine for DVD, all tie for second place and are watchable enough, but the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Scooby, Upon and Supergirl (with a very slight edge over the others) tie for first place (all HD shoots/productions) have good, solid color and enough detail to make for pleasant viewing experiences. You get a few demo shots in each too.

In the sonics department, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Scooby, Upon and Supergirl have solid soundfields throughout, though Upon can still sound a little boxy and too much in the center channel when it comes to dialogue. Otherwise, all are mixed and presented as well as can be expected.

The Cinderella, Horse and Scooby DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but Cinderella and Horse are weaker and lower in volume than usual, so their soundfields are not so good and disappoint, so the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 on Peppa actually surpasses them both.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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