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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Fantasy > Adventure > Comedy > CGI Feature > Superheroes > TV > Education > Children > Mu > Deep (2017/Lionsgate DVD)/Justice League Action: Superpowers Unite! (2017/Season One, Part One/DC Comics Animation set)/Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas (2017/both Warner DVDs)/Paw Patrol: The Grea

Deep (2017/Lionsgate DVD)/Justice League Action: Superpowers Unite! (2017/Season One, Part One/DC Comics Animation set)/Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas (2017/both Warner DVDs)/Paw Patrol: The Great Snow Rescue (2016 - 2017/Nickelodeon DVD)

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

Now for our next round of child releases...

Julio Soto Gurpide's animated Deep (2017) is a young baby kraken who longs to explore outside the safety of his grandfather's colony, but when disaster strikes, it is up to Deep and his friends to save the colony. He is joined by Alice the sassy shrimp and Evo the silly angler fish. Together, they search and find Nathan the white whale to save their home, but to find Nathan they will have to travel through dangerous waters and face new friends and enemies.

After the humans destroyed the world and left for another, Deep and his colony only survived due to his Grandfather Kraken's protected coral reef. But Deep is too curious and wants to learn more of the outside world. When he accidentally causes a giant rock to block the colony entrance, his grandfather sends him on a quest to find Nathan the whale, the only one big enough to move the rock. As Deep and his friends laugh, sing and dance they will have to brave strange, dangerous and colorful new world. In the end, they must free Nathan the whale from a crazy Penguin in a spaceship ark, who has plans to take them (and Nathan) to the new world.

This movie was like a mix of Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo, a young octopus dreaming of adventure and danger but finding out more than he thought. Through the character's impulsive nature they constantly get into trouble, he eventually learns about teamwork, responsibility and leadership. Well done. Extras include music video and trailers.

Justice League Action: Superpowers Unite! (2017) is another new series based on the great comic book series from DC Comics' Animation division, arriving in time for their first-ever live-action feature film. This variation is aimed more towards younger children and is a nice twist to the tales of the team, with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Firestorm, Cyborg, Green Arrow and the underused Plastic Man. We get a double DVD set of 26 decent adventures that are fun to watch and achieve a different tone than the preceding Justice League (or Superfriends! for that matter) series, which is not easy.

These are fun, energetic and offers more characters, villains and otherwise, but we'll not hurt any more surprises except to say this is worth checking out to see what the makers did and I hope it is the next DC TV hit.

There are sadly no extras.

Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas (2017) is coming out before Halloween or Thanksgiving even arrive, but it is still a good set with a solid main program as they do their version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, plus we get the equally long ''Twas The Night Before Cookie'' and briefer Elmo's Christmas Song. Other extras include six Sesame Studios shorts and a downloadable version of the Sesame Street book Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas, so this is a nicely-loaded DVD single with all the programs just fine, so you can get it soon, or closer to the actual holiday if you're like this writer.

Finally we have Paw Patrol: The Great Snow Rescue (2015 - 2017) is the latest DVD single compilation of the fun, energy-filled, semi-adventure TV show with seven cold-weather-related adventures that manage to be better than you might think. Issued by Nickelodeon with the Holiday in mind without being explicit about it, this is one of the better DVD singles we've seen in the series and I was surprised how upbeat it could stay when some shows are starting to drag. There are no extras, but this is a solid 96 minutes that won't disappoint children.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Deep and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the rest of the TV DVDs are looking as good as they can, though Deep has an edge being a solid CGI animated feature. Not bad at all from a lesser-known animation studio, down to its impressive-enough, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that is a mixdown from its Dolby Atmos 11.1 original theatrical sound. Why no Blu-ray? Hopefully later.

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on Justice and Paw, plus the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Sesame are as good and clear as they can be in the older sound codec, though I bet lossless presentation in all cases would impress more. Like Deep, they are professionally recorded and mixed, top rate productions, if not meant for the big screen.

- Ricy Chiang (Deep) & Nicholas Sheffo


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