and The Wizard Of Oz: Season One, Volume One
(2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/LEGO
DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash
(2018/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Nicholas
On Holiday (2014/Icarus
DVD)/Peppa Pig: The Easter
Children (2017 Live/Film
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: C+/B+/B+ & B-/C+/C+/C+/C+
Sound: C+/B+/B & B-/C+/C+/C+/C Extras: D/C+/C-/D/C/C-/D
Main Programs: B/C+/C/C/C+/C/B-
are the newest child/family titles, with some live action you have
not heard about...
start with a new version of The
Wizard of Oz,
which is actually an entire book series and since some of the books
are in the public domain (i.e., no more copyright), several other
versions apart from the 1939 MGM classic (now owned and preserved by
Warner Bros.) so anyone can do an Oz program, even if it is not
great. It just cannot be based on the 1939 film, but Warner can and
has launched a surprisingly fun, child-friendly new TV series.
and The Wizard Of Oz: Season One, Volume One
(2017) is based on the designs, iconography and costumes that helped
made the 1939 film a classic.
of trying to rehash the movie or imitate it too much, it takes a
looser, yet surprisingly amusing, funny and entertaining approach in
the ten episodes here that was a pleasant surprise, skips any
pretension and makes this revisit make sense. Even the voice-overs
do mot make accidental camp out of the original actors' work from the
1939 film. Children should enjoy it, whether they've seen the 1939
film or not (they will want to see it after this) and we get some fun
new characters. It may not be for everyone and adults should only
expect so much, but anyone who likes or loves the original film
should take a good look.
and sound performance is at the end of this text for this release.
There are no extras.
you read the children's book of Ferdinand
when you were a little one and if not then you can experience it
fresh with this Fox animated version of the classic tale. Ferdinand
is a friendly Bull, who gets mistaken for being big and mean and ends
up on his own out in the big world. Befriending a human family and
becoming almost an extra family pet, Ferdinand gets to the point
where he starts to question where he came from... After rallying
together some odd-ball friends, Ferdinand soon ends up on a quest to
return home and with cartoonish and zany outcomes!
new hot animated film Ferdinand
features the voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gabriel Iglesias,
Carlos Saldanha, and David Tennant. The film is from the animation
studio Blue Sky, who also produced the Ice
in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High
Definition image in the great 4K format, with a widescreen aspect
ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding Dolby Atmos 11.1 track, there is
little to gripe about in terms of presentation. It's always
interesting to see an animated film on the 4K UHD format and to see
that its difference over Blu-ray isn't quite as profound as it is
with more realistic films. The colors are best during some of the
outdoor nature segments, which are beautifully animated and detailed.
The characters themselves, both human and animal, are on pare with
some of the characters you'd see in a Pixar film. Clothes are
strikingly realistic with detail and colors seen in the also included
1080p Blu-ray disc with similar audio and visual specs and a digital
Guide to Healthy Living" with John Cena
Goat's Guide to Life"
Through Ferdinand's Eyes"
of a Bull-loving Horse"
the Land of Ferdinand"
of a Scene: The Bull Run"
to Dance with Ferdinand"
Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden"
a Remarka-Bull Song"
is fine for kids but isn't as engaging as Coco
or other animated films in the genre.
at a young audience, the new direct-to-video LEGO
DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash
lacks the more realistic and tactical animation seen in the big
budget LEGO movies, but for Saturday morning fun, this is fine as it
not only features The Flash but other members of the Justice League
as well including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and... even
the dreaded Ace the Bat Hound. Oye!
Justice League notice a change in The Flash (the fasted meta-human on
earth) when he suddenly loses his powers and isn't keeping up with
his superhero quota. Soon they realize that the Reverse Flash is
behind the madness and the League must band together to stop the out
of control super villain before he destroys the world!
on Blu-ray with a 1080p widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a nice
sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the
presentation here is on point yet nothing spectacular. The animation
is clean looking but nothing too overly detailed. Also included here
is an anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD and a digital
great extras... just a few trailers.
young audiences its fine but adults may get a little bored at how
silly it is.
for the rest of our titles, all on DVD, with tech info afterwards...
(2014) is a French comedy about the title child (with characters
created by the makers of international comic strip sensation Asterix)
goes on a trip now that school is out for the summer. He has his
family, friends old and new and let the mayhem begin. Now we've
heard and seen these scenarios before and they are even a bit cliche
in 'grown-up films' (et al) so what is supposed to make this fun and
different is that it is French, it is based on a comic (a very hip
thing to do these days) and maybe take us a few places we have not
been to before.
I liked the look and the actors were not bad, since this cycle of
pre-teen comedy has been done so much, the film tries too hard to be
like a Hollywood counterpart and that holds it back. On the other
hand, this is only here with subtitles, so that will cut out a decent
number of child viewers who might not have the stamina for such a
thing, but it is worth a look for those interested. Unfortunately,
nothing here stayed with me.
Pig: The Easter Bunny
(2018) only runs 65 minutes, built around the holiday of the title
for this new compilation and I like how child-safe, pleasant and
consistent this series remains (we get 12 adventures in all their
British glory) and in this case, I can see why only so many shows
might fit the theme. If that works for you, it is a DVD single to
get, especially since this has a bonus in the package of Peppa images
to put on your hard boiled Easter Eggs. All you need to know is that
the quality remains solid if you want it and you can hardly go wrong
otherwise, save the length of the disc.
of public domain, Enzo D'Alo's Pinocchio
(2017) is yet another different variant of the classic book that is
not from Disney (something that may surprise some children (and even
adults) who think they own the character in total, giving them a
shock (like when many decades ago heard an Adventure
radio adaption hosted by Tom Bosley) that this character belongs to
by an Italian CGI animation studio (et al), they have chosen less
melodrama, humor held back a bit and an animation style that will
recall some of the more interesting animation coming out of Europe in
the 1960s & 1970s (plus a bit of The Beatles' Yellow
and some of the Fleischer Brothers work in that makes the 84 minutes
at least an interesting alternate version that does not seem cheap
and cynical. Unfortunately, they do not come up with much new that
we have not seen before, so it only goes so far.
work by Johnny Orlando, Ambyr Childers and Jon Heder for the English
translation (the original audio is not included, but I would have
liked to have heard that) is a plus and we even get a Making Of
featurette. Maybe this will develop some kind of cult following, but
otherwise, not much stood out here either. All whom are curious
should give it a look just the same.
but not least is a new version of The
here in a new 2017 Live on stage version that is as British as
several I have seen before, but not bad for not being a dramatic
on-location dramatization. It compares well with the one we reviewed
from 15 years ago at this link that will tell you more about the
to say it is about a love of trains, childhood, imagination and
possibilities, so this new version with a fine cast of actors I've
not seen before is fine and definitely worth a look. I would suggest
getting both versions and doing a double feature of the two. That
would be fun for kids in particular.
are no extras.
to finish our look at the technicals on these DVDs. Save the 1.85 X
1 on Pinocchio,
the anamorphically enhanced image on all these DVDs is 1.78 X 1 and
they all look as good as they can for the format as Flash
does, even if that had the most money in it. There are few flaws,
though if you like a given program, you'll wonder why no Blu-ray was
announced. As for sound, all are here in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo, save Oz
in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and they all are fine for the increasingly
older, compressed format. However, Railway could have used a 5.1 mix
because its 2.0 Stereo is weaker than expected as if it were
transferred too low or something was done to clean the soundtrack the
wrong way. In that case, just be careful of audio switching and high
playback levels. Otherwise, this is what we pretty much hoped for
and expected out of the old DVD format on these.
Nicholas Sheffo and James
Lockhart (4K, Flash)