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Sony Family Wonder presents
Rainbow Fish: Fintastic Fun in Neptune Bay (2000)

"Now, let's kick some tail!"
- Sea Filly

Review By: Brian Cook (age 32) and Roddy Cook (age 6)   
Published: July 31, 2000

Stars: Rainbow Fish, Blue, Sea Filly
Other Stars: Chomper, Stingo, Wanda and Ruby
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01:40:00
Release Date: May 23, 2000
UPC: 074645167299
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- AB+C+ A-

DVD Review

This disc contains eight short stories featuring Rainbow Fish and his friends as they frolic and play in the underwater world of Neptune Bay. We see them at school (no pun intended), at home and at play. The stories are interesting, funny, entertaining and, to quote Bill Cosby, "if you're not careful, you may learn something too."

Each of the stories also teaches kids a valuable lesson, such as: though "they weren't friends at first....they became friends." Or just because someone is small you shouldn't make fun of them, as shown when the little shrimp was the only one who could fit through the hole in the sunken ship to save Rainbow. Another episode teaches kids that they "should tell the truth and not lie to people." And most importantly, "when a parent tells you not to do something, don't do it!" It looks like these and the other lessons here weren't wasted on Roddy!

The stories manage to get their point across without being overly preachy. I had never seen a Rainbow Fish episode before watching this disc, but we had read some of the books when Roddy was younger. I was worried that Roddy, nearly seven, might be too old for this disc, but he was captivated. We both enjoyed the stories very much. In fact, Roddy has watched it twice already.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: There are a lot of colors in the underwater world of Neptune Bay and they all look brilliant on this disc. Even though this is merely a digital remastering of a television cartoon series, the picture is wonderful. As I stated, the colors are wonderful and the image is nearly flawless. This is one animated feature that transfers quite well to the digital format.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
2.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio quality on this disc does not match the video at all. It is Dolby Digital stereo and, although it isn't bad, it could be much better. There is just an overall muddiness to the sound. The music isn't too bad, but the dialogue is a little tough to understand at times. The lack of surround information doesn't bother me, although it might have been interesting simply because all of the action takes place underwater.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Sing Along
  2. Amazeing Game
  3. Puzzle Games
  4. Learn a Language
  5. Previews for other titles
Extras Review: I didn't expect much from the extras on this disc, and for the most part I wasn't disappointed. The sing along, mazes and puzzles had Roddy pretty bored right from the start, but might be fun for younger kids. The previews of other Sony titles were alright. We don't have a DVD-ROM drive, so I can't comment on any of that material.

What I will comment on at length is the "Learn a Language" feature. I have never seen nor heard of this before, so I had no idea what it entailed. What you can do is decide whether you want to learn Spanish or English. Then, using the eight stories, you are gradually introduced to the language you want to learn. It is a four step process, using something called PI (passive intuitive). In the first step, one or two words per sentence are substituted with the foreign language. The words are pretty easily recognizeable due to the context of the sentence. With each step, more words are substituted. Roddy and I only explored the first step in one of the stories, but we will definitely check the rest out. This is a feature that I cannot say enough good things about.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

Roddy and I both found this disc to be quite entertaining. There are valuable lessons to be learned and maybe even a new language. The "Learn a Language" feature ensures repeated viewings. We would definitely recommend this disc to anyone with children.

 


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