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ADV Films presents
Hello Kitty's Paradise: Pretty Kitty (1999)

"They're an itty, bitty, pretty, kitty family. But even though they're kitties, they're like you and me!"
- Theme Song

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: November 25, 2002

Stars: Hello Kitty, Mimmy
Other Stars: Mom, Dad
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for learning fun
Run Time: 01h:30m:00s
Release Date: November 26, 2002
UPC: 702727054822
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B BB+B- D-

DVD Review

Hello Kitty is but one of the iconic characters from the Sanrio Media Empire, and the one that is most recognized in the US. A popular educational show in both America and Japan, Hello Kitty's Paradise follows the exploits of the title character and her twin sister Mimmy as they learn valuable life lessons like patience and table manners and how to avoid getting hit by a car. Useful!

ADV has finally brought the series to DVD, and the intended audience is definitely the under five set. Kitty's adventures take the form of two, eight-minute segments per episode and exhibit the repetitive, familiar structure that pre-schoolers seem to go nuts over. The episodes that feature Kitty and Mimmy learning a lesson through life experience are the most common, but some are more surreal (and a heck of a lot more entertaining), as the sisters hallucinate (oops, I mean "imagine") a fantastical adventure. For example, in one episode they visit their friend the mole, who teaches them all about living underground, necessitating, of course, that they be shrunk down to micro-Hello size (the regular kitties are cute enough; I couldn't get a reading on the mini-kitties, as my cuteness meter exploded).

It's a bit of a shame that ADV has included only the Americanized version of the show. When aired here, the show was of course dubbed, and interstitials were placed between each episode offering up very easy brain teasers to puzzle only the dimmest of rug-rat viewers. In translation, the show loses a bit of its charm and unique flavor—as is, the American version could easily be substituted for your average episode of Dragon Tales with minimal effort.

Still, though, there's the cuteness factor. Take a look at the cover art—bubblegum pink, with a huge picture of Kitty holding a teddy bear. The menus are likewise adorned with flowers and candy and soothing carnation hues. Even if the educational elements of Hello Kitty are nothing unique, the character designs are. Of course, I do have a soft spot for cats, animated or not, so I'm not totally unbiased. I can only say that while I was nearly bored to tears watching this disc, it was at least always fun to look at. If learning to put my napkin on my lap at dinner was still something that interested me, I likely would have been wholly entertained. So go to it kids (and you adults who are very easily amused)!

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Hello Kitty is full of simplistic animation that looks quite nice on DVD. Colors are rich and saturated with out blooming or bleeding. Black level isn't really an issue, as all of the segments take place during the day. Edge enhancement is never a problem, and though I spotted some minor aliasing, I can't say I saw much in the way of digital artifacting. However, during the CGI games that play between episodes, quality drops a bit, with lots of shimmer visible—these segments were produced on the cheap to fill time during the American airings.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is extremely simple, the DD 2.0 track sounding more like a mono track mixed equally to the three front speakers. Dialogue is always clear, and music is well supported, but this is about as plain as a stereo mix can get.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Monster Rancher, Sailor Moon, Medabots, Mega Man
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras offered are trailers for Monster Rancher, Sailor Moon, Medabots, and Mega Man. ADV has set up the disc to "plug and play" so kids can pop it in themselves without worrying about navigating the menus.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Hello Kitty is immensely popular with young girls, and it's easy to see why. The characters are cute and the show is entertaining while it educates. Packed with four full episodes made up of two segments each and tons of bonus game and puzzle segments, this DVD is recommended for pre-school kids (any older and they might bore quickly).


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