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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Lessons for All Seasons (2002)

"Oh, I get it now: snow... ice... cold... winter!"
- Snuffy

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 18, 2003

Stars: Eve Whittle, Dee Dee Green, Marie Danielle, C.W. Walken, Mary K. Bergman, Chuck Morgan, Gina Ribisi
Other Stars: Robert von Fliss
Director: Hugh Martin

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:01m:42s
Release Date: January 14, 2003
UPC: 043396084889
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B-B-B- C

DVD Review

And I bet you didn't know that aircraft celebrated holidays. Five more episodes featuring Tarrytown's most gung-ho little jet and his pals come to DVD—these are pegged to various holidays, more or less, heavily weighted toward November and December.

The first episode's title, Snuffy's Thanksgiving, is something of a misnomer, as the hero here is Big Jake. Jake has just delivered a tasty Thanksgiving supper to the scientists hard at work at the North Pole, but snow, fog and a low reading on the fuel meter conspire to keep him away from the Tarrytown Thanksgiving table. In the spirit of the season, the others pitch in, with navigating tips and sweeping out a clear view to the Tarrytown landing strip, allowing Jake to take his rightful spot at the head of the hangar holiday table.

Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure #1 finds Tarrytown fully occupied with preparations: Big Jake and Snuffy are on the quest for the perfect Christmas tree, Jay Jay hones his list for Santa, and the little ones are planning to stay awake to see Saint Nick make his rounds. (Just why Big Jake didn't mention or pay a visit to Santa in the previous episode isn't fully explained.) It's a merry enough little holiday tale.

And since it's never too early to start thinking about the sequel, up next is Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure #2, in which Tarrytown is hit by a brutal winter snowstorm. How old is Old Oscar, the biplane? Old enough to have gone to school with Santa. There's a North Pole problem with some under-the-weather reindeer, so the Tarrytown fleet pitches in to see to it that all the kids wake up happy on Christmas morning—it's better to give than to receive, and all that.

The calendar backs up a little and things get more ecumenical in the fourth episode, Jay Jay's Winter Parade, in which everyone's favorite little airplane organizes a big celebration for the winter solstice. Yet another punishing storm hits Tarrytown, however, blacking out the vicinity and spoiling Jay Jay's plan for a parade full of lights. Jay Jay is blue about his plan gone awry, but his pals pitch in, and their makeshift parade is (you guessed it) the best one ever!

And yet still another snowstorm pulverizes Tarrytown Airport in the final episode, Snuffy's Seasons, so while pinned in the hangar, the others try to educate the youngest member of the fleet about the changes through the year. Snuffy isn't exactly quick on the uptake with these, but flashbacks from his previous adventures help him to nail down the proper order.

All in all, these aren't bad, but there isn't much about the holidays, really—it's more likely to raise questions about things like wind chill factor, and just why it is that airplanes celebrate Christmas.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The palette is bright—too bright, for my taste—but the transfer quality is high, with little interference or debris. The trend in these Columbia animation releases tends to be toward the garish, in terms of color—I guess the thinking is that that's what appeals to little kids, but sometimes you may feel like reaching for your sunglasses.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Things can sound a little tinny and brassy, and the bass level is severely limited. It's not a feast for the ears, but it lacks any major flaws, and all of the dialogue is readily audible.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 5 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Dragon Tales, Bear in the Big Blue House, Kermit's Swamp Years, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Four sing-a-longs
  2. Two "Think About" moments
Extras Review: Big, kid-friendly letters are offered to sing along with Jay Jay's theme song, and three other tunes featured in the episodes. In keeping with the theme of the disc, the two "Think About" moments are about the sun and the moon, respectively; they each run about thirty seconds, without much content. Chapter stops are for each of the five episodes.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

These are chirpy and typical episodes of this successful TV show, and no doubt the audience for this DVD is an intensely self-selecting one. If you're a Jay Jay fan, this is for you.


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