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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: Adventures in Nowhere Land (2000)

"I'm a ferocious beast, not an artist."
- The Ferocious Beast (Stephen Ouimette)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 27, 2003

Stars: Kristen Bone, Stephen Ouimette, Michael Caruana
Director: Jamie Whitney

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:46m:37s
Release Date: August 06, 2002
UPC: 043396077973
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BB+B D

DVD Review

Welcome to Nowhere Land, an animated fun factory where a little girl named Maggie, rid of such inconveniences as parents, school, and other children, frolics merrily with her two best friends: the Ferocious Beast, a good-hearted monster of indefinite species, and Hamilton, a fussy though sweet little pig whose idea of a good time is perfecting his recipe for pumpkin muffins. This disc brings six of their daffy adventures to DVD, and not a moment too soon.

The Beast makes a fine subject for portraiture in the first episode, Beastly Picture, as Maggie paints a handsome likeness of him. Soon she's off to frolic with the sleep sheep, though, and the Beast, in his enthusiasm for her work, inadvertently punctures the canvas with one of his giant paws. Hamilton the Pig, while he's not pushing those pumpkin muffins, helps the Beast try to re-create Maggie's work, but the Beast's painting is more Picasso than Rembrandt, an abstracted Ferocious Beast. Maggie is a forgiving sort and must be a modernist, for she's enchanted with the Beast's work on her return.

Next time out, the trio are terrorized by The Big Duck, who can only quack and not speak—why is she forever interfering with their attempts to cross the River of Dreams? Because she's the designated ferry across the water, that's why. It's an interspecies bit of understanding—yes, we can all get along.

Things are a little overly anthropomorphic in the third tale, Hamilton's Pet, as our favorite pig takes a fish from the River of Dreams and tries to domesticate it. Hamilton tricks out Fishy with a bonnet, a stroller and a bottle—but the call of the sea is powerful, and Hamilton comes to understand that if you love someone, you must set them free. A balloon that inflates into the shape of a bunny rabbit offers him much consolation.

What starts as a day of fun and games in the snow soon turns traumatic for poor Hamilton, as his favorite hiding place becomes his makeshift sled and sustains some damage, in My One and Only Box. Fortunately and through the magic of animation, the Beast helpfully removes one of his spots to patch up said box, and the wintertime fun can resume.

Next, it's Christmas in July, when Maggie discovers that shaking her new snow globe can in fact make it snow in Nowhere Land—she, Hamilton and Ferocious assemble the title character, Mr. Shivers, a snowman who becomes very much alive. They can't keep shaking that globe enough to keep him from melting, though, so the quartet sets out to find him a happy home at an appropriate temperature. Why Mr. Shivers speaks with an English accent is never explained.

Finally, Hamilton becomes drunk with power after he's crowned The King of Nowhere Land. But since all of his subjects—that is, Maggie and the Beast—get to have all the fun while he can only park it on his makeshift throne, Hamilton abdicates, in favor of picking apples and baking a pie. (Really, who needs Mrs. Simpson?)

All in all, these are sweet enough little stories, likely to please Maggie fans over and over again.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The image quality is of typically high quality on these Columbia animated releases, with a good, saturated steady palette, and little interference. I'd prefer it a little dulled down—sometimes the colors seem almost battery operated—but that's an aesthetic choice, not a technical limitation.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio can sound a little thin—Maggie and her crew could do with a little more musical support, but there's little interfering with the soundtrack here, either in English or Spanish.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Kermit's Swamp Years, Bear in the Big Blue House
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras here are chapter stops for each of the stories, and trailers for some other CTHV kids' titles.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

I'll admit that the title made me a little leery—who wants to show little kids something ferocious? But the beast is more sweet than scary, as are the six stories on this disc.

 


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