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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Dragon Tales: We Can Work it Out (2003)

"I wanna color draw with my new crayons or…go to Dragon Land!"
- Max (Danny McKinnon)

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: September 02, 2003

Stars: Andrea Libman (Emmy), Danny McKinnon (Max)
Other Stars: Eli Gabay (Quetzal), Jason Michas (Zak), Kathleen Barr (Wheezie), Ty Olsson (Ord), Ellen Kennedy (Cassie's Mom), Matt Hill (Grudge)
Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:03m:28s
Release Date: July 29, 2003
UPC: 043396096769
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+A-B C+

DVD Review

Marking the eighth release in the series, Dragon Tales: We Can Work it Out compiles another five episodes from the beloved PBS animated program. Chronicling the fantasy adventures of siblings Max and Emmy as they travel to a land inhabited by friendly, colorful dragons, important life lessons are incorporated with play along with an entertaining sing-a-long segment or two. Like all the previous volumes, each focuses on a particular subject and, on this disc, episodes incorporating compromise and the ability to work out conflicts are featured.

Cassie the Green-Eyed Dragon: Cassie gets firsthand experience in sibling rivalry when she takes her precocious little brother, Finn, to school. Try as we might, jealousy is sometimes unavoidable, according to Quetzal, who offers his knowledge of such things to help Cassie better understand her feelings.

So Long Solo: It's double trouble when the two-headed brother/sister duo, Zak and Wheezie, each wish to do different activities. Zak wants to snare a bug for his jungle gym, while Sis wishes to practice her trumpet, which only aids in frightening off Zak's potential catches. Taking turns and assisting one another in their respective ventures quells the flames.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: After completing a cool art project at the School in the Sky, Ord and Max argue over who gets to take their pride and joy home with them. After a war of words, the friends stop talking to one another. But a clever resolution may mend fences.

The Grudge Won't Budge: After Wheezie accidentally breaks Zak's prized snoot flute, he has a hard time letting go of his anger. It's obvious that he's holding a grudge, yet the kids, fellow dragons, and we as viewers can see it in action (and boy, does it need a haircut). Unless brother and sister can talk things out, this new, unwanted cast member may be around for keeps.

Remember the Pillow Fort: While playing king and doctor, respectively, at home, Max and Emmy opt to take their role playing to Dragon Land. While she finds a kindred playmate in Cassie for a round of pretend hospital, Ord is enchanted by the thought of putting on a crown and being regal via Max. But just when you think we're in for a lighthearted getaway from lesson learning, the two pals get into a disagreement over which colored pillows that represent their respective forts are best.

Interesting trivia note: Andrew Robison, best known for his role as the villain in the first Dirty Harry movie and as Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, wrote one the best of the five episodes on the disc (Breaking Up is Hard to Do)!

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Though technically impressed with past volumes of the show (including Easy As 1, 2, 3), the mastering on We Can Work it Out appears to have been cranked up a notch as judged by the more luminous, deeper colors and pristine sharpness levels. Only a brief instance of fuzziness during a flashback sequence in Pillow Fort, at the 57-minute mark, and grainy sing-a-long segments (in the supplemental section) are the only noticeable negatives, but minor quibbles in an otherwise stellar production.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Although listed as stereo, the English track is very narrow in terms of separation with little to nothing in the way of isolated effects. But aural fanciness is not what this show's about; if it gets the job done and you can understand what's being heard, why be quibbly?

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Kermit's Swamp Years, Stuart Little 2, Family Fun (spotlighting other title in Sony Pictures Family Entertainment)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Sing Alongs
  2. Play All Episodes Once/Play All Episodes Continuously
  3. Choose Your Adventure
Extras Review: By far the most notable extras on the disc are the four Sing Alongs (Doodli Doo, Wiggle Song, The Silly Song and The Wake Up Song), which incorporate burned-in graphics (no subtitle function needed on your part), so that you and your young'uns can duet to your hear'ts content. The Play All Episodes Once function avoids the hassle of having to choose an adventure every 10 minutes, but parents, use the Play All Episodes Continuously function at your own peril; you may never get your player back. Two trailers for family-friendly films (Kermit's Swamp Years, Stuart Little 2) and a peek at Sony produced/distributed animated offerings wind things up.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

As two famous English folk singers once wrote, "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend." Dragon Tales: We Can Work it Out offers five charming, well written cartoons that emphasize the theme of compromise in a fashion that children and parents will find very enlightening and entertaining.


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