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Scholastic Video presents
Corduroy...and more stories about friendship (2003)

"Here comes the cat!"
- Every mouse under the sun, in the story of the same name

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 23, 2004

Stars: Ryann Williams, Tucker Bliss
Director: Gary Templeton, Michael Sporn, Alexander Tatarsky, Igor Kovalev

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:33m:37s
Release Date: February 24, 2004
UPC: 767685955536
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+CB C+

DVD Review

Our pals at Scholastic are back, bringing us another DVD filled with stories of forging the bonds of friendship. Some may be familiar from your own childhood, and some may be new to you; but the warmth and friendliness of them are apparent, whatever your age.

In the title story (17:00), little Lisa sets her sights on a bear in the toy store at the mall; the little thing is missing a button, though, so Lisa's mother tells her to take a pass. This is a very determined bear, however, and after hours, tries a jailbreak of sorts. It's a pretty fair rendering of Don Freeman's book (one of the favorites from my own childhood, back in the Mesozoic era), but as rendered here it's not exactly timeless. Corduroy the Bear is on a shelf next to an A Team game, for instance; and the director likes to cut to the bear's P.O.V., in what are sort of creepy Corduroycam shots. It also features a very highbrow mall security guard, who listens to Vivaldi and reads The New York Times Book Review.

A friendship is born in Yo! Yes? (05m:43s), in which the cool kid has a basketball but no one to shoot hoops with, and a down-in-the-dumps little guy is lamenting the fact that he's got no one to hang out with. It's a match made in Scholastic heaven, of course, and the soft animation meshes just right with the nearly monosyllabic pronouncements from the two boys, and the lively, bouncy score.

Finally, one of Intrigo's relatives comes to torment a community of mice in Here Comes the Cat! (10m:54s), and the title of the story is also the only line of dialogue that's spoken. The interspecies rivals find common ground with dairy products; the lactose intolerant need not apply for a slot in this inventive, smart little story.

In all, they're perfect little bedtime treats. Pleasant dreams!

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

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: None of these look especially good, unfortunately, and the transfer print of Corduroy looks particularly beat up. But scratches and blotchiness probably won't detract from the storytelling for the target audience.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio tracks are fairly clean, though on Yo! Yes?, the soundtrack is turned up a bit too high.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. bonus story
Extras Review: The principal extra is a bonus story, which feels of a piece of the three you get to from the main menu. The Rainbabies (17m:49s) features a childless older couple, upon whom are visited twelve little infants, delivered by the rain, each the size of your thumb. It's more of a fairy tale than the other stories, which are anthropomorphic fantasies; this one has Bruno Bettelheim written all over it, and is a fine instance of the uses of enchantment.

The trailer is for the entire roster of Scholastic releases; and the English-language subtitles are under the Read Along option.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Usually, you'll want to get out of the house to spend some time with your friends. But if it's night time or a rainy day, these are sweet short stories, inculcating all the right values in our little people.

 


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