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Scholastic Video presents
Curious George Rides a Bike...and more tales of mischief (1980-89)

"George was very curious. He wouldn't eat a bugle—or would he?"
- From the title story, as George tries to feed his horn to an ostrich

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: July 21, 2004

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:33m:17s
Release Date: June 29, 2004
UPC: 767685962039
Genre: animation

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

DVD Review

It might have killed the cat (no offense, Intrigo), but it's good for the monkey, and for us—curiosity is what it's all about on this DVD from Scholastic, offering three sly, winning stories sure to appeal to the little devils in all of us.

In the title story (10m:16s), the Man in the Yellow Hat commemorates his third anniversary with Curious George by buying the monkey a spanking new bicycle. Alas, George quickly forgoes his paper route, and is up to no good making paper boats instead, and even signing on for a stint with the circus. It's a tale typical of the H.A. Rey books, so beloved by generations of children.

Next, a little boy named Norvin discovers that he bears an uncanny similarity to The Great White Man-Eating Shark (09m:31s), and a fake dorsal fin is all he needs to terrorize the good people of Caramel Cove, allowing him to swim on his own. Norvin is a pretty nasty little fellow, but this story, based on the book by Margaret Mahy, will more than do until your kids start quoting back to you: "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Finally, a little girl matches wits with one of the most clever animals, in Flossie and the Fox (13m:30s). Flossie is a sweet little girl, who, to protect the eggs given to her by her grandmother, vexes the fox by refusing to believe that he is in fact a fox—just who the sly one is will no doubt amuse your children. One caveat, though—the Deep South African-American dialect teeters on that line between vernacular and parody ("How do a fox look?" "Chile, a fox be just a fox"), that you'll want to actively discourage your kids from imitating.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The years have given some of this animation a ragged look, but the transfer to DVD is done in a perfunctory manner.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: It's all audible, though with a lot of hiss and buzz.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


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. two bonus stories (see below)
  2. the title story dubbed into Spanish
Extras Review: Two more stories score just as highly on the clever scale. In the first, The Happy Lion (06m:47s) lives merrily in a French zoo, though the locals, who are fond of him, are made a whole lot less happy when the lion decides to take a stroll through town. Then, we bipeds get a glimpse of what our pets are up to when we're out of the house, as we learn about Cat and Canary (05m:50s), in which the latter saves the former, who has floated on a kite into the Manhattan skyline, waging battle with the pylons on the Chrysler Building.

As with the other Scholastic DVDs, the trailer on this one is for their whole series; English-language subtitles are available under the Read Along option; and here you'll also find the title story dubbed into Spanish: Jorge, el monito ciclista.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

More cleverness, Scholastic style, in a set of stories that will flatter kids' intelligence as they entertain.


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