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Scholastic Video presents
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (1993-1999)

"Does a dinosaur stomp his feet on the floor and shout, 'I want to hear one book more'?"
- Jane Yolen

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: January 14, 2005

Stars: Jane Yolen, Laura Dern, Maureen Anderman, Crystal Taliefero
Other Stars: Trish Jones, Mary Beth Hurt
Director: Maciek Albrecht, Paul R. Gagne, Ray Messecar, Melissa Reilly, Daniel Ivanick, Virginia Wilkos, Gene Deitch

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 00h:29m:50s
Release Date: September 28, 2004
UPC: 767685963630
Genre: animation


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

DVD Review

This disc from Scholastic collects four favorite rhyming storybooks, mostly in animated form. The four may be watched one by one, in "play all" mode. The title book is a charming look at bedtime behavior, read by the author, Jane Yolen. Though the animation is somewhat limited, it nonetheless captures the detailed and humorous character of Mark Teague's illustrations.

In a Small, Small Pond, narrated by Laura Dern, takes a look at the fish, frogs, geese, and herons that inhabit a little pond, in summer and winter. Zin! Zin! Zin! The Violin introduces the members of the orchestra, with their various characteristics. There's also a counting aspect and an introduction to the concept of trio, quartet and larger ensembles. It has, however, almost no animation, the movement being derived 99% from panning across the illustrations. Marvin Hamlisch is given prominent credit for the music, but frankly it's nothing special.

The final piece, All the Colors of the Earth, looks at the differences among us and points out the similarities and the unifying features between all children and the animals and plants of the Earth itself. A lengthy sing-along feature is included with this short, which gets a bit repetitive. Despite the important message, this is probably the least likely of the four to hold children's interest. Despite a 59-minute running time claimed on the keepcase, these four books total only about half that; even counting the bonus stories it's still not quite up to 59 minutes, making for a rather abbreviated disc. The low Substance grade reflects that brevity of content.

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 full-frame picture is generally quite attractive, with vivid colors and deep blacks that will hold small children's eyes. Pans and movement have a fair amount of aliasing and artifacting, however, which shouldn't be apparent on a disc with this little content. A much higher bitrate would have helped a good deal; this disc hovers right around a mediocre 5 Mbps.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround audio track is clean and crisp, with modest surround effects that aren't flashy or distracting. The dinosaur stomps have a little oomph to them but not enough to be frightening.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Three bonus stories
Extras Review: The four main programs have a "read-along" feature which is, in fact, just English subtitling. They don't, however, stay up on the screen long enough to be of much use to a beginning reader. More important are three bonus stories, all of which are highly charming and worthy of consideration. Joey Runs Away features the misadventures of a young kangaroo who would prefer to run away rather than clean his room (i.e., his mother's pouch). It's wryly amusing and there's a good deal of unexpected humor. A Weekend with Wendell tells the story of a disastrous visit from the badly behaved Wendell and how his friend Sophie tried to cope. Finally, Tomi Ungerer's Moon Man tells of how the Man in the Moon decided to come to Earth to dance, but things didn't quite turn out as he expected. These make very worthy companions to the main stories and increase the entertainment value of the disc. There isn't a Play All function just for these bonus stories, but they will play in succession after the main films when their "play all" is engaged.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Some quality storybooks are brought to life to varying degrees, with a gentle feeling appropriate for near bedtime. It's colorful, but a bit more attention could have been paid to the transfer. The bonus stories are even more fun than some of the featured ones.

 


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