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Paramount Studios presents
Springtime for Max & Ruby (2005)

"It's Easter Morning, Max! I hope the Easter Bunny came."
- Ruby

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: March 01, 2005

Stars: Julie Lemieux, Billy Rosenberg, Katie Griffin
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:34m:52s
Release Date: March 01, 2005
UPC: 097368865044
Genre: family

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

DVD Review

With the Easter holiday rapidly approaching, it's time for studios to put their spring-themed DVD titles on the shelves. Paramount is one of the first to do this with the release of Springtime for Max & Ruby. This is a collection of six episodes (along with six Bonus Episodes) of the Max & Ruby show, which aired on Nickelodeon from September 2002 to February 2003, a very short run, indeed. The show hasn't been officially cancelled, but is currently on hiatus, with no new episodes slated to air any time soon.

Max & Ruby is a wonderful show, geared towards kids, ages one to around six or so. Max is a preschool-aged bunny living with his seven-year-old sister Ruby. This duo goes about life in a way that teaches kids how to overcome the odds that are against them at such a young age. They also must deal with the inherent differences that exist between a seven-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy. Even though Max & Ruby are bunnies, they have plenty of human qualities, making this show a great addition to any kids viewing list.

The much younger viewers will simply enjoy the animated characters and their fun little adventures, but there are some truly valuable lessons to be had for the "older" kids. Aside from the aforementioned core lesson, the wonderful way that Max & Ruby interact with each other, despite their age difference is a priceless learning tool, especially for parents who have kids that are a few years apart in age.

The animation style is definitely not up to par with other, higher-budgeted shows that kids watch these days, but there are enough bright colors to capture the attention of the youngsters. Those looking for Pixar caliber animation will be greatly disappointed, but don't let that turn you off from this wonderful show.

Springtime for Max & Ruby as a DVD makes a perfect addition to any kid's Easter basket. While most of the episodes aren't Easter or even spring-themed, the inclusion of Max's Chocolate Chicken gives the disc enough of an Easter theme to recommend it for the holiday. The audio and video are pretty standard, and the bonus episodes are the only extras that are on board, but this is a great, underrated kid's show that deserves another chance at a successful TV run.

Springtime for Max & Ruby features the following episodes:

Max's Chocolate Chicken: Max and Ruby try and win the chocolate chicken by finding the most Easter eggs.
Ruby's Beauty Shop: When Louise and Ruby are playing beauty shop, they decide that Max will be their first customer.
Max Drives Away: Max has disappeared in his red car, and it's up to Ruby to use her detective skills to find him.
Camp Out: Ruby decides to camp outside, and Max wants to join her, although not without some of his toys.
Ruby's Clubhouse: Max has a hard time leaving Ruby and Louise alone when they are playing in their private clubhouse.
Max's Picnic: While Ruby and Louise are bird watching, Max can't take his eyes off of the cupcake in their picnic basket.

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


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: This is pretty much bargain basement animation, as far as attention to detail goes, but the color scheme is quite impressive. Everything is bright and easy on the eyes, but the characters move rather sloppily, sometimes not even keeping in tune with the background images, which can be distracting to parents. However, kids won't care as long as Max or Ruby are on the screen in all of their colorful glory. Fortunately, there isn't any grain or other print flaws to bog the overall presentation down.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is basic Dolby Digital 2.0, and this is as basic a presentation as you'll find for an animated, kids' TV show. Everything stays up front, with a total of zero bass presence, but depth is about as good as can be expected. The audio never has a chance to open up, but the dialogue remains crisp and distinct throughout, and is never overwhelmed by the cheery music or other sound effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 2 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Weebles, Candy Land, Nick Jr. Baby Curious Buddies, Blue's Clues: Blue Talks
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Bonus Episodes: The following episodes are also included on this DVD; Ruby's Merit Badge, Max's Apple, Quiet, Max!, Max Misses the Bus, Max's Wormcake, and Max's Rainy Day.
Extras Review: The extras are rather light, but there are six bonus episodes of Max & Ruby, which is the same number of episodes that are actually featured on this DVD. The only other extras are previews for other Paramount Home Video kid-oriented DVDs.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

The uninitiated owe it to themselves and their kids to give Springtime for Max & Ruby a spin. Hopefully, this DVD's success will spur Nickelodeon to resurrect the show on TV.


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