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Scholastic Video presents
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (2005)

"Why is baseball like a cake? Because they both depend on the batter!"
- Arnie the Elephant, in Uncle Elephant

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: March 07, 2006

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:32m:36s
Release Date: February 28, 2006
UPC: 767685974230
Genre: animation


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

DVD Review

Where's the love? Why, it's right here on this DVD. Our friends at Scholastic have assembled another winning collection of short films based on children's books, loosely yoked together around a common theme—here, it's all about family, and the stories are short and comforting, perfect for soothing little souls before nighty night.

Mia Farrow narrates the title story, based on a book by Rose Lewis and with illustrations by Jane Dyer—it's the story of how an unmarried American woman adopts a little Chinese girl, told by mother to daughter. It couldn't be sweeter, as the camera holds tight on Dyer's illustrations, starting in a Chinese orphanage, and ending with the little girl and her new family.

The narrator of the next tale is a little girl, the daughter of Russian immigrants—it's principally about her relationship with her grandmother, and the granddaughter and all the neighbors agree that we should give Three Cheers for Catherine the Great!. Grandma Catherine doesn't want any presents for her birthday this year; the lesson for her granddaughter is that it's not stuff that makes you happy, but rather friends and family. It's entirely counter to the messages about consumer culture with which our children are being constantly bombarded, and is very welcome, though I suspect that the lessons learned will go by the wayside come the holidays.

Finally, a little girl runs an in-house census of sorts in Five Creatures—that would be her, her parents, and their two cats. They're variously divided into groups—who drinks milk, who climbs trees, who's got orange hair, and so on. It's whimsical, and will be especially comforting to those whose counting skills at this early stage don't go beyond the fingers on one hand.

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 transfer is perfunctory at best—though these stories were produced relatively recently, there's no small amount of scratching and discoloration.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Clear, more or less, though with a good amount of static.

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: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. bonus story
Extras Review: English subtitles are provided under the Read Along option, and there's a trailer for the entire series of Scholastic DVD releases. But the most notable extra is a bonus story, Uncle Elephant, based on a book by Arnold Lobel. It concerns young Arnie the Elephant, who cannot stop cracking jokes, most of them painfully unfunny; perhaps it's because of his lack of sense of humor, but for whatever reason, Arnie's parents take a trip on a boat, and don't come back. In the meantime, he's looked after by his uncle, who saves the day with corny songs and jokes of his own, making him a sort of pachydermal Auntie Mame. The whole thing is a little creepy, really, including the stop-motion animation. Mom and Dad eventually return, but not until Arnie has worked out some of his abandonment issues.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Reassuring and sweet without being cloying or saccharine, these stories are sure to be favorites, especially at bedtime, for our youngest dOc readers.

 


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