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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Little Einsteins: The Legend of the Golden Pyramid (2007)

"I'm Annie, and I'm in San Francisco, California playing with my best friends."
- Annie (Natalia Wojcik)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: March 23, 2007

Stars: Erica Huang, Aiden Pompey, Jesse Schwartz, Natalia Wojcik
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:12m:12s
Release Date: February 27, 2007
UPC: 786936715347
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ AAB+ C

DVD Review

My three-year-old daughter's top two favorite shows air regularly on the Disney Channel. One of these is the surprisingly brilliant Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but the other is arguably the most complete animated children's program ever, Little Einsteins. Chronicling the adventures of four youngsters and their spaceship, aptly named Rocket, this incredibly entertaining series (for both kids and adults) finds plenty of time to educate your little ones as well.

The series' newest DVD collection is titled The Legend of the Golden Pyramid, which also happens to be the title of the first episode. This journey finds our four musical explorers, Leo (Jesse Schwartz), June (Erica Huang), Quincy (Aiden Pompey), and Annie (Natalia Wojcik) traveling to the great pyramids in Egypt. Using Rocket as their guide, the kids teach us more about the pyramids than we could ever expect from a mere 20-minute program. Mix in another great classical music lesson, an intriguing mystery involving a golden harp and the Sphinx, and we get the latest and greatest adventure in the series to date.

The second episode, The Dragon Kite, centers on June's visit from a Little Dragon Kite that needs her help. She rallies the troops, fires up Rocket, and blasts off to China in a quest to find three Blue Dragon Kites, two Yellow Dragon Kites and one Orange Emperor Dragon Kite for the Dragon Kite Parade. Having this installment center on June is a real treat, as she's arguably the most engaging of the bunch. Her penchant for dance has led to dozens of memorable moments, including infectious twirling that my daughter loves to mimic. Preschoolers everywhere can't go wrong with June or any of the Einsteins as role models, which is saying a lot in today's entertainment world.

A third show is making its debut on this disc. Annie and the Little Toy Plane centers on the titular Einstein, who leads her friends to San Francisco to help a brave toy plane save a green helicopter. As always, we have a great time watching Annie and the others utilize Rocket to complete their mission, but we also get a rare chronicle of a US city. The Einsteins travel the four corners of the world throughout their series, and in a matter of a mere three episodes, we get a true feel for just how far these kids will go to complete a mission. Where most children's programming is confined to either someone's house or a fictional, magical world, this show opens young eyes to the huge scope of the world; a revelation that is usually reserved for grade school and beyond.

The true genius of this series is how they basically trick kids into becoming interested in classical music. I'd venture to say that the average parent isn't exactly blaring Bach or Beethoven in their car every day either, but, after becoming as addicted to this show as my daughter, my appreciation for symphonies has grown exponentially. The cultural teachings aren't limited to classical music or historical places, either, as we often get a look at a famous painting or sculpture as well. This is a series with endless potential, and its future looks bright, with more new episodes on the way and even a direct-to-DVD feature coming in the fall. So, for those new to the experience, jump on-board Rocket and get ready, because "We've got a mission!"

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Presented in the original full-frame aspect ratio, things look just as impressive, if not more so, than they do on the Disney Channel. The vast color palette sparkles, with bright, vivid hues adding character to everything on the screen. The animation isn't as flashy or precise as CGI, but the semi-old-school look is perfect for a show that relies on history, art, and classical music so much.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is also very similar to its television counterpart, but the surrounds seem to get more of a workout here. There's a bit more of a bass presence as well, and the music just sounds richer. The dialogue and music lyrics never falter, as they mesh beautifully with the rest of the mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Friendship Edition, Disney Princess: Enchanted Tales, Little Einsteins: Rocket's Firebird Rescue, Handy Manny
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Little Einsteins Storybook Mission: Where's Froggy's Family? - Interactive storybook
Extras Review: Aside from a collection of "Sneak Peeks," the only extra is Little Einsteins Storybook Mission: Where's Froggy's Family? This interactive storybook is a ton of fun for the little ones, teaching all of the basics of the Little Einsteins series, as well as how to use the DVD remote.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

The inventive minds at Disney have done it again with Little Einsteins: The Legend of the Golden Pyramid, proving that learning can be a DVD blast. The three episodes of this disc are among the series' best, and the little ones even get an interactive storybook to boot. The audio and video are up to the studio's high standards, as well, making this a heck of a good time for the whole family.

 


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