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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Little Einsteins: Rocket's Firebird Rescue (2007)

"Hey, that sounds like Rocket!"
- Annie (Natalia Wojcik)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: October 19, 2007

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

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:15m:21s
Release Date: August 21, 2007
UPC: 786936734898
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ A+AA- C+

DVD Review

A toddler's attention span is about as long as their fingers, so it's quite common for members of their demographic to have a new "favorite" cartoon every week. Some of these shows, however, exhibit a staying power that extends these short attention spans quite a bit. The still-relatively-new Disney series Little Einsteins is one such show. Along with providing a half-hour of fun for the kids, it also gives parents the best of both worlds, as the show also teaches, in great, yet easy-to-follow detail, the fine arts. Every episode focuses on both a piece of art, be it a sculpture, painting, etc., and a classical composer. Now this is what family entertainment should be all about.

Little Einsteins: Rocket's Firebird Rescue is Disney's latest DVD release, and it contains the titular main feature, as well as a "bonus episode." The feature is roughly twice the length of a standard episode, yet just as fun and educational. Rocket has met a new friend in flight, the amazing, yet mysterious Firebird. While Rocket loves having someone, or something, to fly with, the kids are amazed by the musical power she sprinkles throughout the sky. Firebird is then captured by an ogre, and it's up to Rocket, Leo (Jesse Schwartz), June (Erica Huang), Quincy (Aiden Pompey), and Annie (Natalie Wojcik) to head to Russia and free her.

In this full-length tale, both parents and kids will be glued to the screen with excitement. You'll see quite a few famous Russian cities and landmarks, including St. Petersburg, a Byzantine palace, and even frigid Siberia, complete with freshwater baby seals, and other unique animals. The music this time around comes from Igor Stravinsky, whose "Firebird" ballet is featured prominently throughout this adventure. Everything just feels bigger and grander than a typical episode, which is almost a must for a show that can just as easily be saved on a DVR as it can be collected on DVD.

The bonus episode, Rocket Soup, finds our adventurers trying to help Rocket, who's running low on energy after a full day of fun. They decide to make their own "Rocket Soup" with ingredients gathered from friends like Little Mouse, The Good Knight, and the Joey. With these ingredients at their disposal, the gang combines them to get Rocket back to his old self. A very fun episode, Rocket Soup is a nice compliment to the longer, preceding show, in that it keeps this disc Rocket-centric, while still granting plenty of time to each kid's favorite Einstein, whoever that may be.

It's nice to see "feature-length" installments of kids' shows, if only that it's a bit easier for parents to deal with the numerous repeat viewings that go with the territory. The longer length means that there's a better chance of catching something new during each screening. It also means more room for art lessons, and they do a heck of a job covering the wonders of Stravinsky in what is still a relatively short amount of time. Therein lies what's best about this series: there's no messing around with fluff and filler. We get non-stop art and entertainment every time out, with the writers and animators crafting breezy experiences that are true showcases for what preschool animation should always strive to be.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Presented in their original full-frame aspect ratios, these shows are right on par, if not better than they do on the Disney Channel. A bright, vivid color palette sparkles at all times, bringing quite a bit of depth and detail to each intricately animated character. This classic animation fits in quite well with the dynamics of the history lessons that each episode teaches.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
English, French, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is also in tune with the way the show sounds on television, although there's a bit more surround activity here. Some nice bass rumbles here and there, and the music sounds quite good, but the well-written, kid-friendly dialogue is always crystal clear and well-integrated into the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Jungle Book: 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition, My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas Movie, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, Einstein Pals, Little Einsteins: Race for Space, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt, Handy Manny
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Magic Mission - Alternate viewing experience with animated pop-up fun facts.
Extras Review: Aside from a collection of Disney DVD previews, the only extra feature is an alternate viewing mode called Magic Mission. When activated, a series of animated "Fun Facts" pop up throughout the program, teaching kids even more tidbits about history and art.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

In the midst of its second season, the instantly beloved Disney series Little Einsteins is back with another DVD, this time featuring the new movie, Rocket's Firebird Rescue. This elongated episode is exactly what the show's fans love on a daily basis, a wonderful blend of preschool studies and wall-to-wall, action-packed fun. Disney's disc gives us this new movie in wonderful audio and video presentations, and includes a bonus episode of the show, along with another fun extra feature.


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