Paramount // 2006 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 23rd, 2006
That'll do, pig.
Jakers tells the story of little 8-year-old piglet Piggley Winks and the adventures he gets in and the lessons he learns with his best pals Dannan and Ferny. The series is set in Ireland and the atmosphere is thick with everything Irish -- accents, clothes, food, scenery, all of it. Each show opens with Piggley in the present day, a grandfather now, corralling his active grandkids/pigs to tell them a story. Then it's transition time, and we're in the past with Piggley as a child, cavorting with his friends and primed to learn a valuable life lesson. There are four episodes on this disc, all focusing on the varying degrees of hot water Piggley lands himself in.
* "Pie Filling"
Mrs. Winks' apple pie is just too delicious to resist. After wolfing down one pie, Piggley, Ferny and Dannan let their appetite get the best of them, and, against strict orders from Piggley's mom, devour the second pie. Realizing the rules they broke, they scramble to gather ingredients and bake another pie, which, after a stream of mishaps and an encounter with an ornery goat, becomes a severe ordeal. The finished product is a disgusting combination of raw apples and flour -- that the kids have to eat anyway.
* "All Night Long"
Mr. Winks is going fishing and Piggley and his pals desperately want to go. But Piggley's dad has doubts about the kids' responsibility. Intent on proving their mettle, Piggley, Ferny and Dannan stay up all night doing chores and scrounging for live bait. But will they have the energy to enjoy the actual fishing?
* "Fir Not"
The kiddos go leprechaun chasing, pursing the slippery creature "Fir Darrigan." During their excitement, however, a window breaks and Piggley blames the accident on the leprechaun. Mr. and Mrs. Winks aren't buying it. And you know what that means: it's lesson time.
* "For Whom the Bell Trolls"
When Piggley and crew are pranked by a classmate, they concoct a scheme with Ferny's bad-ass bull-dad to exact revenge. It's all good-natured fun and no one dies.
Jakers is money, kids. It's a charming series that sports some pleasant animation and true feeling of whimsy and sharp writing. Morals are front and center and hard to miss, but it's a kids' show so the substance is needed. I particularly like the approach with the grandpa Piggley telling stories from his childhood. It gives it a unique, nostalgic splash. Basically, the show is top-shelf children's entertainment, and these episodes offer a nice cross-section. Definitely recommended to parents.
On the style side, a solid disc: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, a couple of games, some live-action storytellers doing their thing in "Piggley's Storyteller Playhouse" and an odd, but warm segment called "Meet the Grandparents," where a few random grandparents tells some of their own stories.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interactive Games
* "Piggley's Storyteller Playhouse"
* "Meet the Grandparents"
* Official Site