Lionsgate // 2006 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 28th, 2006
Putting the "fun" in "down funder." Wait, that doesn't make any sense.
Frank and Buster are the Koala Brothers, two dudes who take it upon themselves to patrol the Australian Outback in their plane. Whenever they spot someone in trouble, they immediately stop and lend a hand. These two are always busy because their hometown is made up of idiots. They're cute and loveable, sure, but idiots nonetheless. Their cumulative plights translate into busy days for the intrusive Koala Brothers as they try to right the wrongs of Archie the Crocodile, Mitzi the Possum, George the Turtle, Josie the Kangaroo, Sammy the Anteater and Penny the Penguin. This Lions Gate release brings you eight Koala Bears adventures (four and four bonuses), each running a bit shy of 10 minutes apiece.
* "George's Day Off"
George the mailman has a day off and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Frank and Buster try to help the soft spoken amphibian find a hobby. When repeated attempts fail, he discovers his love has been staring him in the face all along: collecting stamps!
* "Archie to the Rescue"
Archie is trying to be a hero, but his attempts at courage always end up in disaster. With the help of the KBs, he figures out his skill in athletics can come in hand in a pinch. Personally, I think the fact that he doesn't rampage through the village devouring every resident in sight is heroic enough.
* "Mitzi's Big Adventure"
Mitzi asserts herself as leader for a mountain expedition, but her zeal to boss people around clouds her judgment and the Brothers are called in to rescue the doomed party, thankfully before cannibalism sets in.
* "Lolly's Broken Bell"
Poor Lolly is facing a crisis. The bell on her ice cream truck is broken, leaving her without any business because no one can hear her. The Koala Brothers show up to fashion a new method of alert and everyone eats ice cream and is happy.
In addition to these installments, four extra episodes are included:
* "Ned Catches a Cold": The KBs' sidekick comes down with something, and learns the value of friendship and patience.
* "Josie Can Dance": Josie overcomes her poor self esteem to dominate the talent show.
* "Penny Comes for Help": Penny the gurgling penguin asks the Brothers to help her make a gift for Lolly.
* "Sammy and the Bee": Sammy's favorite bee, Bessie, is missing, and everyone pitches in to work as a team to find her.
I dig this show! It's aimed squarely at the really, really young, but the thing just overflows with charm. Part of the allure is the stop motion animation, a nice tactic that separates the show from its contemporaries. The characters are colorful and expressive, and the scenarios are well staged. Every episode has a blatant message, spelled out simply enough for even the pre-natal to grasp the moral. None of the characters were annoying and the titular leads are money, chillin' in their plane and helping people. The best part? Everyone has wicked awesome Australian accents! Recommended, mate!
The full frame transfer is clean and bright, just like it should be, and the 2.0 stereo mix is boilerplate. A couple of minimalist, but potentially amusing interactive games comprise the bonuses.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interactive Games