Sony // 2008 // 69 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // October 11th, 2009
Join Mr. Tickle and all his friends!
I grew up on the "Mr. Men" series of books created by Roger Hargreaves. Mr. Small, Mr. Nosey, Mr. Rush, Mr. Bump, and Mr. Topsy-Turvy were among my favourites. The fact that the characters looked like their personality (e.g., Mr. Small was small; Mr. Nosey had a big nose), the colors bright, the illustrations simply, and the stories silly made the entire series great fun. In fact, I think "Mr. Men" played a strong a role in shaping my sense of humor, which often veers off into what many family members and friends consider to be the absurd.
Tragically, Mr. Hargreaves died of a stroke in 1988, preventing him from creating new characters and stories, although his son, Adam, continued the series. The Mr. Men series still endures both in print and in cartoon form today. Mr Tickle Presents: Tickle Time Around Town features six episodes from The Mr. Men Show cartoon series: "Parade," "Sightseeing," "Movies," "Mall," "Farm," and "Dillydale Day." "Parade" is about a parade, "Sightseeing" is about sightseeing, "Movies" is about...well, you get the picture.
In each episode the characters inhabiting the Mr. Men and Little Miss community act out their personalities in a variety of situations related to the episode title. The segments are much more frenetic and less focussed than the original short booklets, but for the most part retain the artistic simplicity, silliness, and charm. My lone substantial complaint is that some characters have been inexplicably changed, and not for the better. For example, Mr. Nosey has lost his big nose and is now just an overweight, bean-shaped creature. Similarly, Mr. Lazy has been transformed from an overweight, pink, bean-shaped fellow into a cap and sandaled, green, beach bum character. In my opinion, the original Hargreaves drawings better captured the essence of these Mr. Men.
The image is good. The simple, brightly colored world of Dillydale and its population is presented without problems. The audio is a simple stereo track, but nothing more is required. All dialogue, songs, and sound effects come through clearly.
The unmemorable extras are comprised of a couple of clips of Mr. Tickle ("Meet Mr. Tickle"), a counting exercise ("Find Mr. Tickle"), instructions on how to draw the character ("How to Draw Mr. Tickle), and a music video ("Dance, Dance, Dance!). Also, a storybook, "A Job For Mr. Tickle," is included with the DVD.
Mr Tickle Presents: Tickle Time Around Town is solid entertainment for young kids. Parents with fond memories of the original books will likely enjoy it for nostalgic, if not entertainment, value. Of course, the best course of action is to pick up copies of the storybooks and read to your kids rather sit them in front of the television.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated