Paramount // 2005 // 149 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 15th, 2006
Nick Jr.'s digital sampler, round three.
Nick's keeping the tap open, offering this third entry into its "favorites" series, featuring six episodes from its biggest shows: Dora the Explorer, LazyTown, The Backyardigans, Blue's Clues, Little Bill, and Max and Ruby.
* Dora the Explorer
Dora and her cousin Diego -- the esteemed animal tracker -- take off on a wild and woolly adventure to rescue Baby Jaguar. Along the way, our intrepid team of adventurers will require your help to circumvent the different obstacles lying in wait. As an installment in the ludicrously popular interactive cartoon, this episode is everything budding Doraphiles (not officially-sanctioned Nick Jr. terminology) have grown accustomed to: simple puzzles, games, and questions, answered by eerie disembodied toddler voices.
* The Backyardigans
"Race to the Tower of Power"
The five dancing, singing, imagination-fueled animal-like life forms are back for another musical adventure. This time, the focus is on super heroes and super villains, as Pablo and Tyrone play the parts of the latter, and Uniqua and Austin the former. With salsa driving the song-and-dance routines, the friends race to the fabled Tower of Power, where they will eventually learn being a super villain blows, and all four opt for the do-gooder route.
These frickin' Backyardigans grow on me every time I watch one of their colorful, lively shows. The music is catchy and the computer animation is attractive, and it's all bolstered by appropriately simple and morally sound little narratives. Another solid little show here.
* Blue's Clues
"Joe's Surprise Party"
Nick Jr.'s other interactive hit, this episode of the long-running puzzle-solver finds Blue in cahoots with some talking animals to throw a major-league birthday shindig for his bizarre owner Joe. As Joe is preoccupied, the game is on, and the paw-prints still need to be found.
Yeah, LazyTown, my second-favorite Nick Jr. show. This live-action pastel-infused sugar speedball of a fitness/cautionary tale, pits high-flying, mustache-having Sportacus, the resident superhero of LazyTown, and his band of oddball puppets and pink-clad Stephanie against the sinister plans of Robbie Rotten. Well, actually, Robbie is not so much sinister as he is mildly retarded.
This particular show has Robbie creating a nightmarish soccer machine, a robot armed with gangly legs that presumably help him kick lots of balls. Proving too much for Sportacus and the others to defeat, they desperately plead with Pixel, who's addicted to video games, to get off her butt and help.
* Little Bill
"Same Moon, Same Sun, Same Star/All Together Now"
This Bill Cosby-produced cartoon details the exploits of "Little Bill" as he negotiates the twists and turns of life as a cute kid. Two stories comprise this episode. In the first, Little Bill copes with the departure of Mrs. Shapiro, his beloved neighbor. In the other, he oddly decides to run away, but is pleased to discover his family loves him so much they're willing to go anywhere with him. How nice.
* Max & Ruby
"Ruby's Pajama Party/Baby Max/Bunny Scout Brownies"
Max and Ruby, sibling rabbits, star in these three mini-episodes. Max, the younger of the two, learns much from his big sister and, respectively, he learns a) what a slumber party with talking pre-adolescent female rabbits is like, b) the humiliation of being dressed as a baby for his sister to doll up, and c) how to sell brownies to strangers.
All in all, another decent selection of Nick's heavy-hitters.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 149 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Nick Jr.