New Video // 1988 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Corupe (Retired) // April 13th, 2006
Raggedy Ann in pixels!
This volume, a followup to The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy: The Mabbit Adventure and Other Exciting Tales continues the adventures of Johnny Gruelle's lovable ragdoll Raggedy Ann. So what's a Pixling, and why would it entail an adventure? Why, it's a baby who is the rightful heir to the Pixleyland throne, of course! This DVD volume presents three original episodes of the show:
* "The Pixling Adventure"
The Raggedys find an abandoned baby they learn is actually a lost prince. They must take him to the Pixley castle before the evil Count Gerich usurps his place. This episode features the annoying elf tyrant Gerich as the main villain instead of Cracklin, and it suffers greatly because of it. Coupled with the Pixley prince's constant crying, this was the only episode that became flat out annoying by the end.
* "The Beastly Ghost Adventure"
Here's an inventive little story that's easily the best episode on either Raggedy Ann & Andy disc. This time, a scary story told by Marcella is brought to life when the Beastly Ghost shows up and wreaks havoc with the toys. It's easily one of the most imaginative episodes, as the ghost explodes in bursts of slime, terrorizes the toys for their magic whistle and generally makes life miserable. Solid, creative entertainment for preschoolers. 9/10
* "The Ransom of the Sunny Bunny Adventure"
In the final episode on this disc, Cracklin rabbit-nabs Sunny Bunny, forcing Raggedy Ann and Andy to rescue him in this entirely routine adventure. It's Cracklin who gets most of the screen time this go-around as he squabbles with his nemesis, an evil witch, who he is facing in an equally evil cook-off. Move along folks, nothing to see here. 7/10
The plots in The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Mabbit Adventure and Other Exciting Tales may be appropriately simplistic for their young audience, but for a kid's show, there's a whole lot of kidnapping. In fact, almost all the shows on both of these sets revolve around the titular toys being nabbed, imprisoned and otherwise waylaid. I suppose younger kids might not notice the blatant similarities in plots, but adults will soon come to realize that many of the show's plots offer only slight variations on a theme.
With simple character drawings and even simpler backgrounds, the animation is distinctly average, but it does feature some pretty good voice work that helps overcome the limited animation techniques and give the show a little personality. The only real problem with the quality of the show is the terrible synthesizer soundtrack, an annoying twinkling that the show's producers felt had to run in the background of pretty much every scene.
Like its simultaneously-released counterpart, The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Mabbit Adventure and Other Exciting Tales, the quality of the transfer on this New Video release is not very good, especially considering the fact that this show is not even twenty years old. Source and digital artifacts frequently mar the picture, and everything seems a little softer than it should probably be. The Dolby 2.0 stereo track is pretty standard for a cartoon of this vintage, a little flat, but perfectly adequate for the material at hand. The sole extra is pretty pathetic: "The History of Raggedy Ann & Andy" is a screen with three or four sentences of text detailing the origins of the iconic dolls.
The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Pixling Adventure and Other Exciting Tales, is perfectly appropriate for kids, but I'm not sure what the hook is for a modern audience. I can't imagine that anyone would feel nostalgic enough about the show to want to buy it and share it with their children. Raggedy Ann is not exactly in the public eye at the moment, so it's doubtful any young viewer would pick this over anything else currently available. Still, you could do worse.
Review content copyright © 2006 Paul Corupe; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: New Video
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* History of Raggedy Ann and Andy