BBC Video // 1987 // 30 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard // April 5th, 2012
Spot and his Grandparent go to the Carnival brings the half-hour TV series to DVD for a whole new generation of children to enjoy the adventures of the lovable pup, Spot.
In the episode "Spot and his Grandparents go to the Carnival," Spot is excited about going to the carnival, but first needs to help his grandparents with a few chores. As they finally begin their journey to the show, they encounter a few friends, and a band that needs some help getting to the carnival.
Considering The Adventures of Spot began airing in 1986, it seems odd this DVD is my first experience of the show -- especially since the books on which it's based are such a staple of children's literature. But with their simple hand-drawn style of animation, and faithfulness to the original texts, these stories translate beautifully to the small screen.
In truth, there's very little deviation between episodes, as Spot helps his grandparents with chores, and generally shows himself to be a good little pup. But the innocence of Spot and his assorted chums is such that only the curmudgeonliest of viewers will fail to be won over by its warmth. There's an effortless charm to these tales that will enrapture toddlers, who won't even think to question why a dog would be best friends with a monkey and hippopotamus, or how an apparently senile old dog is able to operate a fire truck.
The standard definition 1.33:1 full frame transfer is showing signs of age, with a little softness to the picture and less than vibrant colors. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix is flat, but offers clear dialogue. The two bonus episodes -- "Spot's Grandpa" and "Spot and his Grandma" -- have a runtime of five-minutes apiece, and focus on Spot's relationship with each of his grandparents.
My only gripe with Spot and his Grandparents go to the Carnival stems from a lack of content. Even with bonus episodes, there is only forty-minutes worth of animated fun to be had. The low price point goes some way towards offsetting this, as does the replay value it offers the little ones.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BBC Video
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Release Year: 1987
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Episodes
* IMDb: The Adventures of Spot