Terrifying! Horrific! Nightmarish! And no, Judge Patrick Naugle isn't reassured by your pointing out that this is a TV show for preschoolers.
"I'm scared / You're scared / Let's all be scared together."
I have reviewed over 800 DVDs for DVD Verdict. I have sat through a few great movies, a lot of good ones, tons of bad ones, and a fair amount of complete stinkers. But I have never sat through anything like Boohbah: Hot Dog.
Listen, I know that kids like weird stuff. Heck, I like weird stuff. But what in the name of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood is this crap? Is this really what kids like today? Boohbah: Hot Dog scared me, and I don't scare easily. If you put me in a room and made me watch The Exorcist, then Boohbah: Hot Dog, my shorts would stay clean for the first two hours, then soil during the last one. Why? Because the five colorful characters in Boohbah: Hot Dog are the stuff nightmares are made of.
Just what are the Boohbah people/animals/creatures/aliens? I have no idea what they're supposed to be. They look like pear-shaped aliens devoid of any neck muscles. You never see their faces, only their eyes…dear God, all you see are their eyes! Do you have any idea how creepy it is to only see their eyes? I wonder if the people who came up with these things knew how scary it is when you can only see something's eyes. Each of the Boohbahs is a different color. All of their bodies are shaped like Roseanne Barr on her worst weight month. Their eyebrows light up and their eyes shift back and forth in a way that made my blood curdle.
There are three episodes on this disc, each one with a minimum of language. Most of the segments are done with inane song and dance numbers, or through odd pantomime. At one point, two elderly people eat a giant hot dog in a field. By the end of their feast, they are covered with red ketchup. I cannot adequately describe how weird this whole segment ended up being. In another, various characters (with names like "Mr. Man" and "Brother and Sister") play musical instruments on a beach…and they play them very poorly.
The three Boohbah episodes included here, if you dare, are:
• "Hot Dog"
• "Musical Instruments"
• "Woolly Sweater"
And then there are the Boohbah dance numbers, which appear to have been pulled straight out of one of Salvador Dali's darkest paintings. The Boohbah arrive from—and, by the end, descend into—cocoon-like pods that make the whole thing seem like Invasion of the Body Snatchers on crack.
Maybe your kids like this stuff. I don't know. All I know is that I watched each episode with my mouth slung open, unable to comprehend what was going on in front of me. What are the Boohbah? What are they supposed to be doing? Why are they dancing? And those eyes…oh, those evil, all-knowing eyes.
Boohbah: Hot Dog is presented, inexplicably, in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Great…out of all the good movies and TV shows out there in crappy full frame, this is what gets a widescreen transfer. Well, the good news is that overall the picture is in great shape. The colors (oh, those swirling, odd colors) are all bright and clear. And that's all I have to say about this transfer.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English. There isn't much to say about this soundtrack—it's front-heavy, which is good news, since if it was 5.1 and that dang music had been pumped through all of the speakers…well, it would have driven me to the nuthouse. Also included are English subtitles.
The extra features on Boohbah: Hot Dog include a "Look What I Can Do" dance video, a special message from creator Anne Wood to parents, and a preview of what's new on DVD from PBS Home Video.
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Scales of Justice
• Music Video: "Look What I Can Do"
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