Judge Paul Pritchard presents a review of Charlie and Lola, lo-lo-lo-lo-Lola.
Our reviews of Charlie And Lola: My Little Town (published February 14th, 2007), Charlie And Lola: It Is Absolutely Completely Not Messy (published July 11th, 2007), and Charlie And Lola, Volumes 1 And 2 (published November 13th, 2006) are also available.
"You know, Charlie, I really do think I absolutely and extremely must have my own skates."
Based on the books of author Lauren Child, Charlie and Lola is a wonderful encapsulation of the joys of childhood, beautifully articulating a child's view of a world that is both confusing and full of wonder. In the absence of any adults, Charlie (the older of the two) acts as Lola's guide to understanding the big wide world, frequently putting his own interests aside for the benefit of his sister. In return, Lola is impatient, unreservedly curious, and prone to wild flights of imagination. Together, they represent one of the most relatable depictions of childhood on television; one that ensures Charlie and Lola is just as likely to delight adults as it is to entertain children. Though episodes will occasionally deal with more trite storylines, the show is not afraid to tackle the big issues. Indeed, anyone who has seen the episode "I Will Never Ever Never Forget You, Nibbles" will attest to how the show can deal with difficult subjects (in this case, the death of a pet mouse) with a level of skill and tenderness unparalleled in children's TV. Though the tales included on Charlie and Lola: I Really Really Need Actual Ice Skates never quite manage to reach the excellence of the aforementioned episode, they still stand head and shoulders above most children's entertainment.
Charlie and Lola: I Really Really Need Actual Ice Skates features the following episodes:
• "Help, I Really Mean It"
• "I Am Making A Craze"
• "I Can Train Your Dog"
• "It's Raining, It's Boring"
• "I Wish I Could Do That, And Also That, Too"
• "I Can Dance Like A Dancer"
• "I Am Extremely Boiling"
• "But Where Completely Are We"
• "I Really Really Need Actual Ice Skates"
Most episodes of Charlie and Lola teach a simple lesson, but whether it be the importance of earning trust, learning to be patient, or being able to forgive, not once is the show preachy or judgmental. Instead, Charlie and Lola simply reflects how children really are, and the resolutions to each conflict or disagreement that might occur are grounded in reality. Likewise, the dialogue, which is dominated by Lola's fractured English, is so natural it would be easy to believe it to have been improvised by children. Visually the show is a joy, with a collage style of animation employed to combine the simple, yet appealing characters with photographs, video footage, and other materials to bring Lola's active imagination to life.
No extras are included on the DVD, but you do get a colorful 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that is as sharp as a tack. The Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack ensures the catchy theme tune will be in your head for weeks.
A treat for the whole family, Charlie and Lola: I Really Really Need Actual Ice Skates comes highly recommended.
Absolutely, most definitely, not guilty.
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Studio: BBC Video
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