Judge Jim Thomas wishes subtitles would stop appearing at his feet as he talks. He keeps tripping over his own words.
The #1 Award-winning Children's DVD series
I'm pretty sure that about thirty years from now, maybe as e-books, maybe as iTunes, or maybe even as information beamed directly into our pineal glands—one way or another, Scholastic Books will be around in some form or another. I grew up with them, and now so are my kids—only they get DVDs as well as books.
This particular collection has four different discs:
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?…and more classic dinosaur
I Stink!…and more stories on wheels
Pete's a Pizza
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
The drill is pretty simple. The featured stories on each disc have optional read-along subtitles to help kids read. Each disc also has one or two "bonus" stories—extra stories that do not have the read-along feature, but which are still pretty good. The stories come from popular Scholastic titles both old and new. The Scholastic sets in general have a couple of things that make them stand out. To begin with, each story is done by a separate creative team, giving them their own special look—usually strongly influenced by the book's original artwork, the original music is usually pretty good, and they get some good people to read the stories, such as Andy Richter, Michael McKean, Chevy Chase, Anthony Edwards, T.R. Knight, and others. Finally, there's a good variety of styles here. Traditional animation dominates, but there's also a bit of live action, as well as one story, "The Mouse and the Motorcycle," that mixes in several formats.
There's something here for everyone. My boys like "I Stink," the truck-themed disc, which is fine by me; that disc includes "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," one of my favorite books as a child. If you were a Scholastic Books geek yourself, there's a good chance one of your favorites is here; you might even find a new one that you like. "Arnie the Doughnut," about a doughnut who is so excited when someone buys him from the bakery, but horrified when he discovers why he was bought, is so goofily charming that you can't help but smile. "Pete's a Pizza" is about mom and dad playing a game in which they make a pizza using their son. (Yeah, you probably flashed on the witch in "Hansel and Gretel"; trust me, OK?) They toss him in the air, put tomatoes (checkers, actually) on him, etc. Basically, it involves a lot of tickling, so it fits in just fine at our house.
Video is pretty good. Some of the live-action sequences show their age, but nothing too egregious. Audio is fine, clear, and well-synched with the onscreen text.
Not guilty. This is a wonderful set and a worthy addition to any young kids' DVD collection.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scholastic Video
• Bonus Stories
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