Our review of Harry The Dirty Dog... And Other Playful Puppy Stories, published October 30th, 2008, is also available.
Beloved stories come alive in a celebration of friendship, learning, and growing up.
Over the years, a treasure trove of famed children's stories have been brought to film in animated or live action form. While most of the attention has been focused on big budget adaptations like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or The Cat in the Hat, these smaller short films have languished in relative obscurity. New Video has collected many of these wonderful shorts and released them on 11 DVDs under the umbrella of the Scholastic Video Collection.
Harry the Dirty Dog and More Terrific Tails is a trifecta of favorite childhood puppy stories. Adapted from their respective source material in very different styles, each illustrates the sense of joy and wonder these canine companions bring to our lives.
Harry the Dirty Dog (9 min, 1997)
Officer Buckle and Gloria (12 min, 1997)
Angus and the Ducks (11 min, 1997)
Presented in 1.33:1 full frame format, the transfers here are far from pristine. While Angus is cleanest print in the bunch, the remaining stories, especially those found in the bonus features, suffer greatly from dirt, grain, and color fade. New Video must have found these masters sitting open in someone's basement or attic. The Dolby 2.0 audio is satisfactory, although less so on the bonus stories, as one might expect. However, the music of Ernest Troost (Harry, Buckle) and Harry Manfredini (Angus) is the perfect complement to these engaging little films.
The bonus materials included here feature three additional stories, all from the late 1970s and early '80s…
The Beast of Monsieur Racine (9 min, 1974)
14 Rats and a Rat-Catcher (10 min, 1982)
John Brown, Rose, and the Midnight Cat (7 min, 1984)
The remaining bonus materials include a read-along feature (nothing more than English subtitles) and a studio trailer.
Credit New Video for bringing something more than trite eye candy to the children's video market. If your kids are dog lovers or fans of the original books, they will get a kick out of the animated adaptations on this disc. For $14.95, it's a fair investment, especially if the wind up watching it as often as Finding Nemo. This court is adjourned.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scholastic Video
• Bonus Stories: "The Beast of Monsieur Racine," "14 Rats and a Rat Catcher," "John Brown, Rose, and the Midnight Cat"
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