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Case Number 05191: Small Claims Court

Buy I Spy: A Rockin' Bronco And Other Stories at Amazon

I Spy: A Rockin' Bronco And Other Stories

HBO // 2003 // 120 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Packard (Retired) // September 16th, 2004

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All Rise...

Judge David Packard once spied a rockin' bronco... it was in a country-western dive bar and he'd had too many Pabst Blue Ribbons. Let's just say that Dave avoids rockin' broncos now.

The Charge

I spy! You spy! Let's all play I SPY!

The Case

If you're unfamiliar with the I SPY television series, see my review for I SPY: A Thing That Flings and Other Stories (linked in the sidebar) for background information. Ever-spry Spyler and his faithful dog, CeCe, are back in another compilation of episodes from the I SPY cable television series. This particular title, I SPY: A Rockin' Bronco and Other Stories, features three episodes plus one bonus episode:

• "A Rockin' Bronco" and "A Wish for a Fish"
In "A Rockin' Bronco," Spyler and CeCe put on a rodeo for all the little "buckaroos and buckarettes." Instead of nutty rodeo clowns, the duo makes a new friend in the form of a horse named—wait for it—"Rodeo." No low-budget stop-motion characters were gored, trampled, or otherwise harmed in the making of this segment. In "A Wish for a Fish," Spyler and CeCe build a boat and then set out to fish for a new buddy. They'll first need to find the items necessary to haul in their new finned friend, aptly named "Fishy-Fish," from the blue construction paper waters.
Grade: A-

• "A Bird I Heard" and "A Super Silly Pizza"
An inconsiderate crow disturbs the slumber of Spyler and CeCe in "A Bird I Heard." Because a single, well-placed shot from a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 shot range model air rifle would solve the problem and make this segment run a tad short, the duo heads out to find things with which to construct a less lethal alternative—a scarecrow. This segment ends on a strange note: The scarecrow, with its shiny fittings, actually attracts more crows, leading Spyler and CeCe to simply return to bed with homemade cotton earmuffs. All that spying and jingle-warbling was for nothing? No effort to build a better model (perhaps one made of nifty, morphing liquid metal)? Red Ryder, indeed. In "A Super Silly Pizza," Spyler and CeCe play "restaurant" and set out to collect wacky items to make one very twisted and very inedible pizza. The tune to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is butchered several times as the duo repeatedly prove my personal point that you should always refrain from trying to rhyme a word with "pizza."
Grade: B

• "A Truck Out of Luck" and "A Kite in Flight"
In "A Truck Out of Luck," the happy red dump truck, Wheeler, finds himself stuck in a hole on the beach. Apparently refusing to put those monster truck tires to good use, Spyler and CeCe quest to find the stuff needed to set Wheeler free. Rollicking games of "Freeze" should get your little one off the couch and moving in this one. In "A Kite in Flight," Spyler and CeCe need to find something to play with (hint for those who can't stand the suspense: the answer's in the segment title) that won't blow away on this particularly blustery day. I'm now having to tell my son that, no, he will not fly away when he uses his umbrella on a rainy day (or at least, it's doubtful he'll gain enough altitude to coast over a mountain inhabited by a polar bear).
Grade: A-

• Bonus Episode: "A Campfire Night Light" and "Freewheelin' Fun"
Intrepid explorers Spyler and CeCe seek out camping gear for a night under the stars in "A Campfire Night Light." Thankfully, a friendly monkey and a banana take the place of Jason, his machete, and a slew of tacky murders.

What happens when you mix monster trucks, a dash of The Fast and the Furious, and a heaping helping of Spyler and CeCe? You get "Freewheelin' Fun," a segment in which the pipe-cleanered one and his trusty canine assist Wheeler and the Mumble Monster in setting up the First Annual Monster Truck Jamboree. Lots of kinetic movement in this one; I suggest keeping a few Hot Wheels handy for some play-along fun.
Grade: A

The "A Message for Parents" featurette is the same worthless piece of self-promoting fluff that appears on I SPY: A Thing That Flings and Other Stories. The language selection menu option makes a better extra than this.

As usual, don't expect a reference level of audio and video. The sound is presented in a crisp Dolby Digital 2.0 format, and the video is more consistent than the presentation on I SPY: A Thing That Flings and Other Stories. Both audio and video are more than acceptable for a title of this genre.

If you're thinking of picking up an I SPY DVD, this title is an excellent choice. For the same suggested retail price as I SPY: A Thing That Flings and Other Stories, you get a bonus episode featuring two additional segments and better overall video quality to boot. The court hereby finds I SPY: A Rockin' Bronco and Other Stories not guilty and commends it for offering two hours of solid, object-spying fun.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Interactive

Distinguishing Marks

• "A Message for Parents" featurette
• I SPY Junior: "Pattern Place" DVD-ROM game

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