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Case Number 13182: Small Claims Court

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Jakers! Treasure Hunt On Raloo Farm

Paramount // 2008 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 12th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson has a soft spot for talking pigs. Except for Gordy. Gordy can bite him.

The Charge

Jakers!

The Case

Jakers! tells the story of a young pig from Ireland named Piggley, who gets into adventures with his pals Ferny and Dannan, a bull and a duck, respectively. Each tale is narrated by the Piggley of the future, a jovial old fart who tells stories of his childhood to his wide-eyed grandson.

This collection features four episodes:

"Treasure Hunt"
Restless and uninterested in doing his chores, Piggley and his pals scramble to find ways to waste time. But Piggley's dad has a trick up his sleeve: he puts together a treasure map and challenges the kids to an adventure. Jazzed about tracking down some loot, Piggley and his friends head outside and follow the map to glory. Unbeknownst to them, while they hunt for the treasure and complete the tasks the map says, they're—are you ready for this—actually doing their chores at the same time!

Lessons learned: sometimes chores can be fun and treats that are earned with hard work taste that much better.

"Our Dragon's Egg"
Piggley and pal are gallivanting around the barnyard one day and they come across an egg lying by itself. Their overactive imaginations kick in and they kids immediately think they've found a dragon's egg. They go out of their way to protect it, but are surprised to discover that what lies inside is a baby swan!

Lessons learned: no matter how much you love a wild animal, you need to let it go back into its ecosystem, where it belongs. Also, there's no such thing as dragons, idiot.

"Dannan Does a Jig"
Dannan the duck discovers she's not a very good dancer, and worries about her crappy performance in her dance class. She used to have a great time dancing, even though she sucked, but since she's become self-conscious of her skills the joy has been sucked out of her art form. Even with the help of her best friends, Dannan has a nervous breakdown, but it isn't until she hears from her Grandmother that she's proud of her, crappy dancing and all, that she realizes a very important lesson, which is --

-- if you always do your best, your friends and family will still love you, unless they're dysfunctional and stupid.

"Growing Pains"
Constantly pissing and moaning about his parents' rules and regulations, Piggley longs to be in charge. He gets his chance when a minor injury keeps his dad off his feet, heaping more responsibility on Piggley. Turns out, running a farmstead isn't as easy as it sounds, and following a minor flood and a mudslide, Piggley learns that it's not easy having responsibility.

Jakers! rocks, pure and simple. Occupying the top tier of children's animated entertainment, the series is all at once charming, funny, beautiful to look at and laden with the kinds of lessons you'd expect in a kiddie show. The dynamic with the grandfather telling stories of his youth works exceptionally well, giving the show a whimsical sentimentality that never feels contrived. The lessons are obvious, but not clumsily hammered in and the characters are cute without being annoying. Really, this is a near-perfect children's show and a series I would recommend to any parent.

Then again, maybe the Irish accents are clouding my sensibilities with delight.

Nah, it's good for real.

On top of that, the episodes look great on DVD. Transferred in a 1.85:1 anamorphic, the picture quality is sharp and colorful and does wonders for the superb CGI animation. Bonus materials include a selection of live-action storytelling, "grandparent" segments starring real-life grandparents, a read-along and previews.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 95

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• All Ages
• Animation
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Storytelling
• Grandparents Featurette
• Read Along








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