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Case Number 09938: Small Claims Court

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Man Who Walked Between The Towers...And More Inspiring Tales

Scholastic Video // 2006 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 31st, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson used to be a tightrope-walker in a traveling Midwestern carnival, long before his unfortunate run-in with the Bisonboy.

The Charge

…and other tales of felonies—er, true-life inspiration.

The Case

Okey-dokey children, time for another batch of Scholastic storytelling! These offerings bring together a sampling of Scholastic's vast library of storybook-to-pan-and-scan translations, and are often tied together with a common theme. This time out, it's all about the inspiration, as the spotlighted stories deal with real-life folks who did a bunch of important stuff.

• "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers"
By Mordecai Gerstein
Narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal

Here we learn of a guy named Phillipe Petit, a street performer in New York City in the early '70s, who got it into his head to tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers. His plan was of course rejected by the authorities, but through subterfuge, he opted to sneak into the buildings and pull off his stunt. With the help of some accomplices, he succeeds. But when he's dragged in front of a judge for trespassing this could be the end of Petit's career. Unless of course, you're dealing with a bleeding heart waif of a judge, who will instead sentence criminals to perform tricks in the park for children.

• "Snowflake Bentley"
By Jaqueline Briggs Martin
Narrated by Sean Astin

So there was man named Willie Bentley, who grew up fascinated by snowflakes. Yep, snowflakes. When all of his friends were running around throwing slush-balls at each other and constructing lewd, anatomically correct snowmen, he was cloistered in the barn looking at snowflakes through a microscope. He would go on to become the premiere authority on snow crystals, while those other kids probably just grew up and went to college and had sex.

• "Miss Rumphius"
By Barbara Cooney
Narrated by Claire Danes

Young Alice always had dreams of traveling the world and seeing the sights. And as she grew older, she acted on those wishes, globe-trotting and jet-setting and living it up. Eventually she settled by the sea, and in her bored idleness, decided to plant flowers all around town, thus bringing beauty to everyone. An inspirational tale for florists.

• "The Pot that Juan Built"
By Nancy Andrews-Goebel
Narrated by Alfred Molina

This is the story of Juan Quezada, a famous potter from Mexico, who would go on to invigorate everyone with his incredible craftsmanship and wild creativity. Ceramic wizardry ensues.

Two bonus stories are less stories and more supplemental features to the main features. "Snowflake Bentley: His Legacy" is a two-minute add-on, going a little deeper into the wacky snowflakeologist's life and "About Juan Quezada" lays down some more info on the potter.

Overall, this disc is boilerplate Scholastic fare, weaving still images culled from the source material with some rudimentary animation and bit of live action. If you like this kind of entertainment for the kiddies, then you should be satisfied by the latest release. That tightrope walker story though, is less inspiring to this judge, and more felonious.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Stories
• Spanish Version of "Miss Rumphius"
• Read Along
• Previews


• Official Site

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