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Case Number 02634

Scholastic Video Collections

Harold And The Purple Crayon
2002 // 50 Minutes // Rated G
Miss Nelson Has A Field Day
2002 // 56 Minutes // Rated G
Pete's A Pizza
2002 // 56 Minutes // Rated G
Released by Scholastic Video
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // February 19th, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

Reading is fun, but DVD is funner!

Opening Statement

The books that we all loved as kids are back in a whole new way. Scholastic has put together three new DVDs that feature stories from some of the best loved children's books around. Pete's Pizza, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, and Harold and the Purple Crayon feature the original stories told with animation and voiceover work by Chevy Chase and John Lithgow, and music by Ernest V. Troost. All three discs are now available on DVD care of Scholastic DVD.

Facts of the Case

Here is a run down via the DVD case of what stories have been included on each disc:

Pete's Pizza DVD:
"Pete's a Pizza": When Pete is in a bad mood, his parents cheer him up by making a pizza with a very special ingredient: Pete!

"Doctor De Soto": In the Academy Award nominated "Dr. De Soto," Everyone's favorite mouse-dentist helps a fox with a sore tooth. The fox has a mouth watering scheme to eat him after the job is done. But Doctor De Soto has a plan of his own.

"The Amazing Bone": Pearl Befriends a talking bone she finds in the woods. hungry fox captures them and brings them to his home. How will they escape?

Harold and the Purple Crayon DVD:
"Harold and the Purple Crayon": Harold wants to take a walk in the moonlight, so he draws a moon with his purple crayon. Now he is on a fantastic voyage!

"A Picture for Harold's Room": Harold draws a picture of his room. Soon he's bigger than a mountain. Next he's smaller than a bird. How will he ever get home?

"Harold's Fairy Tale": With his purple crayon, Harold takes a trip through an enchanted garden where he meets a king, an invisible giant witch, and a fairy with one magic wish.

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day DVD:
"Miss Nelson Has a Field Day": The football team just can't win a game. The whole town is down in the dumps—until the notorious Viola Swamp whips the team into shape.

"Miss Nelson is Back": When Miss Nelson is away, the kids in Room 207 are up to no good. They can fool the principle, but no Viola Swamp. Now, the kids can't wait for Miss Nelson's return.

The Evidence

Isn't it funny how some stories and books can really bring back a flood of memories? I can vividly recall reading "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and the "Miss Nelson" stories when I was a little kid. From my minimal recollection, they were cute stories that I wanted to read over and over again. Then I grew out of those books and went on to a higher form of literature, such as Stephen King novels and Batman comics. Yes, I feel that I've come quite a long way since my frivolous, childish days.

For those with small children, these three discs will seem like a Godsend. Not only are they the same books in animation form, they also feature funny characters and strong moral backgrounds. Teamwork, tolerance, and caring are stressed in almost every short, and when it's not present, there's just a sheer amount of fun for the kiddies.

Of all the stories I enjoyed "Pete's a Pizza" the most (and not just because it's narrated by Chevy Chase, who's still funny, dang it!). Pete has a bad day and needs some cheering up. What's a parent to do? How about turn Pete into a scrumptious pizza! The cute story should provide parents with their own idea for a child's rainy day blues (disclaimer: parents, please do not attempt to actually bake your child in the oven. This will only bring about complications and the authorities). I was also entertained by the Miss Nelson stories, featuring the repulsive Viola Swamp—I ask you, is there a more aptly named character in all of literature? With her frizzy black hair and a face that appears to have been hit with a frying pan, Miss Swamp truly is a sight to behold.

As a three disc set, this should provide children with lots of quality TV time. The characters and stories are adorable, the narration and music (by Ernest V Troost) bouncy, and the tales have something to say about imagination and excitement. Recommended.

Each of these stories is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, which was their original aspect ratios. From what I could tell, all of these shorts appeared to be in excellent shape. Though small flecks of grain and dirt popped up from time to time, overall these transfers are prefect for the audience they're aimed at.

The soundtracks are presented in what appear to be Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Much like the video portions of the discs, these sound mixes are very apt for the films that they're supporting. Hiss and distortion were non-present with a minimal amount of directional effects in the mix. Also included on each disc are English subtitles.

Each DVD comes with a few extra features that should please kids and parents alike. Three bonus stories are included on each disc, featuring "Panama," "The Three-Legged Cat," and "The Bear and the Fly" on the Miss Nelson Has a Field Day disc, "They Mysterious Tadpole," "Drummer Hoff," and "Smile for Auntie" on Harold and the Purple Crayon disc, and "The Three Robbers," "The Great White Man Eating Shark," and "Moon Man" on the Pete's Pizza disc.

Also included on each disc is a read-along for young children, information about the book's authors, and trailers for other Scholastic DVD titles.

Closing Statement

Though I won't be sitting down to revisit either three discs anytime soon, I think that this is a great set for children and toddlers. The stories are non-offense and will enthrall young viewers. Scholastic's work on these DVDs is very nice given the stories being told.

The Verdict

All three discs are cute and worthwhile for children of all ages. Case dismissed!

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Genre

• All Ages

Scales of Justice, Harold And The Purple Crayon

Video: 82
Audio: 80
Extras: 75
Story: 90
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Harold And The Purple Crayon

Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated G

Distinguishing Marks, Harold And The Purple Crayon

• Three Full Length Bonus Stories
• Read Along
• Trailers

Scales of Justice, Miss Nelson Has A Field Day

Video: 82
Audio: 80
Extras: 80
Story: 90
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Miss Nelson Has A Field Day

Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 56 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated G

Distinguishing Marks, Miss Nelson Has A Field Day

• Three Full Length Bonus Stories
• Getting to Know James Marshall
• Read Along
• Trailers

Scales of Justice, Pete's A Pizza

Video: 82
Audio: 80
Extras: 80
Story: 90
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Pete's A Pizza

Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 56 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated G

Distinguishing Marks, Pete's A Pizza

• Three Full Length Bonus Stories
• Getting to Know William Steig
• Read Along
• Trailers

Accomplices

• None








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