If Judge Steve Power were a Piñata, he'd probably be a Slothsparagus who really wishes he were a Fizzleybear.
The party is on!
Based on the Microsoft game series of the same name, Viva Piñata tells the sordid and surreal tales of a group of party animals living on picturesque Piñata Island. While the games, available on Microsoft's Xbox360, Windows PCs and the Nintendo DS, are more Sim-like in nature, the cartoon takes the cute and cuddlies who inhabit the digital playground and injects a solid dose of personality.
Viva Piñata is something of a strange animal in the video game world, marketed as a children's product, it attracted a more cult-like following among adult gamers than amongst kids. The cartoon follows suit to a degree. It's got a bite-sized running time for each episode, and simple plots generally provide a dose of morality, wrapped up in a syrupy sweet candy shell, everything a young child needs for entertainment. Then it goes off the rails into the surreal. Viva Piñata is so stuffed full of random lunacy and bizarre off-kilter humor that it's hard not to chuckle at least a few times during any 10-minute episode. This humor also isn't downplayed for the pre-adolescents in the audience either. What insanity that falls short in the central cast (the surfer-talking Frizzleybear and the bizarre little pink, uh, ninja thing are personal favorites) is certainly compensated for by the truly off the wall supporting cast, which includes a baboon con man who has the island's residents convinced he's an all knowing guru, or the villainous Professor Pestor, who ends one episode shouting, "I Have no Regrets!" while being shot out of a cannon disguised as a horse. Yes, this show is nuts. That doesn't necessarily mean I'd recommend running out immediately and snapping it up, but if you're a fan of the games, or you have a few tykes running around, it's definitely a solid bit of fun for just shy of two hours.
There's not much to talk about on the technical side of things. The show is presented competently enough. The digital animation is far from theatrical quality, but it serves its purpose well, and does a fine job of copying the look and feel of the game. Shout! Factory's disc pretty much presents the show as it was on TV. There's not much to complain about, and the stereo sound is clear, and lively. There are no extras, only a smattering of trailers for other Shout! Factory releases. Feh! No, it's worse than Feh! It's Bah!
I warn you, don't tick Pinotaur off! Not guilty!
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
Review content copyright © 2009 Steve Power; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.