Out of the blue, the Stevens family (whacky dad, brainy sister, dorky brother, and so forth) finds out they’ve won a trip to a tropical paradise. Unbeknownst to them, they have in fact been selected to participate in an over-the-top reality TV show, and their holiday turns into a series of slapstick catastrophes.
Collapsing temples, rampaging squirrels, lots of yelling and double-takes. This is Disney slapstick at its most uninspired. Extremely undemanding younger viewers might get…some enjoyment out of it. Might. All others, run away.
Of the two recent Disney channel discs to come through for review (Cadet Kelly is the other), this is the technically better one. The bass could be stronger, and there are very few surround sound effects, but the music does at least have a detectable (if a bit low) rear speaker presence.
The transfer is easily superior to Cadet Kelly’s. the image is sharp enough, and the grain is minimal. The colours are decent, though the reds are too strong, giving flesh tones too much orange (and some scenes seem to be entirely tinted in this colour).
The commentary (by stars Christy Carlson Romano and Shia LaBeouf) is clearly aimed at young viewers. The usual behind-the-scenes info is present, but our hosts spend a lot of time pointing out the bloody obvious and shilling for the film. The Survival Challenge is an activity game, and you have your jungle-themed party planner. The menu’s main and bonus features screens are animated and scored, and the other screens are scored.
Very mediocre stuff. Rent a Miyazaki film for the youngsters instead.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “Even Stevens Survival Challenge Game”
- DVD-ROM Party Planner