I love it when a DVD as advertised as a “hit series” on the back of the box, yet I have never even heard of it. Granted, I am not this product’s target market, but you would still think that I would have at least come across the title of this show somewhere. I am familiar with all of the products advertised on this disc, so I know I am not completely out of the loop.
This show tells the adventures of Lopaka, a boy who has made friends with a dolphin with the original (?) name of “Flipper”. It seems that Flipp…r has somehow taught his earth-bound buddy how to live and breathe underwater. Now, I know this is a cartoon, and it is supposed to fanciful, but come on! I am all for teaching kids to think outside the box, but I don’t know of anybody who can “learn” to breathe underwater. Yo have to have a strong command of reality to live outside the box.
All crazy plot lines aside, if you or your child have ever seen this show and enjoyed it, there are eight 30-minute episodes of underwater excitement included on this disc. Viewers can watch these shows one at a time, or use the handy “play all” feature that will make parents lives just a little bit easier.
You can’t expect too much from a children’s cartoon made for television. In that light, the audio quality here is adequate. This soundtrack is presented in the Dolby Stereo format. While I feel that it was a missed opportunity to not have “underwater” noises show up in the surrounds, the use of a Stereo track is certainly a more economically viable format. Dialog is very clear, and the underwater dialog even has a bit of a digital effect applied to it, to give it just a bit more of that underwater echo. One complaint that I do have is that the track is way too bass heavy. This is especially a problem since there is not a LFE channel available. The result is heavy bass tones coming from the left and right speakers. While this is certainly nothing that will harm your speakers, it sounds very unnatural, and it really draws attention to itself.
This series is presented with the use of some really poor animation. The style reminds me of a mix between the old Speed Racer cartoons and some modern digital tricks. The marriage of the two makes for a very confused looking show. Many of the establishing shots are clearly one large image that is digitally panned across, or zoomed into. The result is problems with blurring and choppiness.
Another problem is the overblown color tones. I understand that this is a title that is marketed toward children, and children like bright colors, but this disc does not do a very good job of displaying those colors. Objects are overly-saturated, and there are some instances of colors bleeding out over their edges.
If I can watch all of the extras on a disc in a couple of minutes, it’s pretty safe to say that there is not much here. If you were looking for some background on this series, this is not going to be the place to find it. All that is here is a collection of advertisements and trailers for other kid-oriented DVD and film products. Interestingly, virtually everything advertised here looks better than this series.
I have only seen a couple of Miramax Family titles in my time, but they have all been quite odd. I am sure that in time, Miramax Family will find its distinct voice, the same way that they have with their feature film division. In the meantime, though, these releases all have a very odd flavor to them.
I was a little surprised to find that I was unable to find any information on the Internet about this “hit series’” run on television. In fact, I now wonder if it was ever on television at all, or if this is a direct-to-video series. That actually makes me feel a bit validated in my ignorance about this shows existence. If you are lucky, you will cling to that ignorance for yourself.
Special Features List
- Chicken Little Trailer
- The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D Trailer
- Bionicle 3 – Web of Shadows Trailer
- Power Rangers S.P.D. – Volume 4 & 5 Trailer