The Powerpuff Girls-Down 'n' Dirty (1998) (NTSC)

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Released 11-Feb-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Courage the Cowardly Dog Premiere
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 108:25 (Case: 135)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Craig McCracken
Genndy Tartakovsky
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Thomas Chase
Steve Rucker
James L Venable


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Portuguese
Spanish
English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

If this is the first Powerpuff review you've read, then I suggest you read my review of Powerpuff Girls The Mane Event first; in that review I introduce the main characters and the format of the show. This disc is simpler than that one. This one contains ten episodes, but nowhere near as much in the way of extras. The episodes on this disc are:

Birthday Bash It's the Powerpuffs' birthday, and lots of bad guys want to give them presents they'll remember for a very short time...
Beat Your Greens Townsville is invaded by giant broccoli
Schoolhouse Rocked The truant officer insists on the Gangrene Gang attending school
Los Dos Mojos A concussed Bubbles thinks she's someone else
Stuck Up, Up and Away Princess Morebucks wants to be a Powerpuff Girl
Dream Scheme The Sandman gets tired of putting people to sleep
Just Another Manic Mojo All Mojo Jojo wants is a chance to have a quiet breakfast
Down 'n' Dirty Buttercup doesn't think she needs to wash
Mo Job Princess hires Mojo Jojo to come up with a diabolical plan
Major Competition The Powerpuff Girls are displaced by a new superhero

Unlike The Mane Event, where you could hit Play All and still get the titles, on this one the Play All option leaves out the titles of the episodes. If you select the episodes individually from the Episode menu, then you get the opening and closing credits wrapped around each episode, but you still don't get the title flash. That's a little irritating.

I note that the warning at the start of this disc says that it is only licensed for private home viewing in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Hmm that's a bit of an oops... Does that mean we're breaking the law to watch it? Hope not!

It just struck me I wonder if Craig McCracken (creator of the Powerpuffs) knew that there really is a town called Townsville? Maybe the Queenslanders should contact him about naming rights?

Apart from the violence the Powerpuff Girls beat up the bad guys quite a lot, and sometimes get beaten up themselves there's nothing here to be afraid of showing to children. Some of these stories have fairly blatant morals, but they are not controversial ones. You never know, you might be able to get something out of them, too.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

If you don't have the ability to watch NTSC discs, then this disc is not for you. It is NTSC, even though it's Region 4.

This DVD's transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. For a TV cartoon series like this one that's the original aspect ratio.

The image is about as sharp as it can be. Shadow detail is not a consideration for this kind of animation. There is no significant film grain, and no low level noise.

Colour is bright and cheerful, and well-rendered. There are no colour-related artefacts, except for occasional moments of discolouration adjacent to heavy black lines.

There is some Gibb's Effect on the black borders of the characters, which are very heavy black outlines. They also show some aliasing, but it's not bad. There is no moire, no shimmer, and no MPEG artefacts.

There are a few tiny film artefacts, but you really have to watch closely to see them. There are a few more than in the previously-reviewed The Mane Event, but that was very clean. There's a noticeable vertical scratch for a few seconds around 7:12 in Just Another Manic Mojo.

There are subtitles in English, Spanish and Portuguese. I watched the English subtitles. They are easy enough to read, well-timed, and fairly accurate.

The disc is single-sided and dual layered. I think the episodes have been arranged so that five episodes are placed on each layer. If you watch an episode individually, then the opening and closing credits will be drawn from layer 0. If the episode happens to be on layer 1, then there will be two layer changes in the playing of the episode; they aren't too much hassle, because we're used to a bit of a wait at those points, anyway.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in English, Spanish and Portuguese. I only listened to the English. It is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, with the occasional stereo effect, but mostly front and centre that's not too surprising for a TV series.

The English dialogue is mostly easy to understand (Bubbles can be a bit too shrill to understand occasionally, and some of the monsters aren't too clear). There are no obvious slips in audio sync, but animation is difficult to judge.

The music is well-suited to the show melodramatic and occasional a bit silly. The score (and opening theme) are credited to Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker and James L Venable. The closing theme is credited to BIS.

There's no signal for the subwoofer or surrounds in this straight stereo soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There is only one extra on this disc.

Menu

The menu is static, with music behind the main menu. It's simple enough to navigate.

Premiere

This is a premiere episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog. It is called Journey to the Centre of Nowhere, runs 11:54, and is just a touch more brightly coloured than the Powerpuff Girls.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Once again, the disc we get, although NTSC, is not the same as the Region 1 disc. On The Mane Event I thought the reason was to get the disc onto a single layer even that excuse doesn't apply here.

According to what I can find, there are a trivia game, character bios, and a preview for a different show on the Region 1 disc. However, it does not appear to have subtitles. Interesting.

Because this Region 4 disc is NTSC, you need to be able to play NTSC discs no matter which version you choose. Sounds like either version would be fine this time.

Summary

An interesting cartoon series you will know if your children are addicted to it. Not badly presented, but NTSC.

The video quality is pretty good. A few more spots this time, but not too many.

The audio quality is rather good.

The extra is interesting, but not really relevant.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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