The Saddle Club-The Mane Event (2002)

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Released 27-Feb-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 72:18
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter Sharpe
Arnie Custo
Studio
Distributor
Crawfords Australia
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Keenan MacWilliam
Sophie Bennett
Lara Jean Marshall
Heli Simpson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Behind scenes music recording over end titles

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Plot Synopsis

    The Mane Event is a "movie" made by splicing together three episodes (episodes 21, 25 and 26) of the popular children's series The Saddle Club, first shown on ABC television. The shows are an Australian/Canadian co-production, based on the novels of Bonnie Bryant. It is an innocuous, slightly rose-tinted tale of ponies, boyfriends and minor mysteries through the eyes of a group of pre-teen girls.

   The stars of the series are the young female trio who make up The Saddle Club, namely Lisa (Lara Jean Marshall), Carole (Keenan MacWilliam) and Stevie (Sophie Bennett). The club apparently has two rules; members have to love horses and they have to help each other out whatever problems are being faced.

   The "Mane" event referred to in the title is the impending wedding of Max (Brett Tucker), the owner of the stables, and his attractive girlfriend Deborah (Cathy Godbold). There are several storylines running through the short movie and, despite the non-sequential nature of the component episodes, they flow together rather well. In this movie they have to solve the mystery of why leading stable-hand Red O'Malley (Nathan Phillips) refuses to ride horses, try and fix Phil (Glenn Meldrum) up on a date with Stevie and ensure that Max and Deborah's wedding goes ahead despite a major upset after Lisa falls from her horse.

    Citizen Kane this isn't. It is, however, wholesome, positive and occasionally funny family entertainment. I would hazard that its target audience is primarily pre-teenage girls, but it is well enough produced, scripted and acted to allow the occasional co-viewing with Mum and Dad without too much stress. The theme song Hello World is performed exceptionally well by the three young lead actresses and, mark my words, will have you humming it for days - in the mall, at work and in the pub!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer, as would be expected for such recent programming, is generally of a high standard. Thanks to the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley in Victoria, the cinematography is very pleasing.

    Whilst the transfer can appear slightly soft on occasion, there is no significant grain.

    Colours are bright and vibrant with no colour bleed and skin tones look clean and natural.

    There are no compression artefacts and edge enhancement and aliasing are absent.

    There are English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired present on the disc and these follow the dialogue and sound effects closely.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    The overall audio quality of this disc is good, given the limitations of the sole Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track.

    The dialogue was always clear with no obvious issues with audio sync.

    The surround channels were used subtly to support the music and environmental effects.

    Subwoofer activity was not evident during the movie.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. It is suitably colourful with a music loop and video clips playing in a small window. A chapter index featuring 16 stops is present with the (devilishly catchy) theme song playing in the background.

R4 vs R1

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

    There does not appear to have been a Region 1 release of this disc at this time.

Summary

    The Mane Event is feel-good children's programming which does not patronise its target, young female, audience.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationONKYO TX-DS484
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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