The Saddle Club-Horse Crazy (2001)

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Released 27-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-Hello World
Music Video-Hey, Hey What You Say
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 99:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Chris Martin-Jones
Steve Mann
Mandy Smith
Studio
Distributor
Crawfords Australia
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Sophie Bennett
Keenan MacWilliam
Lara Jean Marshall
Heli Simpson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Dale Cornelius


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Whilst the uninitiated may assume from the title that this is an adult S&M movie, featuring a cast in a frenzied search for heroin, those in the know will realise that The Saddle Club - Horse Crazy is in fact a children's television series based on the stories of Bonnie Bryant. The latest release from the Saddle Club DVD stable once again features three episodes from the television series, stitched together into one movie-length feature. As ever it features the three main characters of Stevie (Sophie Bennett), Carole (Keenan MacWilliam) and Lisa (Lara Jean Marshall) - the three founding members of the Saddle Club.

    This release features several episodes which fit together quite well thematically - although not entirely seamlessly. The traditional opening sunrise shots of Pine Hollow indicate fairly clearly when a new episode has begun. The constituent episodes all appear to be from Series 1 - Episode 13 (Headstrong) and Episodes 16 (Flying Change) and 18/19 (Found Horse I/II).

    The "Lone Rider" has come to town and when Skye Ransom the actor who plays this film character needs a hand with his riding skills, the girls are only too willing to help. Deborah the local journo comes to interview Skye, and thanks to some matchmaking from the girls, she is soon fixed up on a date with Max. Unfortunately, the girls misunderstand an overheard conversation and assume that Deborah is trying to coerce Max into selling Pine Hollow. Soon their plan is not matchmaking - but relationship breaking!

    Thankfully, all is soon cleared up and the girls' attention turns to the neglect of Garnet by the snooty Veronica. The girls determine to teach Veronica a lesson she will regret; but once again all does not go to plan and the team soon learn that switching horses can be a dangerous game to play. The arrival of a Western Riding Clinic at Pine Hollow soon gives the girls a chance to meet some new friends and get into some new mischief. Stevie finds a neglected horse named Belle and is determined to nurse her back to health. When Deborah prints a story about Stevie's find in the local paper, a hard-hearted lady appears claiming that she is Belle's rightful owner...

    As ever, the acting from the girls is generally of a high standard, given their age. Horse Crazy will delight many a pre-teen girl with its horsey themes and fans of the series will lap it up. Visually this disc is not a patch on the earlier released Mane Event, but this will matter little to horse-loving Bryant fans. Innocent, non-patronising fun for its intended audience.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The overall video transfer of this disc is acceptable without being overly impressive.

    The feature is presented full screen in a ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. Disappointingly, it misses out on the beautiful 1.78:1 transfer afforded its stablemate The Saddle Club - The Mane Event.

    The transfer has some noticeable grain evident throughout. It is generally rather too soft but for a children's television series will suffice.

     Shadow detail is good and colours are generally nicely rendered if a little washed out on occasion. Skin tones are acceptable throughout.

    The transfer has no major MPEG artefacts. There is no distracting aliasing and I saw no instances of edge enhancement. The transfer is free from significant film artefacts.

    There is a solitary English for the Hearing Impaired subtitle track present. This is in a yellow font which stands out well against the dark backgrounds. The subtitles are well timed and very accurate.

    This is a single sided, single layered (DVD 5) disc.

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

Audio

    The audio quality of this disc is technically adequate with no significant audio defects.

    There is a solitary English audio track available which is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 224 kbps.

    Dialogue was clear throughout and audio synch was not a problem.

    The original music score is credited to Dale Cornelius and is fairly subtle and generally unobtrusive. The extremely catchy main theme is well performed by the three main actors (Bennett, MacWilliam and Marshall).

    The soundstage is very frontal. The surrounds see minimal use, even with Dolby Pro Logic enabled where they do carry some minor ambient noise and musical cues.

    The subwoofer, unsurprisingly, is not used.

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

Extras

    There are very few extras on the disc.

Menu

    The menu is a colourful cartoon affair featuring windowed clips from the series and the catchy theme song. It allows the selection of playing the feature, selecting of one of sixteen chapter stops, activating the subtitles or the minimal extras.

Songs

    Two songs with accompanying videos are available. They are Hello World (2:53) the theme song and the visibly far more recent and much less catchy Hey, Hey, What You Say (1:42). They are presented letterboxed at 1.78:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) and have a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 kbps.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc does not appear to be available in Region 1 yet.

Summary

    The Saddle Club - Horse Crazy will provide an enjoyable equine experience for fans. The pre-teen female target audience will be happy to watch it, despite the average audio and video quality. This disc is however, nowhere near the standard of The Saddle Club - The Mane Event.

    The video quality is acceptable.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The extras are negligible.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Saturday, June 14, 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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The saddle club rocks -
The saddle club rocks -