Play School-Nursery Rhymes (2001)

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Released 14-Aug-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Storybook-4
Featurette-Animations - 10
Featurette-Make and Do - 4
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 65:18 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mark Barnard
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Justine Clarke
Noni Hazelhurst
Jay Laga'aia
Deborah Mailman
Andrew McFarlane
Rhys Muldoon
Karen Pang
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Peter Dasent


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 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

    Some of my earliest childhood memories are of watching Play School. With presenters Bettina, John, Alistair and Noni, there was always a surprise in store. I must confess that as my younger siblings grew up I continued to watch the show with them well into my primary years, literally a guilty pleasure of mine. Now it's happening all over again - with children of my own, I have an excuse to sit down and enjoy it with them just as I did twenty years ago.

    Featured on this DVD is a full hour of Play School fun, games, activities and stories that any child familiar with the series will love. Just about every nursery rhyme one can imagine is sung by the presenters, with help from the many characters we all know and love - Big Ted, Gemima, Little Ted and Diddle just to name a few. The presenters on this DVD include many familiar faces; Justine Clarke, Noni Hazelhurst, Jay Laga'aia (who made an appearance in Star Wars: Episode II), Deborah Mailman (of The Secret Life Of Us), Andrew McFarlane, Rhys Muldoon and Karen Pang.

    The presenters may be different, and the theme music may have changed over the years, but Play School still remains an important, defining program in the early development of generations of Australian children despite the mega-success of The Wiggles and Hi-5. I can't imagine having grown up without it.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good video transfer, with very little artefacting or compression problems.

    The video transfer is presented in 1.33:1, full frame.

    The transfer has a lot of sharpness evident and is very easy on the eyes. Blacks appear bold and true and there were no examples of low level noise.

    Colours were bright and bold, very contrasting and eye-catching at times. A number of frames containing bright flaring are present at 9:35, when a prop briefly reflects the bright studio lighting into the camera lens. There were no signs of bleeding or oversaturation in the transfer.

    I didn't note any signs of MPEG over-compression or grain, which was a relief. Aliasing was very well controlled considering the amount of sharpness inherent in the transfer. Although there were a few small examples present, they are of the mildest variety and are hardly worth mentioning.

    English hard of hearing subtitles are optional and are absolutely true to the spoken word, paced accurately with the action on-screen. There was great attention to detail here, as the subtitle stream appeared under the presenter that was speaking rather than being constantly centred on screen.

    This disc is single layered.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track present on the disc, an unspectacular English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) soundtrack.

    The programme is recorded in a controlled studio environment, which lends itself to crystal clear vocal recordings with no interference or distortion. All of the presenters enunciate very clearly and are easy to understand during all of the songs and stories. There were no issues with audio sync during the transfer.

    Simple musical accompaniment during the many songs and games is provided by Peter Dasent on piano. This is clever, very lively and melodic music that flows well with the action on screen.

    There are no examples of left-to-right panning on this stereo soundtrack - all of the music and narration is situated evenly between the front speakers. My surrounds and subwoofer were given the day off.

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

Extras

    We have a great little package of extras here, all of which are presented with optional English subtitles.

Menu

    All menus are static and are simply illustrated with characters from the series. There is no 16x9 enhancement or audio accompaniment present.

Stories (4)

    Accessible via a play all function, these are four additional stories that aren't present in the feature. The Princess Finds A Friend (5:24) is a fairytale told by Deborah and Andrew; Conrad's Surprise (4:46) is illustrated with finger painting by Justine; "Help Help!" Diddle's Stuck (3:53) is told by Karen and Andrew, and Front Yard Fix (4:43) is a brilliant Backyard Blitz parody starring Big Ted and Gemima.

Animations (9)

    This is a brief collection of animated short films covering popular nursery rhymes and songs, some of which feature excellent claymation. Included are: This Little Piggy (0:44), Dingle Dangle Scarecrow (1:13), Standing On One Leg (1:03), My Dog Bill (0:43), Jack and Jill (0:27), Hey Diddle Diddle (0:18), I'm A Little Teapot (0:53), Three Little Ducks (1:11) and Dino Stomp (0:43).

Make & Do (4)

    It's not always a good idea to let the kids run riot in the kitchen, but here we have a couple of creative activities that might keep them busy for an afternoon or two. In Blob Butterfly (2:03) Karen paints a very easy butterfly by squishing paint between a folded piece of paper. Rhys has a go at making Vegemite Roly Poly Sandwiches (1:45) while singing a great variation of the Rawhide theme song. Karen makes some delicious Berry Treats (2:39) with yoghurt for herself and Jay, and in Animal Make (2:43) Jay and Deborah create some amazing animals out of household items.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is only available in Region 4 at the moment.

Summary

    Any child that watches Play School will enjoy this DVD. With a great collection of stories, games and activities it will certainly be viewed over and over again. The video and audio are acceptable for a television series and there are a couple of great extras to keep the kids busy.

    Go on, you know you want it.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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