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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Bob the Builder-Pilchard Steals the Show (1999)

Bob the Builder-Pilchard Steals the Show (1999)

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Released 1-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio
Bonus Episode-Clumsy Roley
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 60:22
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sarah Ball
Nick Herbert
Liz Whitaker

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Neil Morrissey
Rob Rackstraw
Kate Harbour
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Paul K. Joyce

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

    Bob the Builder and his gang of machines are back with more fun, mayhem and adventure! This is the second DVD release of this popular animated children's program which since 1999 has entertained millions of children around the globe. The secret to the success of this show is the easy to understand plots, the colourful characters and the short running times which give the little ones enough time to comprehend while not overtaxing their attention spans. This continues with this bunch of episodes and there will be plenty of fun for our little friends with this disc.

1. Pilchard Steals the Show   :   10:03   Written by Jimmy Hibbert
Directed by Sarah Ball

    You can't teach an old dog new tricks, right? Well, what about a middle aged cat? Wendy is setting up the arena for the local dog show while Bob is helping Farmer Pickles. When Farmer Pickles tells Bob and the gang that he's entering Scrufty into dog show, Scoop gets the great idea of entering the very smart Pilchard in the show as well. The fact that Pilchard is a cat doesn't deter the enthusiastic and confident Scoop, but when Scoop is caught in the dog show banner while practising for the show with Pilchard, it's up to the talented cat to raise the alarm and find help for the trapped Scoop!

2. Bob's Auntie   :   10:03   Written by Jimmy Hibbert
Directed by Nick Herbert

    It's a slow day at Bob's yard, so Wendy organizes a picnic lunch for herself, Bob and the gang. But just when they are about to leave, an emergency call comes in from the town's museum. The hot water system has sprung a leak, and it's up to Bob to fix it. While working on the water pipe, the postman drops off Bob's mail along with the museum's. But after a slip on some water, Bob's mail and that of the museum's curator get mixed up and Bob is surprised to see that his Auntie Dora is about to make a surprise visit that very afternoon. In a panic to get everything ready for the impossibly fussy Auntie Dora, Bob asks the machines to get the yard cleaned up while he finishes the job at the museum. As the gang are busy attempting to clean the yard (with limited success), in pops a helpful old lady ready and willing to help the machines organize their clean-up. Is it the fussy Auntie Dora, or could this be a case of mistaken identity?

3. Spud the Dragon   :   10:03   Written by Ian Carney
Directed by Sarah Ball

    It's time for the town's school play, and the schoolyard is full of fun and colourful costumes. When the mischievous Spud comes walking along, he spies the costumes and when he finds one of a scary dragon he decides it is perfect to scare the machines with. Taking the costume without permission, he goes on his scary way and Muck is his first victim. Pretending to be a magic dragon, he promises the unsuspecting Muck a wish and while his eyes are closed, Spud draws a cat's face on Muck and sneaks away. Next on Spud's list is poor Lofty who is terrified of the scary dragon. Running back to the yard, Lofty tells Bob and Wendy about his encounter, and when Muck comes along with his face painted by the 'magic dragon', they all suspect that there might be a trickster in their midst.

4. Bob's Hide   :   10:03  Written by James Henry
Directed by Liz Whitaker

    Bob and Mr. Bentley are members of the bird watching club, and they are on the look-out for a very rare bird indeed:  the Lesser Spotted Grebe Warbler. In order to catch sight of this elusive feathered friend, Bob decides to build a hide, which is a place where bird watchers can hide away and observe the bird without being detected. When the gang start to help Bob make the hide, they speculate on just what the Grebe Warbler might look like and before long their imaginations have run away with them. They suspect something the size of an ostrich with claws and, not liking the prospect of meeting such a creature, the gang quickly run home, but not before Spud overhears them and decides to trick the gang by dressing up as the scariest bird ever!  But the tables are turned when the Grebe Warbler arrives and makes Spud his new friend!

5. Bob and the Big Freeze   :   10:03   Written by Simon Jowett
Directed by Liz Whitaker

    Winter has hit the town and everything is covered in snow. But as much as this winter wonderland is a lot of fun, it also creates lots of jobs for Bob, Wendy and the gang. While Scoop and Wendy are clearing the roads with Scoop's snow plough, Bob and Lofty are off to Farmer Pickles' farm to clear up some trees that have blown down in the night and cut them up for firewood. Things are thrown up in the air, however, when Wendy and Scoop disturb some hibernating hedgehogs. Meanwhile, Bob and Lofty are forced to come to the rescue of Spud who's trapped on a frozen lake. Winter is fun, but today there's twice the work as Bob, Wendy and all the gang must pitch in to help get everything done in time.

6. Clumsy Roley   :   10:07   Written by Ian Carney
Directed by Sarah Ball

     Bob has a job to do over at Mr. Fothergill's house putting in a new kitchen, while over at Mr. Beasley's house, Wendy and the gang are putting up a new deck in the back yard. Things aren't going well for poor Roley, as he is continually running over people's things. First it's Bob's tool box which almost becomes the first victim, but after he gets to Mr. Beasley's house it's his watering can that is squished flat. Unable to control himself, Roley accidentally runs into Mr. Beasley's tree in the backyard, knocking down the nest of squirrels living in the tree. Now without a home, Wendy will have to come up with somewhere for the now homeless squirrels to live. Meanwhile at Mr. Fothergill's house, Bob is putting the final touches on the new kitchen, but he keeps hearing voices. Is it in his imagination, or could it be the pet parrot in the house?


    This will be great fun for little fans of this series, and with this disc you get an extra episode (Clumsy Roley) to add to the fun. With 60 minutes of action, excitement and adventure, how could you go wrong? A must for the little one(s) of the house.

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

Transfer Quality


    This disc is quite similar to the first DVD release, that being Bob the Builder:  Skateboard Spud. That said, this disc is just that little bit different in terms of the aspect ratio used. Unlike the first disc and its full frame aspect ratio, this disc presents the program in a matted widescreen ratio of approximately 1.66:1. There is no 16x9 enhancement. Also, there appears to be some cropping of the image, but not of the top and bottom as might be expected, but at the sides. This is very slight, but it is noticeable as the image is the same top and bottom, but cropped at the sides leading me to think that Bob is usually filmed in widescreen and later enlarged to get rid of those 'nasty black bars'. As there isn't heaps of image lost at the sides and none top to bottom, most would never know that they were missing anything. After a comment on the review of Skateboard Spud about Bob being screened in widescreen on certain Pay-TV channels, I was interested to see what the next release would bring. Now I know. Jr. will probably never notice the difference in the picture from the old full frame to this new wider version, but there is a difference to be seen.

    As was the case with the first release of Bob on DVD, the picture was fairly good with a bright (all important) and clear image available throughout. Most of the feature takes place in brightly lit conditions, so we don't get a lot of darker shots to trouble us in terms of shadow detail or the lack thereof. In any case, the level of shadow detail is adequate for the program. I had no issues with low level noise.

    Colour plays an important part of this show and this program is no exception. The characters and environments are portrayed in a very bright and exaggerated colour scheme, but this is quite appropriate for the program and this disc conveys these bright and fun colours well.

    This disc runs at an average bitrate of 7.00 Mb/s with highs around 9.22 Mb/s and lows of 4.12 Mb/s which is all more than adequate for this program and leaves an MPEG artefact-free picture throughout the feature. Even though there are heaps of solid colours on the screen for much of the program, chroma noise is kept at bay and doesn't present any real problems. Interlacing is a slight issue here, as it was with the first release in this series, but it doesn't present such a problem as to ruin the viewing experience. The print used to transfer this feature is quite clean and we only get the occasional nick and fleck on the screen.

    There is only one subtitle stream on this disc, that being English for the Hearing Impaired. I found this to be very accurate, nearing 100% accuracy.

    This disc is formatted single layered, and as such, there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio for this feature is quite adequate and serves the programme quite well

    There is only one audio mix available for this disc, that being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mix.

    The dialogue quality for this feature is quite good with the spoken word quite clean and understandable throughout the program. As far as it is discernable, the audio sync for this program is fine, although hard to pick as this is an animated feature.

    Music for this show is composed by Paul K. Joyce and is very suited to the material. Paul has scored several children's shows, such as Noddy's Toyland Adventures in 1994 and The Worst Witch in 1998.

    There is very little surround encoded material on the 2.0 track and the little that is there is of a completely atmospheric nature. This is not a problem here, though, as the front-oriented soundtrack completely suits the material. There is very little in the way of LFE to trouble the subwoofer other than the occasional musical passage and for the most part the subwoofer is fairly quiet.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This is a fairly standard package with very little (read nothing) in the way of extras. The episode Clumsy Roley is classed as a Special Feature, but has nothing that pushes in into any sort of 'Special' category other than the fact that most Bob the Builder tapes and discs feature either 4 or 5 episodes each (Bob the Builder:  Skateboard Spud had 5). I would have liked to have seen some of the song videos included, such as 'Can We Fix It?' or 'Mambo No. 5', but anything is better than nothing and 6 episodes are better than 5...and much better than 4.


   After the usual distributor's logos, we are taken to an ABC promotional trailer featuring many of the children's shows that are available through ABC For Kids video. After the copyright warnings, we are taken to the disc's Main Menu which offers the following:     The menu is presented full frame and is without 16x9 enhancement. Audio for this animated menu is in Dolby Digital 2.0.

R4 vs R1

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

    Region 1 has had 9 Bob the Builder discs released to date, but at the time of writing this package and these episodes haven't been made available in the U.S. yet. The U.K. have had this feature released on VHS with the first five episodes in the package but missing out on the Clumsy Roley episode. In its stead, there are reportedly 4 never-seen-before mini adventures on the tape. I was unable to find any evidence of this disc being released in Region 2 U.K. and it looks as though there is only a VHS release thus far. For now, it looks as though Region 4 is the winner on this one.


    If your little one is a fan of this clever series, or is into things like The Wiggles and the Sesame Street / Children's Television Workshop programmes then this would be perfect for them. A good solid hour of good clean fun for the little one.

    The video is quite good with a non-16x9 enhanced widescreen image available with very few artefacts present.

    The audio is good and suits the material well

    There are no extras to speak of, despite the cover proclaiming the Clumsy Roley episode as a Special Feature.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD RP-82 with DVD-Audio on board, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderYamaha RX-V2300 Dolby Digital and dts.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2300 110w X 6 connected via optical cable and shielded RCA (gold plated) connects for DVD-Audio
SpeakersVAF DC-X Fronts (bi-wired), VAF DC-6 Center, VAF DC-2 Rears, VAF LFE-07 Dub (Dual Amp. 80w x 2)

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