Hi-5: It's a Hi-5 Christmas

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Released 11-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio & Animation
Karaoke-3 Songs
Storybook-Sharing Stories: Beach Christmas Tree
Trailer-Previews of other Hi-5 DVD's And Videos
Featurette-Christmas Eve Concert
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 54:07
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ian Munro
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Kathleen De Leon
Nathan Foley
Tim Harding
Kellie Hoggart
Charli Robinson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Chris Harriott


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Song Lyrics
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    It's a Hi-5 Christmas is a Christmas-themed Hi-5 DVD packed with plenty of stories, singing, dancing, and games for kids.

    Loaded with some jazzed up Christmas carols and plenty of new songs themed around Christmas, the Hi-5 Team are wrapping Christmas presents, cooking Christmas treats, decorating Christmas trees, and writing letters to Santa. I was pleased to see that the Northern Hemisphere white Christmas culture has been adapted a little, so that kids here can make 'snow-men' out of sand, and go to the beach on Christmas Day with their families. Featured songs include Santa Wear Your Shorts, Sleigh Ride, and Santa Claus is Coming. As a welcome addition, the DVD also includes Hi-5's Christmas Eve concert, recorded in Melbourne last year. This concert also includes appearances by Santa and Humphrey Bear.

    As I wrote in a previous review, "Hi-5 is a well-paced and entertaining Australian children's television program that debuted in 1999 . . . The programs are filled with singing, dancing, movement, stories and some Play School style artistic activities. While not so obvious about its educational value as say Sesame Street, like the Wiggles, Hi-5 stimulate children's minds while thoroughly entertaining them. The five Hi5 team members all possess a great child-like enthusiasm, and they are well supported by a cast of fun puppets and happy children".

    According to their web site, Hi-5 was created and produced by Helena Harris and Posie Graeme-Evans, who are committed to giving the show a solid educational basis. "The aim of Hi-5 is to cater for a wide range of young children, acknowledging the span of cognitive abilities and learning styles. The program presents material with the understanding that children will respond in different ways and be more open to a particular mode of integrating ideas." They recognise that young children learn holistically, therefore the program includes a number of segments, each of which focuses on a different area of learning. For more details, their website can be accessed here.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Like their last two DVD releases, Hi-5 Hi-Energy and Surfing Safari, this DVD is presented with a widescreen transfer. Once again we have the wonder and beauty of digital television to thank for this. I notice many kid's programs are now broadcast in digital widescreen, and as more digital set-top-boxes are sold, I hope that some of the recalcitrants, like the Wiggles, will get with it.

    This is the third widescreen Hi-5 release, and the transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and shadow detail of the image are fine, and fairly representative of digital broadcast television.

    As with all Hi-5 transfers, the image features plenty of bright primary colours. The flesh tones are accurate.

    As with some other Hi-5 transfers, MPEG artefacts are present, and occasionally the image suffers from slight pixilation. Film-to-video artefacts are present in the form of a very mild shimmer on some objects, but it was never distracting. Film artefacts were not a problem.

    English for the Hearing Impaired and song lyric subtitles are provided. They are accurate.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc.

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

Audio

    As a children's television broadcast, there is only one audio option; English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (320Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent, and the song lyrics are always clear.

    The upbeat, Christmas-themed music is performed by Hi-5, and the original songs are composed by Chris Harriott. The music was clear and exhibited a good dynamic range. As a bonus, a choir also perform with Hi-5 during their concert which adds a lot to the singing.

    There is no surround presence or subwoofer activity.

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

Extras

    The extras are slim.

Menu

    A simple "child friendly" menu. It is animated with audio.

Karaoke

    Three songs, Sleigh Ride, Santa Wear Your Shorts, and Santa Claus is Coming can be played with or without the vocals, as subtitles display the lyrics.

Previews

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, short trailers for other Hi-5 DVD/Video releases: Music Machine, Star Dreaming, Playing Cool, 5 Alive, Animal Adventures, Let's Celebrate, Magical Treasures, Move Your Body/Summer Rainbow, and Surfing Safari.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title does not appear to have been released on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    It's a Hi-5 Christmas largely sticks to the Hi-5 fast-paced winning formula, and delivers another fun DVD for the kiddies. The addition of the Christmas Eve concert is a real bonus, and if you have small kids, this would be a great DVD to have on hand during the Christmas period.

    The video quality is let down slightly with MPEG problems, but the little ones won't notice.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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