The Wiggles-Top of the Tots (2003)

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Released 9-Mar-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Menu Animation & Audio
Song Lyrics-Sing Along With The Wiggles
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Cold Spaghetti Western
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 50:57
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Paul Field
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Murray Cook
Jeff Fatt
Anthony Field
Greg Page
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given


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 1.33:1 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

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Wiggles have come a long way since the early days. The production values of their videos and DVDs are much higher, as are the sets that they perform in front of. They have also made a big push into the US and this is also reflected in their material - the children that sing along in some songs are representative of a more multicultural market. I found it a little strange that when shifting to the US they added some African Americans to the show but previously there has been no representatives of Australian Aboriginals that I have seen.

    They have also expanded their group with the Wiggle Dancers who add to the stage shows the movement that maybe the Wiggles are getting a little too old to keep up with. Wags the Dog, Dorothy the Dinosaur and Henry the Octopus seem to have taken more of a back seat with the new productions.

    That aside, this is a high energy fast paced show aimed directly at the little ones. The songs are short and sharp and there is lots of colour and movement. They also send cameras out to a number of locations such as the doctor's office, the dentist and a fire station for quick interviews and lead in to a song about that particular activity. There is the option to add subtitles that appear word by word in time (or close to it) with the music so that you can sing along. I found these a little distracting as you could not read ahead and preferred the normal subtitles.

    The visits to the outside such as the doctor's office are a nice inclusion as they teach the little ones a little about what can be a very intimidating activity.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This appears to be video rather than film source material.

    The transfer is presented at 1.33:1 which is probably its original format, though as they are aimed at the US now I would have thought it was about time that they discovered widescreen.

    The image is reasonably sharp though moving objects suffer the typical motion blur. There is little shadow present as most of the show is on a very brightly lit sound stage. The image is very close to being too bright and is only a hair breath away from blowing out the white detail. The yellow shirts worn by Greg are particularly affected by this.

    There are lots of very bright primary colours and they are free of any major artefacts. There is some minor video noise present.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present. There is some aliasing and some video noise but nothing distracting.

    The subtitles for the hearing impaired are easy to read as are the sing-along titles.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack present on this disc.

    Dialogue quality is good as is the audio sync.

    The music is what The Wiggles does best and there are 17 of them for the kiddies to enjoy.

    Turning on surround decoding creates a rather strange sound stage with the centre speaker and the surrounds in use but the main left and right receiving very little material. Probably best left off.

    The bass drum adds the beat to the songs via the subwoofer.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is a computer generated stage with The Wiggles' instruments on it. There is some animation of the curtains and the Wiggles logo. It is presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Behind the scenes of Cold Spaghetti Western. (20:36)

    This is a documentary on the making of a completely different disc. It is someone with a hand held camera collecting material during the filming of the Cold Spaghetti Western. There are very quick interviews with the cast and crew, and it is aimed at their target market. The kids might find some interesting material in this but to me it is a 20 minute ad for another disc. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Photo Gallery (1:13)

    A series of shots from the show on this disc that show on an insert and change every couple of seconds. Accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack playing one of the Wiggles songs and presented at 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

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

     The R1 and R4 versions appear to be identical.

Summary

    The bottom line: The energy of The Wiggles is still there but spread over a few extra characters now. The songs are good but don't have a clear repetitive chorus or similar that help the little ones pick up and join in with a song. That aside, they all still seem to sit riveted from start to finish time and time again.

    The video is bright but acceptable.

    The audio is functional.

    The extras a little disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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