Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of

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Released 10-Jun-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 88:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Mitton
Studio
Distributor
Britt Allcroft
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ringo Starr
Michael Angelis
George Carlin
Alec Baldwin
Michael Brandon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 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

    It restores my faith in the Thomas & Friends franchise to see a disc like this after reviewing the truly atrocious feature film Thomas and the Magic Railroad. While the feature film is scary, confusing and a poor combination of the original engines and poor human acting, the television series is fun, light, simple and enjoyable for the kids. My fifteen month old son loves the theme tune and the trains, although he is a bit too young to understand the stories yet.

   This disc contains 16 episodes of the television series spanning the time period 1984 to 1998. This means that approximately half the episodes are read by Ringo Starr (for those from another planet, the drummer from The Beatles). He does an excellent job on these episodes and is many people's favourite narrator of this series. He reads the episodes from 1984 and 1986. The later episodes feature more special effects and action, however the earlier ones have a charm all of their own. All of the episodes run for approximately 5:30.

    In detail, the episodes featured are as follows:

    Overall, this is top quality children's entertainment and is a well selected group of episodes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality ranges from reasonable to excellent dependent upon the age of the episode.

    The episodes are presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The 1984 & 1986 episodes have quite significant grain, however later episodes are better and the newest have no grain. Shadow detail was good.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. Again, colour vibrancy improved with the newer episodes.

    The older episodes had a few specks of white and some minor tape tracking marks, however the newer episodes showed no such artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are summarised and do not reflect the entire text which would probably help the core audience (those who can read at all).

    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand.    

    The music by Mike O'Donnell & Junior Campbell is very catchy and certainly got my little boy bopping along.

    The surround speakers were used for some train noises and music when played using ProLogicII.

    The subwoofer was used for music when played using ProLogicII.

    

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu includes an episode selection function & subtitle selection.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is available in Region 2 in exactly the same format but does not seem to be available in Region 1.

Summary

    This disc contains an excellent selection of 16 classic episodes from the long-running children's show, Thomas & Friends.

    The video quality ranges from reasonable to excellent dependent upon the age of the episode.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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