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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.
Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999)

Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999)

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Released 26-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Music Highlights-Olive, The Songs - 5
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 43:36 (Case: 45)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steve Moore

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Drew Barrymore
Dan Castellaneta
Joe Pantoliano
Edward Asner
Peter MacNicol
Tim Meadows
Jay Mohr
Michael Stipe
Diedrich Bader
David Herman
Tress MacNeille
Mitch Rouse
Kath Soucie
Case ?
RPI $21.95 Music Christopher Tyng
Paul D. Calder
Jill Anthony

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None 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

    Have you ever been annoyed by how ordinary most Christmas-themed shows are? Most are either tear-jerkers, so saccharine you could start a sugar plantation or far too religious. Well, this little animated number from Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, might just be the answer.

    Olive, the Other Reindeer is based on a children's book by J.Otto Seibold, however it has certainly been given a real twist by Matt Groening and his collaborators. The result is a story which follows a small dog called Olive (voiced by Drew Barrymore) who lives with her master, Tim (Jay Mohr). In the lead up to Christmas, the news gets out that Blitzen has broken a leg and Santa's (Ed Asner) flight to deliver toys may not be able to happen. Olive's pet flea, Fido, hears the news on the radio and mistakenly thinks that Santa has asked for 'Olive, the other reindeer' to come to the North Pole and take over for Blitzen. Olive sets off, with a penguin with criminal tendencies in tow. His name is Martini (Joe Pantoliano from The Sopranos). Along the way they meet a variety of interesting characters (including Schnitzel the flightless reindeer voiced and sung by Michael Stipe of REM), whilst being pursued by a mean postman who hates Christmas and wants to stop them helping Santa. He is voiced by Dan Castellanata, who voices Homer Simpson. Dan won an Annie (Animation) award for his voice work on this feature.

    The show is very funny, with some great one liners and it also includes 5 musical numbers which have amusing lyrics. The show is very cute without being cloying or overly sentimental and at 43 minutes does not outstay its welcome or the kids' attention span. It was originally made in 1999 for US Television. Technically, the animation is a mixture of 2D and 3D with most characters being 2D but set in a 3D world. This was done to maintain the look and feel of the book.

    My family and I enjoyed this little film and we think it's a good tonic for being sick of Christmas shows. Recommended.

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

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which would be the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise.

    The colour was excellent, vibrant and well saturated.

    The only artefact on show was some occasional mild aliasing.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, easy to read but a little small.

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


    The audio quality is very good.

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

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand.

    The score of this film by Christopher Tyng is excellent and really suits the jaunty and whimsical nature of this film.

    The surround speakers added atmosphere, especially for the music, when played with Dolby ProLogic II.

     The subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu included a nice intro, music and motion as well as chapter selection functionality.

Making Of (26:01)

    An interesting making of which covers where the idea came from, the characters, voice actors and the technology involved. Features interviews with all the main voice actors and Matt Groening. Worth seeing.

Olive - The Songs (6:46)

    Allows access directly to the songs from the main feature, either individually or via a play all function.

R4 vs R1

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

    This is available in the same format in Region 1. Let's call it a draw.


    This disc contains a funny and schmaltz-free Christmas animation from Matt Groening.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has a couple of small extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, October 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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