Brum-Stopwatch Botch and Other Stories (2005)

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Released 5-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Menu Animation & Audio
Game-Jigsaw Puzzles
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 50:13
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Toyah Willcox
Robert Berk
Steve Murphy
Merlyn Rice
Rosie Wilde
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Paul Honey
Howard McGill


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    More fun-filled stories about everyone's favourite little vintage car, Brum. This series is often shown on the ABC, and indeed on ABC2. It's a colourful, musical and slightly 'old-fashioned' fun show that kids and their parents can enjoy. Each episode runs for around 10 minutes and relies more on visual action and slapstick rather than any real dialogue.

    This latest collection, Stopwatch Botch and Other Stories has 5 adventures featuring the little chuffing car:

    1. Brum and the Stopwatch Botch   -   Brum is franticly chasing after Penny Pincher who's nicked the sports coach's stopwatch.

    2. Brum and the Daring Gnome Rescue   -   Brum tries to keep up with the accidental misadventures of a mid-sized garden gnome.

    3. Brum and the Shop Window Dummy   -   A toe rag makes off with a dress (and mannequin) from a shop window and Brum gets involved in yet another chase.Just why was Brum getting all hot under the hood whilst watching the female mannequin being clothed in the shop window?

    4. Brum the Basketball Star   -   Brum lends a hand to the Big Town wheelchair basketball team who are playing against a rival team that stops at nothing to win!

    5. Brum and the Runaway Sofa  -   Oh no! A grubby two-seater sofa is on the loose in Big Town and wreaking havoc and destruction in its path!   What can little Brum do to save the town folk?

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is presented in its original format of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    It's a wonderful sharp picture that we've been provided. Shadow detail (not there's much shadow in this show) is very good. There is no evidence of grain or any low-level noise.

    The colour palette presented is rich but without any trace of oversaturation or colour bleed. The only examples in which the colour isn't totally vibrant are the outdoor shots when the overcast English skies mute the colours a little.

    There is some visible aliasing, such as on fencing and some brickpatterns. There is also visible aliasing in an optical effect shot of Brum crossing a gap between two buildings.

    There is no visible edge enhancement.

    There are no positive or negative film artefacts which is not surprising given that this show appears to have been originally recorded on digital video.

    Subtitles in English are available (despite the cover saying the contrary). The subtitles are 100% accurate, though occasionally they do appear just a little early. Even the theme song has been subtitled.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer on this disk is a pleasant and effective Dolby 2.0 surround mix.

    Dialogue is clear at all times (though there really isn't all that much).

    The music, by Paul Honey and Howard McGill, is enjoyable and upbeat and matches the onscreen action well. It's at times whimsical, whilst at other times it's dramatic and suspenseful. It somehow matches, or adds to, the nice 'old fashioned' feel about the show.

    The bulk of the soundscape is spread across the front speakers, although there are the occasional directional effects from the rear surround speakers, as well as some ambient noise and music.

    The subwoofer supports the music and effects, though obviously it doesn't have its own 0.1 LFE channel.

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

Extras

    Menu Audio

    The main menu shows Brum driving around tooting his horn.

    Game - Jigsaw Puzzle

    The only extra on the disk is a collection of two onscreen jigsaw puzzles. However there doesn't seem to be much puzzling required to solve them. Just use the DVD player remote control to click on each of four pieces and the piece automatically jumps into its correct position on the puzzle area.

    There are two separate puzzles and when completed each plays a short excerpt from different episodes.

R4 vs R1

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

    This R4 version appears to be identical to that released in the UK (R2). It doesn't appear to have been released in R1. Obviously the R4 version is the recommended choice.

Summary

    Brum is a refreshing change from the violent, loud American or Japanese animated shows, or the somewhat dull claymation or puppet shows. This show combines thrills, comedy, colourful scenery with a little bit of hyper-acting and great music!  There's never a dull moment with little in the way of violence. Even the 'bad guys' are not terribly nasty, just a little naughty...

    These episodes bear many repeat viewings (and not just for the kids) because there's so much happening on screen and it just looks and sounds pleasant and happy!

    The picture and sound quality on this disk is great. The five episodes on this disk, plus the admittedly slightly lame, jigsaw puzzles make this a worthwhile addition to your collection for kids between 1 and 10.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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