Hi-5: Dance Hits-Volume 2 (2005)

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Released 22-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Have A Dance Lesson!
Karaoke
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 57:40 (Case: 59)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
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 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

KC:

    If you're interested in reading this review, then I'll take two things for granted. 1. You have kids. 2. You are familiar with the group and some of their other work.

    When reading the cover of Hi-5 Dance Hits Volume 2 I was sceptical about the quality of this particular release. All of the other Hi-5 DVDs have been colourful, well presented, interesting, energetic and new. Kids lapped it up. Dancing, learning, familiar pieces with familiar characters (for example Chup Chup) and themes. But here the cover looked like 10 dance segments, a bit of karaoke and nothing more.

    So what do we have? Well, it is 10 dance segments. Some of the songs are new, some are recycled from previous Hi-5 DVD releases (with the exact same footage, in fact, spliced into this DVD). The Hi-5 crew perform a dance to each song, then after the song has finished two members of the team demonstrate how the dance steps go to the song, then they add music, and before you know it the kids have been talked through the actions and are now also expected to be dancing along. To show how easy the dance steps are to learn, there follows some short footage of a group of kids dancing to the music.

    This formula repeats for each of the 10 songs. The song is performed by Hi-5, two members talk the kids through and demonstrate the dance steps, and finally we see groups of kids performing the dances for a short time. Repeat for next song.

    The positives are that the 10 dances on their own are energetic and it's exhausting to watch one after the other, let alone dance as well. But my 2 year old was full of go and wanted to see the DVD out. She rested during the instruction and kids dancing part and danced along when Hi-5 performed. On the negative side there is no variety in segments as seen in other DVDs (segments such as Chup Chup, musical fun or stories). Some of the routines are very familiar from other discs.

    The disc runs for 57:40 before the credits roll, but it is pretty intense for the little tackers. My (almost) 4 year old niece enjoyed the instructional aspect of the dancing more than my own 2 year old.

    The dances in order are;

    Hi-5 Introduction - Hi-5 Groove It
    So Many Animals
    North, South, East and West
    Feelings
    Three Wishes
    Feel the Beat
    Robot Number 1
    Mirror Mirror
    Special Days
    It's a Party
    Hi-5 Goodbye - Thanks for the Party

Woody:   
 

    This is a home exercise DVD for kids. KC has kids. I don't. Thanks for making me sit through this, KC.

    To be fair, I tested the DVD on the target audience and used, uh.., enlisted, my two year old niece Ashlee. While her dancing isn't as funky as her Uncle Woody after a few beers, she loved it and was bopping away cheerily after only a few seconds. Which is the aim of the whole thing, so I have to admit Hi-5 are a success at what they set out to do.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video transfer is very good, with lots of bright colours, and is acceptably sharp.

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1, Hi-5 is 4x3 full frame and not 16x9 enhanced, unlike other Hi-5 DVDs. Why other Hi-5 DVDs are 16x9 enhanced and this isn't is anyone's guess. The picture is very sharp, and there is no grain or low level noise worth mentioning.

    The dance stage, costumes and lighting are all very bright and a lot of fun.

    English subtitles are present and are clear and easy to read, which is important for getting those lyrics right when you are singing along.

    This is a single sided, single layer DVD.

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

Audio

     A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s) audio track is on offer.

    There are no dialogue or audio sync problems.

    The music is very clear and is, understandably, mixed with vocals being the most prominent component. Despite some songs being found on other DVDs my 2 year old was not fussed, and seemed to enjoy recognising the familiar songs.

    There is no surround channel usage or subwoofer effects.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    When the disc first loads up and brings you to the main menu, the character Chats pops up and introduces you to the disc, helping you to use the various features.

Karaoke

    This extra is basically the same songs with subtitles activated and the option to turn off the vocals. However, when we tried to activate this feature on a Pioneer DV-533K, the DVD would not advance to the dance chapters, and hung on the menu screen. We then used the feature on a Pioneer DVR-520H with no problems. We are unsure why this didn't work on the earlier model player, however it is a point worth mentioning.

R4 vs R1

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

     This DVD is available only in Region 4.

Summary

     We thought this DVD was an easy way for Hi-5 to get another product out onto the market with minimal fuss (read recycled songs). Sure, the segments talking the kids through the dance steps were new, but hardly eye-popping. Dance Hits Volume 2 does have 10 high energy dances though, and the Karaoke feature might appeal to older kids. The video is very good for a 4:3 transfer of this type. The music is very good. The extra is really only the Karaoke. Should still get many repeat viewings from kids but does not contain the same breadth of entertainment or bang for you buck as other "fully featured" Hi-5 productions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Kristen Clark & Ryan Woodforde (I love the smell of bio in the morning.)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-51P15H rear projection TV (136cm).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to Amplifier.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS494
SpeakersKrix Lyrix front speakers, Krix KDX-C centre speaker, Krix Equinox rear speakers, BIC D-121OR 12' 200 watt powered sub-woofer.

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