Adventures of Bottle Top Bill-A Day at the Sea (and 5 More Adventures) (2005)

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Released 22-Jan-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 72:33
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Cameron Chittock
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jonty Stephens
Miranda Richardson
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Doug Gray


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English-British Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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 Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Bottle Top Bill is an imaginative animated series for the preschool to early primary age bracket. The highly contrasting animation utilises familiar household items and actually sets a scene by showing the environment being constructed, such as yoghurt containers appearing as hills on the landscape and paper-maché rocks slapped together in the foreground. It's very well done, and the technique helps kids apply their imagination in similar situations.

    This compilation includes six episodes of about twelve minutes each.

    My kids are familiar with this series from it's airing locally on ABC Kids, so this disc was met with some excitement when I popped it into the player. We were only a few seconds into the first episode when my five year old co-reviewer exclaimed "...something's not right, Dad!". She was right of course, it appears the DVD soundtrack contains a foreign English dub, probably from the North of the UK. The character voices used on this DVD are very different by comparison to the local broadcast. One of them is by none other than Miranda Richardson. The accents are thick and not nearly as accessible as the local version my kids are familiar with. Having said that, I don't think they are too traumatised, considering the number of replays this disc has enjoyed since it arrived on our doorstep.

    Some insightful observations from my five-year-old co-reviewer:

    "The voices are very different, but they're not too hard to understand". "I like the ABC Kids (Australian character) voices better".

    "The pictures on the back cover are wrong". (On closer inspection I realised she was absolutely right! The stills on the back of the cover slick don't match the episodes in the blurb. There's also a minor typo on the spine of the slick.)

    "The Fairy episode is my favourite, but I like them all, really".

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is very good for a children's show, easily on a par with the standard definition digital broadcast. The original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 has been retained, complete with 16x9 enhancement.

    The animation is clear and sharp, and looks great on a big screen. Colours are bright and bold, with no bleeding or unsightly artefacts to be seen. There are no dire compression issues to be concerned about.

    An English subtitle stream is provided and seems to be accurate, although it does summarise the dialogue a little.

    Contrary to the info on the cover, this disc is DVD5 formatted (single layered).

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

Audio

    As I mentioned above, an English (Dolby Digital stereo) soundtrack is included, but it is not the same as the local broadcast version. The accents in this version are thick (Northern UK) and it is obvious why a decision was made to dub it for local audiences. Despite the issues with the foreign accents, the dialogue is clearly audible and relatively easy to follow. There are no sync issues.

    The musical accompaniment is light and suits the adventurous, creative sentiment of the series very well.

    There is no dedicated subwoofer or surround activity.

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

Extras

    Nothing to get too excited about.

Menu

    The menu pages are very nicely animated, themed around the animation of the show, and are 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    It would be best to pick this up wherever you can find it cheapest. My review copy came with a sticker on the cover that claimed this title is "exclusive to Target", so I'm not exactly sure how easy it is to find in Australia (especially if you don't have a Target store nearby).

Summary

    Bottletop Bill is a great, adventurous, creative animated series for kids.

    The transfer is very good, but a foreign audio soundtrack has been used.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Monday, March 31, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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