The Wiggles-Wiggly TV (1999)
DVD-ROM Extras-2 Games, Web Links
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||60:00 (Case: 92)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Case||Village Roadshow New Style|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
And so it is with The Wiggles. This is pure children's fare, with nothing to even vaguely interest an adult. We're provided with the fries (maybe some "magic" from Greg or some senseless chit-chat between the guys), the hamburger main course (lots of catchy songs) and some soft drink to wash it all down with (a pirate, a fat green dinosaur, an octopus or someone with an oversized dog costume).
Normally I'd try here to comment on the plot, or on the quality of acting or direction, or on the significance of the film to modern culture or film history. In this case however, I've simply nothing to say. There is no plot, no acting, no sophistication at any level. Perhaps the songs are catchy, but the rest? I really doubt that children actually learn anything from this stuff, so are we simply looking at cheap baby-sitting (i.e. child quietening) material designed more for the benefit of the performers than the viewers? If so, then at least it's consistent with so much else in our modern way of life, where the top few microns are all that is important, and the real substance of the thing is completely overlooked.
For the record, four guys, some with child education training and some former members of The Cockroaches, named Murray, Jeff, Anthony and Greg, identifiable by the colours of their respective shirts, sing, talk, and overact with sufficient energy to grab the focus of young children and the wallets of their parents. The disc contains three 20 minute (there is no time coding on the disc) made-for-TV episodes of The Wiggles plus some sing-along karaoke-style music clips and other novelties.
The picture quality is the big surprise with this disc. Although from a video source it is nevertheless of high quality. The first thing to be seen once the disc starts spinning is the standard Wiggles opening credit scene. This is all computer generated 3D animation and is very sharp. OK, so we're not talking Toy Story here, and video material can't escape its tell-tale softness, but it's still eye-catching. The TV episodes themselves can't maintain this particular standard, but picture clarity would have to be considered at the top end of what we would expect for standard video reproduction. Think similar to, or perhaps slightly better than broadcast quality, and you've got the right idea. The image, like the subject matter, is bright, colourful and well lit. Shadow detail can't compare to the quality available on good film, but I suppose the cartoonish nature of the picture doesn't really call for such detail. There is no low level noise in the studio scenes, although some of the live concert material (filmed at the Sydney Entertainment Centre?) is a bit patchy.
There are no compression artefacts to be seen and the video source material is clean.
Being made for very young children, the guys make sure that every word is enunciated clearly - this goes for the songs as well as the dialogue. Audio sync seems to be spot on.
The Wiggles have probably succeeded largely off the back of their songs. These make up a large part (much more significantly than any other children's show I'm familiar with) of the total show, and are short, catchy and clearly designed to get the kids out of their chairs.
You want the dinosaur to be accompanied by earth shattering bass as she thunders into view from over your left shoulder, or the pirate to sail into battle amid the three dimensional sounds of roaring canon and screaming men??? I'm sorry, you've got the wrong show. This soundtrack will not demonstrate any of the features of your sound system, and could just as usefully be pushed directly through your TV speakers.
|Surround Channel Use|
|DVD||Toshiba SD-K310, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Richter Wizard (front), Jamo SAT150 (rear), Yamaha YST-SW120 (subwoofer)|