The Wiggles-Wiggly Safari (2002)

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Released 2-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Trailer-The Wiggles-Wiggle Bay
Menu Animation & Audio
Notes-Learn More About The Animals (5)
Interviews-Cast
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 51:40 (Case: 57)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gary Mathison
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Murray Cook
Jeff Fatt
Anthony Field
Greg Page
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame 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
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

    The Wiggles meet Steve Irwin. In this latest release from the Wiggles franchise, the Wiggles leave the studio and head out to the Australian Zoo, home of Steve Irwin. A quick and interesting overview of the Zoo is available at http://www.crocodilehunter.com/australian_zoo/welcome/index.html. While at the zoo, we are introduced to a wide range of Australian animals intercut with 16 songs about those same animals. Everything that the kiddies love about the Wiggles is present; good songs, bright colours and dancing.

    The production quality of the Wiggles videos has certainly improved over the years from their early simple sets. I have missed a lot of their recent releases as kids don't seem to mind, in fact prefer, to watch their favourites over and over. One thing I did notice, though, is that the boys seem to have gotten a little older since their earlier tapes. Whereas previously they really exuded high levels of energy and worked up a real sweat during the songs and dances, in this show they seemed to have slowed down a little and are happy to let others do the dancing for them.

    I was going to be a little harsher on this disc, but another reviewer from the site was over for dinner, and I mentioned that I did not find this show as good as their earlier work. His wife nearly unscrewed my head and completely disagreed with me, so maybe I am getting a bit old, too.

    Steve Irwin is the sort of chap that you are going to either love or hate, but in this context he has that over-the-top presence that young kids seem to love. Kids also love animals of all sorts and many of their favourites are here; the kangaroo, the koala, the emu and many others. The songs are the usual Wiggles fare, but with less repeating choruses. Their early work like Fruit Salad and others had sections that repeated often, making it easy for the young ones to pick up a phrase and join in.

    Overall, this will still be a winner with the kids. It has the Wiggles, cuddly (and some not so cuddly) animals, music and dance, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy and the Big Red Car. What more could you want? Well, a good video transfer, which is a problem that is outlined below.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Overall, this is a very disappointing transfer. This was obviously shot on video and has some problems with sharpness, pixelization and noise.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Close shots are reasonable sharp but medium and long shots are very soft, and even blurred. The shadow detail is OK. There are some scenes where there is a bit of video noise, particularly in the solid colour areas. At 5:11 we see a medium shot of the Wiggles in the Big Red Car. There are quite a few artefacts visible in this scene including video noise.

    For most of the show the colours are reasonable, with good saturation, although sometimes they are affected by the noise and the compression problems. There is some posterization present in the medium and long shots, again visible at 5:11.

    The video has quite a few compression artefacts, again mostly in medium and long shots. The background is heavily pixelated in places such as 20:03. Other evidence of overcompression is also visible in this scene: the lack of sharp outlines, such as around Murray's yellow shirt, and in particular in the background revealed as he moves his arm - it takes a frame or two for the background to recover after being revealed. The many shots with complex backgrounds such as the trees and leaves are also affected. Motion is also quite blurred which is a shame as there is lots of energetic dancing.

    There are two sets of subtitles on this disc. The first are English for the Hearing Impaired, which cover the spoken material, the songs and contain audio cues for sounds and animal noises. The second set invite you to sing along with the Wiggles and appear when a song is being sung. They appear word by word in time with the music, a very clever use of subtitles - the DVD equivalent of a bouncing ball. I found both sets of subtitles to be accurate.

    This is a single layered disc despite the packaging claiming the disc is dual layered.

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

Audio

     There are two distinct parts to this audio transfer. The speaking parts are recorded on location in the bush and have a fair amount of background noise. The songs are dubbed over with studio recordings and contain some of the worst miming that I have seen, worse than a 1970s kung fu film from Hong Kong. It drove me nuts. but I suppose the kiddies won't notice.

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack present on this DVD.

    There were no real problems with the dialogue quality with everything being easy to understand. If we ignore the miming problems, then the audio is otherwise in sync.

    This is a Wiggles disc and they know how to entertain children musically. They have been doing it for many years and are still going strong.

    There was no activity from the surrounds or the subwoofer.

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

Extras

     I'm not sure that the kiddies are going to sit still while you fiddle with the remote control accessing the special features, particularly as most do not run for very long. The extras are probably most interesting to kids old enough to drive the remote themselves.

Menu

    A static menu that comes to life when you select a sub menu animating the roll to the new menu - quite clever. It is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. You can choose to play the entire video or select a favourite song.

Learn more about the animals

    This feature covers five different animals; Kangaroo (0:42), Koala (1:02), Kookaburra (0:42), Snakes (0:41) and Galapagos tortoise (1:00). Each animal has two static pages, one with a photo and some information and then a second page with more information. Accompanying this is a short video clip about the animal in question.

Making Of interview

    They are pushing their luck with this one calling it a 'special making of interview'. It is simply The Wiggles and Steve sitting at a table and talking about making the show, and only runs for 4:47. Very little of interest for anyone here.

Photo Gallery

    About 72 photos of the cast set in the middle of the screen. They automatically move from one to the other, staying on screen for about 4 seconds each. They are accompanied by some simple music that repeats several times. The entire section runs for 5:04.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this disc is not due for release yet so no comparison is possible at this time.

Summary

    Despite the technical problems, which the kiddies probably won't notice, this is still good solid entertainment for the young ones. The Wiggles formula works very well and does encourage kids to sing and dance which is great.

    The video quality is very disappointing.

    The audio sound all right but has some sync problems.

    The extras are disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Dean B
region4dvd.net - Darren R (read my bio (fun for the whole family))
DVD Net - Gavin T

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