Tweenies-Animal Friends/Party Games, Laughs and Giggles (1998)

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Released 2-Oct-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 118:19
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Will Brenton
Kay Benbow
Robin Carr
Philip Hawthorn
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 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

    The Tweenies is a show produced by the BBC aimed at small children, about the two to three year old mark. I have a son who is 2.5 years old and is a picky eater, so dinner time can be stressful for all concerned. In desperation, we usually end up trying to distract him with videos and the like while shovelling in the food. When this disc arrived at home I popped it on to see his reaction - he ate all his dinner, as he was totally engrossed in the on-screen action. So far, it has managed to give us five nights of dinner-time peace. That is a very big endorsement of this disc.

    There are two episodes of the show on this disc, both running for about an hour. The cast of the show consists of a series of characters that are humans dressed up in foam costumes and heads that attend a kindergarten together. The show is comprised of a series of short sections; news time, messy time (they usually make something), song time (songs such as Do The Hokey Pokey), telly time (a trip out to the real world e.g. a visit to a milking shed) and story time (they all dress up as various characters and act out a story). This is an excellent show for this age group and will give many hours of peace and quiet for the parents.

    The other advantage is that this disc will last. I don't know how many VHS tapes we have at home that no longer have any image left on them due to excessive repeat viewings, but there will be no degradation with a DVD, no matter how many times it is played.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    You're not going to believe this, but the video transfer on this disc is of reference quality. Even though this is a single sided disc and has just on two hours of material on it, the transfer is fantastic. Part of the reason for this is that there is not much in the way of detail in any of the scenes. The backgrounds are large areas of bright colours. Even the characters' faces are fairly simple. This means that the MPEG encoder did not have to work very hard to encode this disc. I felt that I could walk up to the screen and reach into it, with the image having an almost 3D quality about it. My only problem now is stopping the little guy trying to touch the characters.

    The show is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is pin-sharp and incredibly detailed. The shadow detail is excellent, although in a well-lit studio there are not many dark areas. There was no low level noise.

    The colours were really vibrant, fully saturated with no embedded noise at all. A real treat for the kiddies.

    There were no MPEG or other artefacts at all.

    There is one set of subtitles in English on this disc. This will be particularly useful for slightly older kids, as they can read the lyrics to the songs and join in.

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

Audio

    There is a singular English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack present on this disc. The Pro-Logic flag is not encoded into the bitstream. Overriding this spreads a bit of the soundstage through the surrounds, not that the kiddies will notice. It is a perfectly serviceable stereo track and is very clear.

    Dialogue quality is excellent.

    Audio sync: lets be realistic - these people have foam heads! The heads appear to be driven by animatronics and work very well considering.

    The music is perfect for this age group. The songs and tunes will entertain every time.

    There was some minor redirection of ambient sound to the rear surround speakers when Pro-Logic mode was turned on, but is not really needed for this kind of show.

    The subwoofer did not really get used other than for a little redirection from the mains.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menus are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. You are presented with the option of selecting one of the two episodes on the front menu. The first episode's menu is well laid out and has access to each of the sections mentioned above. It also has a Play All button. The second episode has a slightly more complex menu and is missing the Play All button. This can lead to a little confusion when trying to access this title - when you want to put on a show for the kids, you usually need it NOW, so playing with fancy menus can be a problem.

R4 vs R1

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

   There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this DVD available.

Summary

    Tweenies gets the big thumbs up from both my son and his mother - no better endorsement exists.

    The video is of reference quality.

    The audio is entirely appropriate for the show.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. 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)

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