More Barney Songs (1999)

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Released 12-Sep-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Introduction
Menu Audio
Featurette-Barney's Musical Scrapbook
Read Along
Trailer-7
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Notes-Meet The Dinos
Biographies-Character-Meet The Dinos
Biographies-Cast & Crew-Meet The Creative Team; Meet The Cast
Notes-What We Learned Today
DVD-ROM Extras-Games (8), Web Links
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 54:12
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Barney
BJ
Baby Bop
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    A children's video must have two important elements: it must attract and entertain the age group it is intended for; and it must not drive the parents nuts! Unfortunately, I felt More Barney Songs failed on both these counts. Children's videos are watched again and again, because children don't seem to mind the repetition, but the parents soon become fed up if there is something in the show that can become annoying. At the end of a single viewing, both my wife and myself had been put off by some of Barney's comments, and the cheesy American children. It also did not quite pass the test with my two and a half year old son, not holding his interest for the entire episode, though he may be a little younger than the target age of this disc. There may be a cultural difference, but the Barney show is very American. I found the accents grated and the children in the show seemed precocious and had plastic smiles - they were performing rather than having fun. By the end of the show, all I could think about was a purple dinosaur rug.

    Barney is a large purple dinosaur who sings and dances and interacts with two baby dinosaurs and a group of children. In this particular show, the focus is on song and dance. The characters dress up to match the song, an example being getting dressed up in camping gear and gathering around a tent to sing some camp songs. During the show they mix in a little education and some morals, reading a clock, counting to ten, and so forth. I thought it went a little overboard however when Barney began instructing you in washing your hands after going to the bathroom.

    The disc itself is is quite feature-packed. The main feature runs for just over 54 minutes, and there is a bonus second show that runs for 50 minutes. Also included is a read-along video book, a video jukebox with over 30 songs, a set of special features and DVD ROM content as well..

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I am afraid that the video transfer of this DVD is shocking, being one of the most over-compressed efforts I have ever seen.

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

    The sharpness is poor throughout, and the combination of the pixelization and the probable conversion from NTSC has produced a poor quality image. The shadow detail is acceptable. It is hard to tell if there is noise in the image due to the amount of pixelization. The background is a constant mass of what appears to be noise, but is in fact complete macroblocking of the image.

    The colours are good, but should have been better. The characters are in bright colourful costumes and they are not rendered nearly as brightly as they should be, especially considering their target market. There is evidence of cross colouration clearly seen in a patchwork quilt at 12:59.

    MPEG artefacts abound throughout. If you watch the background as they start on a tight shot and then pull back to a wide shot, you can see the background quickly lose definition and completely break up into macro blocks as the encoder runs out of bits to encode the increasing information. Examples abound, such as at 2:08 on the background trees and Barney himself, at 15:00 in the entire background, and at 2:48 where the children's faces are reduced to little more than mono-coloured single blocks. There is also a selection of other compression artefacts such as major posterization on the children's faces at 10:10, as well as some dot crawl at 2:47 and some rather severe edge enhancement such as the pants legs at 3:12.

    It would appear that this show was shot on video so there are no film artefacts. There may be further artefacts in the video stream but they are completely masked by the MPEG problems.

    The subtitles are in English and include some sound cues for the Hearing Impaired. They are particularly useful during the songs, giving you the words to sing along with. There is a slight problem in that the American version of some of the songs have slightly different words, but that is not the fault of the disc.

    I suspect that this disc is dual-layered but not RSDL formatted, with the layers separating the various sections of this disc as I could not detect a layer change during playback.



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

Audio

    The music accompanying the menus is encoded in PCM and is substantially louder than the Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks that accompany the various clips and features. This leaves you either tolerating the rather cheesy menu music at too great a volume or reaching for the remote each time you return to the menus. In its defence, it is a full range track with a substantial bass drum component giving the subwoofer something to do with the redirected bass.

    The show and special features are all accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 track with the surround-encoding flag enabled.

    The dialogue quality was good and in sync with the human participants. The dinosaurs operated as expected.

    The music is obviously aimed at children with a selection of songs such as Puttin' On A Show, If You're Happy And You Know It, A Camping We Will Go, and so on. It is quite well done - the accompaniment is well done and the melody is well to the fore to help the kiddies.

    The surrounds were used to widen the sound stage and received some of the music. I don't think the kids would really notice, though.

    The tracks are all full range and when required to reproduce a kick drum or similar there were no problems.

 

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

Extras

    Quite a selection of extras are on offer, in particular the second show bringing the total length of Barney episodes on this DVD to over 100 minutes.

Menu

    The menus are presented in 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

Bonus Video

    More of the same and unfortunately of the same video quality as the main feature.

Read Along

    This is a video book consisting of a series of still pages with a drawing from the story and the text along the bottom. You have two choices; either the characters can read the text for you or you can choose to read the story yourself with the remote controlling the page turns. Once you enter the story you cannot jump back to the main menu - you have to step forward to the end or back to the beginning.

Video Jukebox

    This is a series of 34 songs that can either be selected individually or in groups of four or five. You can also play the entire collection. Each clip lasts one song and the subtitles are permanently turned on throughout.

Previews

    A selection of short clips previewing seven other Barney videos.

DVD ROM content

    This boots automatically when you insert the disc into a PC.

    This is a series of eight games aimed at children that can use a mouse on the computer. One of the games brings up three different farm animals. It then plays the sound one of the animals makes. It then asks the child to click on the correct animal. Another game brings up ten different connect-the-dots pictures. You need to click on the number in order to make the picture appear. The next game is a picture where you can select various colours and colour in a picture on the screen. All-in-all, some simple games that I think children of the right age will really enjoy.

Web Link

Behind The Scenes

    A series of text pages taking you behind the scenes.

Meet the Dinos

    A series of pages that describes each of the dinosaur characters.

Meet the Creative Team

    A series of pages that describes the team that creates the Barney show.

Meet the Cast

    More pages, this time describing each of the children that are in the show.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:     I haven't actually seen the Region 1 disc personally, but if the online review I consulted is correct, having to 'unlock' some of the features by visiting Barney's web site would be a pain. I could not find a review for the video quality so I cannot really give a clear recommendation on this one.

Summary

    For those that like Barney, this could have been a great disc with a load of extras and hours of entertainment. Unfortunately, the video quality really is poor, and some may be irritated by the content.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Tuesday, October 02, 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 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)

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