Saturday, February 05, 2011

Digital Digest: Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies DVD Review

There's snow everywhere, but the same can't be said about news in the digital realm this week. We've probably hit our slowest news week yet, with no news about anything completely new to home media to report on this week and only two news stories to report, but regardless, we're here every week, no matter what! This week, we've also got a review of Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies. Let's get going!


In what is the slowest news week on Digital Digest ever, our only real story this week is a report of a forthcoming release of Home Improvement - The 20th Anniversary Complete Collection. The set will contain every episode of the season in a special toolbox package, and comes at a $129.99 MSRP. It is scheduled to be released on May 10.

We recently discovered that is now shipping Night Court - The Complete Fourth Season as a manufacture-on-demand title. Now, this may seem like old news, because it was released by Warner Archive several months ago, but due to many problems with the set, it was removed while "corrections" could be made from their website a few weeks after being released and has not reappeared to order since then. We honestly have no clue if this MOD title on has any of the errors corrected, but at the very least, if you are interested in this set, you can now order it. We hope to find out more information about this listing, as well as when/if the title will return to the Warner Archive website.


Tuesday (February 8) is a slow day for releases, with only one release of note, that being Universal's Columbo - The Mystery Movie Collection: 1991-1993. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain a review copy of this set.


Clifford knows that every day is a big, cuddly, fun-filled adventure when you spend time with your friends! In Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies, we have six adventure-filled stories, as Clifford and his friends discover the best parts of friendship are being together. They also see the importance of keeping promises, respecting each other and doing nice favors. So whether Clifford's getting a bath from Emily Elizabeth, playing tag with Cleo and T-Bone, sharing a squiggle stick with Mac, or watching fireworks, he always knows the best part of best buddies is being with the people--and dogs--he loves the most! Includes 6 stories: A Ferry Tale, Cleo Comes to Town, Promises Promises, Jetta's Sneak Peek, Ears Have It, Saturday Morning. So, without further adieu read our DVD review of Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies.

DVD Review: Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies
by Pavan

Clifford the Big Red Dog - Best Buddies (Lionsgate, $14.98) brings us 6 short episodes on DVD on a single disc. We reviewed the last major set for this series back in 2006, but that set was five-discs. This set has six episodes that focuses on Clifford and his best buddies. Before we get to the set itself, this series aired from 2000-2003 on PBS starring the voice of the late John Ritter. Just about everyone knows who Clifford the Big Red Dog is, so I won't go into details about that and the show itself.

As for the episodes on this disc, we get six short episodes. The series had 2 short episodes per half-hour. Since this is a best-of type set, we don't get the full episode with both shorts. Each short episode runs 12:39. The first episode on this disc is "Cleo Comes to Town." This episode was part of episode 6. In a flashback, everyone recalls how Cleo shook things up when she first moved to Birdwell Island. The next episode on this set is "The Ears Have It." This episode was part of episode 16. It's Founder's Day on Birdwell Island and everyone is all excited for the fireworks show--everyone except T-Bone that is, he is afraid of loud noises. Next we have "A Ferry Tale." This was part of episode 2. At the docks, everyone's waiting for the ferry that's bringing the Dog of the Year judge, Lily Lavalley. However, there's a thick fog and even the lighthouse lantern isn't enough to cut through it. Then we have the episode "Jetta's Sneak Peek." This was part of episode 53. Jetta can't resist reading Emily Elizabeth's journal, but soon learns that it's important to respect someone's privacy. The next episode we have is "Promises Promises." Jetta and Emily Elizabeth make plans to spend Saturday at the beach together, but Jetta breaks the play date when a better offer from an older girl comes along. However, when the older girl calls and cancels on Jetta, Jetta finally understands how Emily Elizabeth must have felt. She now realizes that being a good friend means keeping a promise. And the final episode on this set is "Saturday Morning." This episode was part of episode 28. When T-Bone's "special Saturday time" with Sheriff Lewis doesn't turn out the way he expected one week, he goes on a quest to see how others spend their Saturdays. He finds there are many different ways to spend time with the people you love.

The packaging is simple. Lionsgate has given us a simple movie style case. We have Clifford on the cover art with Emily Elizabeth, T-Bone and Cleo sitting on his paw. The title of the series and "Best Buddies" in above that. The back of the case has info on the series and set, including episode titles and a list of bonus features. We also have three episodic stills from the series. When we open the case, there is no artwork on the panels itself--so it is just plain black. The disc is on the right panel and has the same artwork as the case cover, except we see a fence in the background.

The menus are easy to navigate and are also designed well for children. It isn't as friendly though as the previous set in 2006, but it works. We have the opening theme song playing in the background (and it loops when it finishes). The main menu options are Play All, Choose Episode, Set Up and Big Fun Features. The sub-menus have the closing theme song playing in the background. There are no chapter stops for this set since it is just one mini-episode per episode. Choose Episode option gives us a screenshot and episode title and then we can choose the episode. The Big Fun Features option has a list of six "Speckle Stories" that run 90 seconds each. The Speckle Stories usually run at the end of each episode on PBS, but it is an extra on this set. The Set Up feature has it so we can change back and forth between 2.0 English Dolby Digital and 2.0 Spanish Dolby Digital.

The video and audio quality are both great. The video is in 1.33:1 full screen, but it still looks great. The colors are very vivid. It almost looks HD, that's how good the video looks. My DVD player upconverts to HD, so it looks great. The audio is also fine. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can choose either English or Spanish. There is nothing to complain about here. No dust and debris in the video or anything.

As for the Big Fun Features. We get six "Speckle Stories," which I mentioned earlier. These are stories that Emily Elizabeth reads to Clifford. They each run 1:31. We have on this set: "Speckle and the Rainy Day," "Speckle and the New Ball," "Speckle and the Big Job," "Speckle and the Spectacular Sand Castle," "Speckle and the Whole Team," and "Speckle and the Valentine."

This set is pretty well done for a single-disc set. It is no where near good as the previous set, but that is to be expected. If you have not bought that set already, please buy that and then get this set. This set has episodes never before released on DVD, so it is worth buying. Let's hope eventually we get ALL of the episodes on DVD because John Ritter gives the voice of Clifford a new meaning and he was so good at it. He was also nominated for many Daytime Emmy's for this role. Without Valentine's Day just around the corner, red is the way to go! Preferably big and red.

(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support

Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Clifford the Big Red Dog Page


We really hope that these past few weeks are not a reflection of what the future of home media is coming to, as they have been incredibly disappointing! Not only does this slow down make Digital Digest much less exciting than we'd like for it to be, but it gives us fewer options for our home media purchases. But it does give us an opportunity to bring you other non-news content, and we hope to have more of that in the upcoming weeks--although we'd like for it to be in addition to news. Next week, we'll be reviewing The Fugitive - The Fourth and Final Season, Volume 2 and hopefully have much more for you. Until then, keep it digital!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 25

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.

American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.

Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.

Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Tuesday, October 25

  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.