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!


DIGITAL NEWS

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 Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

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.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

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)

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Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Clifford the Big Red Dog TV.com Page


LOOKING AHEAD

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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, July 22

The Simpsons - "3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer and Marge recount the story of their transition from loving their life without kids to being miserable parents.

Bob's Burgers - "Mo Mommy Mo Problems" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Belchers attend open houses for the free food; Linda meets a charming real estate agent and agrees to a private showing; the kids stumble upon an unexpected surprise; the family ends up getting involved with a real estate scheme.

Family Guy - "V is for Mystery" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Stewie and Brian are detectives who embark on solving a string of mysterious murders set in Victorian-era London.

Ghosted - "Hello Boys" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While trying to prove their worth to Capt. LaFrey, Leroy and Max finally get a lead on the whereabouts of Agent Checker; Leroy finds himself in the odd position of being the believer when Max loses faith that they have what it takes.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 16)

Sunday, July 22

  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Catch Sherri on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July)

New Girl - The Complete Seventh Season Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
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