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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Dragon Tales: Adventures in Dragon Land! (2000)

"I wish, I wish with all my heart to fly with dragons in a world apart."
- Emmy and Max

Review By: Brian Cook (age 32) and Roddy Cook (age 6)   
Published: September 25, 2000

Stars: Ord, Cassie, Zak, Wheezie, Max and Emmy
Other Stars: Quetzel, Kiki andShelly
Director: Tim Eldred

Manufacturer: dvxx
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:06m:00s
Release Date:
UPC: 043396046115
Genre: fantasy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- BC+C+ D+

DVD Review

I have to be honest with you on this one. Although Roddy has seen a few episodes of this show, I have not. For the uninitiated like myself, each episode follows the adventures of Emmy and her brother Max, who wish themselves into Dragon Land, learn a valuable lesson from the dragons while there, then return home before their Mom has had a chance to notice they were even gone.

The five episodes on this disc were all new to Roddy, so he was very interested in them all. The first one, "To Kingdom Come," teaches about sharing and the possible consequences of not sharing in Dragon Land. In "Baby Troubles," Cassie's baby sister, Kiki, does not want to take a nap. Emmy, Max and the dragons try every trick in the book to help her get to sleep. Next comes "Bad Share Day" which focuses on sharing in a different but interesting fashion with a talking crayon. "Zak takes a Dive" shows us Zak and Wheezie learning how to swim. They are taught by a winged turtle named Shelly and they, in turn, teach Shelly to fly. Last, we have "The Forest of Darkness" which teaches us the importance of facing our fears.

The episodes are short enough to keep your attention and the lessons learned are good ones. I find the characters interesting, but slightly annoying. As for Roddy, he likes Dragon Tales, but he doesn't love it. That's all I could get out of him on this one. Although he was very interested while watching, I'm not sure it will have repeat viewing power.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: It is easy to tell from a quick glance that this is a TV show. The colors seem very washed out and there even seemed to be some bleeding of colors in some scenes. Roddy told me that he could not notice a difference between the tv show itself and the disc, but his opinion may be wrong. Since I have never seen the show, I cannot compare the two. But, I can say that this transfer is definitely lacking something. It may very well be that the original source material does not lend itself well to the digital format and, based on Columbia TriStar's usually exemplary performance, I tend to believe this.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English and Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio on this disc is no better than the video. It is presented in 2-channel Dolby Surround. I'm not complaining about the lack of surround on the track, but even the front soundstage had very little, if any, directionality to it. The dialogue was clear and I didn't notice any muddiness though. I guess we can't expect that much from children's TV shows.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 5 cues
Music/Song Access with 4 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English, French and Spanish with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Nuttiest Nutcracker, Adventures of Milo and Otis, Stuart Little
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Sing Along Songs
Extras Review: The only real extra on ths disc are the sing along songs. There are 4 songs taken from the episodes on the disc. We are able to sing along by following the words on the screen. The only problem I noticed is once you pick a song and it is finished, you do not get sent back to the menu, it just moves on to the next song.

One thing of note on the trailers. Both Elmo in Grouchland and Stuart Little were both in DD 5.1, very cool. All of the trailers were full frame.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

What can I say. I can't recommend this disc...between the lack of extras, and because the audio and the video were both sub-par. The stories are interesting, insightful and educational though. As with most of these kid's DVDs, I think it comes down to this simple statement. If you like Dragon Tales, then you will probably want to get this disc. Roddy is a casual watcher of the show, therefore I would not have purchased this disc for him. I do like that you get five episodes instead of three like you do with some kid's discs.


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