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Paramount Studios presents
All Grown Up: Interview With a Campfire (2005)

"If I didn't know you better, I'd swear you grew up next to a power plant."
- Tommy (Elizabeth Daily)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: April 07, 2005

Stars: Hedi Anderson, Michael Bell, Elizabeth Daily
Other Stars: Clancy Brown, Amanda Bynes, Nancy Cartwright
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:31m:05s
Release Date: April 05, 2005
UPC: 097368873742
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B+AA- C+

DVD Review

One of Nickelodeon's flagship shows has always been The Rugrats. Airing on the channel since 1991, the show has spawned a group of characters that kids have and will always love. Well, no hit show is without a spin-off these days, and The Rugrats is no different. Its sister show is All Grown Up, also currently airing on Nickelodeon, and it follows the adventures of the same characters from The Rugrats, only this time they're older. All Grown Up was successful from the get-go, as the concept of the series debuted as a special called All Growed Up, which became the highest rated show in Nickelodeon history, and, therefore, convinced the channel to make the concept into a full-blown series.

All Grown Up is a great way to keep kids who have grown up with The Rugrats interested in those characters, as they're essentially growing up with them to some extent. All Grown Up also features some of the best voice talent working today, with the likes of Michael Bell and Elizabeth Daily reprising their roles from the original series, and the always great Clancy Brown (Carnivale) and Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) also chipping in.

Most of the stories in All Grown Up focus on the kids doing what all kids their age try and do, and that is to be as independent as possible. School is an issue here, as well as Lil struggling with separating herself from her twin. Granted, these shows are still played for laughs, and still geared towards (slightly older) kids, but it's nice to see the writers try and teach the viewers a thing or two about growing up along the way.

Interview With a Campfire, the featured show here, is about three times the length of a normal episode of All Grown Up. In this show, we can instantly tell that these kids have grown up, as Chuckie has a crush on Samantha, but can't quite get any words out of his mouth when he's around her. Angelica has her own problems as she's trying to find a way to go to an Emica concert. Both of these storylines result in a fun, yet slightly too-long show, which is sure to have fans of these characters constantly coming back for repeat viewings.

There are two "bonus episodes" on this DVD as well, and they are as follows:

River Rats: This Season One episode focuses on Tommy has to face one of his greatest fears, water. When he was little, he nearly drowned, which, naturally, has him terrified of any bodies of water. Well, when Betty and Chazz take Tommy, Phil, and Chuckie on a rafting trip, Tommy's secret fear is soon out in the open. This is a very interesting episode, again, featuring some slightly dark elements as Tommy really struggles with his aquatic fears, and faces the biggest opportunity to beat this fear. If he doesn't even attempt to beat the fear in this situation, it could be fatal for one of his traveling companions.

Bad Aptitude: This show is from Season Two, and this one is much lighter, as the kids are taking an aptitude test to determine their future career path. The simplest of the episodes on this DVD, Bad Aptitude is pure fun, as we see just what these kids might make of themselves as adults.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The episodes are in their original full-frame format, and they look even better than they do on Nickelodeon. Amazingly bright colors abound, with each sharply-drawn character practically bursting off the screen. There are absolutely no print flaws whatsoever, but, then again, the show is very new, and any such flaws would have been a huge slight in handling the transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is all we have here, but it proves to be enough. The surrounds are as active as they are during the TV broadcasts, which is quite active indeed. A wide dynamic range makes for an enveloping experience for the show's fans, helping to keep their attention throughout the shows. There's no problem with the dialogue either, as it is seamlessly integrated into the mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, All Grown Up: Lucky 13, SpongeBob SquarePants: Complete Second Season
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Campfire Ghost Story Activity: Interactive game
Extras Review: The main extra here is the Campfire Ghost Story Activity. In this interactive game, kids must choose one word from each page to complete the ghost story. After making all of their selections, they'll get to read the completed story. This can be very funny and can be done in so many different ways that kids are sure to get a kick out of it.

The only other extras are a series of previews for other Paramount Home Video DVD releases.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Hopefully, All Grown Up: Interview With a Campfire is only the first in a long line of All Grown Up DVDs from Paramount. Still, though, it would be great if the release pattern of the show switched to a season-by-season format, but I guess that'll depend on the success of this entry. The audio and video here are top-notch, and there is a fun interactive game for the kids as well.


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