Pound Puppies Mission: Adoption Offers Audiences Five More Episodes Of Fun And Lessons

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Hub

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Hub

The latest release from the Hub network’s Pound Puppies series is just as fun as the previous pair of DVDs.  This new release offers audiences five more episodes filled with entertainment and important lessons for both kids and their parents.  Also included in this new collection of episodes is an adoption certificate that kids can print out and fill out for their very own.  Just as impressive as the set’s episodes is the continued original artwork used throughout the series.  Anyone that remembers Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, will recognize the animation used for this series once again.  Altogether, these factors make Pound Puppies Mission: Adoption just as fun as the previous collections of episodes from this update of the classic 80s series.

This latest release is so much enjoyable first and foremost because of the mix of entertainment and life lessons in each of its five episodes.  Of course the inclusion of some well-known voice actors doesn’t hurt, either.  This time out, audiences learn that even the smallest dog…er…person can accomplish great feats.  This lesson is taught in the episode, “Snow Problem.”  When a young husky puppy named Tundra ends up with the Pound Puppies, he and the others take on a group of bigger, tougher dogs in a sled race that ends up with the young pup winning the heart of one of the racers and being adopted.  The spoof of the famed song, ‘Chariots of Fire’ is a nice addition to this episode.  Viewers also learn that superstitions are superstitions for a reason in “Taboo.”  When they meet the puppy named Taboo, the Pound Puppies discover why it is that he’s had such a hard time finding his person.  Viewers will have to find out the truth behind his adoption problems for themselves when they pick up this new release.  Viewers will especially enjoy the Wizard of Oz reference in this episode.  In the disc’s opener, “King of the Heap”, one of the Pound Puppies is adopted by Junkyard Jim, instead of the newest additions to the pound named Elvis (voiced by Clancy Brown—Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants).  This episode teaches viewers that it’s best to be themselves, rather than something that they’re not.  Being one’s own self is what people admire most.  The show’s writers are to be commended for these lessons, and the others included here along with its more fun moments.  On a side note, voice actor John DiMaggio is back again as the voice of Niblet.  Considering that Futurama is coming to an end yet again, hopefully Hub will keep this show around as he does quite the job as Niblet’s voice.

The collection of fun moments and lessons culled for the episodes in this latest set make it fun for the whole family.  Older audiences will appreciate this set for more than just those factors, though.  They will also enjoy the animation style used throughout the series.  It’s quite similar to Cartoon Network’s former cartoon, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.  What makes this animation style so impressive is that even if it was done via computer, its quality is such that it’s difficult to tell if it was done by hand, by computer, or a combination of both.  If it was done by both computer and by hand, then it proves that the two animation styles can exist side by side.  And that both styles can exist side by side, one can only hope that audiences will get much more of this style of animation and mix of fun and lessons in even more volumes of Pound Puppies episodes.  Pound Puppies Mission: Adoption is available now in stores and online.  It can be purchased online direct via the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216951.

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Mia And The Miggo Excellent Tool For Visual Art Students

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Thank goodness for hand drawn animation.  So many of today’s “animated” features are really just CGI based works that try to masquerade as actual cartoons.  While this reviewer personally is not a fan of anime style artwork, the newly imported French movie, Mia and the Migoo is a work that did impress.  Forget the fact that this movie carries a very heavy handed environmental message (one that may be too strong even for some younger audiences). The real star of Mia and the Migoo is its animation.  Audiences will appreciate the animation even more in watching the movie’s “making of” featurette.  It is, for the most part, just another “making of” featurette.  But there is one moment in this bonus feature that makes it all worth the near half hour watch.

One individual who is interviewed for the feature notes that bringing a movie to life using actual hand drawn animation gives the movie a more “human” feel versus the use of computers.  He states that animated features created through CGI are done mathematically.  It’s as if he was saying in a roundabout way that CGI animation is cold and really has no life.  That couldn’t be truer.  That this young artist has such an appreciation for the art of drawing, rather than sitting in front of a computer to make art makes Mia and the Migoo that much more enjoyable in hindsight.

Mia and the Migoo is a beautiful work of art, in terms of its animation.  But there is no denying that the movie’s content may not be suitable for some younger audiences.  The movie does get intense at times.  Audiences see Aldrin’s father use a mortar launcher to destroy the sacred tree.  The result of his actions is pretty intense.  Some younger viewers might be unsettled by this.  Also early on, while Mia is riding a bus to the construction site where her father works, the bus breaks down.  A heavy set woman on the bus proceeds to take off her shirt, and drench the bus’s engine in her sweat.  She is wearing undergarments.  Now while this is probably more socially acceptable in other nations’ cultures, some American audiences may find this not as suitable for younger audiences.  Thus, the mark on the DVD’s cover of being “Family Approved” may again be more aimed at audiences other than those in the United States. 

While some of the content in Mia and The Migoo may be unsuitable for certain younger audiences (parents should use their own discretion to determine if it’s too intense for their own children in other words), but that doesn’t mean that it’s inappropriate for all audiences.  Because it is such ha beautiful work of art, this movie serves as a wonderful teaching tool, believe it or not, for students studying the visual arts.  As noted in the press release for the now American release of the movie, the artwork in the movie will conjure thoughts of Van Gogh, Monet, and even Cezanne.  The colors throughout each scene are that rich and vibrant.  And the characters themselves are very much in the vein of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki.  For that, it is a movie that deserves its own praise, and at least a single viewing.

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