the stuff we build
Santa schmantza

Another overdue post (review time)

It seems like every time I check on the blog it turns out that I HAVEN'T posted anything!  Amazing.  Especially considering that I have a backlog of half-written posts.  This time of year the days just seem to fly by.  And I think the early dark turns my brain off. 

Note to self: Must start utilizing night-time. Do NOT play any more Bejeweled 2.

So I don't do reviews around here often but I was offered a chance to check out the Playmobil: The Secret of Pirate Island DVD.  What intrigued me was that it was marketed as an interactive DVD; you could make choices at points in the movie to direct what the characters would do and which way the story should go.  Like those choose your own adventure books.  Chance has been all about the bonus features of any DVDs. If there are games, bonus clips, deleted scenes, even previews he's wrestling the remote out of our hands to get to them.  On the one hand that's kind of annoying (the male proprietary dominance of the remote, I mean) but on the other, Chance's fine motor skills are rapidly improving (which he needs, thanks dyspraxia) so when I heard about this Playmobil DVD I wanted to give it a try.

Unfortunately, Chance was completely ill when we first got the DVD, so he liked it but he didn't want to operate the remote himself.  (Which should give you an idea of how crappy he was feeling.)  However, the second time he watched it, about a week later, he was feeling better and then he got into all the alternate choices.  He actually, started the movie over a couple of times to re-choose options at certain places and watch what happened.

From my perspective, the CGI was really well done.  I thought that the movie was pretty cute and I especially liked the music.  I'm picky about music, I don't like stuff that's too cutesy or dumbed down and the tunes of this DVD were catchy - something an adult could enjoy.  Ditto on the story line.  I was genuinely amused at quite a few of the lines.  I also thought they did a good job with the choices given to viewers, but it was obvious there was still a main story line that it would return to.  Chance is four, almost five, so it worked for him.  But if you have older children they might desire more control over the larger path of the story.

Overall, I would say that Chance enjoyed it but it didn't completely grab him.  He likes it when it's on, but he also doesn't ask for it.  However, I think that's simply a matter of the movie genre.  If they had a similar Playmobil DVD with dinosaurs I suspect it would be another story. 

Since we got the DVD I've been seeing Playmobil everywhere. I always knew about their toys (I really want one of their castles but I can't sucker Chance into them) but they seem to be expanding in interesting directions.  And while the Pirate theme may not have been Chance's cup of tea I'm keeping my eye out for what other movies they produce.  

(No action figures were harmed in the making of this review.)

           - the weirdgirl



I LOVED playmobil when I was a kid. Mostly the animals. I threw the people over my shoulder. But I had playmobil horses and penguins (that I had to colour myself with a sharpie) and polar bears that had their own ice flow to play on. But the best was the dog sled team. You could take them in and out of their traces, and the little plastic sled had a felt blanket bedroll and tiny plastic tools which could probably be swallowed by anyone under age 21. I LOVED it.

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