Paramount / region 4 / 6 September
Paramount have a trio of great kids titles out this September featuring not just Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants but also that singing group of dogs Raggs.
Kids absolutely love Dora the Explorer and even though her merchandising (which is everywhere) is aimed mostly at pre-school girls, the show itself is definitely aimed at both boys and girls. In Big Sister Dora there’s going to be a new arrival in the Explorer household and Dora has to find the quickest way home to make sure she is there on time to discover if it is a boy or a girl. Other stories on the disc focus on soccer (or football as we poms like to call it!), delivering letters and thinking about what you want to be when you are a grown up. Dora has a very strong interactive element, almost of the quality of a video game, lots of repitition :backpack, backpack” reinforce this feeling as do the simplistic animation and style.
Spongebob Squarepants: Friend or Foe? Spongebob is either the most irritating thing ever seen on TV or quite possibly the work of a misguided genius, one who has clearly taken a lot of psychedelic drugs (although to be fair series creator Stephen Hillenburg is a former marine biologist). Set in the underseaworld (which turns out to be much like our own) of Bikini Bottom SS follows the sponge of the title who lives in a Pineapple. Spongebob’s best friend is pink starfish Patrick Star. Spongebob also has a pet snail called Gary.
This new release features 8 episodes of colourful and very noisy fun. friend or Foe being a two parter that delves deep into the rivalry between the Krabs and the Plankton.
Raggs: Move Your Tails is a Channel 7 show featuring a quintet of dogs, Raggs, Trilby, Pido, B. Max, and Razzles, who have adventures and sing songs based out of their clubhouse. Like a canine Hi-5 (and featuring the outsize costumes similar to New MacDonald’s Farm) Raggs and co perform for kids in the studio, have fun in their clubhouse and try and promote positive life aspects to their children viewers.
Raggs is an American concept created by Toni Steedman and had appeared in a couple of specials and released a couple of CD’s before Channel 7 put in an order for a huge amount of episodes (120 plus) since then much of Raggs efforts in marketing and merchandising has been over here. It’s entertaining enough even though the songs don’t quite scale the heights of Wiggledom. This disc also features Karaoke segments and a couple of games.