Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies Review
Love her or loath her, Hello Kitty is undeniably one of the most successful merchandise characters' in the world. Sanrio's cute little feline who fronts a multi-billion franchise has had her face plastered over everything - lunch boxes, bed sheets, stationary, lollypops and so on. Go to Japan and you'll even find "Hello Kitty World" - a bizarre Disney like, pink paradise, filled with large cats and blue penguins and so many toys your children will have bled you dry by the end of the day. Make no mistake, Hello Kitty is here to stay and if the past thirty years are anything to go by then we should all worry for the future.
It's no surprise that a cartoon series would develop for Kitty and her friends, when it took America by storm (where it is still incredibly popular) it was made into a series for US audiences and syndicated world wide. With the arrival of these children’s shows, Hello Kitty suddenly lost a lot of its charm - they were given mouths.
Hello Kitty goes to the movies is a selection of five short episodes taken from the 1987 series "Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre". The set up is that Kitty and co stage theatre productions based on popular movies for their parents and anyone else who wishes to drop by. The episodes presented on this disc are as follows:
K.T. – The Kitty Terrestrial
K.T and her parents visit planet Earth for a family picnic but soon K.T gets lost while sight seeing. An evil scientist and her assistant spy K.T. and proceed to chase her. K.T. must find her way back to her parents, with the help of her new found friends.
The Wizard of Paws
Hello Dorothy gets whisked away from her home furry home and is transported to a magical land. Now, along with her friends Scarecrow Chip, Tin Penguin and Cowardly Rabbit she sets off to find the wonderful wizard.
Kitty and the Kong
Kitty and her friends are travelling on a cruise ship and soon arrive at an island, where they meet a giant dog. Naturally the evil cat wants to take him back home and show him off to the media but Kitty wishes to help him return home.
Darth Catnip is planning to take over the planet Caturn. It is up to Princess Kitty, Master Fluke, C-3Sealo and Hop2-D2 to save the world!
Paws - The Great White Dog Shark
Hello Kitty, Lifeguard Sam and Dr. Chip go out to sea to put a stop to the Great White Dog Shark that threatens Catalina Island.
Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies sounds good on paper but upon watching it play out it becomes more apparent that it isn't as much fun as it sounds. The show is aimed at children aged 2-5 and while I'm sure they would enjoy it I can't help but think how poor it is. I enjoy children's shows, particularly ones that hold nostalgic value but with Hello Kitty the series lacks in so many areas that I find it difficult to sit down and be entertained. I imagine that many parents would also have a hard time in sitting down and listening to a lot of the dialogue, featuring made up words that have to feature purr, fur or cat in every sentence. The adventures of Hello Kitty and her equally strangely named pals are far from purrfectly, furtastic ones. Add the occasional moral that will go over any young child's head and you have some pretty tedious stuff.
My main problem is with the voice casting because it's so kiddie like. I just can't listen to a bunch of annoying kids or actors pretending to be annoying kids for a long duration of time, and in Hello Kitty's instance that would be five minutes.
Secondly the show tries to be funny but it just isn't. The jokes are tired and so wholesome that there's nothing here to laugh about and it is down to the visuals to provide the comical moments to better effect, which aren't all that great either. The animation is relatively poor and does little to liven things up. Perhaps I'm being too harsh on a show designed for children but in my opinion it is a poorly executed one, and so I'm going to have to cut this review short before angry parents start e-mailing me.
MGM present Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies on a bare bones disc with no extra features.
Presented in full frame, the transfer features many problems that plague older cartoon series, like scratches, wear and tear, dirt etc. This hasn't been cleaned up for its DVD release and also suffers from extensive colour bleeding and an overall softness. Children aren't going to be fussed however so make of that what you will.
There are also optional English subtitles which are very good translations.
Naturally there is only a 2.0 track that does a decent job and is fixated on the centre speaker, if you're viewing on a home cinema set up. The left and right fronts are fairly quiet but the action still comes through clear enough. A French 2.0 track is also provided.
Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies is a very boring way to spend 50 minutes. Very young children will lap it up but for those over 5 it does not come recommended, with most children of that age enjoying the likes of Pokemon and Yugi-Oh these days. It gets low marks despite its target group because I feel there are far better shows out there for youngsters to enjoy.