Sunday, August 27, 2006

Choose Your Own Review

Look at me! I'm the Queen of Blog Reviews!

Yes, I got yet another email from another company wondering if I would review their product on my blog. So, in the words of Sweetie, I answered,

Why sure I can!

And anyway, this one was sure to be fun for the whole family.

Choose Your Own Adventure DVD Series: The Abominable Snowman

When I first told Hubby about this review request, he was all for it. He loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. So a DVD of the same ilk sounded like lots of fun.

I thought so too. I read my own girly version of CYOA books in my youth. Watching the action play out on the screen would certainly add to the fun.

Plus, since this was an animated cartoon, it looked like something Sweetie would enjoy as well.

Overall, the three of us really did like it. The movie plays along for a little bit, and every once in awhile you get a choice to make. Using the arrows on your DVD remote, you pick the way you want the story to go. What control! Cool!

However, if you choose the "wrong" option, you may be in for a quick and unsatisfying resolution to the story. In fact, that's one negative I have - no matter which choices you make, it always seems like the ending comes too quickly. (Also, as an aside, I had some issues with the main story's plot - like, what exactly happened to the kids' parents and why are they allowed to live by themselves? - But Hubby thinks the storyline came from the original book version of the series, so the filmmakers aren't exactly to blame for that).

The running time on the back of the DVD case says it's 80 minutes. Well, I don't know where that estimation comes from because we watched it, making several different choices, going back, choosing again, etc... and we were done in under an hour. Maybe it's 80 minutes if you go back and exhaust every single option - 11 possible stories in all. But, basically, I felt cheated. All I can think is that it really is made more for the younger set. So, therefore, short little cartoon-length stories is about the right speed. But Hubby and I wanted more.

We think the Choose Your Own Adventure DVD is a great idea. We'd even be interested in seeing more. We just think the stories should be expanded upon, have even more choices, and last a little longer.

Hey, maybe mainstream feature films should look into this? That would be so cool if the audience - based on a majority rules vote - could choose whether the guy gets the girl or whether the psycho killer continues his killing spree or perhaps decides to check himself into the local hospital's Murderer's Rehab Program for a little R&R.

Hmmmmmmm..... Oh sorry.... getting back to the point...

We have yet to watch the behind the scenes documentary on the DVD, but I think we'll do that soon. With voices by William H. Macy, Frankie Muniz and Lacey Chabert to name just a few, it will be interesting to get their take on what went in to making this movie.

Lastly - Sweetie seemed to like this video a lot. She understood the concept and had fun making the decisions about what happened in the story. The story is not too scary for little ones (although older kids might understand it better and have more fun using the remote control themselves to make the choices). And the "Collectible Travel Journal" that accompanied the movie gave her something tangible to hang on to and feel more involved in the adventure.

So if you're up for a fun break from your housework or need something interactive and fun to plop your kids in front of for a little while, choose the Choose Your Own Adventure: Abominable Snowman DVD. Just don't be surprised when they complain that the ending came too quickly or wasn't what they wanted.

But, hey, that's the beauty of it too. Simply back up to the last option and choose, choose again. Have fun!

No comments: