In "Alice in Wonderland," Hello Kitty stars as the main character; overall, this was rather faithful to the main story. In "Heidi," Hello Kitty once again plays the lead character. In both stories, Hello Kitty is the only one of the regular Sanrio characters to appear in them. All the other characters who appear in the stories are made up specifically for these episodes.
Pekkle stars as Aladdin in "Aladdin and His Magic Lamp," and Keroppi stars as Gulliver in "The Adventures of Gulliver." Again, Pekkle and Keroppi are the only actual Sanrio characters that appear in the stories.
When watching the DVD, my three-year-old was most interested in the two Hello Kitty stories. She also seemed to like the Pekkle story, but lost the most interest when watching the Keroppi story. The Hello Kitty version of "Alice in Wonderland" was rather similar to the well-known Disney version, but the Pekkle version of "Aladdin" was very different from the Disney telling of the same story. Even though my daughter may not have appreciated all of the stories on this disc, I think that the cute style of the animation and the music do make these stories more accessible to the young audience that this DVD is aiming for.
Admittedly, this DVD is rather "low frills" when it comes to extras. When the disc is put into the DVD player, it goes straight to the first story after the Hello Kitty's Paradise promo, rather than to the main menu. Also, the only "special feature" is the DVD credits. Normally, I would count the lack of special features against a DVD; however, since this disc is being aimed at and marketed to young children, having special features on this DVD isn't quite as important. Since younger children have shorter attention spans, they're less likely to sit still for special features. As an adult, I found the episodes to be enjoyable, and the writing for the English dub was done in such a way that it wasn't talking down to the kids.
These Hello Kitty DVDs include anime that's very friendly to young children, although girls will probably be more interested than boys. If you have a young child at home and are looking for kid-friendly anime, then I would recommend the Hello Kitty & Friends DVDs.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of this DVD through the King County Library System.
|Alice in Wonderland|
Aladdin and His Magic Lamp
The Adventures of Gulliver