Hello Kitty & Friends: Fairy Tale Fantasy is the first volume of DVDs released for Hello Kitty & Friends. This disc features two stories starring Hello Kitty, one story featuring Pekkle, and one story featuring Keroppi.
In "Cinderella," Hello Kitty stars as the title character; overall, this telling of the story seemed to stay rather faithful to the original story. In "Snow White," Hello Kitty once again plays the lead character. It was interesting to see in the English dub that they would say that Snow White was "sleeping" after she ate the apple, but the way characters delivered their dialogue, they used phrases that you would normally only hear when someone has died. When it was translated for an American audience, this part of the story was definitely "sanitized" for the young American children.
Pekkle stars as Sinbad in "The Adventures of Sinbad." Of the four stories that appeared on the DVD, I thought this one was the weakest, and was the most boring. Keroppi's version of "Robin Hood" was actually very enjoyable.
When my three-year-old daughter watched this DVD with me, she was definitely the most interested in the two Hello Kitty stories. She also seemed to like the Keroppi story, but didn't have much interest in the Pekkle story. These stories were definitely done in such a way as to appeal to a very young audience. While my daughter may not have cared as much for the Pekkle story, I think that may be because "Sinbad" could be seen as being more of a "boy's story." The cute animation style and the music help to make these stories more accessible to the young audience that the DVD is targeting.
Admittedly, this is a rather "low frills" DVD. 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 as a mark against the DVD; however, since this is being aimed at and marketed to young children, special features aren't quite as important. Since younger children have shorter attention spans, they're not likely to sit still for special features. As an adult, I found the episodes to be enjoyable, and that 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 contain 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.
The Adventures of Sinbad