Friday, 14 December 2012

DVD Review: Sticky Situations



Written by
Sharon Miller and Jessica Sandys Clarke

Directed by
Greg Tiernan 

Produced by
Nicole Stinn 

- Stuck on You
- Spencer the Grand 
- Gordon and Ferdinand 
- Charlie and Eddie 

Special Features:
- Go Go Thomas Karaoke Music Video 
- 'Biff, Bash Bosh' game 
- Guess Who? Puzzle
- Bonus Episode: 'Buzzy Bees' (Digital Download, for US only) 

 Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate

Welcome to the final Thomas DVD release for the US for 2012. With Christmas coming up this month, could this be a reccomended DVD for the US audience to give for Christmas this year? So let's take a look at 'Sticky Situations'. This will also be the final Thomas DVD review for the year and on New Years Eve, here in Australia, I will have a special recap blog post of all the DVDs that I've reviewed this year.

Well to be honest, I find 'Stuck on You' in the decent category. I know it has its flaws and mainly many people like it because Butch made his first speaking appearance. With 'Stuck On You', although it has its flaws, it has its two strikes and that's a rarity in some of the recent Thomas episodes, especially in the CGI era of the show and the episode seems to try its best. Even though you have Thomas being his stupid-self in the episode thinking he 'knows' everything. Despite that Butch made his first appearance in CGI and his first speaking role for the very first time, character returns don't make the episode great. The story is more important when it comes to episodes.  

'Spencer The Grand', I have no idea why I like this episode in the first place to be honest :P To me the episode is poor. Fog is a hazard, but not to a railway. Despite that there has been many accidents when it comes to railways and fogs, engines still have to work through fog thick or thin. Plus if the fog is too dangerous for the engines in this episode, then how come on Misty Island they get to work in the fog? 

'Gordon and Ferdinand', I have some ups and downs with this episode. It was decent and its great to hear Ferdinand saying more then the annoying 'That's Right!' all the time. But despite that this is a kids show, I find the episode to be unrealistic towards railways, like every other modern Thomas episode. 

'Charlie and Eddie', Edward has been regarded as a wise engine, he maybe old but can be really useful towards the other engines. Here he's been accused for not being fun according to Charlie. Many people might know this by now that I hate Charlie, the character. The basis he was chosen for was spot on by Nitrogen Studios. But Charlie is a poor example for kids saying, 'having fun is more better then working'. He goes off wanting to play, but never get punished, really a 'great' character for kids to look up too. Yet Edward, who's suppose to be wise, shows off to Charlie that he's fun. The Edward that many people knew and loved in the beginning should know that Edward wouldn't care about not being fun and doing his work is more important. Plus, the Fat Controller should never accuse Edward for being late with his car and should punish Charlie for it or the air-headed workmen considering that they put the funnel on the top of his car. In the end, the episode feels like a rehash of 'Play Time'. 

So, I see two episodes that are decent. 'Spencer The Grand' and 'Charlie and Eddie' are bad. 


On the DVD they have 'Go Go Thomas', you might think its just a re-release of the song from 2009, but it turns out that this was changed with different lyrics. So that is one of the things that leaves me impressed.

The 'Biff Bash Bosh' game is OK, but it gotten really boring with the repetivness of Michael Brandon's narration.

Even though I'm not from the US, the bonus episode 'Buzzy Bees' has been used for digital download for a year when it comes to their US DVDs up for download. The episode is full of tripe and I rather a different episode each release aside from that being a bonus download. The question is 'Why do we need 'Buzzy Bees' from every digital download?' 'The Thomas Entertainment Station' has a full report on the same issue in September 2012.  
Despite the story writing from the 14th and 15th season of the series, the DVD is OK and I believe it is recommendable to the target audience for Christmas. They'll like the episodes and the special features and I still think that 'Blue Mountain Mystery' is a reccomendable Christmas gift this year for a young Thomas fan. The UK will have the same release in the new year. But one thing for sure, I hope HIT replaces 'Buzzy Bees' with something different, I'm sure the US audience who download the episode are sick of getting the same free episode every release.

Rating: 3/5

And thus concludes the 2012 DVD releases of Thomas & Friends. Don't forget on December 31st, a year in review post will be made of all the DVDs reviewed during the course of 2012.

IN 2013...

- Muddy Matters - The second US DVD featuring S16 episodes
- Go Go Thomas - Australia's first S16 DVD and earliest Thomas DVD release 
- King of The Railway - The new special by new head writer, Andrew Brenner.