HANDY MANNY: MANNY’S PET ROUNDUP
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Studio: Playhouse Disney
BY KEVIN CARR
Since it debuted on Playhouse Disney and on DVD, I haven’t been a huge fan of the “Handy Manny” cartoon. To me, it was a bit of a rip-off of “Bob the Builder,” and the low-rent CGI used to animate it gives all the warts of everyday cartoons and none of the excitement.
It’s not that substandard 3D animation is cause to dislike a show. Other Playhouse Disney properties like “Higglytown Heroes,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “My Friends Tigger & Pooh” aren’t exactly Pixar quality, but the writing of these shows help give them pizzazz.
Not that I look for overblown conflicts, but things are just a little too nice with “Handy Manny.” There’s no bad guy, like Pete from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” and there’s no real mysteries to solve (as, no pun intended, Mickey Mouse as they seem) like in “My Friends Tigger & Pooh.”
However, I cannot deny my children’s affinity towards the “Handy Manny” program. It’s a sweet show, and it connects with the younger viewers, so it’s definitely reaching its target audience.
The latest DVD release of the show has something more to connect with kids – animals. In cast the anthropomorphizes tools weren’t enough, Handy Manny lends some help to various animals in “Handy Manny: Manny’s Pet Roundup.”
The DVD features six episodes that feature our furry friends. Topics covered include finding lost animals to finding a good home for a kitty. The episodes are basic “Handy Manny” faire, with a good message and the depiction of friends helping friends.
There’s a single set-top game as a bonus feature: “The A-Maze-Ing Pet Roundup” which invites kids through a maze to find missing animals. And, like most other Disney DVDs aimed at the preschool market, the FastPlay selection allows you to let the DVD play though its entire menu.