While the Princess Party line of DVD's had the goal of accompanying डिज़्नी Princess-themed parties, the Princess Stories line has the much और general purpose of serving as everyday entertainment for young girls everywhere. As a result, there's a significant dip in quality from the Party line to the Stories line. We're going to take and look and see just how bad that decline is! DVD Content
Just like in my last review, I'll go over all of the categories of the DVD one at a time. But first, it's necessary to talk about the presentation. When आप first pop in the disk, you're shown a young girl's bedroom from a first person point of view. The "main menu" is represented as a bulletin board in her room, and the menus for the various features are also shown as different parts of her room as we'll soon see. But the main attraction for this DVD gets the royal treatment:
Menu for Story Selections
If आप select "Story Selections" from the main menu, you'll get this screen, where आप can manually choose which stories to watch and in which order. If आप select "Play All" instead, you'll go through all of the stories in order. The major difference though is the presentation. "Play All" is recommended because you'll see extra एनीमेशन of the jewelry box opening, the note from mom in front of it, and the four charms magically forming into a charm bracelet once you've seen all the stories. But no matter which option आप go with, you'll see the एनीमेशन of the charms opening and the princesses briefly introducing their stories, as well as saying goodbye once it's over. आप view all of this from the perspective of the little girl in the room, so a child watching this would feel like these princesses are directly telling them the stories from their own bedroom.
Now let's talk about each of the stories and see how well they fit the DVD's theme, "A Gift from the Heart." Wish Upon a Starfish
The गुलाबी charm is for Ariel's story, which is an episode from The Little Mermaid TV show. In this episode, Ariel finds a figurine of a ballerina and wishes she had "two tails" so that she could dance like a human. Ariel sings a song about it, and then her and her फ्रेंड्स meet a deaf mermaid named Gabriella and her interpreter, an octopus named Ollie. Gabriella sees Ariel गाना and wishes that she too could sing. Through her interpreter, Gabriella tells Ariel and her फ्रेंड्स about a magical starfish that has the power to grant wishes. They all set out to find the starfish, facing some dangers along the way.
This episode has a good message. The twist at the end -- spoilers -- is that although the starfish tries to grant the mermaids' wishes, his magic doesn't seem to work anymore. Gabriella is upset that she won't be able to sing because she wanted to express herself, but Ariel explains that she already expresses herself beautifully. Gabriella then shows Ariel that she doesn't need human legs to dance, and the two proceed to dance together underwater. The moral is that आप don't need magic to make your dreams come true, and it gets just enough focus in the last few मिनटों for it to stick in kids' minds. I think it fits the DVD's theme well too, since Ariel and Gabriella दिखाना each other how to get what they wish for as a result of their friendship. The Big Surprise
(< 5 mins)
The golden charm is for Belle's story, which is actually not
an excerpt from either of the sequels, but is instead और like a slideshow. It's told in storybook format, with pages turning on the screen and text to follow along with. In this one, the beast has been locked away in his study for quite some time. Belle and Chip make him a wreath to cheer him up, but when they go to the study, they're unable to find him. Meanwhile, Lumiere and the beast are looking for Belle and are unable to find her, since she's wandering around the गढ़, महल as well. They finally पार करना, क्रॉस paths; Belle presents the beast with the wreath and he immediately thanks her. He then gives her a storybook that he wrote, explaining that this was the reason he was in the study all that time. Belle is also thankful for her gift, realizing how special it is since it came from his heart.
It might sound like a charming story as it does fit the theme well, but unfortunately, the visual accompaniment is beyond cheap. Sometimes short clips from one of the sequels are shown, but most of the time, there are only stills on the screen. Whenever a detail is missing from the scene, like a character या item, they add तस्वीरें of the needed character या item. The art styles don't match though, so the तस्वीरें look like lazily tacked-on stickers! It is all voice acted thank god, but that's not enough to distract from the संपूर्ण, कुल मिलाकर shoddy quality. The प्रिय Gift
The blue charm is Cinderella's story. Sadly, this is of the same storybook format that The Big Surprise was. Here, सिंडरेला doesn't know what to get the king for his birthday. She seeks help from her mice फ्रेंड्स and the townspeople, but all the suggestions are for things he already has. At last, Cinderella's fairy godmother advises her to give him something from her heart. At the party, सिंडरेला sings him a song that the fairy godmother apparently taught her. The king later reveals that of all the gifts he received, Cinderella's song was his favorite.
Again, it sounds like a charming story. And it's true that the visuals aren't as bad this time. They use clips from सिंडरेला II, which had much better एनीमेशन than Belle's Magical World, and also don't rely on those awful stickers. But there are still a few issues, the first being that the message is spoonfed to the viewer. When the king tells सिंडरेला that her gift was his favorite, he says something like "While your gift was not the most expensive, it was priceless because it came from your heart." Honestly, I think they would have been better off if they cut that piece of dialogue and made the younger viewers actually think about why he liked it so much. But maybe this bit of dialogue was necessary because the song that she sings is "IF आप CAN DREAM"! YES, the डिज़्नी Princess theme of the time is what plays when आप reach this part of the story! And it isn't even Cinderella's part of the song that plays here; it's the freaking chorus! I laughed so hard when I came across this. All I heard was this pop संगीत coming out of Cinderella's mouth and I was thinking "What?!!" XD
So आप might have figured out what the सेकंड problem is! This one absurd detail completely takes me out of the story. I'm sorry, but when I hear pop संगीत playing when सिंडरेला is supposed to be singing, I don't feel like anything is coming from her heart. And the best part is, her fairy godmother was supposedly the one who taught her this song! Is the fairy godmother like the genie, where she's suddenly aware of our universe? And does this mean that the other डिज़्नी Princesses exist in Cinderella's universe? The सवालों are endless!
Alright, alright. If I forget that song choice for a moment, I'd say that on the whole, this story's actually not that bad. The only issues are the spoonfed message and the very short running time, which Belle's story also suffered from. Bad Mood Rising
The green charm is Jasmine's story, and it's an episode from her show, the अलादीन TV series. चमेली and अलादीन must visit kid ruler King Mamood of Korkistan(?). His mood actually affects the weather there, and as of late, he's been feeling down, resulting in poor weather conditions that prevent crops from growing. चमेली tells him a story to cheer him up, resulting in sunny weather, but he wants her to stay so that she can tell him a story everyday. She and अलादीन try to get away, but later चमेली agrees to stay with Mamood once it becomes clear that the people of Korkistan will suffer if she doesn't. अलादीन and फ्रेंड्स must come up with a plan to sway the young king if they're going to get चमेली back.
This is another good story with a fitting message. अलादीन succeeds द्वारा -- spoiler alert -- requesting that he say goodbye to Jasmine. Seeing how much they प्यार each other, with some help from their friends, is what convinces King Mamood to free her. It actually puts him in a good mood. He quickly learns the benefit of doing nice things for others and sets out to perform good deeds. There were a few good comedic moments as well, so it's an all-around good choice of episode for this DVD.
Menu for Bonus Features
It's now time to look at the bonus features, and surprisingly, there aren't that many. Magic Wand Play
Magic Wand Play is a lousy addition to the DVD. When आप select this, आप can view Belle and Cinderella's stories with a few small changes. The first change is that आप now have the option to turn the page manually, but this is almost pointless because after आप read a page, there isn't a pause; the story continues and turns the page automatically. The other feature is the ability to click on characters and hear their thoughts, but in both stories, there are only five instances where आप can click on a character to do this. The worst part is that these extra thoughts add nothing to the story, with maybe one exception. In Belle's story, आप can click on the beast and hear him say that लेखन Belle a storybook made him feel good inside. That does enhance the message, but everything else sounds like deleted dialogue that was thrown back in as a supposed "bonus feature." Don't bother to check this out (not that I thought आप ever would!). Princess Craft Time -- Charm Bracelet
This is a video tutorial, following six young girls as they create charm bracelets, similar to the one shown after viewing all four stories. They're guided द्वारा an unseen narrator. (According to the DVD guide, it's Cinderella's fairy godmother.) The girls have to act a little, and they're not great
at the start of the video, but once they're making bracelets, they're perfectly fine. They seem to have a lot of fun while making them, so their happiness throughout the video is pretty genuine. आप can choose to either play the video all the way through या go step द्वारा step, so if आप wanted to make a bracelet, that option would come in handy.
One side note: As आप can see from the screencap, the girls are all dressed as डिज़्नी Princesses. I like that not all of them were दिया the princess they look the most like. They got a blonde girl to dress up as Belle, an Asian girl for Ariel -- it's just nice to see that they changed it up a little. "If आप Can Dream" संगीत Video
As I कहा in my review of the Princess Party Volume One disk, this song features all eight princesses. The voice अभिनेत्रियों for the Renaissance girls all reprise their roles here. Everyone gets their own specific lyrics, but they all come together for the chorus. It has a magical kind of feel that matches the presentation of the DVD perfectly, so it makes sense to have this as a feature. How To Be a Princess
This is the closest thing there is to a game on the entire DVD. आप answer six multiple-choice सवालों that all ask "what should आप do" in certain situations. Most of them deal with manners, but some are a bit और intuitive. For example, the first सवाल explains a situation with Cinderella. She received a gift from a friend, and although she thanked her on the spot, सिंडरेला still wonders if she should also send a thank-you card. When आप select an answer, the fairy godmother tells आप whether या not आप answered the सवाल correctly and then explains the reasoning behind the correct answer. These सवालों stuck with me as a kid, so I'll definitely say it makes a good addition to the DVD.
There are just a few more, very short sections to go over!
Menu for Magic Wand Play
The wand is a shortcut to the menu for Magic Wand Play, but आप can also get here from Bonus Features. आप can either play both of the stories back-to-back या separately.
Menu for Set Up
In Set Up, आप can change the language to either English या French. Subtitles are offered, but only in English.
Menu for Sneak Peaks
Sneak Peaks gives आप access to the trailers and promos that play when आप first insert the DVD. Overview
Now that we've gone over the content, we can assess the संपूर्ण, कुल मिलाकर quality of the disk.
The stories are the main draw to this DVD, but on the whole, they're okay at best. The two TV episodes are the highest quality stories, but even then, आप can quickly tell that they were borrowed from existing media and not made specially for the disk. The two storybook-style stories are much shorter and simply not up to par with the quality of the episodes. They're both very short, averaging just five मिनटों in length, and can appear very lazy. All of the stories have good messages and nice introductions, but they do not make this disk worth the purchase because the technical quality is rather low and the total runtime is only about one hour.
And unfortunately, the bonus features do not save the DVD. Magic Wand Play is in fact not magical and was put together very hastily. The other features are much better, though. The Princess Craft Time spot is perfectly fine and gives viewers directions for a pretty fun activity; the "If आप Can Dream" संगीत video is of good quality and can easily be enjoyed द्वारा young girls; and How to Be a Princess is good for those young girls who enjoy taking princess-related क्विज़ and tests. Three out of four for the bonus features isn't bad, but they're not enough of a draw to make the DVD worth purchasing. The charm bracelet activity is fine, but आप could probably find similar craft activities elsewhere. The संगीत video is also fine, but it can be found on other, संपूर्ण, कुल मिलाकर higher-quality डिज़्नी Princess disks. And the princess क्विज़ simply isn't long enough या fun enough to make this DVD even worth glancing at.
As आप can tell, my संपूर्ण, कुल मिलाकर recommendation is to just stay away from this one. The stories are collectively pretty lacking, and the bonus features don't offer enough to salvage this volume of the Princess Stories line.
I also wanted to discuss how well this disk holds up, but...you probably already know the answer to that one. The एनीमेशन of the two episodes is less forgivable now than it was in 2004 (when this came out), as is the quality of the slideshow stories. The bonus features for the most part are fine, but far too little in number. And because there are only four princess stories, half the members of the lineup at the time were practically excluded from the disk. Aurora and मूलन get their own सवालों in How To Be a Princess, but Snow White and Pocahontas don't appear anywhere else aside from the संगीत video. As a result, this disk lacks the potential saving grace of at least featuring most
of the princesses. If आप have a younger female relative and can find this DVD for less than $3, it might be worth a purchase, but anything और and you'll likely find this a waste of money.
And that brings us to the end of the review! Thanks so much for your time, and I hope आप enjoyed reading. Have आप ever looked at this DVD या are आप just now hearing about it? Whatever the case is, feel free to share या just टिप्पणी दे down below!
And it had such a nice cover!