HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • Theatrical trailer - preview of other Barney titles.
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Booklet - the first electronic 32 page booklet read by Barney.
  • Karaoke - 6 favorite songs to sing along with.
  • DVD-ROM features - including 5 interactive games.

Barney - Let's Play School

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 50 mins . G . PAL


Not since Sesame Street has their been a kids show that has captured the imagination of children everywhere when along comes a giant purple dinosaur in the form of Barney. If you are not related to any "little people" then you probably haven't had the burden of sitting in front of the TV watching the kids watching Barney do his thing.

I've been there and done that and the amazing thing is, I know of people who have purchased the VHS tapes, played them raw and then had to re-purchase them because of the degradation. It's comforting to see that an effort has been made to preserve these presentations on dvd which will certainly please alot of parents out there.

In Lets Play School, Barney and friends help Baby Bop experience what its like to be in school as she is too young to attend herself. They provide an imaginary school for her to play in with lots of fun, games and singing. Don't expect too much in terms of plot, basically because little kids don't expect too much either. Put some cute character on screen singing some simple songs and they've found paradise on TV.

Onto the disc itself.


Having experienced the degraded VHS atrocities, its a welcome relief to see just how good these shows can actually look. I was very pleased with the vibrancy of the images which brought out a full color palette that are presented on these well done sets. Barney looks a rich purple and I'm sure kids are going to are going to enjoy seeing their favorite character so real and life like.

The image is pristinely clean throughout, providing a decently sharp transfer with a fair amount of detail in both foreground and background material. Color saturation is nigh on perfect which is combined with a nice dynamic immage inherent from the deep blacks and wide contrast ratio.

It is presented in full frame througout, with the only exception being the Village Roadshow splash screen animation presented in anamorphic 1.85:1. The dvd is a dual layered disc with what seems to be the 50 minute feature on one layer and the abundance of extras on the second layer. I'll have to confirm this but it seems the likely scenario.


This soundtrack isn't going to wake your neighbours unless their kids have extra-sensory-Barney-perception and wake screaming to their parents to find the source and let them join in the festivities.

There is only a 2 channel English soundtrack present on this disc althought the packaging makes mention of a Spanish audio track. Pity, I wanted to here the Spanish Barney just so that I could get something out of this disc. There is only one subtitle track present aswell for the Hearing Impaired and it defaults to on which is annoying for an adult but may be kind of productive for a kid.

Dialogue is always clear throughout yet you always get the feeling that the children onscreen have either done some bad looping or the audio synch is just not quite right. It's the former as the synch seems fine, it's just the impression that you get puts you off slightly - Like wathching those American commercials dubbed with Australian voices yet this is American that seems to be dubbed American. It's not a detriment, just looks a little awkward.

The songs come through nice and clear and your kids will have no trouble keeping up with the words, even with the help of the defaulted subtitles. :)


Here's where the dvd will outdo any VHS version, not just in terms of video and audio quality. The extras included feature some nice interactiveness that will certainly keep the curious children in your family entertained as they fiddle with the remote to get to the extras.

  • ABC Read Along - This feature allows you to select 2 options whereby 1) Barney will read to the children for you or 2) allow you to step through the same electronic pages manually and read to the kids yourself. A nice feature indeed.
  • Sing Along - Add a Karaoke feature to some of the songs and let your kids sing along with the gang.
  • CD Songs - This section provides 7 songs from the CD of the same name. Selecting a song goes to a splash screen the song plays in it's entirety with what looks to be a high-res interlaced image.
  • Behind the Scenes/Production Notes/Cast Crew profiles - Sort of mislabled, this section is just a few pages each about the main people involved who created the Barney phenomenon.
  • Previews - Slapped onto this disc are full frame previews to nine other Barney titles. It is not known if these are for future dvd versions or current VHS titles.
  • DVD-ROM content - Slap this in your dvd-rom drive and click on start.exe. This brings you to 5 interactive kids games that should keep the younger of the young ones entertained and educated.

Very nice additions for the tots to enjoy.


When it comes to Barney, it is guaranteed that the kids will be glued to the screen until the songs come on whereby they jump up and dance around the room. The value is known to all parents out there so there's no real effort in trying to sell something that sells itself.

As a dvd, it provides parents with a presentation that will last right through to the end of the digital age and with the production value in the extra features, it is sure going to keep the kids interactively entertained for a few hours more. A great babysitter, especially if you know how to use your A-B repeat button.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=291
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
      And I quote...
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS777 THX Select
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Steve Koukoulas

    Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 1
    "... created for the Cartoon Network, made their way onto starwars.com in small quicktime versions and are now available on DVD."

    The Fifth Element - Collectors Edition
    "a truly special edition"

    Duel - Special Edition
    "Duel is easily the best bang-for-your-buck suspense car-chase, truck hounded thriller ever ... a must have for Spielberg and suspense fans."

    Dodgeball - Uncut
    "Sometimes the simplest of ideas for a movie pay off the best."

    Ultimate Matrix Collection (10 Disc Box Set)
    "If no-one can be told what the Matrix is, this Ultimate collection edition is the closest you're going to get to finding out."

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5