ABC/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 74 mins .
G . PAL
Originally airing on UK television in the Ď60s, The Basil Brush Show was a favourite of most British children. The corny jokes and comments of the fox puppet were really not that funny, however the delivery by this bushy tailed fox was enough to make most succumb to a few giggles. The format for the show back then was basically a human sidekick along with Basil, much in the style of Mr. Squiggle and Miss Jane or even Daryl and Ossie. Basil had many catch phrases that made him instantly recognisable and whether you loved him or hated him, he was definitely unique.
Recently encountering a rebirth, this more modern series features a new and revitalised Basil, although the jokes are still pretty lame. Given more of a storyline now, the show features recurring human characters. Dave and Molly are children living with Basil, their parents have gone gallivanting around the world and have been left in the care of their supposedly adult uncle Stephen. Stephen has dreams of becoming a magician, although the only real magic talent he has is for messing things up. The other recurring human character is Anil, the owner of a local cafť. All the human characters give the show a sitcom feel and they are basically there as tools for Basilís terrible jokes. The show is aimed at the eightĖ13 age group, so even though the jokes are awful, the target market should find a few laughs.
I feel so trapped!
There are three episodes contained on this release entitled The Date, Mouse and Fakeís Progress. Each episode offers a good dose of amusement and all are crammed with corny jokes. Basil is undoubtedly the star and his humour may be nauseating, but overall this is a nice newer twist on this series and for the age bracket it is aimed at, it is sure to amuse most. This is also a nice trip down memory lane for those who are old enough to remember the original series back in the Ď60s.
One of the main aspects of childrenís television is vibrant colours and this full frame transfer is loaded with every colour of the rainbow, all looking vibrant and rich. Detail is terrific as is sharpness; this show really looks wonderful. There are no problems with grain, aliasing, over saturation or pixelisation either. There are no subtitles supplied, however this is not a major issue as all dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
Audio is supplied in English Dolby Digital stereo and is generally quite good. Dialogue is clear at all times and the slightly annoying canned laughter also comes through loud and clear. The intro and supporting music is loud and well suited and there are no synch problems at all.
There are a few extras with this release, a brief breakdown of each follows;
Basilís Joke Book
Running for eight minutes, this is a collection of sad jokes from Basil that kids should find amusing.
This feature contains a collection of bloopers from the show mainly focusing on the Stephen character. It has a running time of 4:14 and is quite fun.
Music Videos Bounce and Boom Boom
This feature contains two music videos from Basilís debut album. Both have a running time of 1:02 and 1:12 respectively and are pretty average to say the least.
Basilís Pin Board
This feature contains a photo, a short film of highlights and a biography of each of the main characters. With a total running time of just under ten minutes it also offers the photos in a printable format for those with DVD-ROM capability.
The Jelly Baby Game
This interactive game features a search for jelly babies, if you find one you get a joke from Basil.
Overall this is a reasonably good release for the market it is aimed at. Basilís jokes are timeless, meaning they also werenít that funny in the Ď60s, however children will likely still find them amusing. The video and audio for this release are both very good and a nice selection of extras make this a worthy purchase if you are a fan or think the kids may enjoy the good old style of Basil Brush.