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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • 15 Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • 2 Music video
  • DVD-ROM features
  • DVD Text - Kid's book
Angelina Ballerina - The Show Must Go On
ABC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 49 mins . G . PAL


Ballet is forever going to be a favourite for little girls everywhere (and some little boys too, I suppose). Personally I never really got into it until a few years ago when my partner and I went to see Giselle performed by the Australian Ballet Company. While it’s okay to watch on TV, watching ballet live is truly incomparable. I was definitely hooked that evening and although I don’t get to the ballet very often, I look forward to it whenever we do.

That being said, this is a children’s TV series taken from picture books for kids and adapted to animation (as is so often the case these last few years). While it is suitable for the younger viewers, the animation is quite limited for any adults watching who care about such things. Much of the animation technique has been created on less able software, making the pans and transitions a little more obvious than some of the bigger budget programs. However, children rarely care about such matters and so it would appear it doesn’t matter so much.

Angelina Ballerina is a story about a little mouse named Angelina who is the best ballerina in her class. That class is conducted by Miss Lilly, a wizened old ballet instructor of some Eastern European extraction who is ably voiced by Dame Judi Dench (seemingly reprising her accent from Chocolat). Angelina, hoping to be chosen as Cinderella Mouse for this year’s Christmas pageant, has trouble singing. When noted director Ivor Operatski steps in to prepare the show for viewing by Princess Seraphina, he casts Angelina’s nemesis Priscilla Pinkpaw in the role and makes Angelina the Ugly Step Whiskers. In taking some advice to be as bad as can be in the role, Angelina adopts the principle in her everyday life and causes all manner of chaos. Will the show be able to go ahead?

Yes, the youngsters should like this one, although it was just a teensy bit too cutesy for this grizzled old animator.


Entirely digitally rendered from hand drawn animation, the picture looks pretty clean. We get the happy delivery of a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement and this nicely shows the wider hand painted watercolour or gauche backgrounds. Colours are nice and even while blacks are true and of course shadow detail is perfect.

A simple Dolby Digital stereo feed here brings us the dialogue quite clearly and in an easily understood manner. That’s always handy when making a kid’s show. The musical score by Colin Towns is effective for a show about ballet, utilising some classical pieces on piano and with a smaller orchestra. Naturally, sound effects are all perfectly synched to the animation and this follows on the transfer.

As to extras there are a few here in animated menus and a video children’s book. Ironically, this is the same story we’ve just seen an adaptation for. There’s also a photo gallery with 13 stills from the show and skip to a song for the two songs in the program.

There’re 15 short, short featurettes of around a minute each in Angelina’s Dance Class which feature real kids doing some classic ballet poses and moves. This part recommends adult supervision, which I can attest to. I hurt my back doing a pirouette.

Finally there’s some DVD ROM content that includes links to the website and downloads for the kids.

Overall this will make a fairly nice little package for any kids who love the series or just love ballet. The transfer is exceptionally clean and there’s a nice swag of extras to keep the kids amused for a while at least.

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  •   And I quote...
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