If it seems like every month Disney releases around 5-10 DVDs that target a wide range of people. You have old classics being remastered, new feature films fresh out, and various television shows getting whole seasons or a select number of episodes on DVD as well. It seems like Disney has the market cornered on almost every age group. From toddlers to older teenagers, and everything in between, there is a series of Disney DVDs for you out there. The crown jewel for the pre-school age group is Disney’s television series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I have talked about this series many times before, and yep, it’s time to talk about the latest DVD release, Minnie’s Bow-tique.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Bow-Tique is Disney’s eighth Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD that has been released. There are four 24-minute episodes that are loosely tied together by having Minnie as the central character. They all come from season two of the series, but one episode, “Minnie’s Pajama Party”, has never been aired before on television. In the main episode with the same name as this DVD, “Minnie’s Bow-Tique,” Minnie opens a new store that sells only bows. But these aren’t just ordinary bows. Some of them can do some pretty extraordinary things. Her butterfly bows can flutter and fly, and her Photo Bow can take pictures. For males, she even sells bow-ties. All is good until one day when Pete comes in looking for a bow for his aunt. Pete is a little embarrassed, and wants to remain unseen. This leads to a lot of clumsy accidents and a big mess that viewers have to help Minnie clean up. Other episodes featured on this DVD set have Minnie inviting everyone over for a pajama party, helping out a new friend Buzz Buzz The Bee find his way back to his home flower, and then setting up a picnic for everyone.
All of these episodes still pretty much follow the standard Mickey Mouse Clubhouse formula. In all of these episodes, a minor problem or mystery gets introduced and Mickey Mouse usually invites all the pre-schoolers watching at home to help him access his gigantic Mickey-shaped computer, which will identify the “mousekatools” needed to the solve problem or mystery. One could say that it’s basically Disney’s version of Blue’s Clues, but Mickey as the host of this type of show just seems to work better. It also helps that Disney has figured out a way to avoid the feeling of forced interaction between the show and viewers like Blue’s Clues with all of its long pauses after various questions by introducing the two “Adventure Modes” to watch this film. Of course, the goal of the series is to help children develop their cognitive and problem-solving skills. They also get to practice their color recognition, shapes, and numbers skills that they need to know before they start kindergarten.
What makes this series so appealing to adults and kids are the timeless characters. Adults can stand watching the familiar Disney characters they know and loved as kid in new situations. This time around, Minnie is the main focus of each of these episodes. So this DVD set will certainly appeal to young girls rather than young boys. However, Mickey, Donald, Pluto, Daisy, Goofy, and various other Disney characters are still around in these episodes. Parents will also be happy to find that these episodes will teach their kids a variety of lessons, including basic math skills like counting, shape recognition, and even to be careful around bees. The animation and music is also enjoyable enough to keep things move smoothly.
Like previous Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD releases, Minnie’s Bow-tique is just another entertaining and educational addition to the series. Fans of Minnie will especially like these episodes, since she takes center stage. But all of your old favorite Disney characters, and even a few new ones, can all be found on this DVD set. As usual, there certainly should be enough going on to keep kids under 6 engaged. But anyone over the age of 6 will likely get bored by this fairly quickly. Still if you are a parent of a young child, you can’t go wrong with letting your child watch this DVD set, and it’s even worth watching once yourself.
Episode 1 – Minnie’s Pajama Party
Minnie throws a pajama party. She invites some cool friends and they are all having fun. That is until Goofy tells a scary ghost story. Things also change when Willie the Giant shows up as well.
Episode 2 – Minnie’s Bow-tique
Minnie opens a new store that sells only bows. But these aren’t just ordinary bows. Some of them can do some pretty extraordinary things. Her butterfly bows can flutter and fly, and her Photo Bow can take pictures. For males, she even sells “bow-ties”. All is good until one day when Pete comes in looking for a bow for his aunt. Pete is a little embarrassed, and wants to remain unseen. This leads to a lot of clumsy accidents and a big mess that viewers have to help Minnie clean up.
Episode 3 – Minnie’s Bee Story
A 60-year-old character, Buzz Buzz the Bee, makes his second appearance in this episode. Buzz Buzz the Bee gets blown clear out of sight from his flower by a big wind. Minnie must help him find his flower again. Fortunately she also gets help from Mickey, Ludwig Von Drake, and Pete.
Episode 4 – Minnie’s Picnic
Mickey Park is debuting a new space for picnics and Minnie celebrates by hosting one for her friends. Ludwig Von Drake, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Clarabelle and Bella all join the fun, but viewers can join the fun as well. That is as long as they can help Minnie gather everything she will need, pack up the car, and set up the picnic.
The video included is available in fullscreen color presented at the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The quality is great, and about on par with other new DVD releases from this series. Although, some of the “full-length” specials have been in the “family friendly” widescreen format, where they stretch the fullscreen image to make it widescreen. No major problems with the video quality here, though.
The audio included is available in either English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound, or French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear, so no major problems here either.
“Adventure Mode” Viewing Option –
Once again, this is interactive way to use your DVD remote to view select episodes of this DVD. This time around, it only applies to the “Minnie’s Bee Story” and “Minnie’s Pajama Party” episodes and not the other two, including the namesake for this DVD. Anyways in this mode, viewers are asked additional questions throughout the movie. When those questions are asked, a special menu pops up on the screen and the movie freezes, which allows your child to answer the question with the remote. Mode 1 is for ages 2 – 3, and Mode 2 is for ages 4 – 6. Both are simple enough for kids. Mode One uses only the left and right arrow keys and asks simple questions about what’s on screen, and choosing between two choices. Mode Two uses all four arrows and it actually removes key elements and asks the player to identify what’s missing, and choosing between four choices. Both levels are available in an interactive “Active Play” mode and an “Auto Play” mode. The difference is fairly obvious. In “Active Play”, the viewer actually has to interact and make their choices. But “Auto Play” lets kids sit back and watch as the DVD makes the right choice for them. Why even include this option? Still the “Active Play” mode
should be a fun game for kids regardless.
If you don’t have kids, you probably won’t find much enjoyment from this DVD, unless you really love Minnie and all of her friends. But if you do have young kids under the age of 7, this is a must-own DVD for them. You can’t go wrong with any DVD from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series. Minnie’s Bow-tique is no exception.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment presents Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Bow-tique. Created by Rob LaDuca. Directed by Donovan Cook and Sherie Pollack. Starring Wayne Allwine (voice), Tony Anselmo (voice), Dee Bradley Baker (voice), Bill Farmer (voice), Russi Taylor (voice), Jim Cummings (voice), Tress MacNeille (voice), Corey Burton (Professor Ludwig von Drake), Frank Welker (voice), April Winchell (voice). Running time: 96 minutes. Rated G. Released on DVD: February 9, 2010. Available at Amazon.com