By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Scholastic Storybook Treasures Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics
I got the collection of Scholastic Storybook Treasures for the popular titles in includes like Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Those are delightful and don’t disappoint, but among the 100 stories in the 16 DVDs are lots of less famous stories to discover.
On DVD: Scholastic Storybook Treasures Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics
The animation is really wonderful. It brings the illustrations of storybooks to life. Wild Things IS Sendak’s drawings, only they move. And, there’s a full frontal shot in In the Night Kitchen. Ah, European animation. The extra Sendak feature is especially timely with the Wild Things movie. He seems like a coherent creative artist, not difficult at all. He skips the controversy, which is the best way to deal with it, but has really smart insights circa 1985.
There is only one Curious George in the whole set, and just like the ones I always watched and red, it made me sad that people kept crapping on George. He just wanted to try things. It’s the old style of still illustrations with camera moves. The Purple Crayon disc has the whole Harold franchise on it.
All the stories seem to have nice lessons subtly hidden in the entertainment. They’re so sweet and cute, but not silly. They’re real stories with real points. The Wizard is essentially about a placebo effect, and I Stink is a metaphor for pooping to me. And it teaches the alphabet, but it’s got poop jokes.
The animation looks great blown up to an HDTV. The lines remain solid and the colors hold true. These weren’t super bright pictures. They were more subtle. Even with all the artistic styles of each author/illustrator (Ranging from watercolor to simple lines), the animation remains consistent. The pictures move smoothly and show that you don’t always need CGI to tell a story.
I’ll save this collection of stories and look forward to showing it to my kids one day. They can even learn to read with the movies. The subtitles are on by default and fill the words with color, karaoke style, as the text is read. That’s an unsung way DVD technology can be a learning tool. It’s just subtitles but they’ve turned it into an educational feature.