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DVD Review

DVD cover

Blaze and the Monster Machines
Blaze of Glory - a Mini-Movie


Starring (voice): Nolan North, Dusan Brown, Angelina Wahler and Alexander Polinsky
Distributor: Universal Pictures (UK)
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: U
Release Date: 14 March 2016

Blaze is Axle City’s greatest hero, and champion of the racetrack. Whenever there’s trouble, he is the truck everyone turns to for help as he can do things no other truck can. With Blazing Speed, special turbo powers and extraordinary knowledge, burst onto the scene with the fastest monster machine in town, and his driver AJ as they meet new friends, overcome Crusher’s dirty tricks, and use speedy stunts and science to save the day. Blaze knows everything about science, technology, engineering and maths. With his human driver and best pal AJ, when Starla the cowgirl truck loses a piston, the duo need your help to use force and speed to get to it before Crusher gets his greedy tires on it...

For fans of the TV show Blaze and the Monster Machines you'd think the purchase of this DVD would be a no brainer. A mini-movie for £10 sounds like a bargain, right? Wrong. This isn't a mini movie any more than a couple of episodes of Star Trek bunged on to a DVD is a Star Trek mini-movie. What the producers have done is bunged the pilot and one other episode onto a DVD and branded it as a mini movie.

That, for starters, is going to annoy parents up and down the country. But it gets worse. £10 for two episodes (three if you factor in that the pilot episode is double length) means that if you were to buy the entire first season of the show (20 episodes) it would set you back a ridiculous £66.66 (assuming it's three episodes a disc) or a staggering £100 (if you only get two episodes on each disc).

Add to this the producers insistence that this is interactive and you have a tissue of lies being churned out by a company that should know better. Still, I suppose they are gearing young minds up for the realities of false marketing and how disappointing the real world can be when a hot property attempts to bleed them for money.

To my mind, "interactive" means you can change the events of the story (possibly by using the DVD remote control). It does not mean (in any way, shape or form) asking the audience to shout out things and then giving the impression that that action has any result on the story that's unfolding. If this was the case I'd argue that every single football match ever broadcast is "interactive" if you scream at the screen enough!

So, it's not a "mini movie" nor is it "interactive". It's a shame, because this is an impressive show and certainly one that is ideal for both entertaining and educating young minds.

When you can download the entire first season for £16 from Amazon, I'm left wondering who this DVD's target market is?


Nick Smithson

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