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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cow Belles
Cow Belles
Disney // PG // June 27, 2006
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 25, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

A Disney Channel movie that blends aspects of the studio's "Darcy's Wild Life" series and the first season of "The Simple Life", "Cow Belles" stars sisters Alyson and Amanda Michalka as Taylor and Courtney Callum, two rich girls who are spoiled by their father, the owner of a dairy empire who's none-too-pleased at the fact daughters - both of whom seem to have an allergy to budgeting - keep running up increasingly high credit card bills.

When their friends call as the girls are in the kitchen, they head out, not realizing that they've left the stove on...and that they threw an oven mitt on it as they were heading out. One totalled kitchen later, their father has reached his boiling point, insisting that the girls report to the dairy at 7AM the next morning to start work at their Summer job, while he goes on a vacation.

Horrified - especially when their father wakes them up with a trumpet call at the crack of dawn - the girls find that work ain't easy, especially when they find that their co-workers aren't going to go easy on them for their first day. When money goes missing and it's made so that their father looks like the cause, the girls realize that they have to figure out how to save the plant before the workers quit.

The film is a bit cheesy at times, but I did like how the girls were confronted with the realities of what the workers have to go through to pay their bills each month and how the girls started to appreciate what it takes to work for a living and think about someone aside from themselves. The messages are not entirely subtle, but they're generally presented in a way that's not too heavy-handed. "Cow Belles" is not particularly original and it's not without some issues, but it's pleasant family fare overall.

The DVD

VIDEO: "Cow Belles" is presented by Disney Home Entertainment in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality is reasonably good, although there were some minor concerns spotted throughout the show. Sharpness and detail looked adequate, as although some scenes appeared slightly soft, most looked reasonably crisp.

Some low-light scenes did look mildly "noisy" and show some slight shimmering and edge enhancement. Much of the movie looked clean, however. Colors were presented well, with nice saturation and no smearing. The stops for what appear to have been commercial breaks are still seen on occasion.

SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation was perfectly satisfactory, presenting crisp music and dialogue that generally sounded clear, but could occasionally sound somewhat hollow.

EXTRAS: Brief "making of" and 2 music videos. The box also promotes an alternate ending, but I didn't see it as an option on the extras menu, so I'm guessing that - if it is included - it's in the film itself.

Final Thoughts: "Cow Belles" is fluff, but at least it does offer some nice messages and fine performances, remaining an inoffensive family feature. The DVD offers decent video quality, fine audio and a couple of minor extras. A recommended rental for families.
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