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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Me, Eloise
Me, Eloise
Starz / Anchor Bay // Unrated // October 10, 2006
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted November 26, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The movie

There's a lot of insipid children's television out there, so it's nice to see a lively classic such as the Eloise books by Kay Thompson adapted to the screen. In Me, Eloise we get to meet six-year-old Eloise and share a light-hearted and cheery adventure with her and all her friends at the Plaza Hotel.

The 45-minute film introduces Eloise (literally: she turns to the camera and tells us a little bit about herself; it's a nice idea and clever in being so direct) and draws us into her adventures as she gets ready for her birthday party. When she meets a visiting violin prodigy named Yuko, a whole batch of new plans get dreamed up as Eloise is determined to show her new young friend how to really have fun, without the grownups around. Needless to say, there are surprises and mischief, but everything comes out to a happy ending.

The story is nicely paced and has lively voice-acting and colorful, engaging animations; it's sure to be a hit with girls around the 5- to 6-year age range. From the adult point of view, there are two main questions to ask: 1. is it something I want my daughter to watch? and 2. am I going to be bored out of my own skull watching it? (Actually, there's a 2b. which is Am I going to go insane if my daughter decides to watch this over and over and over...). To 1. I would say that yes, Me, Eloise is good stuff. The story is fun and light-hearted, with adventures that (amazingly!) do not involve any violence or peril. There's some minor mischief on Eloise's part, but she's always acting with good intentions and in the end she very graciously and sincerely apologizes for the trouble she's caused. To 2. I'd say that this is an adult-friendly as well as a kid-friendly film; it's fun to watch as a grown-up, too, and the music is good enough that you won't mind hearing it more than once. Or so I would think; don't go emailing me if your six-year-old watches it fifty gazillion times and you can't deal with knowing all the words to the theme song, OK?

The DVD

Video

Me, Eloise is very nicely presented with a choice of either "full-screen" or widescreen modes; the widescreen offers more image to the sides and definitely looks better than the full-screen version. I like that there's the choice, but watch out: the viewing mode choice screen only appears for about five seconds before POOF! it defaults to full-screen, and there's no menu option for changing it back; I had to actually eject the disc and insert it again to get the option again.

The picture is bright and clean, with the colorful animations looking very pleasing to the eye.

Audio

The film offers both a Dolby 5.1 and a Dolby 2.0 soundtrack; the audio is handled well, always crisp, clean, and natural-sounding. English closed captions are available, as is a Spanish language track.

Extras

The extras are minor but may be of interest to six-year-olds. There's a "Weenie to the Rescue" game that's about as interesting as DVD games usually are (no, that's not a compliment). The Sing-Along-Song plays the (stylish) credits with karaoke-style lyrics shown. "Plaza Pals" gives further information about the characters. The one feature that might be of interest to adults as well as kids is the "From Paper to Movie" section, a three-minute segment that compares the sketched storyboards to the finished film. There's also some DVD-ROM content.

Final thoughts

If you have a daughter in the five- to six-year-old range, Me, Eloise looks like a pretty safe bet. It's a cheerful, moderately clever piece that has an engaging storyline and characters, and the character lessons implied (friendship, responsibility) are pretty decent. I'll give it a solid "recommended" rating.

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