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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » iZ and The Zizzles
iZ and The Zizzles
Fox // Unrated // March 13, 2007
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Paul Mavis | posted March 16, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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I know we have an iZ somewhere around here. I think one of the kids have one from a Happy Meal. It's a strange looking, three-legged robot that plays music when you pull on its ears or press its stomach - or something. The real Zizzle iZ, which came out in 2005, is designed to be plugged into your iPod or other audio device; when the music plays, it lights up, and moves its eyes, and can add its own sound effects to prerecorded music. In other words, he's a totally useless piece of junk that may attract some kid's attention for about five minutes, until he's chucked into the corner with other crap created by the same company, including Furbys and Giga Pets.

Why we need a direct-to-DVD featurette starring the singularly uncharismatic robot is anybody's guess, but I would assume it's to further "brand" the product. Well, if you feel the need to help out Zizzle with their bottom line this year - and get squat-little in return for your transaction - then by all means, plunk down your dough for this abhorrent little DVD, iZ and the Zizzles.

Here's the scoop (or rather more appropriately, the poop) on iZ and the Zizzles Evidently, iZ, a highly advanced robot, was created by Dr. Eugene Izzle - on the government's dime, of course. And when the Agency quite rightly wants to use iZ for spying on unfriendlies, Dr. Izzle gets upset. Evidently, Dr. Izzle thinks that anything connected with the government is bad (one kid is called a "traitor" for working with the government), and counter to helping all of mankind. When the airplane transporting iZ goes down, the Agency tries to destroy iZ, so he won't fall into enemy hands, but the self-destructor fails, and iZ lands in the corn fields of Peoria (have the producers ever been to Peoria?). There, the Franklin family lives in cranky oblivion. Dad promised to be a big DJ, and made the family move from Manhattan, so Mom is mad because she had to give up her job as a record producer, and the kids are embarrassed by Dad's failure with the local radio station he owns. So to get even, the kids sing pathetically rebellious rock songs in their barn, with lyrics like, No! No! No! No! What part don't you understand? I like me the way I am! I can't do just what they say when they want. Gotta be me! (which could be the national anthem of psychopaths everywhere).

Of course, iZ lands there, and somehow gets plugged into the radio station's playlist, and downloads it (by the way, gentle reader, the whole reason for this cartoon's existence is to show kids how to use their very own iZ), and starts to freak out, and becomes a DJ "with soul," according to Mom. But look out: the big, bad, nasty Government wants their property back, and naturally, the Franklins and Dr. Izzle decide differently on that score.

Listen, I don't care that the producers of iZ and the Zizzles tried to sneak in their little political agenda into this abominable little DVD; it's about as well thought out as anything else you can read or hear about in the mainstream media. More power to them, and who cares. But what does bother me is the total lack of anything resembling heart or thought or emotion or caring or intelligence or whimsy or joy or imagination or any of the other hundreds of qualities that we look for in a movie aimed at small, small children. In a word, iZ and the Zizzles is junk. As iZ says at one point in the movie, "What's the use? I'm just a soulless machine." Amen, iZ. Amen.

The DVD:

The Video:
The full-screen video image for iZ and the Zizzles is pristine digital.

The Audio:
Believe it or not, while quality titles get released with crappy sound, iZ and the Zizzles has been provided with a robust Dolby Digital Surround mix. What the hell? Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Close-captioning is also available.

The Extras:
Thankfully, there are no extras for iZ and the Zizzles.

Final Thoughts:
You don't need to buy or even rent iZ and the Zizzles; there are many other cheaper ways to crush your child's soul. Skip it.


Paul Mavis is an internationally published film and television historian, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and the author of The Espionage Filmography.

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