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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Go Diego Go!: Great Gorilla!
Go Diego Go!: Great Gorilla!
Paramount // Unrated // June 3, 2008
List Price: $16.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Francis Rizzo III | posted August 13, 2008 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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In 10 Words or Less
Watch as Dora's cousin helps some animals

Reviewer's Bias*
Loves: Animation, Noggin
Likes: Stars who do kids programming
Dislikes: Most kids programming, Dora
Hates:

The Show
I'm not a big fan of "Dora the Explorer," as I find the show to be annoyingly repetitive and simplistically structured. Her cousin Diego, who considers himself and his sister Alicia to be animal scientists, is less grating, as his adventures are more free-form and less like lesson plans, integrating specific vocabulary words and songs instead, which makes it more entertaining and organic.

This disc gathers together four of Diego's efforts to help animals and educate little viewers, though there's no real theme to the collection. It's just four separate adventures, with a local missions and a trio of trips abroad. Each time Diego discovers an animal in some sort of trouble, he calls on his camera, Click (voiced by Rosie Perez), to find them, and he's off to help, aided by his magical Rescue Pack, which takes the form of whatever he needs.

Things get started with "Gorilla Fun," the episode that gives this disc its name. Visiting Africa and his pal Juma, Diego gets called on to find a pair of baby Mountain Gorillas who are going to be made kings. Using shape matching, and learning a bit of the sign language that Juma is teaching the gorillas, viewers can "help" Diego in his efforts, and sing along. I found it amusing though that Diego's usual "Let's Go" song features the same animation, despite the fact that he's in an entirely different country.

"Egyptian Camel Adventure" takes Diego to Egypt, natch, where he joins his friend Medina and Jamal the Camel on a trip to the pyramids. The camels are very thirsty, as there's been no rain in the desert (which I can't imagine being that unusual), so they need to find the Golden Cloud, which, according to legend, can make it rain at any time. There's more travel in store when Dora joins Diego on a trip to the Galapagos Islands in "Save the Giant Tortoises!" Lonely Louie is one of the last of his species, and he needs to find a girl, so Diego acts as matchmaker, heading to a lost island of the Galapagos, where Click has found a gal pal for Louie. Whether the pair are compatible isn't discussed, but it's a start anyway. The plot isn't all that important anyway, as it's mainly a way to set up opportunities for learning about the animals involved and their environments.

Back home, Diego has to save a bunch of baby birds, when their nest falls into a river. He's got some animal help once again, as a flying squirrel who fancies himself a superhero accompanies him on his motorcycle ride to the river. (By the way, where is this kid's parents as he travels around the world and drives cars, rides motorcycles and flies planes?) Identification exercises get the duo to where they are going, just in the nick of time. At the end of each episode, there's a review of the information learned about that show's featured animal, with four questions about the creature's habitat, abilities and diet, which reveals a real photo of that animal. It's such a natural way to educate kids about animals that it never feels all that forced.

The DVD
This single-disc release is packages in a standard keepcase, and features a static full-frame menu with options to watch all the episodes, select individual shows, check out the special features and adjust the set-up. Audio options include Dolby Digital 2.0 English and Spanish tracks, but there's neither subtitles nor closed captioning.

The Quality
The full-frame transfers on this disc look terrific, with bright, vivid color and a crisp image, that's free of any noticeable dirt, damage or compression artifacts. The level of detail is reasonably high as well, showing off the textures in the background art. There's some slight pixilation along black lines, but it's not as bad as seen on some other animation DVDs.

The audio is presented as Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks, which offer up nice clean dialogue and decent separation between the music and speech. It's a very standard TV cartoon presentation, with everything coming right down the middle, but that's all that was really called for.

The Extras
The only extra here, besides previews for other Nickelodeon products, is a music video from "Yo Gabba Gabba!" from the "Party in my Tummy" segment. It's the same clip that's on the recent "The Backyardigans" DVD though, which makes it less special, and more like another preview.

The Bottom Line
"Go, Diego, Go" is a rather inoffensive series, a fluffy bit of interactive song and dance built around learning about animals, with some Spanish vocabulary thrown in to flavor. My daughter enjoys watching the cute animals and singing along with the simple, catchy songs, so it certainly has its appeal to kids, while I appreciate the fact that it doesn't talk down to children when referencing species. The DVD looks and sounds ideal for material of this type, though there's little beyond the four episodes included. As a result, you're not getting a lot of Diego, so the appeal of this disc will depend greatly upon what you pay for it.


Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.

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*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.

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