HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure
HTS Overall Score:71
“Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure (ooof, that’s a mouthful), is a change of pace from the normal Barbie fare. We usually are subject to lots of singing, dancing and “princess” type situations that plague the lifelike toys. This time they’ve decided that the recipe is in need of some fine tuning, and have branched out to a full on treasure hunt/mystery ala “National Treasure (just on a SLIGHTLY smaller scale). There’s still the glitz and glamour of the Barbie movies, but this time we have the added benefit of puppies. I mean, who doesn’t love puppies? Especially pre-teen girls who are the demographic of the Barbie movies. It’s actually a decent amount of fun for the kiddies, and was certainly palatable enough for even the grownups. I won’t go out and say that it’s something I would watch on a Friday night with the boys over a six pack of beer, but there are MUCH worse children’s movies out there (“Monster High” anyone?).
Barbie and sisters are taking a break from Malibu and heading back to Willows Wisconsin, where Barbie was raised. Coming to visit Willowfest and their Grandmother, the 4 girls come back home to some homemade cookies and a new litter of puppies from Grandma’s old Golden Retriever. If naming and having fun with a squirming gaggle of puppies isn’t enough, the girls decide that a legend about the treasure of Willows needs to be deciphered. While Barbie herself runs around town reminiscing about the good old days, her sisters start following the clues from a treasure map Barbie once had as a kid.
Adding spice to the mix are a pair of bumpkin buffoons who realize what the girls are doing, and decide to track them down and steal the treasure from them. As the girls uncover the clues, the rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper, pulling the girls through a series of puzzles and tasks that bring them closer to the fabulous treasure that is said to be buried beneath the city.
“The Great Puppy Adventure” is a fun little harmless jaunt for the girls. They get to uncover clues, and decipher hidden glyphs in classic sleuth fashion. Sure the puzzles are simple enough a couple of girls can solve them in a few hours, but that’s kind of the point of the movie. An adventure flick for little girls. I wouldn’t go in expecting a 3 year expedition where Barbie is concerned. I do have to wonder at the adults though. All these years of the treasure being under their very nose and not one of them could figure it out? Well, I guess that’s where suspension of disbelieve comes in.
The puppies DO serve a purpose here besides being cute. While they are just puppies, they happen to be TALKING puppies (at least to each other, I don’t believe Barbie and the rest can understand them). They have their own sub story about obedience and growing up in the world, which culminates with one of the puppies saving the girls from certain doom down in the treasure vault.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57489[/img]“The Great Puppy Adventure” is pretty similar to the rest of the Barbie lineup. Colors are bright and cheery, but this time we have a lot more earthy browns, bright greens and other different shades thanks to the more down to earth nature of the story. Under the ground when the girls are nosing around for the treasure we have plenty of deep browns as well as the wonderful shiny golden color of…well. Gold. Detail is good, but not overly great, as the lower budget of the Barbie films only allows so much detail to the animated characters. There’s a hint of softness to the overall picture, but I can’t tell if it was intentional to add a sort of dreamy effect, or whether it has to do with compression. Blacks are solid, with good shadow detail and the only real artifact I could find in the whole image is a little bit of banding here and there.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57497[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is just as good as the video. This is mainly a dialog heavy track, but it also shares the main stage with the pop/rock music that saturates each and every one of these films. Dialog is strong and clean, with strong clarity in the midrange. There isn’t a whole lot of ambient sounds in the surround area, but we do hear a falling rock or a creaking door here and there. The surrounds DO light up with the musical score though. The songs fill the entire soundstage and bring in some nice solid mid bass to the experience as well. There’s a few times where it got subsonic, but most of the time the LFE is satisfied with staying right there in the mid bass arena for the music elements.
• Music Video
• Motion Comic
“The Great Puppy Adventure” decides to step back from all the princess glitz and pomp, and instead provides a slightly more balanced tale that deals with planning ahead as well as perseverance. The girls get down and dirty (literally) and get to have fun as sleuths for once, instead of worrying about what dress to put on and building up each other’s egos. I hate to say this, but the Barbie movies aren’t half bad if you’re accustomed to the normal sub teen girl films. They’re reasonably entertaining and the girls seem to love them to death. Audio and video are great, but not TOO great, due to the limited budget, and there is small assortment of extras for those of you who like to dig deeper. Entertaining for the girls.
Starring: Alyssya Swales, Michael Dangerfield
Directed by: Andrew Tan
Written by: Amy Wolfram
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch DTS 5.1
Runtime: 75 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Buy Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: For the Girls
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