TV on DVD: Where's Spot? 30th Anniversary Edition

Now Available to Own

AKA: Where's Spot? and other stories

Before we had LeapFrog devices a.k.a. Kiddie Kindles, we had both Eric Hill's book series Where's Spot?, which began thirty years ago in 1980 and the handful of subsequent television series that followed.

A language lesson wrapped up in an adorable lift-the-flap book (depending on the version you've held in your big or little hands), Spot -- which is recommended by parents, teachers, and librarians alike -- is also memorable for assisting in adult literacy programs as well in helping give grown-ups the confident boost they need to learn to read, all thanks to a cute little, mischievous puppy named Spot.

Matching the illustrations from the classic book series in this television production from David McKee's King Rollo Films company on behalf of the BBC, we celebrate the birth of Spot the character and franchise with this brisk thirty minute presentation of six episodes that build a purposely simplistic little storyline of easily solvable problems, teamwork, and a bit of good luck.

To give the edition an addition, it includes in a bonus trio of brief “episodes” (this time voiced by Haley Joel Osment) running a mere few minutes to match the baby book series length along with a shapes and colors game and a special feature that finds the author reading his signature work.

However, Where's Spot? and other stories makes a fun if forgettable addition to your toddler's library that no doubt may fail to hold up to their ever-growing CGI expectations of Disney Playhouse and Nicktoons, especially because it doesn't appear to have been remastered in the slightest.

Moreover, the dully colored backgrounds makes this transfer's flaws the most evident in a brighter setting on your TV compared to a cooler toned cinema setting to bring down the vividness and hide some of the unfinished drawings and spaces in buildings missing a dot of blue or red color. When you couple this with the episodes' extraordinarily slow pace, Spot is best served to its target baby audience before it will inevitably become overpowered by Dora and Handy Manny.

While usually it's not a surprise to recommend a book more than its adaptation, for a children's animated title, it truly is one. Throughout I found myself not only bored imaging how my young niece would respond but I also realized that -- due to the length of the disc -- the DVD would be only worthy of purchase if it's at a bargain price. Thus, Where's Spot? has sadly turned into “Where's the book and the clearance DVD?”

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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.