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Featured DVD Review: Strawberry Shortcake: Bright Lights, Big Dreams

March 15th, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake: Double-feature - Buy from Amazon: Berry Brick Road and Bloomin' Berry Garden

The Strawberry Shortcake franchise started in the early 1980s and while its popularity has ebbed and flowed, it has has been going ever since. A couple weeks ago, there were two DVDs from the franchise released, Berry Brick Road and Bloomin' Berry Garden. The screeners arrived a little late, so without further delay, let's get to the reviews.

Berry Brick Road

As the title suggests, this is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. It begins with Strawberry Shortcake playing Simon Says with her two pets, Custard and Pupcake, as well as Marmalade, Orange Blossom's pet butterfly, who was blown into their house by a storm. Strawberry Shortcake starts reading The Wizard of Oz to the three of them and Pupcake imagines he's Toto and Strawberry Shortcake is Dorothy. They are picking strawberries in the field when a tornado hits and Strawberry Shortcake and Pupcake are taken to the land of Oz. After crashing and sending the wicked witch to the dungeon (crushing the witch is too violent I guess), the Berrykins give Strawberry Shortcake the witch's silver slippers as a reward for freeing them. However, all she wants is a way home. The Berrykins can't help them and say the only way home is to talk to the Wizard of Oz.

Along the way, they meet Ginger Snap, who is a scarecrow without a brain; Peppermint Fizz, who is a Tin Woodsman without a heart; and Orange Blossom, who is a cowardly lion. The five of them then travel to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard of Oz for help. Before they get far, the Wicked Witch escapes from the dungeon and goes after them to retrieve her silver slippers. But the gang has the power of self-confidence and songs to help them through.

This short film is based on the 2003 revival and it has the typical bright colors and cheerful disposition these shows had. It is also rather short clocking in at just 45 minutes long. It's inexpensive, so the price-per-minute is not too much higher than other similar releases.

The Extras

There are some printable coloring pages, but that's it.

Bloomin' Berry Garden

This DVD has three episodes from the show.

  1. The episode starts with Blueberry Muffin watering her new Zippy Gro flowers when Strawberry Shortcake arrives. Strawberry ordered a new cook book and was checking to see if it had arrived. There's a corn muffin recipe she's itching to try, but her first attempt goes poorly, as it it explodes and there's batter everywhere. She tries again, but gets the same result. Meanwhile, Blueberry's flowers are not turning out how she imagined. In fact, it turns out they are corn stalks and not flowers at all. Blueberry is shocked that the instructions were wrong or that the wrong seeds could be in the package. It turns out, she got experimental super-size popcorn seeds and the popcorn is rather dangerous to pop. Now they have to get rid of them and that's quite a task when you are only a few inches tall.
  2. The second episode deals with the flower festival and Strawberry Shortcake is getting her flowers ready. Everyone is sure everyone else has the best flowers, but Berrykin Bloom, last year's winner, is sure Lemon Meringue has the best shot at the top prize. So the next day when one of Lemon's flowers is missing, she suspects Berrykin Bloom. Strawberry Shortcake convinces Lemon Meringue not to accuse Berrykin, but when more flowers disappear, the rest become convinced as well. That is, until Berrykin's roses also start to disappear. Now she's desperate to find out who did it and she's not above accusing everyone, but will they figure out what is really going on?
  3. The final episode starts with Berrykin Bloom working on ways to grow supersized flowers and miniature ones. Some of his formula gets into Raspberry Torte's perfume and it makes a leaf grow. When Princess Berrykin asks Raspberry Torte to make waders for their Jam-stomping duties. It's so hard making tiny waders for the tiny Berrykins that Raspberry Torte decides to make regular sized waders and make the Berrykins grow. There's no way this simple solution can backfire, right?
Three episodes are a little short for a TV on DVD release, even one aimed at young kids. On the other hand, the DVD is also cheaper than more TV on DVD releases, so it is close to the same price-per-minute.

The Extras

The extras include some printable coloring pages and a music video / dancing instructions.

The Verdict

Both of the new Strawberry Shortcake releases, Berry Brick Road and Bloomin' Berry Garden, are bright and cheerful and should entertain fans of the show. The price-per-minute is a little high, but not so high that it isn't worth picking up.


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