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Featured TV on DVD Review: Word Girl: Double-Shot

August 19th, 2010

Word Girl: Double-Shot - Buy from Tobey's Tricks and Treats and Earth Day Girl

This week we have a pair of Word Girl DVDs to review, this includes Tobey's Tricks and Treats, a Halloween themed release that comes out this Tuesday, and Earth Day Girl, which came out last Earth Day. It goes without saying that the DVD screener is late. At least I can review the two DVDs in one go, so Earth Day Girl doesn't feel irrelevant.

The Show

Both DVDs offer eight 12-minute adventures of Word Girl, who is the superhero persona of one Becky Botsford. In her everyday life, she is a mild-mannered pre-teen girl. In really, she is a friendly alien superhero from the planet Lexicon. She, and her trusty sidekick, Captain Huggy Face, who in his everyday life is a monkey in a diaper named Bob, battle the forces of evil while teaching kids important words they can add to their vocabulary.

The eight episodes on Tobey's Tricks and Treats start with...

  • Tobey's Tricks and Treats
    It's Halloween and the school is holding a costume contest. Tobey thinks he's guaranteed to win. However, when Violet wins (she was dressed as Word Girl) he decides to ruin the rest of Halloween for her by stealing every bit of Halloween candy in town. This would be easier for him to do, if his robots were more useful. "Who programmed you? My mother?"
  • Becky and the Bard
    The school drama department is putting on a play, and not just any play, but Romeo and Juliet. Becky wants the lead, but she instead gets picked as the understudy with Violet in the lead. But when Violet is kidnapped by the Energy Monster, Becky has to decide whether to take her big chance to play Juliet, or save her best friend.
  • Lunch Lady Chuck
    When Miss O'Brien retires as the lunch lady, Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy is hired to take her place as part of a new Super Villain rehabilitation program. It all seems to be working out, till he's informed it has to wear a hair net.
  • A Vote for Becky
    Becky's mom, Sally, is running for re-election as D.A. This encourages Becky to run for Class President, but Tobey is also running for president, in order to impress Word Girl.
  • Class Act
    The Butcher is tired of butchering the English language, so he takes an adult learning class. The effects are dramatic. He's still a criminal, but at least he's doesn't ramble incoherently while he robs people.
  • Villain School
    The Coach is the latest super villain Word Girl has to tangle with. However, instead of going after Word Girl directly, he runs and super villain school and uses his C-list super villain students to do his dirty work.
  • Tobey's Masterpiece
    Tobey joins art class and is shocked to learn he is a terrible artist. (He's even worse than Becky.) For a man with a ego as large as his, this is unacceptable. Fortunately, he has a plan, one that involves robots. Didn't see that coming.
  • Who Wants Candy
    The class is going on a field trip to a Zachery Zanny's candy factory. Becky and Violet were going to be buddies, but Eileen, a.k.a. Birthday Girl, decides she wants to be Violet's buddy. Despite Becky's best efforts, eventually Eileen's greed gets the best of her and she transforms into Birthday Girl, right in the middle of the candy factory.

While the 8 episodes on Earth Day Girl start with...

  • Earth Day Girl
    It's Earth Day, but the greedy Birthday Girl thinks the day is all about her and not being environmentally sensitive. However, Word Girl could use a little help learning how to be environmentally friendly as well.
  • You Can't Crush City Hall
    Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy is threatening to crush city hall with his giant sandwich-press if he demands are not met. Unfortunately, he can't remember what they are.
  • Two Brain Highway
    The mayor has a new system to keep prisoners locked in prison, a giant maze that is impossible to get out of. However, while showing it off to the press, Dr. Two-Brains is able to escape in a matter of seconds. Now Word Girl has to catch him and put him back.
  • Jerky Jerk
    The Butcher learns of Beef Jerky of Supreme Power, the most powerful of the ancient artifacts of Tryptophania. With it, his meat summoning powers will be too much for even Captain Huggy Face to consume. I would explain more of the plot, but I'm still confused about meat summoning powers.
  • Tobey or Consequences
    Tobey is a very smart kid with a love of robots, and a crush on Word Girl. His latest scheme involves both, as he's threatening to destroy the town with giant robots, unless Word Girl can beat him at a game show... and give him an autographed picture.
  • Mr. Big
    Mr. Big is an evil and mysterious man who uses a mind control device to convince everyone in the town that they need The Thing. A warning of mindless consumerism and vocabulary building all in one 12-minute cartoon.
  • Coupon Madness
    Granny May returns and she has the most dangerous weapon around: Coupons. She has coupons for every car she wants, all the money in the bank, and of course, complete control of the town.
  • Lady Redundant Woman
    The first episode for Lady Redundant Woman shows how she was created (she merged with a strange copying machine). Given her speech pattern, she repeats herself using synonyms, she is a great villain for a vocabulary show.
This is quite a fun show that spoofs a number of the super hero cliches quite well, from the goofy villains to the secret identity issues. Also, the cast is impressive with a number of big names involved. (Patton Oswalt, Tom Kenny, Jeffrey Tambor, etc.) Both of these combine to create a show that will entertain kids, while giving parents something to chuckle at as well. Like Dinosaur Train, the show is edutainment, heavy on the "Edu" part, but should still entertain kids with its colorful animation and energetic stories.

The Extras

There are a couple DVD-Rom extras on each disc, including a game and some printable coloring pages.

The Verdict

For parents that want their kids to build their vocabulary, Word Girl is a great show to introduce to your kids. Both Tobey's Tricks and Treats and Earth Day Girl offer good bang for your buck, even if there are not a lot of extras.

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