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DVD Review: Where’s Spot? and other stories

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Based on the books by Eric Hill, the DVD Where's Spot? and other stories features a number of adventures of a little pup named Spot who lives in a world filled solely of animals such as his parents and his two friends, Helen the hippo and Steve the monkey.

In the title episode, Spot's mother searches for her son throughout the house. Along the way she finds such unexpected things like a snake in a grandfather clock and an alligator under a bed. The "other stories" find Spot looking for his bone around the house, going to play in the park and on the playground, figuring out where a key goes, and playing outside after a rainstorm.

The animation is minimal with only the essential items in the scene drawn over an empty white background. My 10-year-old nephew Sobrino Poco Loco found it odd that there are no mouths moving when the animals speak.

The stories are simple and cute, but there's a little lost in the adaptation. Readers of Where's Spot? have to open flaps to see if Spot is hiding within items. Watching the cartoons is a passive experience, so I would recommend a parent watch these with a child, occasionally pausing the scene and making the child identify items on screen.

For some reason, instead of stating there are nine episodes, the menu lists six with three bonus episodes that find Spot taking a bath, using an umbrella on a rainy day, and building a tree house with his dad. It's an odd choice by the DVD producers to separate them as the six main cartoons only run about 30 minutes. The remaining extras are an extremely simple "shapes and colors" game where a child has to identify an item out of four objects and video of author Eric Hill reading Where's Spot?

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS