Flint the Time Detective Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Flint the Time Detective

Flint the Time Detective Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     April 24, 2001
Release Date: April 24, 2001


Flint the Time Detective Vol. #3
© Nozomi Entertainment


What They Say
In the 25th century, time travel is so common in fact that even criminals can visit any time period they choose! The answer is The Bureau of Time and Space Investigations! These elite agents solve crimes and right any damage done ... including a missing artifact that keeps history itself together! Without this, the past present and future will come apart and take everyone with it!

Contains:
Bubblegum
In 1592’s Japan, another TimeShifter is found: Bubblegum ... but the country is going through massive changes at the time! Petra will stop at nothing to add Bubblegum to her collection, and this time it looks like Flint’s powers alone won’t save things!

Lynx
Even in today’s Egypt, the Pyramids are timeless ... but the Time Detectives travel to ancient Egypt and find them disappearing! It’s got to be Petra’s doing, and it may even be worse: the TimeShifter Lynx may already be hers!

Artie
The TimeShifter Artie has been located in Paris, 1850! Upon arrival there, Flint and the rest of the detectives are threatened with ... a huge (bad) drawing of a monster! Artie has the ability to make real something that has been drawn! Guess what: Petra can draw with the worst of them!!

The Review!
Flint is one step sideways from Monster Rancher and Pokemon. If you like those, you'll like this. Note: For some reason, this disk would not play on my DVD-ROM. You may be able to get it to work.

Audio:
Directly from the center, nothing particularly interesting, but also no major issues with the sound itself. The dub was also fairly decent, though I have to wonder how much that has to do with major script changes and cutting. Small children may find the intro song catchy- parents are warned to leave the room, lest you find yourself cringing after the first few episodes.

Video:
Clear and bright, with strong colors. While the designs are all simplistic, the dark backgrounds in the third episode came out strong, and there were very few issues with the quality itself.

Packaging:
The cover for this volume is better than previous ones. The side and back are an orange-yellow, while the front has Flint and company in front of an Egyptian desert with a Petra-looking sphinx in the background. The back is mostly text, with an intro to the story, a breakdown of the episodes, and a screen shot for each. There is no insert. The disk is silver with Flint in attack mode. The text on the disk runs off onto the clear plastic on the inside edge, rendering it virtually unreadable in spots.

Menus:
The main menu features Flint and some rotating images from the show. From here you can view the trailer, start the show, or skip to an episode. The episode menus feature Flint again and give you five numbered options- but no explanation as to where each option takes you. This system is very bare-bones but very fast. One odd note: when skipping tracks with the remote, I found that the first time I pressed Next or Prev usually moved to the beginning of the next or previous episode, if there was one (or to the trailer, which comes after the episodes). The next time I pressed the buttons, I could navigate within the episode.

Extras:
While I don't count the theatrical trailer as an extra, it does a very good job of explaining the back-story for someone just coming into the show.

Content:
I'd like to say that Flint had historical information that redeemed it as a kid's show, but that's not quite the case. Though it makes an attempt by putting in a few tidbits of popular historical knowledge (not all of it accurate), perhaps it would have been better not to bother. On the other hand, the cute creatures of the day actually talk, so that's an improvement over Pokemon right there. Also, there is some comic relief in Petra's two assistants that may make the series interesting for slightly older kids.

The first episode takes Flint and the gang back to 16th century Japan to meet the man who would later become the Shogun. The best moment is when the timeshifter (a creature that has some power over time, not defined on this disk) hops down the equivalent of main street in a historical Japanese town, blowing bubbles that trap people and float them above the otherwise standard historical scene. Then Flint got down to business making friends with everyone, Petra showed up, etc. See previous disk reviews for the standard episode ending.

Flint's fellow time detectives Sarah and her brother have a fight over homework to start the second episode. We quickly establish that Sarah is the book-smart type, and she gets to show off when they go back in time to Egypt, where Petra has captured the Lynx timeshifter and made herself a queen. Lynx asks the kids riddles, and if they can't answer, turns them into Petra's slaves. The first couple of riddles were interesting, but later ones degenerate into typical American jokes, rather than brain-teasers. The interesting part of this episode is definitely the arguments between the twins, who are more three-dimensional characters than Flint anyway.

For something a little bit different, the three travel to Paris to discover a rampaging child's scribble staggering through the streets. The culprit seems to be the young Rodin (the famous French sculptor), who is trying to draw a present for his mother's birthday and has asked the timeshifter Artie to bring his drawings to life. After a wild chase through the streets, Flint makes friends with the boy, and we are treated to a surprise: when Petra takes control of Artie, it is Rodin who convinces him to turn back into normal. This episode is by far the most touching; if all of the historical information is accurate, it is definitely a cut above the rest.

If you need to sit your kids down in front of something, there are worse things out there. Plus, Flint does not seem to have brought over a massive merchandise campaign yet, so you will be less likely to have to find obscure little creatures before Christmas. On the other hand, there are also better things out there, though not necessarily as cheap.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
25" Samsung Stereo TV, code-free Pioneer 333, Sony STR-SE391 receiver, Sony speakers, and the cables that came with the set.

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