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HTF DVD REVIEW: "Olive, the Other Reindeer" (with screenshots)

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#1 of 6 Adam_Reiter


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Posted October 09 2003 - 11:27 AM

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Olive, The Other Reindeer

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Year: 2003

Rated: Not Rated

Directed by: Oscar Moore

Film Length: 45 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: Full Screen 1.33:1

Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish and French Dolby 2.0
Subtitled in English and Spanish

Bonus features:
-Olive, The Songs
-"Making Of" Documentary
Release Date: October 14th, 2003



Wow! What an awesome and delightful cartoon. I am amazed at how good this DVD was. I thought I was going to be in for a real snoozer, but it surprised me by being really, really good! The voices are really great. Drew Barrymore has such an innocent voice, and does such a good job, that you instantly root for Olive. Joey Pants is such a great actor, and I really love that he was apart of this project. His rendition of “Martini the Penguin” is great! This cartoon is based on the best selling children’s book of the same title by J. Otto Seibold.

Here is the synopsis from the back cover:
Is this delightful animated adventure, “Olive, the Other Reindeer” is really a kindhearted dog who sets out to save Christmas with the help of a smooth-talking penguin named Martini! This stylized 3-D cartoon is a fun filled family treat from the team that brought you “The Simpsons”. Featuring the voice talents of Drew Barrymore, Michael Stipe, Joe Pantaliano, Edward Asner, Dan Castellaneta, Jay Mohr and Peter MacNicol, plus hip, original music by Michael Stipe and Christopher Tyng, this contemporary classic is sure to become a holiday tradition for your and old!

Olive (Drew Barrymore) is an unusual dog, in that she doesn’t like doing usual dog “things”. She doesn’t incessantly bark at passers by, doesn’t dig up flowerbeds, and she doesn’t chew shoes. This is something that perplexes her owner, Tim (Jay Moore), and so he kinda chews her out for not being a typical dog. When Tim later comes to apologize, Olive thinks that he said he was getting another dog. Just then, there is a report on the radio that Christmas is cancelled due to Blitzen getting injured. Santa says that they have to count on all of the other reindeer to make it. Olive’s pet flea “Fido", interoperates that as “Olive, the other reindeer”. He convinces Olive that she doesn’t act like a dog, because she is actually a reindeer, and that Santa is calling on her to help! Olive is now on a mission to make it to the North Pole to help Santa pull his sleigh. She also hopes that Tim won’t get rid of her if she does. Along the way, she picks up a penguin companion “Martini” (Joe Pantaliano), is continually threatened by the mean old postman (Dan Castellaneta) that is trying to prevent her from saving Christmas, and gets bullied by Schnitzel (Michel Stipe), Blitzen’s singing reindeer cousin.

Will Olive make it in time to save Christmas? I’m not telling!



I found the picture quality for this DVD really impressive! No grain whatsoever! Bold, vibrant colors, and perfect black levels! The only problems I found with the picture were jagged edges, and dot crawl. If you zoom in, you can see the mosquito noise on the hard edges, but it isn’t a problem otherwise.

Overall, the picture is just awesome!

SEE FOR YOURSELF!: (click on the picture for a bigger version of the screen-shot)

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Picture Quality Rating:
Picture: 5 / 5
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The DVD is mixed in Dolby Digital 2.0. However, one of the best mixes I have heard. The audio is crystal clear! Bold, clear dialog, and spot on in the center channel. No bleeding into the Left and Right unless it pans around.

The music, is also perfectly anchored to the Left and Right, and sounds just awesome! The sound is so clear and perfect. It’s a very vibrant sound. In DPLII, there is also good ambience to the side surrounds. Very well done for a 2ch mix!

LFE is virtually non existent, but I did not expect any LFE anyway. No harm, no foul.

If this was a 5.1 mix, I would have given it 5 stars!

Sound Quality Rating:
Sound: 4 / 5
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This DVD has only has 2 extras! However, the extras that they did give, were al least very well done![/b]

The Making of “Olive, the Other Reindeer”

This is a great little “making of”, with interviews with the entire cast that provided voices, along with producers Matt Groening and Claudia De La Roca. Most of the cast talks about how great this project was to do, and how they were honored to do it. There is an interview with Director of Animation John Davis, were he shows us some of the story boards that they worked with to model the animation. He also takes us to a few of the animators, where we see how they bend and shape the characters into position, which are 2-D characters in a 3-D environment. After that, John takes us by a guy working on the lip-sync animation, and then from there we see some lighting and perspective shots. There were about 750 shots to make the cartoon.

The look of the characters came directly from the book, and they tried to make them an exact match. Matt Groening tells us how they read and fell in love with the book, and then got the idea to make it into a cartoon. Claudia De La Roca then goes into detail about the cast and which characters that they do the voice for.

Total Running Time: 25:59 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3


“My Favorite Day” Opening Credits

“The Postman Song”

“We’re Not So Bad”

“Merry Christmas, After All”

“My Favorite Day” Reprise

Total Running Time For All Songs: 8:46

I only gave the extras 3 stars because of the lack of extras. Not sure if that is fair or not. At least the extras that are on the DVD, are good ones!

Extras / Bonus Features Rating:
Extras: 3 / 5
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"Olive, the Other Reindeer" is a very cool and different looking cartoon that your family is sure to love. Kids should love it, and adults will too!. The 2-D animation in a 3-D environment is just one of the coolest looking things ever!

I definitely RECOMMEND buying this DVD! If you have kids, don’t bother renting, just buy it!

This has been,
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#2 of 6 Dan Rudolph

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Posted October 09 2003 - 01:29 PM

Umm, it says in the overview the sound is DD 5.1, but then in the actual review it says it isn't.

Other than that, good review. I'll get this if I can find it reasonably cheap.
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#3 of 6 Adam_Reiter


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Posted October 09 2003 - 02:32 PM

Oops, Thanx for spotting that Dan. I use a template, and forgot to change that.

#4 of 6 RAF


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Posted October 10 2003 - 02:30 AM

I love it, Adam. Dan Rudolph correcting you on something involving "Reindeer."

(Just kidding, guys)

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Seriously, I was given a copy of a "check disc" on this title several years ago when Olive, the Other Reindeer was in the planning stage. (Note: A "check disc" is used in the initial production of the disc as part of the manufacturing process). I'm not sure why the title was shelved for a while but I'm glad to see that it is arriving on the shelves. It quickly became a favorite of my grandchildren and they still ask to see it.

We're not talking about Citizen Kane here, folks, but for what it is, Olive does it very well. I'm glad to see that Fox did such a nice job with this (the "check disc" was a little rough in comparison.) Something that parents and grandparents will probably want to add to the "Holiday Arsenal" - especially since some kiddies will already be familiar with the book version of this little story.

Nice review!
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#5 of 6 Roger_C


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Posted October 10 2003 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for the review. I didn't know this was being released. I loved it both times I saw it on TV.

#6 of 6 Roger_C


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Posted November 26 2003 - 12:24 AM

I haven't been able to find this. Anybody know what happened?