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Running Time: 292 minutes
Starring the voices of: Kedgar Brown, Sergio Dizio, Jayne Eastwood, Dwayne Hill, Lisa Ng, Denise Oliver, Kathy Laskey, Julie Lemiexu, Terry McGurrin, Peter Oldring, Mark Rendall, Martin Villafana
Retail Price: $19.99
Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Stereo, Spanish Dolby Stereo, French Dolby Stereo, English Closed Captions, Chapter Stops (4 Chapters per episode), Two-Disc Set
Released: August 19th, 2008
Surprisingly, "Wayside School" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Other than some instances of shimmering and noise, these are really nice transfers. Detail is excellent, and color saturation is remarkably vibrant and literally pops right out at you. The simple and pleasing animation also flows well. These are very sharp transfers that certainly satisfy.
"Wayside School" features English Stereo tracks for its episodes. These tracks are quite peppy, and the sound effects - and there are a number of zany ones - have a great amount of zip to them that adds to the ambiance of the show. Dialogue is very clear and easy to hear, and the show's theme song and musical cues also have energy. Fidelity is high as well. Despite the limitations of being stereo, these tracks get the job done well and capture the spirit of the show.
Stereo mixes in Spanish and French are available, plus English closed captions are also included via your television.
I imagine Louis Sachar's Wayside stories will always be popular, but having a series based on the books seems a little late at this point. I'm not sure if Generation Yers will want to watch the cartoon and get nostalgic, but I suppose this series is a good way to introduce the books to a new generation of kids. Other than the enclosed book (a nice touch), there are no extras - but the episodes look and sound good. I'm sure fans of the series, and the die-hard fans of the book, won't mind picking this one up.