STUDIO: Disney
MSRP: $14.99
RUNNING TIME: 70 Minutes
Dino-Dig Set Top Game
Make Your Own Great Big Book of Everything

The Pitch

It’s The Backyardigans meets a lower budget meets Jurassic Park…sorta.

The Humans

Some voice actors

Dennis couldn’t sleep. That god damn Cosmo. Why should he get everything? Wanda, Timmy, the TV Show. Dennis knew it was all rightfully his, and he wouldn’t rest until he had it.

The Nutshell

Stanley is a super-curious little kid. Along with his best friends: Dennis (a goldfish); Macie; Mimi; Lester; his older brother Lionel and his dog and cat Harry and Elsie, Stanley goes on adventures and uses his Great Big Book of Everything to learn along the way. In this, Stanley’s first full-length movie, Stanley and the gang make a trip out to his Uncle Stu’s Dude Ranch, which is in danger of being bought out and renovated by Rockin’ Rory, the stereotypical land tycoon. Apparently nobody wants to come see an old dinosaur bone anymore and the tourist trade has dried up out at Uncle Stu’s. So, in an effort to save the day, Stanley and his family set out to find the rest of the dinosaur bones and turn Uncle Stu’s Dude Ranch into Uncle Stu’s Dude Ranch and Dinosaur Park. Along the way he learns a lot of stuff, overcomes a few fears and sings a few songs.

Slippery Slope!
Should have never let the homosexuals get married. NOW look what’s happened!

The Lowdown

Playhouse Disney is The Disney Channel’s answer to Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. – a block of programming designed to appeal to the pre-school crowd. My only exposure to Stanley has been this movie and, well, I like it. There’s some snappy songs, bright colors, and a wealth of educational information. In just this one movie we learn how horses changed history, how (and why) dinosaurs and humans can occupy the same land at different times, what an X-Ray is, what skeletons look like under the skin, how to build a dinosaur skeleton, how to overcome a fear of animals, how to work as a team and how to construct an elaborate pulley system. And, if you’re afraid of your kid seeing this and getting inspired to rip up your lawn looking for dinosaur bones, they explained the process in a way that completely simplifies it but still makes sense and, more importantly, won’t have them tearing into your Raleigh St. Augustine like little madmen. Just know, however, that it isn’t the definitive explanation of paleontology, so be prepared to answer a few more questions if that’s what your kid’s interested in. At any rate though, that’s a lot of stuff. And the beauty of it is it all flows together wonderfully within the framework of the plot. It felt like one of those PC Learning games with a solid narrative to tie it all together. It was really well done.

Although I think the best thing about Stanley’s Dinosaur Roundup is the fanfare given to The Great Big Book of Everything. Your kid’s gonna want one and when they ask for it it’s the perfect opening to give them an encyclopedia. Well played, Stanley. Well played indeed.

Man these Viagra commercials are gettin weird.

The Package

You have the standard white amaray case that you get with all Disney releases, adorned with artwork of Stanley and Dennis riding a brachiosaurus with his friends in the background. It’s nice, simple artwork that is completely indiciative of what’s inside. A nice job, if you ask me.

Feature-wise, there’s a dino-dig game that actually has multiple levels, in which you dig up dinosaur bones, x-ray various dinosaurs to see how they go together, then build your very own dinosaur skeleton. It was a little long and tedious, but the kiddos should eat it up.

You can also make you own Great Big Book of Everything, but it’s beyond tedious and takes FOREVER. The educational payoff, in my opinion, is not worth the amount of time spent on it, so play at your own risk.

In the end, if your kid is the target audience for Playschool Disney then this is a disc that definitely warrants a purchase.

(Note: Between the time I wrote this review and the time I posted it, my 4 year-old daugter has seen and subsequently fallen in love with this DVD, so take that for what it’s worth)

8.0 out of 10