There is little hipper than nostalgia.
And that is all the intro you need to understand why Midcoast Station is sharing Strawberry Shortcake movie reviews with you today.
Berry Brick Road
This DVD started off as pure disappointment. I tore off the cellophane eagerly, excited to reach the dazzling, sparkling film beneath. Unfortunately, this:
was actually a façade for this:
I judge books (and movies) by their covers. Suddenly this allegedly holographic, whimsical retelling of The Wizard of Oz looked like nothing more than a flat, stale remake of the movie that terrified me for over 20 years. In the name of journalism, I swallowed my disdain and pushed forward. Unfortunately, I found little improvement.
I saw The Wizard of Oz in its entirety for the first time six months ago. After a lifetime of half-formed nightmares, I was relieved to learn that my terrors had a reasonable basis. Had I seen this Strawberry Shortcake retelling of the movie first, I’d have been entirely unafraid but substantially less likely to pursue the original film adaptation. Pros and cons.
Berry Brick Road deserves little positive review. The creators opted for the easy-in framework of Strawberry reading the story of The Wizard of Oz to her pets (immediate thumbs-down in my book). Pupcake, Strawberry’s dog, talks without moving his mouth — creep alert. And to top it off, Strawberry’s voice reminds me of Dora, which any parent of a child under 7 knows is a terribly grating sound. Unexpected musical numbers. Worst of all: an inexplicable second “episode” based on Strawberry returning to Oz to help fight an impending environmental apocalypse. I…what? L. Frank Baum, author of the original Oz books, penned 14 novels. I haven’t read any of them, but I’m pretty sure none of them deal with Munchkins (or, in this movie, Berrykins) using their power resource, Gem-Berries, all willy-nilly and needing a stern lecture from Dorothy (Strawberry) to set them straight again. I can appreciate a lesson in environmentalism, but half of this movie strayed completely from its origins. I just can’t do it.
Since I hate to be a complete downer, here’s what I did enjoy:
1. The good witch is a complete nerd, glasses and all. Too cute.
2. This film included lasers.
There’s a chance I took this movie too seriously.
Bloomin’ Berry Garden
I also viewed Strawberry Shortcake’s Bloomin’ Berry Garden, which was a markedly better film. Left to their own plot designs, the geniuses behind Strawberry Shortcake created a superior storyline to the half-adaptation that is Berry Brick Road. Plus, there was no deception in the cover of this DVD.
In Bloomin’ Berry Garden, Strawberry and friends tackle three related adventures. In the first, the girls learn that sometimes the most outlandish answer is the resolution, such as a packet of seeds labelled “daisies” turning out to be corn seeds — a very dangerous plant in a place as tiny as Berry Bitty City. In the second adventure, the citizens of Berry Bitty City discover their plants for the Flower Festival disappearing, and the girls learn a valuable lesson about not jumping to conclusions. In the final episode, Raspberry Tart spritzes the Berrykins with a special perfume that quadruples their size, putting the entire city in danger as the Berrykins can’t run their tiny machinery
when they’re as large as the girls.
I enjoyed this DVD’s combination of an ongoing storyline, a clever plot, no musical numbers, real-life lessons (that were slightly less pushy than those in Berry Brick Road), and girl power in the cutest possible way. Parents, this is a show for kids that you won’t mind watching quite so much.
This reviewer gives these films one giant thumbs down and one bigger thumbs up. One out of two — not so bad. There’s hope for you yet, Strawberry Shortcake.
Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Brick Road DVD Special Features
- Printable Coloring Pages
Strawberry Shortcake: Blooming Berry Garden DVD Special Features
- Printable Coloring Pages
- Sunshine Girls Dance Instruction Video