Saturday, 2 March 2013

DVD review : Ape Escape

When the opportunity came up to review Ape Escape on DVD, I had no idea what to expect but thought it sounded right up the Madhouse Mini-testers' street. The official blurb says : "Based on the best-selling video games, join Specter and his minions for wacky monkey mayhem in a series of colourful Ape Escape animated adventures. What is a super intelligent ape to do in a world dominated by people?"

For anyone (including us) who doesn't know the story of the Ape Escape games, Specter was just a regular monkey until he was given an intelligence-boosting Pipo-helmet. He then equips an army of monkeys with Pipo-helmets and sets out to take over the world and even space.

I thought the animation had a very retro feel - it reminded me of the Hannah Barbera cartoons I used to watch as a kid in the seventies and eighties - but it still really appealed to the Madhouse Mini-testers. The animation company behind the DVD is Frederator who also produce The Fairly Odd Parents, and once you know that, you can't help but notice that the illustrations are very similar.

I really couldn't get into it the first few times it was on, finding it totally disjointed and hard to follow. When I actually sat down and watched it with the kids rather than multitasking with it on in the background, I soon realised why - each episode only lasts 2 about 2 or 3 minutes so every time I walked back into the room, it was a different story !

The madcap humour is a bit juvenile but it did have me giggling from time to time. 3-year-old Pierre absolutely loves it and frequently asks to watch "the funny monkey DVD". I'm not sure why it appeals to him so much - it's very visual and doesn't need much effort to understand and the very short duration of each story seems to suit him. That's not to say that his 8 and 11-year-old big sisters don't love watching it too though. It's a cartoon with universal appeal that kids and big kids of all ages can watch together.

The Madhouse Mini-testers loved the DVD so much that I went off to investigate buying the Playstation game for them, but the game version seems to have a much more Japanese manga-feel to it so I'm not sure they'd enjoy it so much.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Feb 2013

Disclosure : We received a preview disc in order to write an honest review.

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