Welcome to the Read That Again! guide to children's film, cartoons and videos for younger viewers. Looking for good movies that won't warp their little brains too badly? Here are a few of our faves...

This page covers the letter "D."


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"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas"
(Warner Brothers, 1966/2006)

I'm not a big fan of film adaptations of well-known childrens' picturebooks -- I think half the fun of reading a good book is how it changes a little each time you read it, and a movie, with all its glittery permanence, sort of undercuts that human quality. However, this made-for-TV short, is a marvelous exception to the rule. Seuss's 1957 classic is gloriously realized -- and in certain ways enhanced - in this lively, fast-paced cartoon version, designed and directed by animation great Chuck Jones, with narration and voice work by Boris Karloff. Seuss and Jones had worked together before, on a series of World War Two propaganda films, and they had even more magic here, in the '60s. Jones seamlessly dovetailed his sense of the absurd with that of the good Doctor, and quickly found the places where the Grinch story fit into his brand of high-concept visual slapstick -- the Grinch rides a sled down a mountainside? Perfect place to recycle the well-oiled Looney Tunes dropping-off-a-cliff gags. And, having logged all those hours with Yosemite Sam and Wiley Coyote, Jones really knew how to exult in the villany of the holiday-hating Grinch. The brightly garish, day-glo colors (which come through well on the modern transfers) are a throwback to the 'Sixties, but in a nice way. Plus, you gotta love Thurl Ravenscroft singing the theme song...! The DVD version I'm reviewing here also includes the 1970 adaptation of "Horton Hears A Who," which isn't quite as delicious, nor as good as the book, but is worth checking out as well. (A-)


"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas"
(Universal Studios, 2000)

The live-action Jim Carrey remake? Yeah, um, no. I don't think so. (-)


"Dragon Hunters, v.1: It's A Dragon's Life"
(Geneon, 2006)

(B)


"Dragon Hunters, v.2: Dead Dragon Walking"
(Geneon, 2006)

(B)


"Dragon Hunters, v.3: There's No Place Like Home"
(Geneon, 2006)

(B)


"Dragon Hunters, v.4: Don't Look Now"
(Geneon, 2006)

(B)


"Dragon Hunters, v.5: Unwelcome Guests"
(Geneon, 2006)

(B)


"Dragon Hunters" (The Movie)
(Peace Arch, 2008)

(B)


"Dudley Do-Right: The Best Of Dudley Do-Right, v.1"
(Classic Media, 2005)

(B+)


"Dumbo"
(Walt Disney, 2005)

Dumbo doesn't hold up well. When he's flying, I guess it's cool, and ya gotta love Jimminy Cricket. But the images of the faceless, hulking, dark-skinned proletarian brutes putting up the tent poles is the first whiff of the racism that really kicks in with the African American-ish crows. I'm sure many of you are out there rolling your eyes at my PC uptightness, but this is one I found easy to let go. (C)




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