VeggieTales: Pistachio appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The first widescreen VeggieTales episode, the visuals looked quite good.
Sharpness was very nice. Virtually no softness impacted the presentation, as the show appeared pretty concise and accurate. Jagged edges were minimal, and I noticed no haloes or shimmering. Source flaws failed to create any distractions.
Like most VeggieTales programs, this one went with a broad palette. The colors appeared lively and peppy throughout the show. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows seemed clear and concise. Across the board, the episode provided solid visuals.
Though prior VeggieTales also featured Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, Pistachio featured a more involving soundfield than usual. The show used the speakers to create a good sense of environment, and a few more action-oriented sequences kicked the audio into higher gear. For example, the shots at sea formed a strong wall of sound and added zest to the show.
Audio quality was always good. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music seemed perky and lively, while effects displayed nice clarity. Those elements appeared accurate and full. This was the best soundtrack I’ve heard for a VeggieTales episode.
We get a pretty standard set of VeggieTales extras here. These launch with an audio commentary from director/actor Mike Nawrocki and producer Kevin Gamble. They sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the new opening sequence and other up, cast and performances, character and story issues, music, and a few other production areas.
If you’ve heard other VeggieTales commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here. Nawrocki and Gamble provide a good overview of the film that comes with a sunny tone and some wit. We probably hear a little too much praise for the project and participants, but we get a nice examination of various production areas, so this becomes a reasonably good piece.
A few text questions appear under Discussion Guide. This is simply a way for families to chat about various issues with the kids.
An Art Gallery features 15 screens and comes with commentary from Nawrocki and concept artist Joe Spadaford. You can skip through the art at will or just let it run with the narration. We see concept and character drawings while we learn about the various design topics. The art offers a nice glimpse of the details, and the commentary offers a solid explanation of the choices.
Next we get a Sing-Along presentation for “Where Have All the Staplers Gone”. This three-minute, 27-second clip shows the veggies as they croon the song. It displays the lyrics at the bottom of the screen, and the audio button allows you to turn on or off the vocals. Simply the same scene from the show, it does nothing for me, but kids might enjoy it.
Larry Visits a Marionette Theater goes for four minutes, 50 seconds. It shows a behind the scenes look at how puppets are made and used. We find comments from Wood and Strings Theatre producer Clarissa Lega and artistic director Leon Fuller as they discuss those topics. They offer a decent overview of the subject matter.
An ad for Sweetpea Beauty opens the DVD. It also appears in the Previews area along with clips for Silly Little Thing Called Love, Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbrella, Abe and the Amazing Promise, 25 Favorite Action Songs and 25 Favorite Toddler Songs.
As an update on Pinocchio, the VeggieTales show Pistachio fizzles. It doesn’t turn into a bore, but it’s one of the series’ more heavy-handed and less enjoyable affairs. The DVD boasts very good picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. While I don’t actively dislike this release, I think Pistachio ends up as a disappointment.