DVD Review: Choose Your Own Adventure – The Abominable Snowman
By Patrick Luce Jul 25, 2006, 18:57 GMT
This interactive movie follows three siblings (the North family) on a quest to rescue their Uncle in the Himalayan region of Nepal. Your choices determine what happen. ...more
With 11 possible stories to choose from, Choose Your Own Adventure – The Abominable Snowman is a direct to DVD animated feature film that the kids will love. The DVD just happens to also be a lot of fun.
Based on the popular series of books that has sold more than 250 million copies, Goldhil Entertainment has introduced an interactive animated DVD that captures the fun of the book series while throwing in some education at the same time. The DVD is the first in what I hope will be several Choose Your Own Adventure films, and even managed to snag some big celebrities to provide voice over work.
The DVD stars the voices of Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, TransAmerica), William H. Macy (Fargo, Thank You for Smoking), Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) and Lacey Chabert (Party of Five, Mean Girls).
Since there are literally 11 different plots (each about 25 minutes long) that the movie can follow, it is a little bit hard to go into too much detail about the story. The basic premise follows the adventure of three daring siblings (Benjamin, Crista and Marco North) who travel to the Himalayas to find their missing Uncle Rudy (Macy), and track down the legendary Abominable Snowman or Yeti.
Naturally, the kids encounter a series of adventures, disasters, dangerous animals and even evil inhabitants. How much danger and the overall success of the group’s quest is literally up to the choices you make as the movie plays.
At various times in the film (such as when the plane looks like is going to crash, you have to choose to jump or try to land it), the film pauses for the viewer to decide what path the kids will go. There are two choices to make (using the left or right arrows on your DVD remote) and you have to make the decision before the timer ends or the movie makes it for you.
Based on your choice, the movie then skips to a new scene that follows your decision. This actually works very smoothly and without any problems (at least the five times I watched it with my son).
Again like the books, not all the decisions are the right ones, and the viewer can end the adventure before even seeing the Abominable Snowman or finding Uncle Rudy. Wrong decisions can end you up back at the house at the beginning or being chased down the street by a bunch of bees.
They can also find different “secrets” about the Snowman depending on which choice they make – one time the Yeti is a supernatural creature and the next they are an old rock band hiding in the mountains.
Along with a fun movie, the DVD also comes loaded with special features including a collectable travel journal that kids can read to learn more about the Himalayas; a behind the scenes featurette on the movie that has interviews with everyone involved on the film including the makers and the cast; a music video for the movie; and a 28 minute educational documentary “In the Shadow of the Himalayas: How People Live in Nepal” which will give kids more information on where the movie takes place, its people, and their customs.
Choose Your Own Adventure – The Abominable Snowman is a movie that is fun, entertaining, and educational for kids to watch. They will enjoy getting to control how the story goes (my son loved it) and the various stories they can stumble into while they watch.
It also might help encourage them to seek out some of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books and give reading a chance. I would highly recommend the movie to anyone wanting something fun for their kids to watch that also has a little education behind it.