Finally, Wishbone on DVD
digger | Centre County, PA | 07/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wishbone is a little Jack Russell terrier with a big imagination. He's the star of a wonderful PBS children's show that helps introduce kids to classic literature. In this episode he imagines himself to be Professor Otto Liedenbrock who leads his nephew on an incredible subterranean journey. I can't say enough about how wonderful the Wishbone TV series is. This little dog has more expression on his furry face than most Hollywood actors do today. The writing and acting is first rate. And of course Wishbone would be the first to tell you about the Emmy Award he received. Check this out, I hope it's the first of the entire 50+ episode series on DVD. It's a fantastic adventure for kids of all ages."
Stacy E. Ramsey | 06/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember coming home from Highschool back when Wishbone was still being aired on PBS and watching the episodes every afternoon with my little sister who, at the time, was about 10. She and I are both adults now and we both remember how much we loved watching the series after school. Because I think Wishbone was such a phenomenal show suitable for children of all ages I have been trying to purchase the DVDs for my daughter. I feel that she would enjoy, and benefit, from the love of literature that imaginative little dog has. This is definately something I recommend parents to invest for their children to open them up to the special gift of reading and to expose them to the blessings of great literature this vast planet has been given by talented writers."
Jules Verne Rendered Fairly for Children
Brian Taves | Washington, DC United States | 05/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A productive approach for young children of adapting Jules Verne's classic novel Journey to the Center of the Earth was found for HOT DIGGETY DAWG (1995), a segment of the highly popular half-hour PBS children's series WISHBONE. Wishbone is a Jack Russell terrier, enlivening his mundane life by imagining himself cast in famous stories--essentially a beginner's version of the old "Classics Illustrated" comic books.
Each WISHBONE episode presents two parallel tales, alternating back and forth. In the prosaic framing story, Wishbone is an ordinary family pet, providing an anthropomorphized canine perspective, while in the inset story he becomes an appropriately costumed canine, enacting a lead in a classic tale. Retaining the body of a dog in Wishbone's daydreams as he interacts with people as if he were one of them echoes the desire of small children to be treated as "grown-ups" and be able to live the seemingly freer possibilities of adult experience.
In HOT DIGGETY DAWG, written by Jack Wesley and directed by Fred Holmes, digging a hole for an Arbor Day tree allows Wishbone to imagine himself as Professor Lidenbrock in a series of Verne's incidents with Axel (Jonathan Brent) and Hans (Matthew Thompkins), including giving his last mouthful of water to Axel.
Back on the surface, the children are fascinated with a gold medallion that Wishbone has dug up. Returning to the story of Journey to the Center of the Earth, the discovery leads to an underground river inside the rocks, to relieve the explorer's thirst. The explorers are thrown out of the volcano in Italy when the family accidentally digs into a water pipe.
In a staple of this series, at the conclusion Wishbone narrates several minutes showing how the special effects were created to depict Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth--an unusually direct acknowledgment of the fictional nature of the story. This lack of pretense allows HOT DIGGETY DAWG to succeed in simultaneously telling two separate but complimentary stories. HOT DIGGETY DAWG cleverly and charmingly conveys the novel's tone and plot in a series of vignettes, overcoming its brevity.