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DVD Review: VICTOR AND VALENTINO: FOLK ART FOES (Season 1, Volume 1)

Mar 07 Posted by in DVD/Blu-ray, Reviews | Comments

Disclaimer: “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

The Cartoon Network series Victor and Valentino follows the adventures of half-brothers Victor (Diego Molano) and Valentino (Sean-Ryan Petersen) as they spend the summer with their abuela Chata (Laura Patalano) in the mysterious small town of Monte Macabre, where strange, supernatural things seem to be commonplace. Val is bigger than his younger brother, but also the nerdier, smarter, and more responsible one. Valentino often has to save his brother or clean up after his messes (both literally and figuratively). Vic is short and scrawny, a bit dim, and very mischievous. He’s a lot dirtier and more disgusting than his older brother. When the boys aren’t helping their grandmother out with her food stand, Victor is usually hatching some plan that gets the boys into trouble.

The town is also filled with many other unusual residents. Local grocery owner Don Jalapeño (Jason Hightower) has a crush on Grandma Chata, and the boys often tap into his deep knowledge of folklore when things get crazy. Living with Don is teenage daughter Xochi (Cristina Vee), who helps run the store. Grandma Chata’s rival, Maria Teresa (Frankie Quiñones), runs a competing taco restaurant, and thus is Chata’s enemy. Due to their relation, Maria Teresa’s grandchildren, Charlene (Cristina Milizia) and Pineapple (Diego Molano), are the boys’ rivals. Charlene is an odd, goth girl who has an obvious crush on Victor, while her brother is Pineapple is an ogre of a boy who primarily just grunts. The boys also have many other oddball friends and acquaintances their own age, who often get dragged into their misadventures.

The series feels a bit like Phineas and Ferb meets Gravity Falls, but integrating Mexican and Latin American culture and folklore into the stories and every other aspect of the series. This “Folk Art Heroes” DVD release (named for the first episode) is a collection of the first 18 episodes of the series. These short stories each run 11 minutes long, except for the last episode, which is double-length. Over the course of these episodes, the boys find themselves in all kinds of crazy adventures. Victor releases a mischief god, cheats on a board game which causes the characters to come to life, is taken by a lechuza after pretending to be injured to get out of work, gets power hungry as the food cart boss for the day, and steals some magic hair tonic to grow a mustache. Meanwhile, Valentino becomes possessed by a spirit to help him play soccer, tries to catch a photo of the Chupacabra, accidentally trades his brother to a puppeteer, and holds a grudge against his brother which summons an evil black cadejo. The boys also unleash a monster plant that attacks the town, use a magic flute to attend two parties at the same time, find a hidden village of children who don’t believe in rules, must clean their room to escape from a video game, try to sneak past their babysitter to see some fireworks, discover that their grandmother’s emotions can control the waves, visit a haunted house, find a pet lizard that starts to transform, and visit the underworld to see their famous luchador uncle El Toro.

I had never heard of this series until I was sent the DVD for review, but I was pleasantly surprised. The series is a lot of fun for viewers of any age, and I found it easy to binge through all 18 episodes in a single sitting. The writing is quite intelligent and witty, but also resorts to fart jokes if needed. In addition, the episodes also do a nice job of introducing audiences to lots of Latin American culture and folklore. The episodes often provide some sort of moral at the end—each time they go on one of their misadventures, the boys usually end up learning a lesson as to why their behavior that caused the situation was wrong. Though this doesn’t stop them from getting up to no good in the following episode. I really enjoyed these 18 episodes and will definitely seek out additional seasons.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s DVD release looks and sounds great. The picture is pretty immaculate, with rich colors and detail. I never would have guessed this was an SD presentation as it is nearly flawless. The style of animation is bright and fun, and looks great on this DVD. The audio track is presented in 2.0 surround sound. While most of the dialogue comes out of the front, the stereo and surround sound are utilized nicely to make the action feel more immersive. All 18 episodes reside on a single DVD, which is labeled as “Season 1, Volume 1”. Unfortunately, there is no bonus material included, nor is the show’s original pilot episode on the disc.



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