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Harold and the Purple Crayon: The Complete Series (2002) – DVD Review

Harold and the Purple Crayon: the Complete Series DVD cover art


Written by Melody Fox and Carin Greenberg Baker, based on the books by Crockett Johnson
Starring Sharon Stone and Connor Mattheus


  • 16-page activity booklet

Released by: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
Rating: NR (suitable for all audiences)
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Rent it to try it out on your kids and then buy it if necessary

Harold has an incredible talent. With his amazing purple crayon (that never needs sharpening), he can create all kinds of new worlds for him to enter and he has many amazing adventures in these very purple worlds. Most of his adventures take place on nights that he’s having trouble sleeping. Anyway, he enjoys having adventures in the rain, with musicians that he’s created, and flying through the air!

This set is much better than the last Harold DVD I reviewed. That one had only three Harold short stories and didn’t hold my daughter’s attention at all. Granted, she’s a bit older now, but when I put this in the player to watch it for this review, she took over the remote control and dominated it. I can’t put my finger on what makes this set better than the first one. I think it might be that the animation moves a little faster and the situations are little more interesting to young audiences. Anyway, all that really matters for parents who might be looking at this DVD for purchase is whether or not their kids will like it. Mine did. She immediately ran into her room, grabbed her own crayons and some paper and started drawing with Harold. I had to keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t going to draw on the walls the way that Harold seems to be doing. I explained to her that Harold’s crayon was magic. She responded with a request for a magic crayon of her own. I told her we’d ask Santa Claus.

The only special feature to speak of is the sixteen page activity booklet. The booklet is nothing more than a DVD insert-sized coloring book. Okay, it also has a maze, some matching activities and stuff, but they got a little lazy toward the end. The last five or so pages are nothing more than blank pages with the heading “Create Your Own World!” across the top. I take this to mean that they ran out of activities to put in the booklet. My other problem with this “feature” is that it is a one use type of thing. After your kids have colored in it, there’s no more. At least they could have included a link to a website where you could print out more sheets for your child to use over and over again.

Okay, it does have one feature that is worth noting, but I’m quickly going to cross it out with another downside to these discs. It does have a quick-start feature so when you put it in your player, it will start playing almost automatically. This is a handy feature that most children’s DVDs are moving towards. It’s not nearly as handy as the repeat play feature, but it’s nice to have if you’re trying to get this disc in the machine with a screaming child on your hip and can’t find the remote. Now, let me take the wind out of its sails just a bit: every episode is complete with opening and closing credits. That, in and of itself, doesn’t seem like its that big of a deal. However, my daughter has already associated rolling credits with the need to restart whatever video it was that was playing. So, after every one of these thirteen episodes, I get my daughter yelling, “CAN WE START IT AGAIN, PLEASE???” There is no trying to explain this to a four-year-old child. It would have been nice to have put the opening credits before the first episode and saved the closing credits for the last episode on each disc with only a small transition between each one. At the very least, the option to play the episodes like this, in one big lump with bookend credits, would have been nice as a menu option and it would have given them another “special feature” to add to the literature on the DVD case!

Harold and his Purple Crayon Harold, asleep after working magic with his Purple Crayon

Anyway, this DVD is definitely worth owning. However, as with most children’s DVDs, my recommendation is to rent it for your kids to try out before you make it a permanent addition.

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