Hello Kitty & Friends: Summer of Fun is the second volume of DVDs released for Hello Kitty & Friends. This disc features two stories starring Hello Kitty, one story featuring Keroppi, one story featuring Pekkle, and a bonus mini-episode featuring Patty & Jimmy.
In “The Circus Comes to Town,” Hello Kitty and her sister Mimmy discover that if not enough people attend the circus, it may have to shut down for good; they and their friends work together to try to get the people in town to attend.
In “The Day the Big Clock Stopped,” all the clocks in town have mysteriously stopped working, and Kitty and Mimmy must figure out why this is happening.
In “Let’s Play Baseball,” a group of bullies tell Keroppi and his friends that they can’t play on the local baseball field; the two groups end up playing a game of baseball to determine who can play on the field.
In “The Great Swimming Race,” a new boy moves into Pekkle’s town, and is trying his hardest to impress Lucy; however, Lucy isn’t interested in him. Lucy makes Pekkle out to be a better swimmer than he really is, and the new boy challenges him to a swimming contest. Since this story runs a little short, the Patty & Jimmy short is tacked on to the end of it. In “You’re a Superstar,” Jimmy is having trouble with pitching a baseball; Patty finds a way to encourage Jimmy to do better.
With the theme of this disc being “Summer of Fun,” I was trying to figure out how “The Day the Big Clock Stopped” and “The Great Swimming Race” really fit into the theme. In “The Day the Big Clock Stopped,” we see Kitty and Mimmy going to school, and at the beginning of “The Great Swimming Race,” it’s the first day of school. But then I had to remind myself that in Japan, kids go to school during the summer, so that wouldn’t be so strange to a Japanese audience. I guess the American licensor figured that the target audience for these DVDs would be young that they aren’t in school yet and wouldn’t find the idea of the characters being in school during the summer to be strange.
As an adult watching this release, I found the episodes to be enjoyable enough, and the writing for the English dub was done in such a way that it isn’t talking down to the kids in the audience.
Admittedly, this is a rather “low frills” DVD. When the disc is put into the DVD player, it goes straight to the first story after the Hello Kitty’s Paradise promo, rather than to the main menu. Also, the only “special feature” is the DVD credits. Normally, I would count this against the DVD; however, since it’s being marketed to young children, special features aren’t quite as important. With young children naturally having shorter attention spans, they’re not likely to sit still for special features.
These Hello Kitty DVDs contain anime that’s very friendly to young children, although girls will probably be more interested than boys. If you have a young child at home and are looking for kid-friendly anime, then I would recommend the Hello Kitty & Friends DVDs.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of Hello Kitty & Friends: Summer of Fun that I checked out through the King County Library System.