Hello Kitty & Friends: Princess Dreams is the fifth volume of DVDs released for Hello Kitty & Friends. This disc features two stories starring Hello Kitty and two stories featuring Keroppi.
In “The Sleeping Princess,” Kitty and her twin sister Mimmy are invited to a surprise birthday party, and they are asked to dress as princesses. Their father gives them a book to read with a story about a princess to get ideas for their costumes. They are so engrossed in the story, that they read it until bedtime. Their mother says they can finish the book the next day. That night, they have a dream about how the story continues. However, unlike other Hello Kitty stories, Kitty is not playing the role of the princess; Kitty is only in a role to help out the princess character.
In “The Prince in His Dream Castle,” Kitty and Mimmy go on a field trip with their class to a special park. They are going to learn how to read maps, and they view a video about the park on the bus. They hear a story about a prince who lived in a castle on the grounds. After the video, they are told not to go to the old castle on the grounds, because it’s in ruins and it’s not safe to explore alone. Kitty and Mimmy decide to follow a path that will take them near the castle, but run into bats. Kitty and Mimmy are separated, and Kitty ends up going back in time to when the prince is trying to defend his castle.
In “The Adventures of the Coward Prince,” Keroppi and his friends go to watch a movie being shown to the community, and are antagonized by some bullies. The film begins, and it is about a cowardly prince who is supposed to save his kingdom after his parents are turned to stone. The bullies make fun of the film and act up, but Keroppi ends up being blamed for it, and is told to leave. Somehow, Keroppi finds himself in the story with the cowardly prince, and helps the prince to save the day.
In “The Frog’s Secret House,” Keroppi and his friends find an old man has taken over their clubhouse. The old man says he had been there for ten days, and never saw anyone come; also, the clubhouse wasn’t being taken care of. Keroppi and his friends end up going back in time to when their parents are building the clubhouse. While this has the unexplained time travel element, I don’t see how this episode entirely fits in with the “Princess Dreams” theme of the disc.
As an adult, I found the episodes to be enjoyable, and that the writing for the English dub was done in such a way that it wasn’t talking down to the kids.
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” on the disc is the DVD credits. While I would normally count the lack of special features against a DVD, I can’t with this disc since it’s being aimed at and marketed to young children. With young children, special features aren’t as important, since they won’t sit still long enough to view them, anyway.
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: Princess Dreams that I checked out through the King County Library System.