Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie

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Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie
SSC-Sweet Dreams.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Karen Hyden
Produced by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (company)[1]
Written by Carter Crocker
Starring See below[2]
Music by Andy Street (score/songs: music)
Judy Rothman (songs: lyrics)
Production
company
Distributed by Kidtoon Films
Release dates
  • October 7, 2006 (2006-10-07)
[3]
Running time 75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie is a 2006 computer-animated film produced by DIC Entertainment, and released theatrically in select cities on October 7, 2006 by Kidtoon Films.[3] It is the first feature-length film to feature the eponymous American Greetings property, and stars the voices of Sarah Heinke, Rachel Ware, Nils Haaland and Bridget Robbins.[2] The film also includes the first appearance of the villain, the Peculiar Pie Man, since Nelvana's Strawberry Shortcake specials from more than twenty years ago.[4]

This marks the fourth time DiC has ever released an animated film in theaters, following their efforts with Here Come the Littles, Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer and Heathcliff: The Movie from the mid-1980s. Fox Home Entertainment premiered The Sweet Dreams Movie on DVD on February 6, 2007.[3]


Plot[edit]

Strawberry Shortcake is dreaming of a world filled with berry plants that she and her friends can share. But when the Peculiar Pie Man comes to Strawberry Land, her dreams and friendships begin dying, leading to a crop whose stock has been devoured by "Berry Birds".[5] After arranging a sleepover with her friends, Strawberry and the rest travel to the Land of Dreams on a Dreamboat that Ginger Snap has built, in order to stop the Pie Man from taking over their residence.[6][7]

Production[edit]

DiC Entertainment announced the first news of The Sweet Dreams Movie on June 1, 2005, as the Strawberry Shortcake franchise was celebrating its 25th anniversary.[8] The script was written by Carter Crocker, whose previous credits included the Disney sequels Return to Never Land and The Jungle Book 2.[1]

During the film’s production, storyboards were drawn by DiC crew members in Los Angeles and shipped to Omaha, Nebraska’s Ware House Productions. A line-up of young actors, mostly from Omaha, recorded their lines in four days. Another two were spent on the score, composed by Los Angeles musician Andy Street.[9]

Release[edit]

On September 30, 2006, The Sweet Dreams Movie received its world première at Omaha’s Rose Theater for the Performing Arts. American Greetings, DiC, the local Children’s Hospital (where it was also screened) and Radio Disney sponsored the event.[10] Special showings of the film took place at Cleveland’s Toonaloo event on October 1,[11] at the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival on October 8,[12] and at the Avalon Theatre in Washington, D.C. on January 27, 2007.[13]

Sweet Dreams was released as part of Kidtoon Films' monthly program on October 6, 2006, during weekend matinees in select venues. The film was only shown digitally, and not printed on traditional 35mm stock; had no major press reviews during its stay in theaters; and was designated as a direct-to-DVD feature in the first place. Hence, as with all of Kidtoon's past movies, it is not considered a legitimate theatrical release, according to animation expert Jerry Beck on his Cartoon Research site.[14]

In a January 2007 interview with Animation Magazine, Leslie Nelson, a member of DiC's European unit, said that Sweet Dreams was the biggest success for the Kidtoon program, beating the sales for an undisclosed record holder by 20%.[15] During its October release, over two million tickets were sold.[16]

The Sweet Dreams Movie debuted on DVD in North America on February 6, 2007, courtesy of Fox Home Entertainment. Although there are no special features on the disc itself,[17] every copy includes a special package of organic strawberry seeds.[16]

The movie has its first known international appearance when Disney Channel Asia picked it up for its "The Wonderful World of Disney" movie slot in March 2007. Disney Channel Asia has since repeated screenings of the movie several times. However, the movie was not released onto VideoCDs in the Asian region until December 2007, well over 10 months after the February 2007 North American DVD release and over a year after its US theatrical début.

Reception[edit]

The day before its DVD premiere, R.J. Carter of the home entertainment site, The Trades, gave The Sweet Dreams Movie a B- grade. "It's not exactly [compelling]," he commented on the storyline. "It's silly, and simple, and syrupy sweet—which is all that's called for in a Strawberry Shortcake adventure." On the computer animation, he went on to say: "It is not done so with an attempt to go for realism, however, as the finished product looks more like a cast of plastic moulded [dolls from the franchise] than little girls. Think of any of the Barbie DVD animated adventures of late, and you'll be in the right ballpark."[17]

Some days later, Mike Long of DVD Talk expressed disappointment over the film's story, design and ending, as well as its songs, and rated it one star out of five. He commented, "[It] damages the reputation of a solid line of kid-friendly videos."[5]

Merchandise[edit]

Grosset & Dunlap has published at least three books based on the film, all of which contain actual stills from the production. They are The Sweet Dreams Movie Storybook by Megan E. Bryant (ISBN 0-448-44423-2), Dream Big! by Sierra Harimann (ISBN 0-448-44425-9), and a sticker book entitled A Berry Big Adventure, edited by Molly Kempf (ISBN 0-448-44424-0).

On August 30, 2005, Koch Records released a soundtrack album of the film.[18] Nine songs were featured on the album, including "Sweet Dreams" and "All It Takes". Additionally, two songs unrelated to the movie, "You’re my Berry Best Friend" (from the regular episode Peppermint's Pet Peeve) and "Tell Me A Story" (A bonus music video from the Adventures in Ice-cream Island DVD), was included.[19]

On August 24, 2005, Majesco Entertainment released the video game Strawberry Shortcake: Sweet Dreams for the Game Boy Advance. It was developed by Gorilla Games, and incorporated stills of actual scenes from the film.[20] IGN reviewer Ed Lewis gave it a rating of 5.1/10, starting his critique thus: "It's charming, but too many sweets may give you cavities."[21] Another game based on the film, Adventures in the Land of Dreams, was released by Game Factory for the PlayStation 2 console on January 10, 2007.[22] A port for the PC was to be released in Q4 2007.[23] However as of December 2008 the PC version still cannot be found in stores and online, and no news on the release of the port have been heard since its initial announcement.

Unusually, both Strawberry Shortcake: Sweet Dreams for the GBA and Strawberry Shortcake: Adventure in the Land of Dreams for the PS2 were launched with the title Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Game in the North American market.

Cast members[edit]

References[edit]

(All retrieved December 15, 2006, unless otherwise stated.)

  1. ^ a b DiC Entertainment: A Berry Sweet Dream Comes True on the Big Screen (September 29, 2006).
  2. ^ a b Rose Theater: Cast Bios for Sweet Dreams - Voice Talent Hails from Omaha, Many Children.
  3. ^ a b c RottenTomatoes - Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie (2006)
  4. ^ Ball, Ryan (2006-06-15). Strawberry Shortcake Ripe for Big Screen. Animation Magazine.
  5. ^ a b Review of Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie by Mike Long (2007, February 19). DVD Talk. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  6. ^ Plot summary for Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie at the Internet Movie Database.
  7. ^ Rose Theater: Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie - Story Synopsis.
  8. ^ DiC Entertainment: Strawberry Shortcake Celebrates 25th Anniversary this Year (June 1, 2005).
  9. ^ Rose Theater: DiC Entertainment Features Omaha Talent in Many TV and DVD Animations; Omaha's Ware Hose Production [sic] Provides Recording Services.
  10. ^ Rose Theater: The Rose Will Roll Out the Red Carpet for a World Premiere Showing of DiC Entertainment's New Made-for-Cinema "Strawberry Shortcake" Movie.
  11. ^ Washington, Julie E. (2006, September 27). An American Greetings birthday party. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
  12. ^ Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival listing for the film
  13. ^ Child's Play (2007, January 21). The Washington Post, p. M08. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  14. ^ NOTE #2 (List of 2005 animated films) at Cartoon Research.
  15. ^ Zahed, Ramin (2007, January 15). "News from NATPE: Words from the Wise". Animation Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
  16. ^ a b STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: THE SWEET DREAMS MOVIE - The Berry Biggest Adventure Yet Bursts Onto DVD. Press release at saWorship.com. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  17. ^ a b Review of Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie by R.J. Carter at The Trades. Retrieved February 5, 2007.
  18. ^ SoundtrackCollector: Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie.
  19. ^ Amazon.com page for the soundtrack
  20. ^ "Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Dreams" announced (July 10, 2006). gamewinners.com.
  21. ^ Review for Strawberry Shortcake: Sweet Dreams at IGN.
  22. ^ Adventures in the Land of Dreams at Gamespot.com. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  23. ^ GameFAQs page for PC Port of game

External links[edit]