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The Adventures of Chuck and Friends - family and children's DVD / television DVD / animation DVD review
THE ADVENTURES OF CHUCK AND FRIENDS: FRIENDS TO THE FINISH Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Featuring: Gabriel Giammaria, Stacey DePass, Fab Filippo, Dale Yim, Gabriel Giuliani, Darren Frost
  Distributor: Shout! Factory
DVD release: 02 February 2012   Runtime: 110 min. (1 disc)
Format: Animated, Color, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC
DVD features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), 10 The Adventures of Chuck and Friends episodes, Color Your Own DVD Cover

*The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Friends to the Finish*For kids who can't get enough of Cars (especially those who might have liked Cars 2 even better, regardless of what their parents or the critics might have thought), it's Chuck and Friends to the rescue. The visual similarities are plain--these boisterous little trucks might have driven off the Disney Pixar set and into a less complicated landscape (in northern Minnesota or Canada, judging by the accents) with fewer distractions.

Friends to the Finish*The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Friends to the Finish* culls 10 episodes from the first and second seasons of The Hub series (it airs during the preschool-targeted HubBub block weekday mornings on the Discovery Kids replacement channel). Chuck is an eager young dump truck who lives at a truck stop with his mother and father.

He spends his days following the career of his racing star big brother and palling around with a group of friends including a folksy redneck monster truck, an Hispanic backhoe, a slow-moving but well-meaning garbage hauler, and more.

The innocuous characters are likable in these episodes that celebrate their twin passions for racing and friendship. They teach gentle (if unsubtle) lessons on the themes of empathy and helping friends; appreciating and celebrating individual strengths; how spirit and determination trump a glitzy exterior; a reminder that video games can't come close to *real* life for the fun of imagination and invention; the satisfaction of working hard to achieve a goal; taking care of ourselves; and other simple but important lessons for the target audience of 3 to 5-year-olds.
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reviewed by Sharon Schulz-Elsing
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