Shroud the limit DVD review (2023)

Review by Aaron Wallace

"That's So Raven": Disguising the Limit"comes to DVD just days after The Walt Disney Company mentioned the possibility of series-wide box sets on a quarterly earnings conference call, and just weeks after the show upended standard Disney Channel practice.

by being chosen first for 100 full episodes. Disney is raving about Raven and its viewers can't seem to get enough (there's even a Raven perfume on the way, courtesy of The Mouse!).

The show's popularity, which even eclipsed that of the Disney hit "Lizzie McGuire", is puzzling, as it is clearly a weaker show than the Hilary Duff series or several other award-winning Disney Channel shows. The premise of the show is interesting enough. Raven Symone (her name format and spelling changes with some regularity) plays Raven Baxter, a high school student who possesses a special gift: psychic powers. Her glimpses of future events often lead her to forestall or work towards what is seen, often donning wild costumes to achieve her goal. Of course, as the theme sung by Raven goes, "It's Not That Simple" - the future that awaits her based on visions of her rarely comes to pass. Two of her best friends help her: Eddie (Orlando Brown), linguistically modern and good-natured, and Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol), friendly to the environment but often clueless. At home, her mother Tonya (T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh) and father Victor (Rondell Sheridian) help guide her through her mental health struggles, though they spend most of their screen time caring for their youngest son, Corey. (Kyle Massey) - A regular Alex P. Keaton.

The only problem is that the episodes are extremely redundant and follow a stricter formula than most Disney shows. With that, “Raven” runs the risk of tiring its audience, doesn't it? Apparently no.

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What exactly makes this show so popular with viewers? For starters, there's the show's ability to remain funny even when it's stale. This is largely due to Raven's talents (the actress, not the character). Say what you will about the show itself or Disney's overexposure, but Raven possesses a screen presence and a sense of comic timing that is rare in TV sitcoms. It's almost enough to direct a series by itself. To be honest, the childish nature of "That's So Raven" is probably more a limitation in her abilities than anything else. On the other hand, the over-the-top humor that is the show's trademark seems to suit her talents, and the show is certainly capable of reaching teen viewers as well.

The cleverly titled Disguise the Limit DVD debuting this week entails a release highlighting some of Raven's (the character's) most outrageous disguises. That's actually the case with the first episode, "Art Breaker," though it's one of its best-fantasized passages. While the Country Cousins ​​duo has Raven in many different costumes, it's Raven the actress who dresses up and showcases her acting skills in many different characters... Raven the character actually doesn't dress up. The last episode, "The Grill Next Door", does not contain any disguises, so its inclusion is a bit confusing.

Another confusing thing about The Grill Next Door: Both the box and the press release say it's a never-before-seen episode. It actually aired on July 8, 2005, although it had not aired when this CD was first announced, its air date came over a month before release.

This single-disc edition features four half-hour episodes (or two regular episodes and an hour-long event, depending on how you look at it) with satisfying treatment. Even if the set's theme isn't the most accurate, this grouping of episodes is notable for daring to deviate a bit from the above formula. Given that these are all actual episodes (in fact, you were able to watch most of them in the week leading up to this release) and that Raven herself is expected to serve as a producer for the foreseeable future, there might be hope for an updated series yet.

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episode descriptions

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"Kunstbrecher"(22:33) (originally aired February 25, 2005)
The school's art teacher, Mrs. Petuto (pop star Cyndi Lauper) is interested in Chelsea's work and asks her to create a new piece for an upcoming competition. Excited by this form of expression, Chelsea looks to Raven for inspiration. The result is a bust of Raven as a raven, a less well-received homage. When Raven accidentally breaks the statue, she decides to dress in clay and feathers to take the statue's place in the competition. A few grades down, Corey and his friend William capitalize on the school's decision to ban soft drinks by selling them in milk cartons.

"Country Cousins" (Teile 1 and 2)(Part 122:28,Part 221:52) (originally aired on July 29, 2005)
In a two-part episode of the series, Raven and Chelsea leave San Francisco to visit Raven's cousins ​​in the country. This side of the Baxters bears the family resemblance (as it should - Raven plays three of them), but their lifestyles couldn't be more different. But not only cultures collide. There's a reason the two sides of the family haven't seen each other since Raven was a child, and Raven is determined to find out why and reunite her family. Her efforts are complicated by family resentments, Raven's ignorance of country life (highly stereotypical), and the horror story subplot that engages Chelsea with a legendary scarecrow who steals her soul. At home, Eddie stays with the Baxters for a few days and finds solace in the fact that Corey sees him as a big brother... until Corey takes advantage of their bond and uses Eddie to run away from home.

"The Grill Next Door" (22:35) (originally aired July 8, 2005)
A scam restaurant opens next door to Victor's Chill Grill, courtesy of Leonard Stevenson (James McCauley), with whom Victor has competed before. When Raven anticipates that her father will have to close the doors on his dream, she and Corey put their heads together and decide to hire Corey's band at the Chill Grill to do business. To really pull in the crowds, however, both the band and Raven must make some heavy concessions to Stanley (Bobb'e J. Thompson), the annoying kid who has won the town's affections but harbors feelings of his own for Raven.

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The program's correct 1.33:1 "full screen" aspect ratio is maintained when streaming this disc. The video looks pretty good, certainly better than it did on TV, but "Raven" doesn't have the sharpest picture quality to begin with. There's a little edge enhancement here and there, but for the most part everything looks as good as you'd expect. "That's So Raven" is a colorful show, especially when it comes to closets, and it appears on the disc.

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Audio comes in via a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, which sounds great and is extremely well mixed for a sitcom. Most of the sound comes from the center speaker, of course, but the music, sound effects, background noise and soundtrack come from all channels and surround the room to create a surround sound experience that puts the spectator in live audience. The track often demands a surprising amount of bass.

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The disc contains two bonus features, both short but interesting. The first is a featurette entitled "Master of Disguises" (9:11), in which Raven, her backstage crew, and her colleagues lead viewers into the dressing rooms to show them how the many disguises of "That's So Raven". This type of feature isn't new, and it's getting a lot of raves from Raven. Still, it's quite an interesting piece. Most of the time is devoted to "Country Cousins," and avid Disney Channel viewers will recognize the clips that aired during the premiere of that episode.

The second and best feature is the visual commentary with Raven (4:52). This doesn't work like the comments you're probably used to. Instead, Raven speaks to viewers in an on-screen interview while watching "Country Cousins". Her comments are edited to cover several aspects of the show in a short amount of time, and viewers see the scene Raven is referring to as she talks about it. It's evident that the young star is having a lot of fun with her show, and she's actually able to share enough ideas to make it worth listening to for fans.

The 4x3 menu screens feature fast-moving circles and random clips from the show, while an instrumental version of the theme song plays loudly. The episode selection screen shows all four episodes - Country Cousins ​​is split into two episodes like the original show.

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previews forCourageous,"Phil do Futuro: Gadgets & Gimmicks,My scene goes in Hollywood: The Movie, and what is to comeHalloweenstadtDVD releases play automatically when you insert the disc. You can also access previews forKronks neuer Groove, the delightful Disney Channel original series, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Radio Disney Network on the Sneak Peeks menu. Inside the white storage case is a coupon and advertisement booklet and a standard double-sided chapter selection insert.

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"That's So Raven" isn't as bad as its critics would have you believe, and neither is Raven himself. It's a fun but average show starring a talented but overexposed actress. It also suffers from a number of bugs that are annoying but not enough to eclipse its features. The episodes featured here are all good, even if they aren't the crème de la crème or the more typical ones. Plus, the presentation is fun and the bonus features are nice inclusions that will hopefully make an appearance again in the season's sets. However, unless you think you'll never want more than four episodes of That's So Raven, it's probably best to wait until you can get a box of six times as many episodes for less than that money to buy twice as many, even that many are too many for one session.

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