Judge Dawn Hunt believes in the power of red and rose wines to compel embarrassing behavior.

Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch: Magic of the Red Rose is actually a compilation of four episodes of the first season of Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch. The animated series stars Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical) as the voice of the titular teenage witch. There are some familiar names though not necessarily faces for those who may be aware of the 1996 live-action show which had Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey) playing the role of Sabrina. This go around Sabrina still lives with her aunts Zelda (Erin Mathews, Kid vs. Kat) and Hilda (Tabitha St. Germain, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) in the human world and still has Harvey Kinkle (Matthew Erickson, Nana) as one of her friends alongside talking cat Salem (Ian James Corlett, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog). But her world has expanded somewhat in that the series follows Sabrina as a half-human half-witch who has recently discovered she is the heir to the throne of the witching world and she is learning all about the human world this go around. So dividing her time between two worlds means two spheres of influence and two sets of friends as well as enemies to deal with.

Here are the episodes:

“Faking up is hard to do” — Sabrina couldn’t be more excited when Jim (David Kaye, Nana) asks her out but she’s heartbroken when she has to turn him down in order to attend a dinner with Enchantra (Kathleen Barr, Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5) and Shinji (James Higuchi, Caution: May Contain Nuts) or else risk Enchantra coming over to the human world and destroying Jim.

“Hic! Hic! Boom!” — Shinji kidnapped a baby dragon who escapes to the human world with Sabrina hot on his tail. While Sabrina tries to cure the baby dragon’s destructive hiccups back in the magical world the mama dragon isn’t happy to say the least and tries to destroy the school.

“Scream It with Flowers” — Veralupa (Tabitha St. Germain) creates some beautiful but deadly werewolf roses which Enchantra sends over to the human world where an unwitting Sabrina hands them out to all of her friends with near catastrophic results.

“Best Friends Fighting” — Enchantra isn’t happy with Sabrina and Jessie’s (Erin Mathews) relationship being as strong as it is so she decides to put it to the test. Leaving a pair of friendship bracelets imbued with fighting sprites she sets the girls on the path to destroy not only their friendship but reveal Sabrina’s secret to everyone.

The video is a standard 1.78:1 transfer and it looks much the same as other CGI created shows airing today. There is some grain and the occasional placement of odd character action which doesn’t feel as though it occurs in the physical space of the show. For example touching someone’s cheek and it looks as though the hand is actually in the face for a second. However there are some very lovely textures and shading and I particularly enjoy the way fire is animated within the show. There is a strong well saturated palette and you will not lack for color. In terms of the audio it’s a serviceable Dolby Digital 2.0 track and the only issue I had was not knowing who these characters were ahead of time so I needed to pause and find out what they were calling one another.

The lone extra is an Ultraviolet Copy of the film.

THE VERDICT

Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch: Magic of the Red Rose is one of numerous kid shows which seem to enjoy putting out DVD releases containing only about a fourth of the season at a time. I’m not sure if the entire season will ever be released in one set or not so aside from streaming this may be the best there is for now. Though I do appreciate how opening up the premise doubles the storylines and locations and such I probably will not be following the series. Didn’t cast a particularly strong spell over me.

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