Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Geronimo Stilton: Going Down to Chinatown and Other Adventures

Geronimo Stilton: Going Down to Chinatown and Other Adventures

Fall 2014 DVD
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
DVD Price: $12.98

Geronimo Stilton is one cool mouse. He's a journalist at The Rodent Gazette in New Mouse City and, with his intrepid nephew Benjamin at his side, Geronimo navigates an endless string of adventures.

This animated program is based on the best-selling children's book series that originated in Italy, with English versions published by Scholastic Corporation in 2004. Geronimo Stilton: Going Down to Chinatown is a DVD release featuring four episodes, each one running around 24 minutes. In the title episode Going Down to Chinatown, an old letter reveals a torn treasure map and Geronimo Stilton will get to the bottom of the mystery, whether he has to travel down the block or around the world. Other episodes on this DVD release include Tea Story, Hypno Tick Tock, and Clean Sweep.

Program material suggests the program for viewers ages 5 to 10 but expect it to appeal most to the older kids in that range. The tone of the show is tongue-in-cheek, almost a nod to network primetime police dramas–adjusted for the fact that this is, well, a kids' program and the hero is, well, a mouse. Geronimo flexes his investigative journalist muscles and uses logic and an impressive bank of knowledge to figure out clues and pursue his goals, a story device that enriches the series and educates the viewers. The art direction is inventive, making the most of exotic locales and the occasional historical context offered to explain a plot point. Still, the program doesn't get bogged down in overly complex plots. It manages to stay entertaining thanks to genuinely amusing scripts and characters who play up their personalities to the hilt, from klutzy Trap to daring young Benjamin.

Young viewers will enjoy Geronimo's exploits and for true fans, this clever rodent offers a slew of online and mobile accompaniments, including a version of Geronimo's workplace publication, The Rodent Gazette.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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