Case Number 16847: Small Claims Court

SID THE SCIENCE KID: CHANGE HAPPENS

NCircle // 2008 // 115 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker // July 20th, 2009

The Charge

"Hey, Sid!
What'd'ya say?
What you want
To learn today?"

The Case

Sid is a cute and inquisitive little computer-generated pre-schooler who is interested in science. Every day, Sid makes some new discovery about himself and the world around him -- for instance, fruit goes bad if you leave it sitting around, or little boys' shoes don't fit forever. To get more information, he talks to his mother, his father, his grandmother, and his teacher, Miss Susie.

Sid also fancies himself a TV host, and he runs around with a microphone announcing his thoughts and interviewing his friends, May, Gerald, and Gabriela. They, too, have lots of questions about the world, and lots of opinions as well.

Sid the Science Kid: Change Happens features four half-hour episodes of this PBSKids series from the Jim Henson Company. The episodes take on the subject of change, as in melting ice pops, growing bodies, rotting bananas, and pancake making. Geared for the early childhood crowd, it's all very colorful and musical, with video-gamish 3D animation that occasionally looks a tad creepy, and a production number every few minutes.

With Sid's microphone and "I-am-host" persona, the whole thing is really like an old TV variety show. Sid's friends are introduced each episode with a song, Sid sings a song to his mother on the way to school each day, his teacher sings songs about the show's topic, and the animated moppets shoot gags in a Laugh-In-style joke wall -- "Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because it wasn't peeling well!" Ba-dom-bomp! It's all fine for young kids, though the requisite near half-hour episode length seems excessive. There's a lot of good information presented in a kid-friendly way, but there's a lot of filler here too.

The DVD presentation is fine. Video and audio are both clear, like you'd expect for a new TV program. The only extra on the disc is a separate selection of Miss Susie's songs, so if you don't want to sit through an entire episode waiting for the ditty about "Decay," for instance, you can hopscotch right to it. There is also a second disc that contains another Sid adventure (this one on charts) and over two hours of segments from other edutainment offerings such as Dive Olly Dive, Word World, and the bizarre Flemish program Hopla, which is apparently geared for hipster babies to watch between bong hits.

The Verdict

While the program is a little over-packaged, Sid the Science Kid is a worthwhile way for wee tykes to spend half an hour and pick up a few science concepts.

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2009 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 83

Perp Profile
Studio: NCircle
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Music Jukebox
* Bonus Disc

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1236429/combined

* Official Site
http://pbskids.org/sid/