Genius Products // 2007 // 105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 21st, 2008
Learn important social lessons from talking animals.
From the Discover Kids vault comes a selection of shows primed to engage your preschoolers in simple concepts. Each show is tailored toward a specific developmental area: emotional advancement, literacy and problem solving.
Paz the penguin stars in episodes introducing young children to concepts involving emotional intelligence. First up, in "Frisbee Dog" he and his pals Pig and Dog play with some Frisbees and learn important lessons about practice and not feeling ashamed of failure and leaning on friends to give support. Next, in "Red Scooter" Paz is excited about growing tall and getting his chance at riding his dad's red scooter all by himself but will eventually learn about patience and preparation. Finally, in "The Great Race" Paz challenges a smart-ass frog to a race and teaches the little amphibian about being "sure and steady" and working hard.
Wilbur is a calf and his charge is to encourage preschoolers in their embryonic literacy skills. He and his barnyard friends all work together to keep the reading train rolling. In "The Wright Stuff," Wilbur takes his interest in flying and opens a book about the Wright Brothers. Then, in "Libby's Apples," Wilbur helps Libby pick apples and when Libby wants to learn how to count to three, it's time to read a book about the wonderful, mystical world of integers!
* "The Save-Ums"
The Save-Ums are computer-generated creatures of unknown classification that help fellow organisms with their problems by using brainpower and ingenuity. At their headquarters, those in need fire off an emergency call summoning the Save-Ums. "Untangle That Octopus" prompts the Save-Ums to deploy their submersible watercraft to untangle their octopus friend from the mess of knots she created with her shoelaces. Obviously, that means using giant robot hands. "Operation Seesaw" has the Save-Ums helping some Spanish-speaking ants that are stuck on a seesaw. A valuable lesson on the introductory concept of balance ensues.
This is a nice arrangement of preschool-oriented programming. The animation and/or puppetry is charming and attractive and the stories are short and fun. The disc comes with an extensive booklet detailing the concepts touched upon and games, activities and other resources are also included. Bonus materials include three bonus episodes, five music videos and some tips for parents. Add to that the Paz finger puppet that comes with the package and you're looking at a winner.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Shows
* Music Videos
* Parenting Tips
* Official Site