Case Number 19148: Small Claims Court

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS: SING-ALONG TRAVEL KIT

Scholastic Video // 1955 // 132 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 23rd, 2010

The Charge

You see there are these wheels. And they're on this bus. And they go round and round!

The Case

Scholastic has packaged two if its hardest-hitting kids DVD into a special "travel kit," which also includes a 13-song CD, a 34-page activity booklet, crayons and travel tips for parents. A gas card would have been appreciated, but this collection should be enough to keep the toddlers engaged for a little while at least.

The DVDs:

The Wheels on the Bus
"The Wheels on the Bus" sung by the Bacon Brothers!
"Joseph Had a Little Overcoat" narrated by Rob Reiner
"Musical Max" narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
"Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!" sung by Chrystal Taliefero
"All the Colors of the Earth" narrated by Chrystal Taliefero
"Keeping House"
"Hush Little Baby"

Sixty-seven minutes, seven stories, ranging from old-school ("Hush Little Baby") to fairly new ("Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!"). There is no particular theme that ties the stories to together, which I figure should work in keeping things varied for the young viewers. Extras: the Spanish version of "Musical Max," an interview with author Bob Barner, read-along capabilities (the subtitled words are highlighted at they are spoken) and discussion questions.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
"There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" sung by Cindy Lauper(!!)
"Frog Went a-Courtin'" sung by Rust Young and Jack Sundruid
"This Land is Your Land" sung by Arlo Guthrie
"Over in the Meadow" sung by Mae Robertson
"Giraffes Can't Dance" narrated by Billy Dee Williams
"The Chinese Violin" narrated by Lulu Li
"Dem Bones" narrated by Raul Malo
"Changes, Changes"

Sixty-five minutes, eight songs/stories and just as eclectic. You've got stuff from the 1950s and the late'90s. Really, though, a song about a frog looking to hook up is timeless.

There you have it, almost 140 minutes worth of content (full frame, 2.0 stereo) for the back of the minivan. The musical-heavy Disc 2 might be enough to drive the adults off the deep end, especially if the kids get to singing "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" over and over. But it's better than incessant slap fights, right? Add the CD, the activity booklet (mazes, coloring, etc.) and the crayons and you have a decent assembly of materials.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile
Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 132 Minutes
Release Year: 1955
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Interview
* Read-Along
* Discussion Questions

Accomplices
* None