Judge Joel Pearce makes his own puppet shows.
Animals from around the globe!
Part of Disney's Baby Einstein series, Baby Einstein: World Animal Adventure relies on the fact that most babies (and adults for that matter) love animals. Many parents of young children love the Baby Einstein series, since it is one of the few series that's truly designed for children just over a year old. The promise here is that this will give you half an hour of repeatable joy with your toddler, and can grow with your child to continue offering valuable educational entertainment.
It's very difficult to judge the effectiveness of World Animal Adventure from outside the world of toddlerdom. From my perspective, the whole thing seems too simple even for children of that age to watch over and over again. Of course, I'm not a kid of that age, and I respect that I could be completely wrong. My guess is that children of a certain age probably do love looking at the animals, and find the skits funny as well.
My concern is with the "Grow With Me" mode and the claim that World Animal Adventure will be entertaining for older children. While the regular play mode simply uses the names of a few of the animals, the extra mode only adds a handful of verbs (so "camel" becomes "camel chewing"). This is hardly a groundbreaking difference, and I imagine children would be engaged much longer with a more interactive experience. The plan is for parents to provide the interactivity, which is not a bad thing. Still, a combination of stock footage, puppet shows, and kids in costumes is the kind of entertainment that pretty much anyone could put together at home. The producers of Baby Einstein must make a fortune with every release.
While my own son is only four months old, and a long time from the recommended age for World Animal Adventure, he found it quite bland. It didn't hold his attention as much as quite a few other animated shows do, but that doesn't mean he won't like it more in a few months.
The DVD itself is okay. It is in full frame, but looks just fine for stock footage. The green screen work on the skits is not as well-done, giving the whole thing a slightly cheap feel. The sound is clear, and that's all that parents and young children will ask for. The audio is available in English, French and Spanish, which would work for a wide range of children as well as parents who want to teach children another language.
Ultimately, it's hard to know whether Baby Einstein: World Animal Adventure is a good choice for you and your kids. Some people really like Baby Einstein, and other parents I've talked to find the formula doesn't work at all for their children. If you are a fan of Baby Einstein, this volume should be a pretty safe bet. After all, everyone does love animals.
Not guilty, but also not especially impressive.
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Scales of Justice
• "Grow With Me" Mode
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