Making doctors' visits a little more "Bear"-able…
My boyfriend's nephew is a whirling dervish of activity; an exuberant, intelligent child, he has an amazing amount of energy. Turn on his favorite videos, however, and he's quiet as a mouse. Those programs are godsends for many parents, but they need to be educational and entertaining—a good view even for the parents, since kids tend to watch the same stuff over and over. The popular Disney Channel series "Bear in the Big Blue House" fits the bill. This DVD contains three episodes regarding doctor's visits and personal health. Bear's friends and housemates run into various snafus about their health: fear of doctor's visits, fear of pain, and running themselves ragged (those Muppets; for God's sake, when will they take a break?). Brian Henson, spawn of the Muppet-meister Jim, has brought Bear In The Big Blue House to the small screen since 1997; they appear on DVD in collections of three episodes apiece. How do they rate on DVD? Can parents enjoy these episodes nearly as much as the kids?
Facts of the Case
• Episode #1: "Picture of Health"
• Episode #2: "That Healing Feeling"
Real-life kids are interviewed about visits to the doctor—check ups, stitches, and the like. Bear gets Tutter to quit harping about his tail and calmly shows how being hurt really isn't the end of the world—pain is temporary. In fact, I'm planning to watch this episode before my next visit to the dentist. Seriously!
• Episode #3: "The Big Blue Housecall"
That doesn't explain why my doctor doesn't give me a lollypop at the end of every visit.
All episodes feature crisp, sharp colors, typical of live-to-tape productions. The DVD has very little to no edge enhancement. The picture isn't widescreen, but I don't think the kids that would gripe about that would be watching Bear in the Big Blue House anyways.
The Dolby Stereo is in English only, and is as clear and crisp as the picture, which is important since the DVD has interactive sing-alongs featured apart of the episodes in which they appear. Speaking of special features, other than the sing-alongs, there really aren't any. Again, I don't think little Bobby is praying for incisive director's commentary on these discs. Also included are English and Spanish subtitles.
Overall, the episodes are reassuring, full of various facets of entertainment—comedy, real-life interviews, sing-alongs—and bearable for parents, too.
Bear in the Big Blue House is sweet, playful, and endearing—and definitely enough to shut up little Timmy for some good-old-fashioned educational viewing. I even enjoyed it. Why, when I stubbed my toe the other day, I thought of little Tutter's tail and I…well, never mind.
Quality children's entertainment, decent transfer to DVD. Free to go!
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Scales of Justice
• Interactive Sing-a-Longs
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