Judge Dan Mancini can't wait to see the Little Einsteins debate the Little Bohrs.
Our reviews of Little Einsteins: Rocket's Firebird Rescue (published August 29th, 2007), Little Einsteins: The Legend Of The Golden Pyramid (published March 7th, 2007), Little Einsteins: Fire Truck Rocket's Blastoff (published October 7th, 2009), Little Einsteins: Flight Of The Instrument Fairies (published August 6th, 2008), and Little Einsteins: Race For Space (published February 20th, 2008) are also available.
We're going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship…
After a wildly successful series of direct-to-video releases designed to entertain and educate infants (while narcotizing older children and adults), The Baby Einstein company teamed with Disney to steal a little of the toddler demographic from Dora the Explorer. The result was Little Einsteins, which premiered on Playhouse Disney in 2005. The animated show follows the adventures of a multicultural quartet of elementary school kids with a love for music. The team's leader, Leo, has a passion for conducting (what 6-year-old doesn't?); his sister Annie loves to sing; Quincy can play just about any instrument imaginable; and June is all about dancing. (These abilities come in handy when they have to, say, play music diminuendo in order to open a secret door on a Mayan pyramid.) In each episode, the team jets off in Rocket, their sentient (but mute) rocket ship, to complete a mission. In the process they experience a famous piece of classical music as well as a painting, sculpture, or other form of visual art. Plus, they visit places like an arctic glacier, Mount Everest, Icelandic geysers, and Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers.
Little Einsteins: The Christmas Wish has four holiday-related episodes of the series:
• "Show and Tell"
• "The Christmas Wish"
• "The Wind-Up Toy Prince"
• "The Northern Night Light"
Dora the Explorer gets no play in my house, so I can't really draw comparisons between it and Little Einsteins. What I can tell you is that Little Einsteins does for toddlers what the Baby Einsteins DVDs do for infants: It provides them with a rudimentary but visually stimulating introduction to the art and music at the foundation of Western culture. Moreover, my three-year-old loves the show—loves it. Sure, I tend to get bored while watching it and ask annoying questions like, "Why would Rocket try to drive up the side of Mount Everest when he can fly?" But the show isn't made for me. Meanwhile, my boy just ignores me, his eyes glued to the bright animation as he answers the questions cheerfully posed to him by the show's characters and pats his knees in order to power up Rocket (man, how I wish my car was powered by knee patting). Little Einsteins knows how to captivate its target audience.
The show looks great on DVD. The animation sports loads of primary colors, all of which are vividly rendered in the full screen transfer. Detail is as precise as the animation allows. There are no digital artifacts. Dolby stereo surround tracks are provided in the original English as well as French and Spanish dubs. All are clean and as punchy as stereo surround tracks allow.
The only extra is a "Magic Mission Mode: Holidays Around the World" game that will interest any tyke who digs the show.
If you are a toddler, have a toddler, or are an adult who likes to dialogue with animated television characters, then Little Einsteins is for you. With the holiday season fast approaching, Little Einsteins: The Christmas Wish is as good a disc as any to start your collection.
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