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Case Number 24270: Small Claims Court

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Super Why: Around the World Adventure

PBS // 2012 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley // August 5th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Bromley is the Super Why Not.

The Charge

Adventure waits when you're with Super Why!

The Case

The children's show Super Why!, which airs daily on PBS Kids and Sprout in the United States, is one of my three-year-old son's favorite shows. I'm happy about that.

The show follows the continuing adventures of the Super Readers, who are made up of Whyatt Beanstalk, the leader of the group who transforms into Super Why; Pig, who becomes Alpha Pig and possesses "alphabet power;" Princess Pea, who becomes Princess Presto; Red, who possesses "word power;" and Puppy, the Beanstalk family dog (introduced in the collection of episodes contained on this DVD), who turns into Woofster and has "dictionary power." Together, the Super Readers can travel into books and help solve problems by spelling out words, figuring out their meanings and understanding them within the context of the story.

Super Why: Around the World Adventure contains three episodes, which can be played separately or as one continuous program via the "play all" option. The first, the titular "Around the World Adventure," help an explorer by the name of Wigglesbottom travel the globe in search of a friend. In the second, "Naila and the Magic Map," the Super Readers travel into a book to explore ancient Egypt in the hopes of deciphering what looks like a treasure map. Finally, the third episode, "Jasper's Cowboy Wish," finds Whyatt and his friends try to teach Pig what being a cowboy is all about while helping their new friend Jasper become a cowboy himself.

Here's the thing about Super Why!: there are no "good" or "bad" episodes. One show is hardly better than another, because they're all basically the same: there is a framing story, at which point the characters travel into a book and solve a reading puzzle that typically relates to the real-life dilemma established in the framing story. The three episodes contained in Around the World Adventure are no exception. That's OK, though, because Super Why! is an excellent show for young kids—one in which I'm happy my son has taken such an interest. The plots may not be always be all that compelling, but the way each episode is structured as a mystery that can only be solved through reading is enough to hold his interest. Plus, it's one of the few educational shows in which he actually learns something.

The DVD of Super Why: Around the World Adventure presents all three episodes in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, enhanced for widescreen playback. Everything looks great—it's a bright and colorful show, and the DVD reproduces that very well. The stereo audio track is more than adequate for the feature's needs. Included with the three episodes is a small selection of bonus content, including some interactive games for children and some music videos of songs from the show. If you put the DVD into your computer, there are printable coloring pages and activities as well. It's nice that, like the show, all of the bonus features at least attempt to be both educational and entertaining for kids.

Super Why! is an excellent show for kids, and Around the World Adventures teaches more than just reading skills: there's also a focus on geography, history, rhyming and more. It's all packaged in a format that holds the attention of my son and leaves him wanting to explore more spelling and reading. I can't ask for much more than that from a kids' show.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: PBS
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation
• Instructional
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Interactive Games
• Music Videos


• IMDb
• Official Site

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