Reviewed by Phil Thomson
One play and the parents will be hooked - not necessarily by the twee kids, and certainly not by the smug visual presentation, but by the infuriatingly repetitive tracks which you just can't shift out of your brain. "The Farmer In The Dell", "Hickory Dickory Dock", "Hush Little Baby", "The Grand Old Duke Of York", etc - all given the same bland musical treatment, the same pitch, the same sickly sentiment. Children will know better and make up their own versions. Take eight fairly lifeless on-the-spot, mostly pre-pubescent children in mid-frame, straight to camera and stick them in a 1970's late-afternoon children's TV set, looking for all the world like a tired Playschool one-we-made-earlier set, with close-ups revealing over-zealous make up and saccharine smiles. Tell them to slightly rock their heads and sway their hips endlessly; and that's it for 40 minutes. There is the occasional live feed of monkeys or birds, and a tiny bit of running around, but most of the links are either fade to black or a simple scroll-across of flat, static cartoon. Oh yes, one track has the group twirling umbrellas; guess what...for "It's raining". This is pointless, unimaginative viewing guaranteed to send even your children to sleep and a complete waste of the visual experience. There is no attempt to exploit the medium. Kids these days are far more sophisticated long before reading age and with this, there is nothing to watch, nothing you'd want them to copy. So what if you can load the DVD into your computer and print out a few colouring book pages, other than that, the "special features" amount to an unconvincing blink-and-you'll-miss-it hello from each of the kids and a plug for all the other products on offer from Golden Books.
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