Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mickey Mote & DVD Playset: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny

What is a Mickey Mote? I'm glad you asked:

The Mickey Mote works with any Disney Preschool DVD that includes the Discovery Mode(tm), which is the interactive "Watch & Play" feature on the DVD! Parent's program the remote control  (there's an easy and quick set-up guide in each DVD) and then select the Discovery Mode feature on the menu screen. Within minutes, kids will be easily responding to questions, throughout the story, about scenes they just watched (such as "What color is Goofy's hat?") by pressing one of four color-coded buttons on the device -- a yellow star, green circle, orange triangle or blue square -- to click in their responses. The Discovery Mode also features two levels of play, which provides more challenging questions as your child grows.

The Mickey Mote is in stores now and comes packaged with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Numbers Roundup DVD. This Disney DVD features more than 100 minutes of content with five numbers-themed adventures and bonus features including a never-before-seen bonus episode (which will air in January 2011) as well as the Discovery Mode feature.

Disney was kind enough to send me the Mickey Mote & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Numbers Roundup DVD to review and threw in a copy of the Handy Manny Big Construction Job DVD, which is also compatible with the Mickey Mote so my five year old could give it a try.

We liked it for a number of reasons:
  • The Mickey Mote. In our house we're always telling him not to touch the remote so it was fun for him to have one that is JUST HIS.
  • The Numbers Roundup DVD. He's learning all about numbers in his kindergarden class and so this DVD was very timely and entertaining.
  • Handy Manny: Is there any little boy out there who doesn't like trucks?
I like it that Disney came out with the Mickey Mote but also gave parents the option to play these DVDs independent of the Mickey Mote. These DVDs are rated G and you don't need the Mickey Mote to watch them because while questions and challenges are great, sometimes you just want kids to enjoy Mickey Mouse and be entertained. It's nice to be able to do both.

How great is it that your pre-schoolers can watch a DVD and learn math? Maybe if there were DVDs and Mickey Motes like this around when I was a kid I'd be much better at balancing my checking account than I am.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Veggie Tales It's a Meaningful Life DVD

My kids love VeggieTales. Without fail, VeggieTales DVDs are family friendly, entertaining, clever and with plenty of catchy music that you will like.

In It's a Meaningful Life, you can see the story of Stewart ( who is really Larry the Cucumber), a silly but sweet man with a wonderful family who constantly plays the what-if game about an old football injury. After meeting a conductor who can turn back the hands of time, will he finally find everything he's been looking for?

Every VeggieTales DVD has a lesson, and this is no exception. I will tell you because it surprised me the first time I watched a VeggieTales movie, there is always a message about God in the stories. I will also tell you that regardless of how you feel about that, the messages are simple and basic and such that you can have a conversation with your child if they have questions about it without any controversy. It's my humble opinion that even though we may not practice religion at the level that some VeggieTales fans might, I'd rather answer questions about God than see violence, sassy talk or characters disrespecting each other.

I'd give this two thumbs up but vegetables don't have thumbs, so two sprouts up I guess, for It's A Meaningful Life. Thanks to Big Idea Inc. for sending me a copy for review. It's in stores now if you want to check it out.

It's true. There's never ever ever ever ever ever been a show like VeggieTales.