Okay, so you've painted the baby's room Maize and Blue, sung "The
Victors" to him every night during bath time, bought every Michigan baby and toddler outfit they make (that little baby football jersey is
priceless) and are wondering what else you can do to make sure that the
kid ends up at the right place (college at the University of Michigan,
preferably with a football scholarship) and stays away from the bad elements (Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame). Now you are
wondering, what else can you do to accomplish this goal? Well, Team Baby Entertainment has the answer: Baby Wolverine!
Admittedly, this DVD is just for the Michigan faithful. But as a
Michigan Law School alum with a strong love for the Maize and Blue, I
found this DVD to be an entertaining and enjoyable way to better
introduce my son to the University of Michigan experience.
The DVD is 30 minutes long (short enough that a 2 year old won't
lose interest) and is filled with cute kids in Michigan cheerleader outfits, uniforms and other paraphernalia; new words (it is shocking that the other toddler educational videos don't even try to teach kids the word "touchdown!"); counting 1 to 10, learning the colors "maize" and "blue," and learning how to sing The Victors, interspersed with a celebration of the school's storied athletic programs, including prime footage of the U of M men's football team, baseball team and basketball team, along with the women's softball, lacrosse, and volleyball teams.
Of course the greatest focus and adulation is reserved for the football team and the frenetic energy of the Big House on Gameday. Here, the DVD serves its dual purpose best. The football footage shows some of the stars of the last five years, including Drew Henson and David Terrell and shows big touchdown catches and quarterback keepers. Adding to this footage, the marching band is in fine shape and performs a strong instrumental version of the Victors.
The instructional portions of Baby Wolverine seemed to be effective and enjoyable, especially with repeated viewings. Although my son did not repeat many of the instructional words upon initial viewing, I anticipate that he will learn most of the words through repeated viewings.
Perhaps it is nitpicking to discuss what is not included in a 30 minute toddler-directed video, but missing from the experience is any substantial footage of the University campus and its buildings or the other landmarks of Ann Arbor.
The audio on this DVD was quite sufficient for its purpose. The University of Michigan Marching Band sounded particularly good. Most of the DVD is set to light jazz or classical music. Each comes through sounding fairly crisp.
Although not letterboxed, the picture on the DVD comes through rather clearly, aided in the several white backgrounds used throughout much of the film. It appeared to be a nice, clean transfer without corruption or shadowing.
Extras/ Bonus Features
Sadly, the DVD did not contain any bonus features other than a short text section entitled "About Team Baby Entertainment" Although a visit to team baby entertainment's website reveals that there are similar DVDs for 19 other schools (with a decidedly anti-PAC-10, pro—SEC bias), it is understandable why previews for these DVDs were not included in the Baby Wolverine DVD.