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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Baby Mozart
Baby Mozart
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // Unrated // February 26, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Phillip Duncan | posted May 17, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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(The beginning text of this review is reprinted from a review of another Baby Einstein video and is an explanation of the series itself. The text in bold is the review of the specific disc.) I'll start this off by saying that I don't have children. It's something that's being talked about more and more these days and that's one reason I requested this title (along with several in the series), but no kids are on the horizon just yet. With that out of the way, I managed to still watch this in its entirety and had the help of a borrowed baby for some of the time.

This series is based upon the Mozart Effect which is based upon the following principals:

· The use of music and the arts to improve the health of families and communities
· The general use of music to improve memory, awareness, and the integration of learning styles
· The innovative and experimental uses of music to improve listening and attention deficit disorders
· The therapeutic uses of music for mental and physical disorders and injuries
· The collective uses of music for imagery and visualization, to activate creativity, and reduce depression and anxiety

This by no means represents all the uses and aspects, but presents a good overview as to the theories behind the entire series of Baby Einstein videos. A series of images (still and moving), music, sounds, and spoken languages are repeated in an effort to induce the desired results.

There are opponents to this series of videos, ones that feel that introducing children at this young of an age (they're intended for 1 to 18 months) is wrong no matter the content. After watching the reaction of the "borrowed baby" while this video was playing I would disagree. These videos are presented as nothing but the 21st century equivalent of a musical mobile that entertains your child.

Now, on to the specifics concerning this title in the series, Baby Mozart. The DVD consists of over and hour of audio-visual stimulation for your child. There is an enormous amount of content on the disc and it is broken into several areas. The Theater Area is a continuous feed of audio and video stimulation. Something is constantly filling the screen, but no specific languages or tasks are covered here.

Moving on to the Concert Hall, the disc starts to shine. It's divided into three sections: Mozart for Little Ears, Mozart for Bedtime, and Mozart for Playtime. It's not really three sections as I discovered. The latter two sections are the first divided into soft and relaxing pieces and the more vibrant pieces. This is a little deceptive, but works great if you only want the relaxing music playing.

The last section is the Language Lab. This has identical lessons keyed to vocabulary words in the accompanying book. The languages are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Hebrew and Japanese. These are a series of pictures accompanied by the proper word read aloud in a language. Also included on the disc are the Language Lab Flash cards. This are included as video stills that can be accompanied by audio.

It's a great disc that is more entertaining than the Einstein video in the same series and suitable for a younger audience. The ages recommended for this video (1 - 36 months) seems a little more suited to the more complicated Einstein video, but it can be enjoyed by all toddlers.

Video: The video on these discs is beautiful. The color and saturation has purposely been ramped up and it shows. The images practically jump off the screen and have no trouble catching the young, wandering eye.

Audio: The audio is a capable stereo mix that is perfectly crisp and bright, but problematic in a few small areas. The levels jump ever so slightly, causing me to reach for the volume button occasionally.

Extras: There are no true extras, but they offer links to buy some of the toys that are features in the videos. On a side note, the menus were increasingly frustrating deeper into the DVD. There was no back button to return to a previous menu. They are meant to be played straight through and it's not easy to do otherwise.

Overall: I would highly recommend this to parents that want to encourage their children and develop their interests at an early age. While babysitting, the child we kept was easily entertained as we watched and commented together at the objects on the screen. The disc is broader in its coverage and not as limiting to the youngest children. Definitely the best of the three I've seen.

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