(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
· The use of music and the arts to improve the health of families and
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.
· 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
· The collective uses of music for imagery and visualization, to activate
creativity, and reduce depression and anxiety
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
Now, on to the specifics concerning this title in the series, Baby
Dolittle World Animals. Like the other discs in the series, this one contains
over an hour or interactive and education video for you baby and toddler. Aimed
at the older toddler (recommended 1 and up) this DVD is bright, colorful and
fun. It's easily the most entertaining of the 3 I have reviewed so far and the
least likely to bother an adult with over-cuteness.
The main section of the DVD is the Baby Dolittle World Animals Video.
It's 21 chapters of music, puppets and animal footage. It's also broken into
3 sections: Jungle Animals, Ocean Animals, and Savannah Animals (perhaps a stretch
for young ones). Overall, it does a great job of repeating the name of the animal
while combining it with footage of that animal and occasionally puppets. Visually
interesting animals, like monkeys and parrots, keep it colorful and interesting.
This disc also has a World Animals Soundtrack that serves little purpose
or makes much sense. These are simply 13 short musical tracks performed on toy
instruments that have a still background. I've complained on this before and
I'll say it again. Play the music, but accompany it with the video from the
other areas. As this stands, it's pointless to have it on the DVD with nothing
The last section is the Language Lab. It's done a little differently
on this disc and is quite entertaining. There are two modes available: Learn
and Guess. Learn the animals presents a full screen image of 18 animals, one
at a time. By using the remote you can reveal to your child the animals name.
When this is done, it is read aloud and the sound associated with the animal
is played. For example: a golden retriever is shown. When the Next button is
pushed, the word dog is displayed and spoken, followed by a bark. The Guessing
game builds on these associations. The same words are used in the same order
(it would have been nice to mix them up to ensure the child isn't just memorizing
the order) with only the animal's sound and images of their paw-prints (tracks)
being displayed. Pressing the next button reveals the answer.
Also included are 4 short puppet shows using the animals involved on
the disc. These are entertaining, but don't have enough audio associated with
them. The DVD also included many of the pictures on the disc in a PDF file.
These can be printed out and colored by your child while watching the video.
It's a great disc that expands on the Einstein/Mozart series and theory.
It's more entertaining and suited to older children, but would work for younger
ones as visual stimulation.
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. The
stock footage of the animals is grainy at times, but the overall quality is
still better than average.
Audio: The audio is a capable stereo mix that is perfectly
crisp and bright, but problematic in a few small areas. There are no audio level
problems in this disc like the ones I experienced on others.
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. The
disc is broader in its coverage and not as limiting to younger children. Definitely
the best of the three I've seen and the most entertaining and educational combination.