(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
· 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
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
Now, on to the specifics concerning this title in the series, Baby Santa's
Music Box. 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 youngest
child (recommended 1 to 36 months) this DVD has plenty of bright and entertaining
sections that are all Christmas themed to keep everyone entertained. Video segments
of Christmas presents, trees, decorations and associated objects (nutcrackers,
snowmen) are played while classical Christmas music plays in the background.
Unlike the others in this series, the educational value of this disc is in question.
The Christmas music from other countries is about as enriching as it gets.
The main section of the DVD is the Performance section. This is where the
video and music are combined. Rudy Reindeer takes kids through several different
video segments that showcase different Christmas traditions. Clips of snow,
gingerbread men, ornaments, and trees are plentiful, but the numbers, animals
and art of the other titles is nowhere to be found. A few pieces of classical
music-Motzart's German Dance No. 3 and Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker-are present,
but the rest of the music is standard Christmas fare like Jingle Bells.
Something new on this disc is the Holiday Music Festival. Made up of the
same play instruments music that is common in the series, Christmas themed tunes
from around the world are played. Most of the selections are traditional tunes,
like Joy to the World, but played in another style, in this case it was a Reggae
style. As I've always complained, this should be accompanied by video as well.
The music is nice to listen to while doing other things, but why not make it
an alternate audio track.
Like most of the discs, the Concert for Little Ears is present as well.
A small selection of holiday music from Beethoven, Bach and Tschaikovsky is
included. The world music that accompanies the party scene from the Nutcracker
is present and offers a good selection of variety.
This disc is one of the shortest in the series and rightly so. Comprised
of Christmas images and music, it's less appealing to all audiences and the
education factor seems to have been dropped almost entirely to cash in on the
holiday desire for themed entertainment.
Video: The video on these discs is usually beautiful. The images have no trouble
catching the young, wandering eye. The Christmas images in this one seem less
interesting and while colorful, the quality is lower than the others. There
was likely more in-house work done than stock footage used and without the focus
of colors or animals, the images are less interesting.
Audio: The audio is a good stereo mix. It's bright and even at all times with
crisp highs and lows.
Extras: There are no true extras.
Overall: The frustrating menu's are still around and with no true educational
content, it seems like a ploy to cash in on the holiday spirit. It you want
a nice selection of music played for you toddler then by all means. check it
out. If you're expecting the educational content I've praised on the other discs
then you will likely be disappointed.