(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 Shakespeare.
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 toddlers (recommended
1 year and up) this DVD has the same bright and entertaining images and video
that all of the others in the series have. The variety on this disc is overwhelming.
Your child will get a lesson in vocabulary using common and short words like
train, apple and cat. These lessons are taught with accompanying music from
Beethoven (this could have easily been Baby Beethoven) and reading of poems
and sonnets from the likes of Shakespeare, Yeats, and Wordswoth. Like the Baby
Van Gogh, the material here is quite varied, but still focused on a goal.
The main section of the DVD is the Performance section. This is where the
video and music are combined. As I described above, the selections of music
and poems are heard over the colorful video. The images in this are less real
world objects and more puppets and toddler toys. While still as colorful and
interesting, they're not as vibrant as the usual animals, plants, and other
video in the series. A word, such as apple, is spoken and then a poem or musical
selection accompanies the video relating to that word. It's learning through
visual stimulation and repetition.
Like most of the discs, the Concert for Little Ears is present as well.
On this disc though, the selection of music is enormous. Nearly 20 selections
from Beethoven have been translated to the tiny and soothing musical instruments
that are present in the baby orchestra. They are divided into three sections.
The largest is the main concert for little ears and it has 19 tracks that range
from Fur Elise to Minuet in G. The next selection picks selected, soothing tracks
from those and groups them into a Beethoven for Bedtime section. Perfect for
playing when baby needs a nap. Last, the remaining lively selections are grouped
into a section called Beethoven for Playtime that is perfect for listening while
your child is active.
Video: Like all the DVDs in this series, it's a great selection of video.
Bright and colorful clips explode with vibrancy from your television. This is
perfect for capturing young and roaming eyes. Sharpness and other quality issues
are not perfect, but do interfere with the viewing at all considering the audience.
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 on this disc.
Overall: The frustrating menu's are still around but this is another
excellent entry in the series. Like Van Gogh, the educational content is broadening
with more focus on literature, art and music. While not my favorite, this is
definitely one to watch often.