(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 (my new nephew)
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 Beethoven.
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 visually stimulating images, all set
to Beethoven's most popular pieces of music performed by the Baby Einstein orchestra.
The main section of the DVD is the Symphony of Fun section. This is the
lengthiest and most entertaining section on the disc. Simple video of colored
lights, moving toys and animals are all displayed while being backed by pieces
of Beethoven music. The movement, color and music all prove attention getting
for even the youngest child. The music is occasionally interrupted by short
puppet shows and other cute little interventions. This disc is worth if the
versions of Beethoven's most popular symphonies that are included, symphonies
1, 3, 5, and 9.
Like most of the discs, the Concert for Little Ears is present as well.
This is a collection of the music, some not included n the video, that is played
by the Baby orchestra. Several movements from Beethoven's symphonies are included,
as is most of Wellington's Victory, Op. 91. As on the other dics, I have the
same complaint. It would be nice to have some sort of visual accompaniment for
this section as well. A simple simulated and computer generated light show would
be better than the still shot that is on the screen for the entirety. Still,
to turn on and leave playing when it's nap time or time to wind down, it's perfect
and would definitely justify a cheap DVD player in an infants room. I have to
mention that a repeat feature was finally added to this section as well. It
has long been my most constant complaint with this series that the video section
will repeat but the music would not. That's been fixed and rightly so.
This disc is short compared to some of the others in the series. There are
no interactive sections like there are on the Animals and language discs. Perhaps
it's because this one is aimed at such a broad age group, but some educational
content would have been nice.
Video: The video on these discs is always beautiful. The images have no trouble
catching the young, wandering eye. This disc is no exception with it's combination
of light and puppets. I would like to have seen a little footage of some animals
or other natural objects included for variety.
Audio: The audio is a good stereo mix. It's bright and even at all times with
crisp highs and lows. Because of the nature of these discs, the audio is often
times better than you'll get on some theatrical releases. The music, even at
low volumes, will often swell and fill the room with sound that is never overpowering,
Extras: There are no extras on this disc.
Overall: The disc has made a big improvement by adding a repeat to the music
section, but it has omitted some of the additional content that is often found
on these discs. This is one of the shorter discs in the series but it more than
makes up for it with the wonderful selection of music by Beethoven, who was
sadly missing from the series until now.