"Fun with Colors" is another video in the ever-growing genre of education
videos for your baby or toddler. Lots of parents scoff at these types of titles,
but as the birth of my first gets ever closer (September 27th) I've been
checking out a lot more of these.
From my past reviews, it's no secret that I'm a fan of the Baby
Einstein videos and the material they present, so I was interested to check
out what other companies had to offer. "Fun with Color" is part
of a language learning series that teaches Spanish, French or Portuguese on
each disc by using colors.
A parrot and a parrotfish introduce each color, while talking in a different
language. For instance, RED is introduced followed by pronunciation in English
and then in the chosen language. Several scenes using the color are played with
the narrator constant repeating the color name in English and the second language.
The images are vibrant, but not as eye catching as on other videos and may
have a hard time holding the youngest ones eyes, but with the focus being on
language, it's suited for the older toddler. There are lots of static
images of shoes, balloons and other colorful objects, but the lack of movement
in some scenes may mean that younger children will not be as drawn to it. The
shots that aren't static are children playing with colored toys for the
camera. There's a staged feeling to it that the child won't notice,
but it's not as interesting.
After a few minutes, the puppet characters return and recite a short poem using
the color and items and animals that are that color. It's recited once
in English and then in the secondary language. More footage is shown of puppets
and animations interacting with appropriately colored objects.
Each segment is accompanied by a constant stream of classical music in the
background, which will help keep your child focused on the screen. It's
a nice touch that provides a lot of added interest to the slower footage.
I don't like this series as much as some of the Einstein videos I've
seen, but it does cover a subject they haven't specifically covered yet,
and that's language and color. I would recommend this title if you're
looking for an addition to your video learning library, but not if it's
your first foray into this new and popular area.
Video: The video quality on the discs is acceptable, but not
as pristine as some of the other children's videos I have seen. There
are slight amounts of grain noticeable in areas and the colors, while vibrant,
don't seem to be as sharp. The only other flaw I noticed in this title
was during the puppet scene in between the Rainbow and Red segment. There seemed
to video tracking issues, with discoloration dropping in and out of the top
of the frame. It only last for less than a minute, but was distracting.
Audio: The audio is mixed perfectly for this title and the
only thing that would be better is a surround track. The Dolby stereo mix is
perfectly crisp with just the right combination of vocals and background music.
Neither is hard to discern, nor do they overpower each other.
Extras: None, unless you count the Spanish, French and Portuguese
audio sections, which are actually the main features of the disc.
Overall: "Fun with Colors" would make a nice addition
to an established learning library for your child, but I would not recommend
it as your only title, or as your first. Be prepared to work more with your
child while watching this video, as the on-screen elements may not always hold