Manny's a dangerous cat, so it's appropriate that Disney should package a group of pet-themed episodes for this DVD release. Why is Manny so dangerous? Well, it's not really him, it's his theme song and his work songs. All I need do these days is look at or think about anything Handy Manny related and one of those songs gets stuck in my head for hours. That's a good thing if you're a preschooler learning about music, but not so good for adults. But is this DVD a good thing? Por supuesto! (Of course!)
Handy Manny is an Hispanic handyman with a cute toolbox full of seven delightful herramientas (tools) that not only help him on his daily rounds, they keep him company! "You break it, we fix it," Handy says when he answers a call. More often than not the broken thing is minor - a doorbell or latch on a rabbit cage, for instance - and if Handy doesn't know how to fix it, one of his tools does! Candy Store owner Mr. Lopart is always hanging around providing comic relief, while Kelly (the hardware store owner) always has the part the Handy needs. I think Handy has a 'thing' for Kelly, if you get my drift, and I suspect the feeling is mutual, but we may never know.
In this collection we get seven eleven-minute episodes, almost all about pets or little animals, but first there's the epic bonus episode in which Handy and crew help Mr. Lopart's nephews Lyle and Leland build a soapbox racer that won't kill them. (Mr. Lopart is the exact opposite of Handy, where building and fixing is concerned.) After that we have episodes that, among other things, see the crew help keep chicks warm in a Pet Store during a blackout, the tools watch after a cute stray kitty, and everyone goes mano-a-paw-no with a mischievous gopher.
The list of episodes is as follows:
Lyle And Leland Lopart
Otherwise, Handy and tools teach un poquito de Espanol (a little bit of Spanish) by tossing out words and phrases in the native tongue, then repeating them in English, and everyone has a mild good time. Wilmer Valderrama's ultra-low-key voice-work for Handy is really starting to grow on me (even as Handy's weird mechanical dog Fix-It is starting to disturb me). And the animation is painfully cute - check out those slow, round bunnies and kitties! Handy Manny doesn't reach the educational-fun heights of some of our other favorites (Bob The Builder and Little Einsteins, for instance) but as a low-impact viewing choice for brief down time, he's excellente.
I've found many people read my Handy Manny reviews wanting to find lyrics to his songs. The actual theme song is just voices repeating Handy's name over and over, but the other Handy Manny lyrics go a little something like this:
Let's Get To Work
"Hop up, jump in - come on let's go!
Hop up, jump in - si vamanos
Hop up, jump in - don't move too slow (keep up!)
Let's get to work, muy rapido!"
"Let's get going and fix it right
Twist and turn, make it tight
we work together now
Cut it, measure it, tap it flat
Bend and twist, just like that
Each of us has a special job
We work together - todos juntos
We can fix it right!"