A trip to see musical bunny puppets
For Noggin fans like my family, one of the big things we value about the channel is the educational value, which is even defined clearly on a series by series basis, by a screen preceding each episode. While some of the benefits boasted by these screens are a stretch, for the most part, the series offer something for kids to absorb (the exceptions stick out like a sore thumb.) "Bunnytown" would be one of those injured appendages, as it's hard to identify anything educational about it. In fact, it feels a lot like an old variety show, mixing live-action comedy sketches with full-on puppet musical numbers, and peppering in short, humorous puppet stories. The resulting show is loaded with momentum and fun, but it's one of those TV treats kids have to enjoy in moderation.
If there's no educational value in "Bunnytown," it's because it's packed to the rafters with joyful fun, especially when it comes to the music, which is fantastic and fully realized. The songs in "Jack's Big Music Show" are great and varied, but in the end, they are really good kids songs. The music in Bunnytown is straight-up pop, with memorable tunes like "Making Music" and the staples "Bunnytown Hop" and "Bunnytown Life." The comedy is also a bit more advanced than the usual kiddie stuff, with live action bits that recall Laurel and Hardy and Monty Python, along with some Muppets-worthy sketches like the silly "Cave Bunnies." The good thing is the cute, colorful and sometimes hyperactive bunny puppets make sure the littler viewers aren't left out of the fun.
Most kids shows tends to be a bit formulaic, but "Bunnytown" is a bit slavish in its devotion to form, to the point where Saturday Night Live feels spontaneous in comparison. You can probably set your watch to the appearance of the "Bunnytown Hop" or "Bunnytown Life" song segments, which, as far as I can tell, don't change from episode to episode, while you'll get three similar one-gag bits per show, like a farmer growing odd flowers or a trio of offbeat races. Running jokes are fine, but the repeats are a bit annoying, especially when it's not just the show's pillars, but the song "Making Music" appears twice here, and with just four episodes, that means it appears in half the shows.
This is a is a kids TV series, so clean Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is all you really need to do the job right, and that's what this DVD has, presenting clear dialogue and strong music in the center-focused mix.
There are 10 promos included also, if commercials are your thing.
The Bottom Line