Peep and The Big Wide World: Star Light, Star Bright
PBS // Unrated // $12.99 // November 8, 2011
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted June 2, 2012
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Peep and the Big Wide World: Star Light, Star Bright:
Peep and the Big Wide World is the newest bit of wry fun from the creative folks at PBS. Surprisingly simple, the show defies this and any other possible negatives by functioning with near perfection. My kindergarten-aged child, a veteran PBS show scholar, might be a little more aged than the target audience, but she loves it. I do too. The thrill may wear off pretty quickly for adults, but I reckon kids will get their money's worth.

Peep, the nominal star of the show, is a newly hatched fuzzy chick, learning about the world from his friends Chirp and Quack (a robin and a duck). Chirp and Quack content themselves easily on lazy days, but something quirky always seems to happen; a chance encounter with another animal, or a problem usually created by Quack. Chirp (who looks a bit like an Angry Bird with legs) and Quack have kooky, opposing personalities, (with Chirp being far more wise than Quack). They provide a push-pull view of the world that's probably pretty similar to the outlook any parents impose upon their innocent children.

Stylish Flash-style animation is easy on the eye, with clever, highly distilled character designs. Classic animation physics get subtle play, and clever banjo-based musical cues follow the action in funny, surprising ways. Simple science topics gently weave into storylines, so even if you're just plopping your kids on the couch so you can empty the dishwasher, you know they're getting an education too. (And most importantly, with PBS on DVD or during broadcast, they aren't getting any advertising!) Finally, as with most other PBS kids shows, a brief segment at the end of each episode includes real kids doing real science experiments - the better to get yours back up and out into the real world, with a little motivation to learn and play.

This DVD comes packed with 100 minutes of entertainment, including these eight 12-minute episodes:

The Sounds of Silence, Part 1: Quack takes his own vow of silence, and only Chirp can get him to talk again - if he begs. (Do you think Chirp will ever beg?)
The Sounds of Silence, Part 2: Unfortunately, Chirp becomes stranded in a puddle, and Quack needs to come to the rescue.
The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth: Beaver Boy has lost a tooth, which is a pretty big deal for someone who pretty much stakes his reputation on having two big teeth!
The Winter of Quack's Discontent: Quack gets pretty bent out of shape when winter brings some changes to his favorite pond.
In a Bind: Chirp finds a cool golden string, but Quack manages to turn this fun discovery into trouble.
Star Light, Star Bright: If you wish on a star that has 'staratosiosis', will your wish still come true?
Bedtime Story: Stories about the day Chirp and Peep were born turn into something a little more when Quack is the storyteller.
The Deep Duck Woods: Quack decides the Deep Dark Woods are really the Deep Duck Woods. Hilarity ensues.

From narrator Joan Cusack's inimitable presence, through great, simple animations, to droll plots and humor, Peep and the Big Wide World: Star Light, Star Bright should provide at least one season of viewing fun for you and your children. As kid's TV programming goes - for those in kindergarten or Pre-k - Peep and the Big Wide World is Highly Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
These 1.33:1 fullscreen episodes don't have too much digital information to handle, so they look great. Simple computer animation with bright colors look about as good as they might when sitting on the desktop of some Adobe-jockey's top-flight computer. Rest easy, cinephiles.

Sound:
Stereo Audio is solid, well mixed, and in-balance. The quirky music sounds great and fits in well with volume levels for dialog. No distortion is present.

Extras:
Extras are limited to English SDH Subtitles (I feel weird every time I type that redundancy, but, there you go, it's just easier to understand) and other PBS Previews.

Final Thoughts:
From narrator Joan Cusack's inimitable presence, through great, simple animations, to droll plots and humor, Peep and the Big Wide World: Star Light, Star Bright should provide at least one season of viewing fun for you and your children. As kid's TV programming goes - for those in kindergarten or Pre-k - Peep and the Big Wide World is Highly Recommended.



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