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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Wiggles: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
The Wiggles: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
Warner Bros. // Unrated // July 29, 2008
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Phil Bacharach | posted August 3, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

The Wiggles aren't exactly known for their winking pop-culture references, but a funny thing happens in the foursome's latest DVD. The superstars of children's programming actually slip in a few items geared more for the amusement of parents -- or even grandparents -- than the little ones. The Wiggles: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing is an hour-long celebration of kid-friendly music and dance that kicks things off with a mainstay of ... the disco era.

Disco? That's right, the Wiggles strut their stuff with some help from Leo Sayer, whose "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" topped the pop charts in 1977. Whether this once-upon-a-time discothèque staple can rival such Wiggles favorites as, say, "Hot Potato" or "Bow Wow Wow" is debatable -- not that I'm anticipating it's a debate anyone really wants to have, mind you -- but Sayer and his song are certainly a hoot for parents who remember the days of polyester leisure suits. Similarly, the Wiggles -- Anthony, Murray, Jeff and Sam -- don Beatles wigs and Mod-era outfits for a sunny pop confection called "The Shimmie Shake." The band performs on an Ed Sullivan-type variety show from the 1960s, with Paul Paddick (best-known to Wiggles fans as Captain Feathersword) doing the world's lamest Ed Sullivan impersonation.

Wiggles traditionalists need not fret, however, that the Australian quartet is getting too sophisticated for their own good. Preschoolers remain the target demographic here, with the dance-happy performances including "One Finger, One Thumb," "La Bamba," "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" and "I Drive the Big Red Car."

The 20 songs are a diverse lot, giving Wiggles and friends an opportunity to go through a flurry of costumes and computer-generated backgrounds. Moreover, the dances are varied enough -- ballet, waltz, polka, etc. -- to mostly keep the attention of youngsters. Highlights include a high-energy take on "Old Dan Tucker" and a version of Duke Ellington's "The Mooche" that finds the Wiggles gussied up like half-man, half-feline hepcats.

The DVD

The Video:

Presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1, the picture quality is bright and clear, if flat, shallow and subject to slight haloing.

The Audio:

Dolby Digital 2.0 gets the job done with sharp, consistent sound. It's not gonna rock your world, but it won't ruin your world, either. Subtitles are available in English for the hearing-impaired. The dearth of other languages is surprising for an act that has pushed franchises across the globe.

Extras:

Fans of Wiggles' hanger-on Henry the Octopus (he's the cumbersome-looking purple critter wearing a straw boater) have two (count 'em, two) bonus episodes with the friendly neighborhood cephalopod. Henry the Octopus Visits Gawa (8:02) features him visiting the island in Australia's northern territory. Henry is treated to native singing and dancing by indigenous Australians. Henry Returns to Gawa (7:46) is more of the same, with an indigenous Australian take on the Wiggles ditty, "Wave Your Arms Like Henry."

Also included is a Thank You Message from Anthony Wiggle, which is essentially three minutes and one second of liner notes. Safety Tips for Around the House features six vignettes that can be viewed separately or via the "play all" function; its aggregate running time is three minutes, 31 seconds. Rounding out the extras is a photo gallery and Wiggles World trailer.

Final Thoughts:

The Wiggles: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing is another solid product from a group that long ago proved its mastery of children's music. This certainly isn't the Wiggles' best effort; the disc lacks the infectious hooks and goofy humor that characterize their most memorable tunes. But parents and guardians looking to entertain rugrats for an hour could do far worse than this harmless diversion.

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