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Fun With Colors
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 their attention.
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