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Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection
As my two-year old goes from infant to toddler and is more of a sponge soaking up data and information I try to keep his media above board with things on education, and having Sesame Street as your driver in the club bag is a clutch one I have to say. He can watch Elmo, or Kermit or Bert and Ernie with content while I get his meals ready, and he gets the chance to learn something in the process. So yeah, damn right I grabbed Awesome Alphabet Collection as a surrogate parent!
The disc is less a series of show episodes and more focused on segments, all of which surround a particular letter of the alphabet, that the Sesame Street puppets and humans talk through in a means of education and illustration. Occasionally a celebrity will pop by, whether its singers like Norah Jones, Pharrell Williams or Smokey Robinson, or actors like Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying), everyone gets a chance to work with a letter or two on the alphabet.
Sesame Street has their stuff dialed in and has for decades, and you get a sense of that (new or rediscovered) when it comes to Awesome Alphabet Collection. The segments aren't very long, maybe 3-5 minutes, you get your nugget of information to take away, and you move onto the next one. The characters ham it up a little at times, but you'd expect them to be who they are for a sense of relatability to the young viewer. It connected with me back in the day and it connects with my kids.
If you want your toddler to learn things and you are pressed with other things that have to happen in the process, having him or her learn the alphabet from Elmo and Norah Jones isn't a horrible way to do it. Awesome Alphabet Collection is entertaining and a valuable resource, and your kid will go back to it frequently, as mine does.
Everything is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks fine. Colors are reproduced accurately and the image doesn't include notable and/or prolonged edge enhancement or smoothing in post-processing. Grover looks like Grover, Big Bird looks like Big Bird, etc.
Dolby two-channel which isn't a surprise, and it sounds clear as you'd like. Dialogue is clear and consistent and lacks any directional effects or immersion that it would try to mirror in a six-channel track. It sounds like Sesame Street.
There's a segment called "Elmo's Amazing Alphabet Race," where Elmo tries to find the letters of the alphabet around Sesame Street before a timer goes off. There is mention of printable activity sheets but they weren't included with the package. Speaking of same, the package mentions a Sheryl Crow song that doesn't appear on here, go figure.
Awesome Alphabet Collection gets you to learning the alphabet, and some of the words your child knows get associated with them easily and in a fun way, without having a textbook or chalkboard in front of them to do so. Technically the disc is fine and the supplement is okay, but the main event, seeing the Sesame Street ensemble do their work, is the treat here, as it usually is.