STUDIO: Disney
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: Approx 30 Minutes Each

The Pitch

"Alright. I, like a lot of you I’m sure, am sick of that damn dinosaur. Go to wardrobe, get some costumes, grab some kids and a camera. We’ll take that damn purple bastard DOWN!"

The Humans

More kids than you can count and a bunch of Disney characters

The Nutshell

Kids and Disney characters sing and dance in a variety of environments. That’s it. No, seriously…that’s it. The songs aren’t even that good, either.

Don’t worry Dads, there’s stuff for you here too.

The Package

You know, this set isn’t bad. It’s not stacked, but it’s not bad. There’s the inclusion of Dolby 5.1, but unless you’re going to enjoy hearing Goofy, Donald, Mickey, Minnie and about 50 kids singing Buster Poindexter’s "Hot, Hot, Hot," well you might not care about that. Visually it’s decent. It looks like it was shot on BetaCam (maybe Digi-Beta), so it has that Info-Mercial aesthetic – again, not necessarily bad considering what we’re dealing with. The artwork is nice, with each case featuring a promo shot of the characters and kids in an environment relating to that discs theme. Now, special feature-wise there’s nothing. However, I’m not going to hold that against them as the target audience for these things probably doesn’t even know what a commentary is.

The Lowdown

I’ve reviewed a handful of cartoons here for CHUD. Those reviews came somewhat easy to me as I have a fondness for animation and have a decent grasp on the current host of shows. I may not be the "target audience," but I am still an audience so I was able to review them based on my opinions. With these on the other hand, I knew right away that my opinion alone didn’t mean a damn thing. Not only was I not the target audience, they might as well have plastered "No Grownups Allowed" on the cover. So, I didn’t need to watch this as "Jeremy – DVD Reviewer," I needed to watch it as "Jeremy – Dad." So I took it home and showed it to my daughter. Now, she just turned 3, but she’s got a fondness for music. She’s always dancing or singing and knows what she likes.

Goofy Goober Rock
All we need is that ridiculous saxaphone guy from The Lost Boys and we’ll have the Cheesiest Band Ever.

She loved these.

As I watched her interact with the show I really liked what I saw. I liked what it brought out in her. I’m as guilty as the next dad of letting my daughter watch a little too much tv, but I didn’t get that guilt with this. For the entire running time she was on her feet, trying to emulate what the characters and other kids were doing on screen. The choreography wasn’t complicated so she was able to pick it up fairly easily, which was good because it gave her something else to do even if she didn’t know the words to sing (and she knows a few Disney songs so she got a kick out of it). Speaking of which, you’ll be happy to know the lyrics show up on screen so if your kiddo doesn’t know the words they’ll be able to read along. The only problem with that is they only show up for like half of the song, then go away, then show up again later. I got the impression that they only left them off on repeat verses or choruses, but it was still a little distracting.

Now, the obvious comparison is to Barney. Is it better than Barney? Hell fucking yes. Barney makes most parents want to gouge out their eyes – well, at least the ones I’ve talked to. This, I enjoyed watching with her. What makes it different? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the songs, or the different locations or the familiar characters, but it works. I highly recommend these to anyone with younger kids. Now, I will say as a grown-up I did get a few headaches. A few of these songs are annoying, a fact not made better by the fact that 5 different Disney voices are singing with 50 high pitched kids’ voices. It might not hurt to have your iPod handy for certain scenes. Besides, the real fun for us is watching the kids interact, so we don’t really need to hear it anyway.

So, at the end of it all I was surprised by these discs. I don’t think I would have ever picked them up on my own. The good thing is there’s a few different themes available so you should be able to find one that appeals to your kid’s taste.

Good stuff indeed.

Sadly, this wasn’t the start of a cover of "Leave Your Hat On" – but hot damn I wish it was!

7.5 out of 10