Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bert and Ernie's adventures in clay

Bert and Ernie journey from Sesame Street in the clay-animated series Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures. Last week Warner Home Video and Sesame Workshop released the series' first-ever DVD collection – aptly titled Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures. The set features 13 episodes of the animated series. In these bite-sized five-minute episodes, Bert and Ernie travel to faraway lands where fantastical adventures and important lessons in friendship await them. The series was first seen by American audiences on Sesame Street (first appearing on the show in the 39th season); while internationally the shorts have aired as a stand-alone (first debuting in September 2008).

No longer confined to their apartment set and finally gaining bodies that exist below the waist, Bert and Ernie take viewers on fantastic journeys to the Wild West, the Arctic Circle, outer space and the high seas. They even travel through time and hang out with cavemen! It’s all in the name of good fun and a good education, as there is a lesson to be learned in each adventure. Segments on this DVD include: "Pirates," "Deep Sea," "Tiny Town," "Planet Bert," "Cavemen," "Mountain Climbers," "Penguins," "Ernlock Holmes," "Rainforest," "Bakers," "Wizards," "Three Wishes," and "Kung Fu."

Personally, I’m a huge fan of this series. The episodes are just long enough to tell a complete story and just short enough to get it over with before you get tired of watching it. The real beauty is unlike some pre-school series, this is one that you won’t get sick of watching (and re-watching)! This show is legitimately entertaining. The characters are true to their live-action counterparts; and the comedic chemistry of the animated characters (voiced by Muppeteers Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson) is just as rich and satisfying as the duo’s classic Muppet material (performed by Muppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz).

In a nutshell: this series is lots of fun! At this point, you might wondering about the educational value – I mean it is Sesame Street after all. Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures shies away from preaching the ABC’s, showcasing how to count, and hitting you over the head with other rudimentary skills; instead the stories focus on problem-solving abilities and social skills. A great majority of the episodes deal with the life lessons that Bert and Ernie teach each other as well as showcasing values such as respect, loyalty, helping, understanding, and tolerance.

At nearly an hour in length and retailing for $12.99 (or less), Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures is money well spent. Educational, fun, entertaining, funny, and (most importantly for parents) not annoying. You can’t go wrong with Sesame Street’s dynamic duo - even when they’re made of clay instead of foam and felt.