Bear in the Big Blue House: Party Time With Bear

Bear in the Big Blue House: Party Time With Bear (2000)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Bear, Tutter, Pip & Pop, Treelo, Ojo, Luna
Extras: Interactive Sing-alongs, Bonus trailers

It’s hard to find things that are truly reliable. It’s especially hard in the world of entertainment. But, the folks at Jim Henson Productions always seem to crank out quality entertainment. It seems that you can always count on anything with a Muppet in it to be satisfying. The Disney Channel series ’Bear in the Big Blue House’ is no exception to this rule. Now, after eight VHS compilation tapes, Columbia/TriStar Home Video has finally released a ’Bear in the Big Blue House’ collection on DVD.

’Bear in the Big Blue House’ focuses on a group of lovable characters who live in a big, blue house. There’s the show’s host, Bear, a huge brown bear, who always has something nice to say. There’s Tutter, the timid and anxious mouse. Pip and Pop are two purple otters who are always getting into trouble. There’s a lemur named Treelo, who is very hyper and speaks with a distinct accent. A smaller female bear named Ojo also lives in the house. And finally, every episode ends with Bear conversing with Luna, the moon. (Don’t ask me.) The show is aimed at young children, probably ages 3-7, and teaches lessons about sharing and socialization.

The DVD compilation is subtitled ’Party Time With Bear.’ The DVD features three episodes from the show, and each one deals with having a party. The first episode is entitled ’Mouse Party’ and deals with a surprise birthday party for Tutter. The second episode, ’Bear’s Birthday Bash’, is almost a carbon-copy of the first episode (kids love repitition), but it’s bear turn for a surprise party. The final episode is called, ’Dancin’ the Day Away’ and shows the characters having fun doing various dances.
Allow me to call upon my years of experience reviewing films and my film school background and say that this show is incredibly cute! The show is very light and fun and is never heavy-handed in teaching its lessons. The episodes on the DVD teach lessons about sharing and respecting the wishes of others, but in a very subtle way.
The DVD of ’Bear in the Big Blue House: Party Time With Bear’ offers us a pristine copy of the shows. The images appears to have been taken directly from the video master, as it is clearer than broadcast-quality. As this is a TV show, the image is presented in a full-frame format. The vibrant colors on the show are outstanding, and make the show appealing to even the youngest children. The audio on the DVD is a Dolby 2-channel surround mix, which sounds very good during the musical numbers. However, don’t expect much action from the rear speakers.

The DVD features six interactive sing-alongs, which feature songs from the various episodes, with Karaoke-style word to follow along and sing. This works well for every song except for ’Otter Rap’, where the words go much to fast for someone with a Master’s Degree, much less a pre-schooler. There are also bonus trailers on the DVD for: ’Stuart Little’, ’Muppets From Space’, ’Madeline’, ’The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland’, and ’The Nuttiest Nutcracker.’