Bear in the Big Blue House: Shapes, Sounds, & Colo

Bear in the Big Blue House: Shapes, Sounds, & Colo (2000)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Extras: Sing-Alongs, Bonus Trailers

This is the third DVD from the Disney Channel series ’Bear in the Big Blue House, ’ and it continues the tradition of quality shown in the first DVD. ’Shapes, Sounds, & Colors with Bear’ features three full-length episodes from the series. While ’Party Time with Bear’ (the first DVD in the series) was certainly entertaining, this latest DVD focuses more on education for the 3-7 year old crowd.

The first episode is entitled ’A Wagon of a Different Color’, and it helps to teach little ones about basic colors. In the story, Ojo has decided to paint Bear’s wagon a new color, but needs help learning how to make each color. Bear then helps to the viewer to learn how to identify the colors of everyday objects. The second tale is called ’Shape of a Bear’ and it focuses on learning geometric shapes. But this segment also contains some self-esteem building material as the characters discuss body shapes as well. The final story is called ’Listen Up’. In this episode, the characters learn about different sounds. Bear and his friends go on a camping trip and listen to the sounds of the outdoors, some of which can be scary, if you don’t know what’s making the sound.

As ’Bear in the Big Blue House’ is from Jim Henson Studios, you know that you’re going to get quality entertainment. The characters in the show are all very cute and funny, with Tutter Mouse and Pip & Pop being the stand-outs, and the shows are filled with fun songs. (Although, none of the songs on this DVD collection can touch the ’Hey! Hey! Hey! Potty!’ song from ’Potty Time with Bear’!) The episodes are full of constant motion and are very colorful, so that younger viewers won’t get bored. But, there are plenty of inside jokes to keep adults watching. (Just wait until you hear Pip & Pop doing CB talk.) ’Bear in the Big Blue House’ never talks down to kids and always delivers its educational material in a fun and straightforward manner.

The DVD of ’Bear in the Big Blue House: Shapes, Sounds, & Colors with Bear’ has a video image which is in full-frame format – it is a TV show, after all. The picture is incredibly crisp and clear and it’s evident that the DVD was digitally transferred straight from the video master. The colors are astoundingly true, a key to holder the attention of toddlers, and show no bleeding. The clarity of the picture adds a real depth to the image, making it almost 3-D at times. This DVD is a single-layer disc, and the brevity of the material causes no problems with compression or artifacting. The audio on the DVD is a Dolby 2-channel surround. The audio mix is very well-balanced, as the songs are no louder than the dialogue, but the only surround sound action comes from musical cues. There are easy to read yellow subtitles in English and Spanish and they are a necessity whenever Treelo, the lemur with odd dialect, speaks. The DVD features fours sing-alongs with the songs ’What’s In the Mail Today?’, ’Some of the Colors I See’, ’Me, I’m in the Shape of a Bear’, and ’Listen Up.’ There are also trailers for ’Stuart Little’, ’The Nuttiest Nutcracker’, and ’The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.’ If you have small children and have not seen ’Bear in the Big Blue House’, I urge you to check it out. You won’t be sorry.