Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Bear, Tutter, Treelo, Pip & Pop, Ojo
Extras: Sing-alongs, Bonus Trailers
Given the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the ’Bear in the Big Blue House’ program on television anymore, it is fantastic that Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has released another volume of this entertaining and educational children’s program on DVD. Better still is the fact that ’Potty Time With Bear’ contains one of the all-time best episodes of the show. Any parent can tell you that toilet-training can be one of the most challenging and frustrating times in a child’s life. ’Potty Time With Bear’ deals with this issue in a very fun context, but adds a serious touch as well. In this episode, Bear helps Tutter the Mouse learn that when you need to go to the bathroom, you shouldn’t wait. This leads to a very funny scene in which Tutter uses the commode in his mouse-hole. (You’ll howl with laughter when the Muppet says ’Poop.’) Also, Ojo has an accident in the bathroom and Bear explains that accidents are a part of the toilet-training process. There is also a fun song in which Pip & Pop induct the newly toilet-trained in the ’Loyal Order of the Toileteers’. While no video should replace good parenting, ’Potty Time With Bear’ presents toilet-training as a fun and natural experience and it will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Also receiving high-marks is the second episode on the disc, entitled ’If At First You Don’t Succeed.’ This show deals the idea that practice makes perfect. Here, we see Pip & Pop trying to hula-hoop and Ojo learning to pick berries. Bear teaches them all that you can’t try something once and then give up, and that if you keep practice, you can learn to do something. The show deals with setbacks, but never uses words such as ’failure.’ Unfortunately, the third show presented here, ’Call it a Day’, is a loser. This episode, which deals with the different things which happen during the day and at night, is mainly made up of material recycled from other episodes. While it’s a disappointing finish to an otherwise great DVD, the ’Potty Time With Bear’ episode alone makes this disc worth checking out. Hey, hey, hey, potty!
Being a broadcast TV show, ’Bear in the Big Blue House: Potty Time With Bear’ is presented full-frame. The show is shot on video, and the image here is crystal clear. ’Bear’ is a very colorful show (one of the reasons that it’s so appealing to pre-schoolers) and those colors are bright and vivid here. The picture is free from any distortion or defects and is digital-broadcast quality. The Dolby 2.0 Surround audio track provides clear and distortion-free dialogue and accurate re-productions of the songs. There is little surround action here, but the target audience probably won’t notice. The DVD features four sing-along songs, including the great ’Toileteers’ number.