Sunday, May 28, 2006

Einstein hype

Baby Einstein is hype. Their DVDs are $15 for about 30 minutes of cute puppets and nature photos set to classical music. The kicker is the "repeat play" option when starting the DVD. It strikes me as both ingenious and utterly abhorent. I have visions of burned-out parents locking their children in a den with Baby Einstein playing on infinite repeat and rationalizing to themselves that their babies will become geniuses.

We also picked up a movie called "Elmo in Grouchland" which was a pretty clever retelling of the archetypal heroic quest to the underworld. With empathetic characters, dialogue that mixes high-school vocabulary with elementary-school language, and the meta-commentary of Bert and Ernie periodically stopping the movie (essentially teaching reading strategies), I was far more impressed. Besides, it's feature-film length, so I won't need to put it on repeat.


Blogger Old Man Rich said...

I'm not a big puppet fan. I like real people like the muppets. You know, I once thought they were puppets too, until I saw Kermit give an interview on Parkinson. I particularly enjoyed the bit where he denied having sex with pigs.

Oh - and lock children in a room without a TV but with Lego.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Yeah. Baby Einstein is a real racket. Bad production values, no real interaction, all based on a false assumption that listening to classical music makes one smarter.


7:29 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Never even looked at the Baby Einstein stuff. My 2 boys have enjoyed the "Noggin" channel on Dish Network which originally had a lot of Sesame Street spin-off shows (like Play With Me Sesame). All 3 kids would always be building, drawing, coloring (or in Bob's case, destroying toys) while watching tv. I read somewhere that kids take in a lot more from the tv than you would imagine, even while doing an activity. I also read that there was a lot of research done when creating Blues Clues, and I think kids learn a lot from that as well. (It's on Noggin also)

1:07 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I miss Blues Clues.

I miss Steve.


7:43 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

aw man
and here i was all excited about baby einstein!!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

BP: You can come watch Blues clues with Bob! Steve is cool and so is the new guy...

9:09 AM  

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