Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adventures in Booga Booga Land - Volume 1 (DVD)

This DVD is the first Volume, in a series of DVDs that follow the Adventures of the main characters, Marty the Monkey and Gerard the Giraffe. The stories are supposed to be Richard Milner's allegories of Parables told by Jesus.

On this DVD there are three episodes. Each episode is done after a specific parable and starts with the name of the parable and the bible reference. For example, the first episode called "So This Is Booga" which introduces us to Booga Booga Land and the characters who live there, is based after 'The Workers In The Vineyard' as told by Jesus in Matthew 20:1-16.

We find Gerard and Marty who have come to the capital city of BoogaBooga Land and are in need of jobs. They are hired as window washers at a set wage, and as the day goes on more window washers are hired. At the end of the day, Gerard and Marty are a little put out when they are paid the same as those who worked less hours than them.

The other two episodes on this DVD tell the parables of "The Wise and Foolish Builders" and "The Lamp under the Bowl" in similar ways.

The animation isn't what one would call high-end -- but the simple shapes, bold outlines and bright colours are fun for young children. I liked the fruit rolling across the screen when they changed scenes. My 23 month old daughter was excited to watch the first episode of the DVD, and it held her attention during the whole episode. I think the fact that each episode is only about 15 minutes works well for younger kids with shorter attention spans. My 4 1/2 year old son watched all three episodes consecutively and thought they were pretty funny. He enjoyed Marty's antics -- especially in the second episode, "Marty's Sandcastle".

The "acting" and some of the conversations between the characters was downright lame at times, however, that can be looked past if it remains entertaining for the child viewers (which it did for mine) and it actually presents some good values... But, I don't think it really succeeded at presenting good values or explaining the meanings behind Jesus's parables.

I don't think any of the episodes on this DVD could stand alone as representations of the parables or as teaching material for children. They missed the mark and, because of this, are really just silly shows meant only for entertainment purposes at best. None of these episodes seem like they could possibly help make the meaning behind Jesus' parables any more clear to children. Perhaps if they put in little conclusions at the end of each episode where Marty and Gerard actually explain what they learned, it would be better.

Had I paid the high cost for this DVD that special Christian outlets charge, and found that it only had three very short episodes on it and just as much Christian teachings as a secular Children's DVD... I would have been quite disappointed. I'd much rather spend the same amount and buy a Nickelodeon DVD like Ni Hao Kai Lan or Dora the Explorer... at least it would have some sort of teaching value and more episodes for my dollar.

Overall, I'd rate this DVD at 4.5/10

I'd be disappointed paying full price for the DVD, but it would be an acceptable buy from a bargain bin. Better luck next time!

I review for BookSneeze®

I received this complimentary DVD from Thomas Nelson Book Publishing to review as part of their Blogger Review Program. I am not required to give a positive review; this review is my own personal opinion.

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