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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Bear in the Big Blue House: Visiting the Doctor with Bear (1997-1999)

"I'm gonna call Doc Hog. He'll know what to do."
- Bear (Noel MacNeal)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: January 03, 2002

Stars: Noel Macneal
Other Stars: Vicki Kenderes-Eibner, Jim Kroupa, Tyler Burch, Lynne Thigpen, Tara Mooney
Director: Mitchell Kriegman, Hugh Martin

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:12m:16s
Release Date: November 27, 2001
UPC: 043396080287
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ BA-B+ C-

DVD Review

It's time for another visit with Bear and the other critters who live in the big blue house in Woodland Valley. This time, the disc features three programs devoted to medicine and health.

The first episode, "The Big Blue Housecall" features Doc Hog making a housecall for checkups for everyone. While most are comfortable with this idea, bear cub Ojo is frightened of getting a shot and needs to get some reassurance about facing her fears. The song, Just Say Ow helps to lessen the scariness of the experience. Meanwhile, Tutter the mouse is concerned about a strange ba-boom sound in her chest.

Tutter is in trouble again in the second program, "That Healing Feeling." Tutter has hurt his tail and the gang takes him to Doc Hog's office. Tutter feels a bit better to find that the waiting room has toys and interesting stuff to play with and lessen the scariness. Slightly more serious than the vaccination of the first episode, this time out there are X-rays and a cast on Tutter's little tail. The Just Say Ow song makes a reappearance here. Shadow also contributes a tale of monkeys jumping on a bed.

Bear is trying to keep in good shape in "Picture of Health." In addition to his workout, he also emphasizes the importance of proper diet and rest. Although the doc doesn't make an appearance here, at least Bear does the cha-cha-cha. Shadow tells us about the monkeys, again, slightly limiting the replay factor of this disc.

The programs are all in a very positive tone, with plenty of reassurance for toddlers about the often-frightening doctor's office. The songs are all well done and appealing. There's also some good humor that will appeal even to adults. The program, from the Henson studios, manages successfully to walk the fine line between being cute and sickeningly cute. My two-year-old nephew loves these programs, and I'd expect that he's not alone.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The transfer is appropriately crisp and sharp, with lots of detail (indeed, often strings that shouldn't be seen are quite clearly visible). The furry textures of the denizens of the Big Blue House come through quite nicely. Color is excellent, and black levels are solid. Minimal artifacting was visible, in part due to quite high bit rates used. No edge enhancement was visible.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The English stereo soundtrack comes across quite nicely, without hiss or noise. Music is undistorted. I didn't notice any appreciable directionality, however, and bass levels are not particularly pronounced.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Dragon Tales, Bear in the Big Blue House, Trumpet of the Swan and Jay Jay the Jet Plane
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Sing-alongsSing-alongs
Extras Review: Some of the extras are slightly frustrating. Although there is a 'play all' function, it's hit and miss. Sometimes it would play all three episodes, sometimes only two. Also, why are there no individual chapters within each episode? Would it have been that hard to put a stop at the commercial breaks? The menu for the singalongs is slightly confused as well; although Hello Doctor is the second song on the list, that is the one to choose in order to play all four songs. The other songs included are Everybody Say Ah, Picture of Health and Goodbye Song. All four feature onscreen words that flash a different color and rise up slightly when they are being sung, rather than using a bouncing ball. Oddly enough for an educational disc, the onscreen lyrics misspell "surprise." Wrapping up the package are ads for videos of three series and a minimally animated adaptation of E.B. White's Trumpet of the Swan. Not much, and what's here could have been presented better.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Charming and reassuring programs devoted to the doctor and proper health, with copious songs. Small children will surely enjoy these programs.


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