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Sony Family Wonder presents

Elmo's World: Springtime Fun! (2002)

"Guess what Elmo is thinking about today!"- Elmo (Kevin Clash)

Stars: Kevin Clash, Rick Lyon, Jim Martin, John Tartaglia, Matt Vogel
Other Stars: Michael Jeter
Director: Ken Diego, Victor DiNapoli, Jim Martin, Steve Feldman

MPAA Rating: Not RatedRun Time: 00h: 49m: 05s
Release Date: 2002-02-12
Genre: television

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Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-BB- C

 

DVD Review

When something works, stick with it. And especially with little kids, there's nothing like repetition to drive home a point. These are lessons that the folks at the Children's Television Workshop know well, and they're on display on this DVD, for which Elmo fans and their parents are sure to give thanks. For the uninitiated: "Elmo's World" is a self-contained little unit of Sesame Street, in which Elmo picks a theme, and has fun with it in a variety of ways. The three episodes of “Elmo's World” on this disc concern birds, bugs and bicycles respectively; they're yoked together under the title Springtime Fun!, but that's just a convenient way to group them. (Why not by letter? After all, if you look at the subjects of the episodes, it's clear that this DVD was brought to you by the letter B.) The tried-and-true formula works like this: Elmo announces his theme, and chats about it with Dorothy, his goldfish; with Mr. Noodle, a goofy clown of a man, played by Michael Jeter, who has a rough time understanding things, despite coaching from Elmo and some kids; Elmo invariably gets an e-mail from a Sesame Street pal concerning the same theme; and we visit with a bunch of kids, who either perform for Dorothy or are busy out in the field. The previous sentence makes it all sound a little dry, but it works terrifically well—I've always especially liked seeing little kids explain things to a goldfish ("Dorothy, this is what a turkey sounds like: 'Gobble gobble!'"), and you'll be deeply envious of the clarity with which Elmo receives video messages via e-mail. Of course many of the usual suspects from Sesame Street are on hand. (Big Bird, for instance, is especially prominent, as he should be, in the segment about birds.) And no installment of "Elmo's World" is complete without checking out the television—each subject has its own network: The Bird Channel, The Bug Channel, The Bicycle Channel. Particular praise goes to the woman who provides the character voice for the host of those channels; she sounds rather like Andrea Martin from SCTV, but there's no credit listing. Here's the place, too, for jokes just for the big people, and usually they're bad, silly puns. A challenge for you: explain to a small child why you're laughing when the announcer on The Bicycle Channel announces that up next is The Dick Van Bike Show. Also, special tribute is due to the folks who make the Muppets; I'd bet that their favorite installment here is the one about bugs, for we see Elmo transformed into every imaginable insect, including a bumblebee, a caterpillar, and a spider, the last of course with a silly joke about the World Wide Web.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The DVD transfer is a very nice one, and makes you want to reach into your screen and tickle Elmo. Some of the stuff shot out of the studio isn't as crisp, though, and hasn't transferred as well.

Image Transfer Grade: B
 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio sounds fine, if maybe a little pedestrian. And I'm always a little sad to watch a Sesame Street disc and not get the chance to sing along with the main theme from the show. Oh, well.

Audio Transfer Grade: B- 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Previews of fourteen other Sesame Street DVDs
Extras Review: The three chapter stops are for each installment, and aren't especially helpful if there's one element you want to find. The previews of the other DVDs (09m:22s) are clumped together, and so if there's just one other disc you want to check out, you can't.

Extras Grade: C
 

Final Comments

Sesame Street continues to set the standard for children's television, and "Elmo's World" is its signature element. These are three fine, representative installments; you probably know exactly what you're looking for and what you're getting, and this DVD delivers the goods.

Jon Danziger 2002-02-21