Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Berenstain Bears: Bears Get a Babysitter! (2002)
"The bare fact is that they're just like you and me / The only difference is they live in a tree."- Lee Ann Womack, from the Bears' peppy theme songMPAA Rating: Not RatedRun Time: 01h:21m:09s
Release Date: 2004-06-01
DVD ReviewStan and Jan Berenstain's books about their eponymous bears may have been a staple of your childhood, or be familiar to your kids; the rhymed couplets are largely gone in the transition to television, but the PBS series based on the Berenstain Bear books is very much in the spirit of the source material, providing good, clean fun, and no shortage of honey. The bears are named, conveniently enough, Mother, Father, Sister and Brother; this disc brings together six installments of their adventures.
In the first story, Brother Bear goes yard, then he and sister step in it when they go to retrieve their ball from the neighbors' yard—they crush the flowers, mess with the sprinkler, just generally make mayhem. They think they've made a clean getaway, but turns out that Mother Bear has asked that very same neighbor, Mrs. Grizzle, to be The Sitter; the kids haven't done anything wrong that can't be fixed by chocolate chip honeycomb cookies and milk. Next up, Sister wants to take in a local orphan, The Baby Chipmunk, and adopt the little critter, whom she has dubbed Brown Eyes, as the family pet. Sadly, the chipmunk domestication program is a failure, as Brown Eyes gnaws on every piece of food and furniture in the house, and Sister learns one of life's most important lessons: if you love someone, set them free.
Next, Brother and Sister spend some time knocking heads with their parents, so they try to address their problems by holding the mirror up to nature for the upcoming Night of Plays: the title of their entry is The Trouble With Grownups. Mother and Father demonstrate that they're able to laugh at themselves, and then return the favor, making their kids play parents for an exhausting day. The fact that none of the Berenstains have proper first names (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) will have to be a topic for a future Night of Plays. Then mother's side comes over for a Family Get-Together, and though Brother and Sister start off dreading the idea, they discover that they've got some groovy cousins they've never met, even if cousin Harry spends too much time guzzling the raspberry honey.
When the teacher gives a weekend homework assignment to do something about another member of your family, and since Saturday is Brother's big day, Sister decides to borrow the family video camera and make a movie about The Birthday Boy. She learns what a great sibling she's got; no doubt he'll be wanting to distribute copies of this video in about six years' time, when he's trying to hook up with his sister's friends. Finally, though Sister complains that her Bearbie collection can't hold a candle to Lizzie's, and Brother doesn't have the cool video games that cousin Fred has, Mother and Father teach them to Count Their Blessings. As in all of these stories, any possible dramatic conflict is snuffed out pretty quickly, making them palatable for their intended audience.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The saturated colors can be a little garish; they're very bright, but the little people seem to favor this.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: Good balance on a clean track, with just a little buzz now and again.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, The Swan Princess
Extras Review: Chapter stops are for each of the stories; aside from a Play All option, you also can Play Continuously, creating an infinite Berenstain Bears loop.
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsStraightforward, good-natured fun, likely to bear up under the repeated viewings that happen so often with children's DVDs.
Jon Danziger 2004-06-01