As the father of a toddler, I’ve noticed the kid has two levels of interest when it comes to TV. Either she couldn’t care less or becomes a fanatic. The child can’t get enough of Team Umizoomi. Although as a parent you can’t let them completely get sucked up in watching TV. But exceptions get made when they display some sort of educational absorption. That’s how the kid has been with Team Umizoomi so far. She’s getting a grasp of numbers, shapes and patterns so I don’t feel guilt putting on an episode. Team Umizoomi: Journey to Numberland brings another three episodes to DVD.
“The King of Numbers” is a double sized episode. The King of Numbers invites Mili, Geo and Bot (Blue’s Clues‘ Donovan Patton) to his magical world that’s based on math. Even though he’s a nice enough kid, the evil Zilch the Wizard kidnaps the King. It’s up the Team Umizoomi to uncover the hidden keys to unlock the King’s cell. You ought want to watch this with really little kids since Zilch’s evil nature might emotionally shock them. How can someone hate numbers? There’s also a collapsing bridge and a pizza loving shark. These jeopardy moments create enough tension to put a small mind into a scare. You might also like to keep the remote handy to pause when the Umizoomi team asks your child a question. There’s not that much time to answer. No need to frustrate a thinking child with a time constraint. “Picnic” forces Team Umizoomi to find a girl’s lunchbox and thermos before they can eat out. Hopefully this episode will remind kids to keep track of their own lunchboxes when they start school. “The Dinosaur Museum Mishap” might require a little talk afterward since it defies reality. A thunderstorm scares the dinosaurs at the museum. The huge lizards run into the city to hide. It’s up to Team Zoomi to locate them and lure them back to the library. You might want to let your kids know that dinosaurs at the museum do not come alive and run out the door when bad weather strikes.
The show appears to have a positive effect on my kid. The other day she pointed at a stop sign and yelled, “Octagon.” This seems impressive for a two year old to recognize that shape. Team Umizoomi seems like the only popular kid show that isn’t featured on Time-Warner cable’s OnDemand Preschooler channels. This makes the DVD a bit of a necessity if you want to chill the child out before bedtime. You should be warned to not click on “The King of Numbers” since it will delay bedtime by an additional 22 minutes. The only worrisome part of the show is when the kid does the Umi Crazy Shake at random times.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The series mixes CGI animated characters with live action people for the adventures. The transfers look good as they cross reality with fantasy. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
Umizoomi Call to Action (0:40) isn’t really a bonus feature. This is a plug for the show’s website.
Team Umizoomi: Journey to Numberland gets a bit more involved with the action involving numbers and shapes. The show is addictive to little kids. It’s worth watching it with them the first few times just so you can help them answer the questions.
Paramount Home Entertainment presents Team Umizoomi: Journey to Numberland. Starring: Donovan Patton. Boxset Contents: 3 Episodes on 1 DVDs. Released on DVD: September 6, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.