DVD Review: The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song



The Fresh Beat Band is the hottest musical act this summer. Haven’t heard of them? Most any parent with a preschooler in the house and Nickelodeon on the TV can attest to their popularity. They are the new Wiggles with their ability create pop hooks that easily catch the ears of hipster toddlers. But they’re more than a TV act. They sing and dance on the stage. Their upcoming show in my town has the normal seats priced at $52 each. That’s more than a ticket to see The English Beat. The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song cruises the Yellow Brick Road before the band hits the road for real.

The Fresh Beat Band consists of Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer) on guitar/violin, Shout (Thomas Hobson) on keyboards, Marina (Tara Perry) on drums and Twist (Jon Beavers) with two turntables and a microphone. They all sing. Far as comparing them to other TV musical acts, the Fresh Beats are more entertaining than the Jonas Brothers. The Beats roam around a pastel colored town that harkens back to Miami Vice. While the show is aimed straight at preschoolers, there are a few jokes aimed at adults such as a cowbell reference. None of the humor is subversive like The Monkees.

All three episodes on The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song are from season 3 so you won’t have to explain to the kids why two actresses play Marina. Shayna Rose quit the show after season 2. “The Wizard of Song” is a double length episode that plays off The Wizard of Oz. In this case Marina gets caught up in a twister. Her only way to get back home is to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Wizard of Song (performer Jason Mraz). The other Fresh Beaters become the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. “Chimps in Charge” makes the quartet babysit a pair of apes. The thing about watching chimps is that they do what they want. They destroy the town in a whirlwind of banana peels. The band gets playground equipment to help contain the mayhem. The jungle gym inspires the band’s latest hit. “The Ghost Band” won’t scare your kids too much. The Fresh Beats arrive in a western town and encounter a spooky band. Are ghosts really frightening or just have really band management deals?

The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song is chocked full of infectious little kid pop. My preschooler insists on singing along and dancing to their “Great Day” closing song. This is a fine DVD to have playing in the car when you hit the road.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers bring out the colorful nature of the show. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The sound mix brings out the pop nature of their tunes.

There are no bonus features.

The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song takes the band down the Yellow Brick Road so they can duet with Jason Mraz. The show is aimed at making preschoolers dance and sing to pure pop confections.

Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Video presents The Fresh Beat Band: The Wizard of Song. Starring: Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Thomas Hobson, Tara Perry and Jon Beavers. Running Time: 86 minutes. Released: August 14, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.





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