As spring arrives, parents want to clean out their cars and refresh the DVDs for the little ones in the back seat. Nickelodeon has quite a few fresh offerings that will appeal to eager eyes. Dogs, rabbits, monster trucks, mermaids, puppies and grown up Nick Jr. superstars My daughter enjoyed the various DVD compilations as witnessed by her review at the end.
Max & Ruby: Sweet Siblings! features another 12 adventures of the brother and sister bunnies. The show is cute with the calm life lessons with the talkative Ruby and the mischievous Max. It’s a perfect Easter gift since it does feature rabbits. Among the episodes are “Space Bunny,” “Max Says Hello,” “Ruby’s Tai Chi,” “Max’s Toy Train,” “Max’s Train Ride” and “Max and Ruby’s Train Trip.” There’s even more train action with “Conductor Max.”
Springtime Adventures is a mix of six Nick shows that have stories that fill the blooming season. Included in the mix is Wallykazam‘s “Picnic: Impossible,” Bubble Guppies‘ “The Spring Chicken is Coming,” Team Umizoomi‘s “Umi Egg Hunt,” Dora the Explorer‘s King Unicornio, Blue’s Clues‘ “Nature,” and Wonder Pets‘ “Help The Easter Bunny!” & “Help The Groundhog!” This is a great in the car DVD for the next few months.
Blaze and the Monster Machines: Blaze of Glory – A Mini-Movie is about talking super truck and the kids who drive them. As an adult this is confusing. Why would a sentient monster truck need a kid behind the wheel? The monster truck ought to be able to maximize their racing abilities. Then again they still have jockeys on horses instead of just letting them run the Kentucky Derby solo. What matters is the kids enjoyed the talking truck fun. There’s plenty of action on the track as Blaze and his pal AJ go for victory.
Paw Patrol Marshall and Chase On the Case focuses on the police and fire dogs. This show brings together talking dogs and cool modes of transportation. The two dogs are in control of outrageous situations. “Pups Save a Monkey” is bananas. Mostly because it is about a monkey that wants bananas. “Pups Saves a Hoedown” gives a little country to these city dawgs. Also out is Paw Patrol: Winter Rescues that sends the dogs into the snow. “Pups Save Christmas” is perfect for your child who likes to get ready for Santa a few months ahead of schedule. “Pups and the Snow Monster” isn’t quite so scary.
Dora’s Mermaid Adventure Collection contains Dora’s Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom and Dora Saves the Mermaids. These are two aquatic adventures that are perfect for your mermaid obsessed preschooler. Dora does her best to help out the half girl and half fish pals. She even transforms into one during Rescue. There are plenty of catchy musical moments for the kids to sing in the backseat for hours.
Dora and Friends is an updating of the show to grow up with the audience. They didn’t make Dora grow up too much. She looks like she’s at least eight years old now. Her clothes now fit properly. She’s lost Boots the Monkey, but has gained a pack of age appropriate pals with names like Naiya, Emma, Kate, Alana and Pablo. They still have to solve problems. The Map is now a cellphone app. “We Save a Pirate Ship!,” “The Magic Ring,” “The Royal Ball” and “Dance Party” are the episodes on this collection. Even with the age difference, my daughter enjoyed seeing the more mature Dora and her friends. The new Dora also looks different since the episodes are in widescreen.
Blue’s Clues Get Clued Into School Pack brings together 3 previously released DVDs aimed at getting kids prepared for preschool and kindergarten. Alphabet Power gets the kids used to those 26 letters that will dominate the rest of their lives. Blue Takes You to School introduces kids to the concept of the classroom. The goal seems to get kids excited about certain aspects of an organized classroom. My daughter became excited at the concept of circle time from Blue. Shapes and Colors familiarizes children with the things that will haunt them in geometry and art school. This collection does a nice job of getting kids familiar with what awaits them for the next 17 years of their life.
Here’s my daughter’s take on the Nickelodeon DVDs:
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.