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Mainstream - Berenstain Bears - Kindness, Caring & Sharing

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Berenstain Bears
Kindness, Caring & Sharing
5 Episodes 1 DVD
Originally aired early 80s
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
69 minutes

No doubt the young ones will enjoy the Berenstain Bears DVD Kindness, Caring & Sharing. The DVD features five episodes of this TV children’s cartoon: Comic Valentine, Messy Room, Trouble With Friends, Too Much Birthday, and Go Fly a Kite. Of course, there is a lesson to be learned in each episode and it is not didactic.

Not that it takes a lot away from the experience, but the picture quality on this Berenstain Bears DVD is basic VHS. So if you have you old Berenstain Bears tapes from when you were a kid and still own a VCR you can show off the technology from the good ol’ days and really impress them. On the bright side, Sony Pictures does not pull a Disney and overprice this release.

Each episode of The Berenstain Bears lasts about 15 minutes while the Valentine’s Day episode, Comic Valentine, is a bit longer.

Adults will find the animation here extremely cookie cutter but this is a kid’s DVD so there you go. On the other hand, the stories are rather well-written and do not have that dumb-down factor common to too many DVDs for kids. There are even a few sight gags here and there parents will enjoy.

The stories are mundane but that is the point. For example, Messy Room is about how messy the cubs’ bedroom (although no one dares call it a pig sty) is and mother putting her foot down and having them clean it up.

Trouble With Friends is about Sister not having a friend of her own until a family moves next door. Lizzy Bruin is a bit bossy though so there is a lesson to be learned about compromise. I liked the fact the kids learned this one without too much adult prodding.

Too Much Birthday has a bit about giving back to nature and tree rings. Sister Bear has a bit of a breakdown as she is overwhelmed by her party. The lesson to be learned? Search Me!

Go Fly a Kite is the most VHS quality episode on this Berenstain Bears DVD. Papa Bear goes Tim the Tool Man Taylor when it comes to building a kite for the local contest. Not much of a lesson here but it is fun to watch.

The sound level really varies on the longer Comic Valentine episode and that is a bit annoying. The story is fun: Brother Bear gets secret Valentines and there’s a bit hockey game coming up.

This Berenstain Bears DVD is quite decent: the family will enjoy it and it does not pander to the little ones. Production wise, it is not stellar but the price is right.

Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology