Children's CDs and DVDs in the spotlight
All the adventures of Curious George in one spot, Robbert Bobbert's lastest infectious beat, a Carly and Lucy Simon classic reissued, and more.
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Curious George: Monkey Collection, Vol. 1Skip to next paragraph
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This four-disc DVD collection of the Emmy-nominated PBS series has enough monkey business to entertain the most inquisitive preschooler. The TV George remains pretty faithful to Margret and H.A. Rey's classic creation as he "Plays in the Snow," goes for a "Rocket Ride," and even tries out gainful employment in "Takes a Job." The 32 episodes put out by Universal Studios Home Entertainment ($39.98) incorporate basic science and math principles (as well as Oscar nominee William H. Macy as narrator), as George explores his world. Oh, and of course The Man with the Yellow Hat is still along to keep the little guy out of trouble.
The Best of the Electric Company, Vols. 1 and 2
"HEY, YOU GUYS!" News that a remake of "The Electric Company" started airing on TV last month had this child of the '70s scratching her head and reaching for DVDs of the original in bafflement (Vol. 1 and 2 by Shout! Factory, $49.98, $39.99). Did they think they could improve on the cast? Regulars included Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman; quadruple threat Rita Moreno, who picked up an Academy Award, Tony, Emmy, and a Grammy during her storied career; and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Bill Cosby – not to mention guest appearances by Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Zero Mostel. (Maybe we won't mention Joan Rivers.) Or the songwriting? Satirist Tom Lehrer and famed "Sesame Street" composer Joe Raposo both lent their considerable talents. Or the cartoons? Chuck Jones directed original "Road Runner" shorts, and Spider-Man was a cast member starting in the fourth season. I've got nothing against the new series, which may be quite enjoyable. But for those who really want to "turn on the power," go directly to the source.