I'm always on the hunt for films or shows my kids will enjoy that I'll enjoy too. There aren't many that fit that bill, but Jungle Beat sure does. This is comic genius at its best!
The videos are all 5 minute stand alone pieces featuring one jungle creature. Our favorite is probably the giraffe, or the turtle, but the bee, monkey and hedgehog are popular too.
While the videos do have sound, they remind me of the very best silent film comedies from Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin, because they are entirely dialogue-free (after all, animals don't talk, right?) so all the humor is physical. Let me give you an idea of some of the scenarios:
- What's a poor turtle to do when it gets an itch, but its shell won't let it scratch? Maybe it should just slip off its shell? But like a pair of tight pants, his shell comes off easily, but doesn't go back on nearly so quickly. This leads to some hi-speed hijinks when the turtle has to surf on his shell to evade an eagle that wants to eat the now-exposed turtle.
- What's a poor firefly to do when it wants to catch some sleep, but its own light is keeping it awake?
- What's a poor giraffe to do when he accidentally head-butts the moon and knocks it to the ground, where it breaks to pieces?
The producers have collected all 13 Season One episodes into one 65-minute video that they've made available for free on YouTube (and which you can watch below). From our two-year-old on up to mom and dad we all love them. We just wished there were more...
...and now there are! A second season, of another 13 episodes has been produced, and also made available as a 65-minute compilation, here below.
A third season is also available, but not on YouTube yet. So far as I can tell, only Americans can access it online at Amazon.com by clicking here, where the season (mislabeled as Season One) can be purchased for $8.99 (or watched for free if you have Amazon Prime).
You can also check out some screen saver downloads, and a trailer for a very fun-looking Jungle Beat game app (I haven't played it, but think we might buy this one - it's just $2.99) at their website: www.junglebeat.tv
I can't say enough good things about this series. It is so very clever, and other than a few moments of peril, which might have our two-year-old a little nervous, it is entirely safe. Two thumbs very enthusiastically up – I give this a 10 out of 10!