Tag Archives: Wonder Pets

DVD Review: “The Happiest Toddler on the Block”

The Happiest Toddler on the Block

There’s been a Horse Whisperer, a Dog Whisperer and a Ghost Whisperer. I would like to add another to that growing list: The Baby Whisperer. He exists, he’s ready to share with you his secrets and his name is Dr.

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Harvey Karp.

Dr. Karp is a pediatrician in Los Angeles who has pioneered a better way of understanding and coping with babies and toddlers through his DVD and books The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block. He first came to my attention, in of all places, an IMAX theater before the premiere of 300.

The auditorium was filled with, what else, guys. Grown-up comic book nerds, tech-heads and geeks, all. Before the movie started I was introduced to some of my friend’s friends and they quickly learned that my wife was pregnant and we were getting close to the due date. The friend asked me if I had ever heard of The Happiest Baby on the Block. I hadn’t.

“Oh, you HAVE to get it. You HAVE to get the Happiest Baby on the Block. It will save your life!”

Before I could respond, another male voice called out from three rows away: “Happiest Baby? Best purchase ever!” Then another: “Saved my ass! Get it!” Then the movie started and all the baby talk subsided, replaced by Spartans and androgynous giants and gore. Continue reading

DVD/CD Review: “Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever”

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever (2009, Apple-Eye)
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Back in the days when I didn’t have kids and therefore remained rather blissfully unaware of most children’s entertainment, I operated under the (pretty reasonable, I think) assumption that most of it was more or less linear, and easy to understand. I mean, it stands to reason, right? If you’re trying to entertain an audience that isn’t going to process anything you don’t explicitly spell out on the screen, you’re going to make sure it’s all spelled out, right?

I was totally wrong, obviously. Do you hear that bitter laughter? That’s the sound of other parents, remembering the days when they were new to the lawless frontier that is kids’ entertainment. I started to get my first inkling of just how weird this stuff can get when I took in my first accidental late-night viewing of the gibbering horror that is PBS’ Boohbah, which is still the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on late-night TV. These days, I am, of course, much more well acquainted with the kiddie continuum, and understand that you can go from the bone-simple (like Maisy) to the utterly surreal (The Wonder Pets!, which, I confess, I totally love) in the space of 15 minutes. I think it’s good for the kids, really — I mean, life doesn’t make sense, and the sooner they figure that out, the sooner they can get jobs and move out of my house.

Anyway. All this talk of linear and non-linear, obvious and esoteric, leads me to the insane wonder of Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever, the third in Morgan Taylor’s Gustafer Yellowgold series. Prior to opening this handsome DVD/CD package, I’d never heard of nor experienced Mr. Yellowgold, but now that I have, there’s no going back; my daughter and I will look forward to these things as long as Taylor keeps putting them out.

The idea behind the character is a little difficult to explain, but I’ll use some of this handy press kit text to try and get you up to speed. Read on: Continue reading