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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Bear in the Big Blue House: Potty Time with Bear (1997)

"Every creature has to poop!"
- Bear

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 26, 2001

Stars: Bear
Other Stars: Tutter, Ojo, Pip and Pop, Treelo
Director: Mitchell Kriegman, Jim Martin

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable, other than a puppet sitting on a toilet)
Run Time: 01h:12m:15s
Release Date: November 27, 2001
UPC: 043396073036
Genre: educational

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+B+B+ B

DVD Review

Bear In The Big Blue House is one of the Disney Channel's shining stars of its preschool programming lineup. The oversized orange bear, know simply as Bear, lives not surprisingly in a big blue house and dispenses all sorts of gentle advice to not only the young viewers, but to an assortment of cuddly friends, such as Tutter the mouse, Ojo the teddy bear, Treelo the lemur and Pip and Pop, the furry purple otters. A creation of Jim Henson Home Entertainment, the series features some overly cute puppet characters that have distinctive personalities, all overseen by the kind and gentle Bear.

This disc features the following three episodes of Bear In The Big Blue House:

When You've Got To Go (24m:05s)
The focus here is on potty training, and if anything, it's worthwhile just to see a couple of puppets sitting on the toilet. When Tutter The Mouse has to choose between finishing a game of checker with Bear, or going to the bathroom, you can rest assured that he will be given the right advice. It was sort of surreal to hear a puppet mouse say "I just have to wipe and I'll be right there", but I imagine it gets the point across. There are a couple of songs in this episode that stress the importance of learning to use the potty, including Potty Chair ("You'll feel like a millionare/pulling up your underwear,") and the kid-friendly funk of Potty Train.

If At First You Don't Succeed (24m:05s)
The message here is practice, practice, practice. Bear and Ojo come across Pip and Pop trying out their brand-new "otter hoops" (re: hula hoops), and they are taught the important lesson of practicing something that you want to be good at. The otters sing a Disney-fied rap song called Hoopin', and of course they understand the need to not give up. Even The Moon reassures Bear that she needed practice to rise and set.

Call It A Day (24m:05s)
The final episode here is designed to stress the importance of having an adventure each and every day, and how a bedtime story can make everything better. The characters have assorted activities, and there are a handful of songs to reiterate this fact. The message that "days are wonderful" is sort of a carpe diem message for the youngsters, and the calm preachings of Bear are a very good way to get the point across.

All of the episodes are structured in the same general format, with the reassuring consistency that young viewers seem to require.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Bear's Disney-ized world is understandably rich and bright, and this Columbia TriStar disc recreates that very well. The colors are well-saturated, and the image transfer is sharp, with strong detail.

Looks as crisp and clean as a digital cable signal.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Columbia TriStar's 2-channel stereo mix, in English, is perfectly adequate for the content. Character voices are mixed well, and are intelligible and clear. For a series aimed at preschoolers, the audio transfer is very well done.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Dragon Tales, Bear In The Big Blue House, The Trumpet Of The Swan, Jay Jay And The Jet Plane
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Sing-Alongs
Extras Review: The three episodes on this disc can viewed individually, or via the "Play All" option. Four sing-alongs (Your Potty Chair, What's That Smell?, The Toileteers, Hello Song) feature large type lyrics for those would-be preschool karaoke crooners. English and Spanish subtitles are also included.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Bear In The Big Blue House is a fine series designed for preschoolers, and these three episodes are typical examples that reflect the tone of the show very well. The puppets are cute, and the messages laid out are easy to digest.


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