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Paramount Studios presents
Boohbah: Snowman (2004)

- disembodied children's voices

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: October 24, 2004

Stars: Emma Insley, Alex Poulter, Cal Jaggers, Phil Hayes, Laura Perdash
Other Stars: Chris Langham, Robin Stevens, Linda Kerr Scott. Mark Ramsey, Harvey Virdi, Manuel Bravo, Vee Vimolmal
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (freaky)
Run Time: 01h:00m:00s
Release Date: October 26, 2004
UPC: 097368864740
Genre: educational

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

One day, the creators of Teletubbies were sitting around thinking, "You know what? Our show isn't weird enough." So they decided to come up with a new television program for children, this one aimed at a slightly older audience and with an even greater emphasis on hypnotic repetition. And thus, Boohbah was born.

The Boohbahs are five colorful creatures that live in little peapods in an intergalactic flying ball (I assume, since there isn't any prologue). Every week, Humbah, Zumbah, Zing Zing Zingbah, Jumbah, and Jingbah are summoned by their masters (the disembodied voices of children calling for "Booooohbah!") and forced to perform complex dances, so their overlords can learn about complicated patterns. Or so the show's creators would have you believe. They say it's for the group that has graduated from Teletubbies, ages 4-6, but if you'd shown this to me at that age, I'd have thrown a G.I. Joe at you.

Each episode also includes a segment with the Story People, who act out a surreal scene with help from the disembodied kids, whose voices can affect changes in the hapless lives of Grandmamma, Grandpapa, Mrs. Lady and Mr. Man. In Snowman, kids help the Story People figure out how to build a snowman, and so on. Other episodes include Jack-in-the-Box and Space Rocket.

I don't have, or have access to young children, so I can't say what age group the show really appeals to, but I suppose it is educational in that it helps kids recognize patterns and solve simple problems. But... Well, I know it's cliché to titter that the latest children's show is all trippy and weird and more suited for adults in a certain state of mind, but with Boohbah, it doesn't even seem like the creators made an effort to hide the fact that they're pandering to stoners. So, buy one for your kids, and make sure you hide it from their burned-out uncle when he comes over to borrow money from you.

Video looks fairly clean. The Boohbah world has the hazy look of imagination or is shot from inside a fluffy cloud or something, so the picture isn't crisp, but colors are strong. The basic stereo mix suits the undemanding material.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English Stereono
Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Look What I Can Do!
  2. A Special Message for Parents
Extras Review: A Special Message for Parents runs three minutes or so and features an interview with series creator Anne Wood, who explains the educational theory behind the show while a focus group of kids way too old to enjoy it pretend to look excited for the cameras.

Look What I Can Do! encourages your children to get off of the couch and jump along with kids onscreen, inspired by the magic of Boohbah or whatever. The answer, by the way, is, from what I can tell, spin around and jump up and down, which... I mean, so can I, and you don't hear me bragging.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Boohbah is decidedly weird, but I guess it has educational applications for children, so that's good. But why are these Brit-backed shows so much stranger than their American counterparts? Barney may have been big, purple, and annoying, but he wasn't exactly the stuff nightmares are made of. I don't know if I can say that about Humbah, Zumbah, and Zing Zing Zingbah.


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