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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Baby Wordsworth (2005)

- Narrator (Julie Clark)

Review By: Jeff Wilson   
Published: December 09, 2005

Stars: Marlee Matlin
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing objectionable
Run Time: 00h:38m:11s
Release Date: July 19, 2005
UPC: 786936288896
Genre: special interest

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- B-B+A- B

DVD Review

The latest entry in the Baby Einstein empire is Baby Wordsworth, which, in case you were wondering, has nothing to do with the poet. This time, the focus is on the home and things found in and around it. Thrown into that is a helping of sign language, which, as the credits mention, is intended to give some inkling to children that there are other means of communication beyond spoken and written words.

If you've seen a Baby Einstein video or DVD before, you know the drill: simplified classical music plays while we see children play with toys, wind-up toys do their thing, sock puppet skits, and stock footage of nature scenes, families, and so on. In the midst of that are words relating to the topic at hand. It all has a generally lowkey tone that won't irritate parents.

With this volume, there is a room by room look at things found in the house and yard, and see its sign language translation, performed first by actress Marlee Matlin, and then by a child. I was dubious about whether kids would bother paying much attention to this, but that was before I recalled that kids love to watch their favorite shows ad nauseum, and within four or five viewings, my son was doing his best of reproduce some of the sign language. That said, unless kids continue on learning sign language beyond this video, it's not going to have much practical use. My son hasn't watched the disc in a while, so I'm not sure how much he recalls. But if simple awareness of sign language was the goal, it's a success.

If you already have some of the Baby Einstein series, I'm not sure if this volume is a "must buy," unless you like the sign language idea and want it for that reason. If your kids like the other volumes, there's no reason they won't like this one.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Baby Wordsworth mixes shot-on-video footage with film footage, and it all looks fine. Colors are crisp and clean, and it has a glossy look meant to appeal to children. Nothing really complain about here.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanish, Frenchno

Audio Transfer Review: The kiddie-fied classical music is well-served by the Dolby 2.0 track, which has only a few spoken words otherwise. There's nothing abrasive here to push the soundtrack, which is probably for the best.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 9 cues and remote access
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Discovery Cards (words from main program) and the Alphabet, presented in sign language
  2. Signing with baby (simple greetings and words in sign language)
  3. What Will We Find?
  4. Puppet shows
  5. Storytime
Extras Review: In addition to a Repeat mode (aka the Electronic Babysitter/Lazy Parent mode), there are the following extras: Discovery Cards (4m:43s), showing words from the main feature in sign language, which includes a signed version of the alphabet (:59s) with Matlin. Signing With Baby (2m:22s) presents a variety of simple phrases in sign language, such as "I love you," "I'm hungry," "please," and so on. What Will We Find? (3m:23s) goes through the house, asking that question of little viewers. Three Puppet Shows (2m:07s) feature the sock puppets from the main program in quick vignettes. Storytime (3m:32s) reads a story from the Baby Einstein book series to the tots. Toy Chest is a slide format section wherein parents can find out where all the toys used in the show can be acquired. Finally, a preview for the next "Einstein" series, Little Einsteins is included if you want to see what the graduates of this series have in store from the same producers.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Baby Wordsworth provides another dose of the Baby Einstein formula, and will consequently no doubt please its target audience. The addition of sign language is an interesting touch for this volume. The DVD provides a solid presentation of the program.


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