Oh, the joys that winter brings and enduring cabin fever with children under 10. Kudos to us stay at home mommas who day by day figure out how to make the day flow peacefully. Whether you are a media supporter or not, I find having an occasional video to settle everyone down is quite helpful, and provides instant sanity relief for my overloaded brain. With delight I was able to review several NCircleEntertainment videos with my kids and our opinions are strictly our own & no compensation was given. So read on and enjoy the reviews from the critics ages 9, 6 & 4 1/2 years old.
Our first pick was ‘The Snowman‘ which was instantly a favorite. This video is based on the book ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs. A little boy one winter morning decides to build a snowman, surprisingly at midnight the snowman comes alive. As the boy takes the snowman on an adventure through his house exploring the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms, the snowman which is a cheeky fellow, finds himself in all sorts of predicaments that need figuring out. There is much laughter that follows from these clips from the kid audience watching. In return the snowman flies the boy to the North Pole to witness a magical event happening with other snowmen, & a special guest appears who delights children everywhere.
Overall: Although, there are no words throughout the video, the music is beautifully arranged. The film is similar to the book with the pictures soft and simple. My kids (ages 9, 6, 4 1/2) sat engaged the entire time watching this delightful film.
Age recommendations: toddler to elementary. **Elementary kids looking at the picture book & describing what they see before watching the film enhances the video that much more.
‘Told from the Cold’ A Cat in the Hat video was another favorite. My kids loved watching the ‘Cat’ take Nick & Sally on four adventures, that each deemed a scientific theme.
- Snowman’s Land- water turns to snow
- Flight of the Penguin-penguins don’t fly
- A Long Winter’s Nap-hibernation
- Reindeer Games-depth of a snowfall
Overall: The running time is 45 minutes for all four adventures, so it captured the attention span of all kid critics (9, 6, 4 1/2). There is quite a lot of talking, so younger toddlers may have a hard time with the concepts presented, but my 4 1/2-year-old has watched this film 3 times because of the singing, how funny the ‘Cat’ is and the fast pace of each adventure. We were not disappointed in any way with this film.
Age recommendations: preschool to elementary.
‘Naya’s Arctic Adventures‘ was a video we were not familiar with. Each episode introduces a new critical thinking skill, for a total of 18 episodes and a running time of 90 minutes. The kid critics (9, 6, 4 1/2 ) watched several of the episodes, but found it hard to engage and decided to move on to another film.
Overall: This film compensates the lack of talking with music, sounds & noises, which is what makes it comes alive. The characters were created really appealing and the noises they made were quite humorous. This film is definitely for younger audiences, and my kids were a little uncertain as they were looking for plot development, a new teaching concept or for the characters to engage with talking. For the toddler to young preschooler this film would delight them I’m certain for they enjoy simple concepts.
Age Recommendations: toddler to young preschool
‘Octonauts’ The Very Vegimal Christmas is all about exploring, rescuing and protecting marine life. Captain Barnacles, ex-pirate Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts help ocean animals who are injured, trapped or needing assistance in solving animal predicaments. Octonauts also help each other if one of their own members finds themselves in a difficult situation. The other characters, which are the humorous vegimals, were found by a crew member at night on the return of his expedition. He brought the eggs inside the ship, and when they hatched out popped a half vegetable/half fish singing animal.
Octonaut Adventures include:
- Very Vegimal Christmas
- Arctic Orcas
- Great Christmas Rescue
Overall: This is a delightful film that brings to life the awareness of marine animals. The characters are lighthearted and colorful. The critics (9, 6, 4 1/2) were throughly engaged with much laughter while watching each episode, and this film has been watched twice already. My 9-year-old deems this as one of his favorite videos.
Age Recommendations: preschool to upper elementary
‘Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab’-Twas The Night Before Liftoff is a video about Thomas Edison who built a secret lab and a robot named Von Bolt, years later both are discovered by a 12-year-old prodigy Angie and the lab kids. Dedicated to science concepts, inventions and discovering what works and what does not work is the focus. As my 9-year-old critic says, “its like solving a math problem, the kids keep doing it again & again until they solve it, I love it!”
- Stranger In A Strange Lab
- Sturm Und Drag
- All The Heavy Lifting
- Twas The Night Before Liftoff
- Von Bolt Meets Santa
- And To All A Good Flight
Overall: This is quite the enjoyable holiday film, and the critics (9, 6, 4 1/2) raved about how they wanted to watch it again right away, the running time is over an hour, so their attention spans were definitely captured. They also asked if there were any more videos similar to this one, there are actually two more (Rock It To The Moon & Secret Lab Meeting). The science concepts presented in each episode are clearly understood, and with the delightful and funny robot, there is much laughter that comes with watching. For us this has become a highly favored video.
Age Recommendations: Older preschool to upper elementary
Super 4 Welcome to Kingsland! inspired by Playmobil was our last video reviewed. This one contains so much action packed adventure within the world of knights, dragons, quests, tournaments, castles and wizards. There was much appeal with Prince Alexander, and my son who both want to fight for good over evil and find the justice in each situation. Each episode embarks on new quests to overcome wickedness as the (Super 4) prince, fairy, pirate and scientist try to save the castle and the throne.
- I’m the King
- Princely Wedding
- Tower Trouble
- Convoy of Honor
- Baby Dragon
- Rage of Dragon
Overall: The video is really fun as the characters are all playmobils, and if you have a playmobil fan they will definitely engage. The running time is about 90 minutes, which is a little lengthy for my 4 1/2-year-old critic who lost interest after an hour. Watching this film in segments might be a better option, especially if you have toddlers or preschoolers. The 9 & 6-year-old critics were not particularly fond of the wizard, but the episode that was favored was the ‘Princely Wedding,’ due to the adventure of saving the kingdom.
Age Recommendations: preschool to upper elementary
ENTER HERE: One Lucky Reader Will Win All Six Of The Titles Mentioned Above
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