DVD review February 2012: Little Charlie, The Hive & Spy Kids 4
This month we are watching The Hive Bee Happy, Little Charley Bear: Charley on Safari and Spy Kids 4.
The Hive: Bee Happy
Ever since being stung by a bee in the pool as a youngster, I haven’t found bees particularly warm or cuddly. But that hasn’t stopped these industrious insects from becoming a staple of kids’ entertainment – there was Jerry Sienfeld’s The Bee Movie, Romper Room’s Mr Do-Bee and now Buzzbee and his family and friends in The Hive.
The Hive follows young Buzzbee and his interactions with his family, consisting of Pappa Bee, Mamma Bee, his sister Rubee and Babee. Buzzbee is bright and inquisitive – just the characteristics needed to get him into trouble and out of it again! With a crew of delightful friends in tow, Buzzbee learns some great life lessons, such as sharing, caring for others and offering a helping hand.
Richly animated using CGI this is a wonderful series for pre-schoolers, inhabiting their world of family and play. It’s almost good enough to make you forgive any bee prejudices you may have locked away deep inside!
Little Charley Bear: Charley on Safari
Anyone who has watched Gavin and Stacey will know the familiar voice of Smithy (played by James Corden) as he screams out “Hello!” to Pamela and Mickela. Well that same voice can be heard in much more sedate strains as the Narrator in this delightful series from Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman.
Little Charley Bear is an enchanting CGI infant series about an imaginative and playful bear called Charley. Under the watchful eye of his friend, the Narrator, this adorable little bear uses his imagination to play and go on adventures where he discovers new things about himself and the world around him through active role play.
Although Charley doesn't talk, he can clearly convey what he is thinking and feeling. The Narrator provides Charley with helpful advice and guidance throughout the show. He is Charley's mentor and trusted carer figure, however it is Charley and his imagination that drives the story. Now all the show is missing is a Welsh bear called Nessa and Gavin and Stacey fans would no doubt love this as much as the kids.
Spy Kids 4
This is undoubtedly the season of sequels – Madagascar 3 is out soon, as is Ice Age 4 as well as another installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Added to this is the fourth in the excellent Spy Kids series, Spy Kids 4D: All the Time in the World now released to DVD. Not happy enough to give you the sights sounds and depth of this movie, the producers have added the fourth dimension of smell courtesy of Aromascope scratch-and-sniff cards. And on the fourth outing, the story is the best ever!
Marissa Cortez Wilson (played brilliantly by Jessica Alba) seems to have it all . . . she’s married to a famous spy hunting television reporter, has a new baby and pair of intelligent twin step kids. But in reality, trying to mother Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), who clearly don't want her around, is her toughest challenge yet. Also, her husband, Wilbur (Joel McHale), wouldn't know a spy if he lived with one which is exactly the case - Marissa's a retired secret agent.
Marissa's world is turned upside down when the maniacal Timekeeper (Entourage’s Jeremy Piven) threatens to take over the planet and she's called back into action by the head of OSS, home of the greatest spies and where the now-defunct Spy Kids division was created. With Armageddon quickly approaching, Rebecca and Cecil are thrust into action when they learn their boring stepmom was once a top agent and now the world's most competitive ten year olds are forced to put their bickering aside and rely on their wits. With a little help from a couple of very familiar Spy Kids, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), and some mind-blowing gadgets, they just may be able to save the world and possibly bring their family together while they're at it.