Astronauts five stars, cowboys not so much....
Jen B | VA | 08/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My four year old girl is in love with the astronauts part and I loved it too. I loved it so much that I let her watch the cowboy part without really watching it first, which I never do. I was shocked when I realized the other day that there was a violence to that story that I have never allowed her to experience. When I saw the kids, dressed like cowboys, playing the old style good guy/bad guy gun shootout, I nearly fell over. I grew up with this sort of play but do not allow it. I also watched my share of old cowboy shows, but I just don't bring this sort of thing into our home. For young kids, it seems a little inappropriate to me. The gun thing is subjective, but I personally don't know anyone who lets their kids play this way anymore. It shocked me.
I was pretty upset, but it was my own fault for not previewing it, but after seeing the first one, I just assumed it would be benign. Of course, it is frustrating to buy something and hope it is worth it. Honestly, the astronauts part was worth the cost, to me, and we just don't watch the cowboy part now. I was looking for informative and interesting dvds. I didn't expect controversy.
The thing I am seeing is that the "All about" part of these titles imply that these are more of a non-fiction kind of series, when in fact, what I've seen, is that mixed with some fantasy. The astronaut story was cute, but some of these other things, with the odd magic and ghostly stuff, and then this shooting business, aren't really for me. They aren't "wrong", just not for me. I'm still interested in showing some of the videos, but I wish I could watch them before buying, just in case. I do think they are creative and well done. I just worry about content now.
If I could only buy one astronaut video, I would get the Big Adventure Series " The big space shuttle". I'm glad we have both though and would still recommend this, if you don't mind forgoing half of the video. This one has a wonderful part about space camp and just has a different angle. They are both nice.
If you like the old cowboy stories and don't mind seeing kids pretending to shoot at each other, you might think the cowboy part is a cute story. Obviously I didn't like it and anyway it was over my four year olds head, from what I could tell."
Warning: GUNS, GUNS and more GUNS
K. Hoehler | Seattle, WA | 03/07/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so the astronaut portion of this video is alright, though a bit slow and boring. The cowboy portion was ridiculous. I thought it was going to show what REAL cowboys/girls do. Instead it was a far-fetched story involving a mean person trying to scare off a bunch of cowboys by pretending she was a ghost/spirit, and there was Native American "folklore" and a treasure interjected (bizarre). The most upsetting thing to me (and I am not die-hard, anal about this kind of thing) was that there was alot of gun-play, first between a brother and sister, involving fake dying, and then among the cowboys. When it was over, my 2 and 4 year-olds were jumping around pretending to shoot each other, and pretending to die(!). I thought my kids would enjoy watching cowhands ride horses, round up the cattle, put on the saddles, take care of the horses, camp out, use lassos, etc. I did not want my children to end up wanting to play with guns! I found this in the preschool section of our video store so I assumed it would be benign."
The kids like it
L. Morales | Sunny Florida | 03/29/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was not what I expected. Two kids are shown preparing for a mission to fix a satellite. Of course the kids themselves aren't really going into space; it is just pretend with simulators. They mix the footage of the children doing simulations at space camp with real astronaut footage. The movie is a little slow, and the adults in the movie talk using acronyms and abbreviations that are not explained. I was sorry I purchased it until I realized my four kids actually sat through the entire astronaut movie. (about 30 minutes.) My two boys (age 3.5 and 5) asked to watch it again a few days later. My 5-yr-old boy wants to be an astronaut. I got this movie on sale very cheap, so it has been worth it for me.
The cowboys part was weird. Yes there is gun play, but not as bad as what they put in video games for kids these days. I don't let my kids play violent games, and the only video games they play are educational children's ones. Still, they know what weapons are, and they didn't seem traumatized by the gun play. They also didn't seem very interested in it either. (for which I am glad) They told me the astronaut movie was better, so I am just as happy never to play the cowboy one again. On the positive size, the cowboy movie does explain how to be safe around a horse. (never walk behind a horse, keep your hand flat when feeding a horse, don't startle a horse by running up to it, etc.) It also explained how much a horse weighs, and how much weight would come down if a horse stepped on you. My daughter is interested in horseback riding, so I played that part again for her."