"We own this on DVD, purchased for a few bucks only--about all it is worth. We own most of the Sesame Street videos, including all the various "clips" collections like this one. I have to say "Do the Alphabet" is only one step above the dreadful "Elmocize." Okay, so I'm not the target audience--but my kids don't really care for it either!
From the worst period in Sesame Street production (in my opinion)--the late 80s/early 90s-- this video features Baby Bear trying to learn the alphabet in one day, so he can one-up the annoying Goldilocks (I kind of miss her, actually--she was at least comical, whereas contemporary Zoe is just bratty in an unamusing way).
Songs from Billy Joel and whatnot date this one--the best part is the "classic" Sesame clips, such as the Ernie/Cookie monster song about D (gotta love it!).
The most amusement I get from this DVD is that it stands out as one of the few muppet-involved videos when you can actually SEE the PUPPETEER! Watch Prairie Dawn during the "You Can Say The Alphabet" song . . . the crate and the kids do not quite cover the puppeteer's hand and head. You can see them over and over--something very rare in Sesame Street videos!
Bored parents can also watch for the rare sight of some of the Sesame kids arguing during a segment--watch Michael and the other boy when the kids are doing their letter "exercises"--too funny. Who was directing this? Had they stopped caring?
My kids, now age 5 and 3, would rank this very low for entertainment value. WE only pull it out when we've "done" the other Sesame Street videos to death. If you're shopping for a Sesame Street fan, go for one of the anniversary celebrations or the good ol' "Best of" tapes like "Best of Elmo," "Cookie Monster's Best Bites" etc.
I need to add here that I consider myself a big Sesame Street fan--I grew up with it, bought the "classic" tapes even before I had kids (does that make me a weirdo?), raised my kids on it. From babyhood, my kids knew their letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. very well, and Sesame Street had a big part in that. I love their work and love to see a well-produced, well-written Sesame tape. This just isn't one."
My 15 month old loves this video!
Jaina Solo | 01/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very educational video for toddlers. My 15 month old daughter has watched it over and over and loves to dance to it and I don't have to feel guilty because I know she's getting information along with the entertainment. It also encourages the kids to get up and move instead of just sitting there watching. In one segment the children are led through exercises where they try to form letters with their bodies. My only criticism is of baby bear and his baby talk. I think it sets a bad example. My friend's children never baby-talked until they started watching SS and heard baby bear do it and now they think it is cool to talk that way. Other than that, this is a great video and I like that the alphabet is sung and said repeatedly in different ways so that the child hears each letter distinctly and won't mistakenly believe that LMNO is one letter, as sometimes happens when the traditional ABC song is the only way they hear it."
Parents and kids LOVE this video!
D. Lane | austin, tx United States | 07/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a home daycare provider. I take care of kids from ages 6 weeks to 5 yrs. The toddler and preschoolers really love this video. I love that it goes the whole alphabet 5 times so kids learn the order of the alphabet. other great rescoures are: Leap Frog - Letter Factory (2003) Great Phonics Video Sesame Street - The Alphabet Jungle Game (1990) and book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Aladdin Picture Books) -- by Jr, Bill Martin "
Baby Bear and Big Bird make a great team!
Doris Bedell | Upper Nyack, NY USA | 09/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My daughter loves this video. She's been watching it for over a year now, and has known all of her letters since she was 15 months old. I never felt guilty for letting her watch her favorite bird teach Baby Bear about the alphabet since she made it clear she was learning right along with him, identifying some letters even before she could say them!!I don't agree with the comments about Baby Bear's speech impediment, since I think it's important for kids to see that not everyone learns to speak perfectly right off, nor does everyone sound the same at any age. I think it's great that the folks at CTW make a point of representing different folks in all aspects of their presentations, and hope my little girl grows up more tolerant of others because of what she sees in videos like this one."
Thumbs Down on Baby Bear
Poet Mom | Illinois | 10/12/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"My daughter is just beginning to speak. This video highlights Baby Bear and his significant speech impediment. It's not cute, it's not child-like, it's incorrect pronunciation! I agree completely with the other reviewer who noted that it's irresponsible of CTW to have a character who speaks like Baby Bear. This is not a dig at people with speech impediments -- it's frustration at the choices Sesame Street has made -- to offer a "teaching" tool that teaches incorrect speech patterns. We won't play this video again at our house."