Linnea in Monetís
Sound: C+†††† Extras: C-†††† Program: B-
The market for high quality childrenís programming has
been a holy grail for parents since the advent of Sesame Street and Mr.
Rogerís Neighborhood, and home video made it more relevant.† Now, with DVD, this has kicked into high
gear.† One of the most interesting
titles is Linnea in Monetís Garden (1993), based on the childrenís book
about a young girl who loves the paintings of the Impressionist giant.
Rendered mostly as an animated program, Linnea and her
good friend Mr. Bloom take a journey into the world of art, then literally
travel to Monetís actual garden.† With
occasional live action shots, including (obviously) those of the actual
paintings, the 30-minutes-long work could go on even longer as it is very
engaging.† It respects the intelligence
of the younger audience, but can be appreciated by all.† The animation is nicely drawn, the
characters very well voiced.
The full screen image is not bad for an older analog
transfer, with decent colors and definition that is not as soft as one might
expect.† Even the art on the box,
clearer as it is, does not do justice to how nicely this plays back.† The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is fine for its
age and all talking is articulate enough.†
The only extra is a quiz for kids to see if they got that fine (and fun)
points of the program.
Lena Anderson and Christina Bjork are the original book
authors and are the writer/directors here, which is likely why the charm and
joy of their work stays so much in tact.†
This really ought to be a series, and if it already is, more DVDs should
be issued because there is simply not enough childrenís material out there of
this high quality.† Linnea in Monetís
Garden belongs in all childrenís libraries, and is even fine for boys, who
also deserve such exposure to the art world.
-†† Nicholas Sheffo