Frances: Bedtime for Frances DVD Review1 Mar, 2009 By: Kyra Kudick
Prebook 3/4/09; Street 3/31/09
Bedtime for Frances features three animated episodes based on the children’s books by Russell Hoban. Frances the badger is a high-energy, fun-loving preschooler with a baby sister and two loving, if somewhat exasperated, parents.
The episodes deal with life lessons geared toward small children, such as getting along with siblings, sharing, telling the truth and going to bed.
Children will identify with Frances’ emotional ups and downs and will enjoy the songs she creates to express herself as she learns these important lessons. Parents and caretakers will appreciate that the songs are not reminiscent of a certain purple dinosaur, who shall remain nameless.
Adults may find they have more to enjoy here than expected. Frances’ father is particularly amusing. It is clear he loves his daughter, but his patience is often stretched by her antics, resulting in some humorous moments to which adults will relate. Parents and caretakers alike can benefit from watching the way he gently guides Frances to good behavior.
After viewing the DVD, I was interested in seeing who could have produced such a kid-focused but adult-friendly program and was not in the least bit shocked to see it is The Jim Henson Co. Leave it to the folks who brought us the Muppets and Fraggles to now amuse and educate with a loving family of badgers.
The DVD is packaged inside a hard-cover edition of the book Bedtime for Frances and includes an interactive read-along for the book, a Frances’ Friends and Family Character Gallery and a bonus episode of Fifi and the Flowertots, “Hole Lot of Fun.”