Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Review: Are You There Charley Bear?

I’m 44 years old and generally, I prefer the characters on the TV programmes I like to speak and, specifically, James Cordon gets on my wick.

He might be a nice chap and he’s a new dad which also gains more celeb points, but that sketch show he did with the other chap from Gavin and Stacey just underlined the fact that Ruth Jones was the talent there. Ruth had been in my lady crush club for a while, but this week after the Edinburgh Moonwalk my friend @LadyBlahBlahs and I watched her turn as Hattie Jacques and now she’s at the top table.

Anyhow, back to Little Charley Bear. It’s really hard for a 44 year old to know whether something will really appeal to small children or not. Sure we can guess but we don’t always get it right. I cite Rastamouse – up and down the land 30 and 40 somethings are sneaking on to the sofa to watch the Reggae rodent and his Easy Crew while their preschool kids look on bewildered. And who’d have thought all that nonsense with Ninky Nonks would have caught on?

So LCB’s new DVD, Are You There Charley Bear?, was put to the test this week.
First, circumstances dictated that Boy Three had to come to the high school parent’s evening because the Panther of News was still on the prowl. Boy Three is a gregarious individual, entirely convinced that every person in a room is there to play with him and fetch biscuits. Probably not an unreasonable assumption when you’re just two, but not terribly helpful when obliged to sit in an auditorium listening to a talk about school rules and homework.

I was concerned that this evening which was very important to Boy One would go well, but worried that his littlest brother would scupper things with loud demands for tickles or the singing of Yankee Doodle. So we arrived at Gryffe High School equipped with a portable DVD player, big headphones and the LCB DVD. Genius, not a single squeak out of Boy Three who sat there engrossed the whole time.

Then when @LadyBlahBlahs went home after our Moonwalk this weekend she took the DVD with her to let her daughter Little C – aged 4 – have a look.

Here’s what happened:
LadyBlahblahs: Do you want to watch Little Charley Bear?
Little C: If I smile it means yes *smiles*
LB: Are you enjoying it?
LC: If I flick my hair it means yes *flicks hair*
LB: What do you like about it?
LC: If I smile and flick my hair it means all of it *smiles and flicks hair*
LB: Ooookaaay.
LC: Mummmmmeeeeeeee...... it's actually rubbish, there are only three episodes. Three! 
LB: Did you like the three episodes?
LC: Yes, but there are only three, there should be more
LB: What was your favourite bit?
LC: *Mimes Charley riding on Caramel the Horse and jumping over a log*.

All of which, I think, means she liked it.
So, there you have it, Are You There Charley Bear? has fascinated a two-year-old and entertained a four-year-old. Our survey declares it a winner.
Narrated by James Corden, Little Charley Bear is on CBeebies, weekdays at 9.30am and 1.30pm. The Are You There Charley Bear? DVD is on sale RRP £12.99. Visit www.littlecharleybear.co.uk for more information.

Note: the DVD in the shops has seven episodes on it, Little C was watching a shorter review revsion.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the DVD to review.

4 comments:

  1. I've found out since (we watched it again today) that all the smile / hair flicking / miming stuff is because Charley Bear doesn't speak so she thought she wouldn't either :)

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  2. Jo, there's a certain logic in that. x

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  3. There are only three episodes?

    Littler adores Charley Bear (and Bigger is quite keen) and I don't mind them too much to be honest but that's a lot for a rather short DVD

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  4. Hi Muddling, there are seven episodes on the proper DVD, the review copy just had three. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll make a note on the original post. x

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