A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories is a re-packaging of three classic televised Dr. Seuss tales: Green Eggs and Ham, The Sneetches, and The Zax. The entire collection is only 25 minutes and is fine for even the youngest of viewers. Families sensitive to insults should know that the words "stupid," "crummy," and "dummy" are used a couple of times in the short episode about the Sneetches. Given the continued popularity of Dr. Seuss books and the imaginative wordplay they contain, this DVD should appeal to preschoolers and early readers.
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What's the story?
This old-school, triple-decker collection of Dr. Seuss tales centers on the classic Green Eggs and Ham about the incredibly determined Sam I Am, who won't stop insisting that his friend try his favorite titular dish. Seuss' signature story is preceded by two other animated shorts featuring his imaginative wordplay, songs, and valuable lessons in tolerance and open-mindedness. First, The Sneetches follows a group of nearly identical creatures segregated by whether they have a star on their bellies or not. Then the extremely brief segment The Zax chronicles how two traveling Zaxes refuse to budge when they meet at the intersection of their journeys.
Is it any good?
This is sure to amuse even the youngest fan of Seuss' whimsical creations, along with nostalgic parents. At only 25 minutes (including the credits), though Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories is hardly a comprehensive collection of animated Dr. Seuss adaptations. The DVD is smart to showcase Green Eggs last, because were it the first story (at roughly 12 minutes), parents might be underwhelmed with the other two selections -- particularly because of their catchy but dated songs.
The Sneetches is a simple but effective example of why it makes no sense to exclude others just because they're a tad different. All the bare-bellied and star-bellied Sneetches manage to accomplish with their respective jealousy and bigotry is to make Sylvester (whose machine can add or erase the contentious stars) rich. As for The Zax, it's more of an interstitial than a full segment. At approximately three minutes, it bridges The Sneetches and Green Eggs and Ham with a quick and obvious message about the perils of being too pig-headed to move (in this case literally). Once Green Eggs and Ham arrives, it provides just the right amount of familiarity to make the video worth watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the tremendous popularity of Dr. Seuss. What makes his stories and characters so appealing -- the unique illustrations, the made-up words, the messages?
How does this decades-old animated special compare to the newer computer-generated animated movies based on Dr. Seuss' books? Which adaptations are your favorites?
All three of the stories deal with tolerance of some kind. Which of the segments best teaches about the importance of being flexible and open minded?
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