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Frances: Bedtime for Frances
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this DVD contains three short stories featuring Frances the Badger, a lovable and well-meaning preschooler who tries to do right but falls short sometimes. Lots of great reinforcement not only for parents trying to teach children about selflessness, honesty, and going to bed by themselves, but also for children who will see that Frances is someone who makes mistakes and learns from them.
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What's the story?
Based on characters from the books by Lillian and Russell Hoban, FRANCES: BEDTIME FOR FRANCES bundles up three episodes from the animated children's series created by Jim Henson Productions. All center on a lovable girl badger named Frances who has a younger sister named Gloria and a best friend named Albert. In the first story, Frances' excitement about a Family Day at Lizardland is dashed when Gloria gets sick. The second story sees Frances helping her mom get ready for a piano recital by decorating cupcakes for her fellow students, and struggling with jealousy and self control in the process. The final tale is one all parents will recognize, as Frances delays bedtime by using her very rich imagination.
Is it any good?
This gentle and funny collection is sure to entertain and educate its target audience of preschoolers. Frances is not perfect, but with her non-stop singing, dancing, and genuinely warm heart she's a heroine that kids will root for. The dilemmas she faces in this DVD are wisely chosen; they're lessons that all kids struggle with during the preschool years. Frances' technique of sneaking off to have some "Me Myself" time when faced with a problem is one that parents may try to emulate for children learning to control their impulses and emotions.
The animation is lovely, utilizing state-of-the-art digital puppetry courtesy of the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a groundbreaking technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real time. Frances' ongoing sing-song as she works out her problems and choices is nicely set to classical music pieces, reinforcing a little musical education along the way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Family Day is a big deal for Frances and how she's disappointed when plans go awry. What is your favorite thing to do on a Family Day? When Frances needs some time to think about the right decision to make, she takes "Me Myself" time under the dining room table or her covers. How do you find that quiet time so you can listen to yourself think?