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 is a compilation of four animated episodes from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, an ongoing television series. Minnie-Rella is a very simple, warm-hearted version of the Cinderella story (without the evil stepmother and stepsisters). The other three stories are selected from earlier seasons of the program; each story is approximately 23 minutes long. They all are appropriate for very young viewers, offering simple plots, straightforward characters, and clear-cut goals. In some, the necessary conflict comes from a mildly selfish villain, who always learns a lesson. Music and some easy interactive tasks are focal points of the episodes.
What's the story?
In MINNIE-RELLA, an interactive DVD with music, Minnie Mouse's fairy godmother (Clarabelle the Cow) helps Minnie get to Prince Mickey's Grand Ball with the help of some magic and good friends. Pluto's Tale finds Pluto in a race with Wizard Pete to find a lost puppy. Mickey's friends run into a lost dinosaur egg in Mickey and the Enchanted Egg; the egg hatches and the friends try to get Baby Zoe back home. When Professor Ludwig Von Drake's latest potion makes Daisy's ponytail grow very long, the gang has to find some magic flowers to help reverse the effects in Daisy's Pony Tale. Along with the characters, very young viewers are called upon to move all the stories forward by making choices based on both logic and inventiveness.
Is it any good?
No real villains here, no scares, no bumps and falls -- these are all gently entertaining, easy-to-follow stories that highlight friendship, helpfulness, and working toward a goal. The plots rely on Disney's iconic characters being presented with tasks and using the resources at hand to accomplish them. The DVD has enough charm, familiarity, and audience participation to engage toddlers and preschool kids for repeated viewings.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the audience-participation elements in these stories. Do you join in "The Hot Dog Dance"? Is it fun to help choose a "Toodle" to move the story along? How does it feel differently from simply watching a cartoon?
Minnie liked helping out all her friends in Minnie-Rella. Why does helping a friend make you feel good?
Most of these stories involve finding things. What were both Pluto and Wizard Pete looking for in Pluto's Tale? What was Daisy looking for in Daisy's Pony Tale?
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