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 lively, upbeat introduction to the world of country music especially geared toward ages 2-4.
What's the story?
KIDS' FAVORITE COUNTRY SONGS features Sesame Street stalwart Elmo (voiced by Kevin Clash) learning all about country music during a visit from his nearly identical-looking cousin Elmer (Matt Vogel). As Elmer teaches Elmo what makes country music special -- namely, the presence of country instruments, great stories, and lots of emotion -- visiting country superstars from Lee Ann Womack to the late Johnny Cash help drive the points home. There's lots of toe-tapping, upbeat music spanning a variety of country music offshoots, from zydeco to the blues.
Is it any good?
Along with the Muppets and live actors, the DVD makes creative use of animated shorts, accompanying songs such as "Froggy Went a'Courtin." Songs like "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "O Susanna" should be familiar to young children, and if they're not tunes in the family repertoire already, this DVD is a fun way to teach them.
A few lines of dialogue are aimed at adults, but the action will appeal most to 2- to 4-year-olds who love music -- any kind of music. The special features include additional appearances by Garth Brooks, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill who sing "Take a Turn." (Some guest appearances are plucked from Sesame Street archives).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the country music instruments and which ones they like the best. What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin? The stories in country songs are full of feelings -- if you could make up a country song about your life, what would it be called? The DVD features many songs that could make up a family sing-along.
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