The Best of Beakman's World

  • Review Date: May 3, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A decidedly un-dry science show.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this video is packed with fun, easy-to-do experiments and an extraordinary barrage of scientific facts. The wacky scientist offers accurate scientific explanations (about such topics as air pressure and the reflection of light) in simple terms, achieving clarity without sacrificing academic integrity. But beware, you're kids will want to do the science experiments -- and they need you there! The video is perfect for older kids and preteens, who will love doing the fascinating experiments at home (with adult supervision). The experiments will hook kids while they learn the scientific principles behind them. Families who watch this video may want to explore other scientific principles and discuss the importance of the scientific method: trial and error.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Popular children's television scientist Beakman (Paul Zaloom) begins this compilation by encouraging inquisitiveness: "We can't have answers without questions!" The video is a series of scientific demonstrations in response to viewer questions ("How do rockets work?") and challenges posed by Beakman himself ("I challenge you to balance two forks and a toothpick on the tip of another toothpick"). There are a smattering of "fast facts" and a few role playing sequences in which Mr. Zaloom plays historical or fictional characters. Most of the experiments focus on physical science. A playing card illustrates air pressure by holding water in an inverted glass. Beakman shows us how to build a homemade oscilloscope and a camera obscura that can be worn on your head. Viewer questions are addressed in several modes. Verbal explanations are given with comic gestures, silly sound effects, and inane commentary from Beakman's daffy sidekick, Lester the Rat. In one segment, Mr. Zaloom plays the mythological character Narcissus with humorous vanity as he explains how mirrors reflect light.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE BEST OF BEAKMAN'S WORLD represents one of the better attempts at giving science education a facelift. Decidedly un-dry in his approach, Beakman gets the viewer's attention with his finger-in-the-socket hairdo and Brooklyn accent. He encourages participation with sensational experiments that require simple and relatively safe household items. While his demonstrations are often trick oriented, Beakman deplores deception, and always explains the experiments scientifically. "I don't do tricks," he says at one point. Then he explains how a flimsy drinking straw can be easily thrust through a raw potato..

Simple demonstrations impart the essence of the scientific principle, while more involved experiments broaden the explanations. The items required for each experiment are always listed. The only missed beats are two puppet penguins who give bland intermittent commentary from the peanut gallery. Despite the schtick that lightens the educational experience of this video, the intriguing subject matter and illuminating experiments stand on their own make this a solid choice for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they learned from watching the experiments in this program, and try some of them out together.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1993
DVD release date:August 5, 1997
Cast:Eliza Schneider, Mark Ritts, Paul Zaloom
Director:Jay Dubin
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:60 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Best of Beakman's World was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools