Wee Bee Tunes Travel Adventures: Get Your Passport!
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that children might walk away with some cultural facts bouncing through their minds, but the content -- and sometimes context -- is occasionally questionable. You may need to have conversations with your kids about issues such as slavery, cultural conflict, and ecology, as well as fill in some historical gaps.
What's the story?
A travel show for children, GET YOUR PASSPORT features catchy music and enticing animation and begins with an introduction to character "guides" to the continents (a penguin for Antarctica, a yak for Asia, and so on). Maps are pointedly shown with emphasis on where countries lie in the continental scheme. Each continent is explored through a variety of cultural ideas and specific dates and facts. Partying in Brazil for Carnival, for example, is a theme chosen for South America.
Is it any good?
Despite the catchy tunes, Wee Bee Tunes Travel Adventures: Get Your Passport ends up coming across as a confusing amalgamation of cultural exploration and musical animation that places as much emphasis on defining the character guides as it does defining the place that they're visiting. The content can get disturbingly convoluted. Unless an adult can pause the DVD and explain the concept of Parliament in England, for example, or the fact that the desert moved in and "the economy dried up" in Timbuktu, these facts are throw-aways.
Very few people of color are shown in the Carnival scene in Brazil, which misrepresents the population. Shopping in Turkey, where viewers are told to "prepare to spend" at the "original shopping mall" that has "over 4,000 shops," takes the cake. Money changes hands and goods are hoarded. There are also deeper issues in terms of slavery, cultural conflict, and ecology that are glossed over. The CD release of the same title might be a better choice, since this DVD tries to do too much.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what they learned about the continents from this program, and use the discussion as a jumping board for further research. If you had the chance to travel to just one continent, which one would you choose and why?