Zoboomafoo: Play Day at Animal Junction

 
An imaginative, educational wildlife romp.
  • Review Date: March 28, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 50 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is educational, environmentally conscious, ecologically friendly stuff.

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 fun-packed PBS video educates about the natural world while nurturing a healthy respect for it. The entertaining format -- which includes games, jokes, and riddles -- makes learning about animals and their habits fun. The playful animals hold toddlers' attention, and help impart messages about proper animal etiquette. The wild pace and mix of live-action, puppetry, and animation are an effective means of entertaining while teaching grammar school kids about the natural world around them. Older kids may have outgrown the Kratt brothers, but many find the animal antics hard to resist.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Baby animals play in different ways, ways that prepare them for their lives as adults. This is the Kratt brothers' focus as Animal Junction is overrun with one type of exotic creature after another. Children learn a bit about the different animal species and what makes them unique, and their knowledge and creative skills are tested with such games as Find the Sheep and animated segments in which an undefined blob gradually takes on the characteristics of a specific animal, prompting kids to guess what it is. Viewers are treated to close-up views of serval kittens (long-legged African wildcats), an elephant whose back gets scratched with a giant novelty toothbrush, ducklings, several monkey species, and lion cubs batting around a soccer ball. Facts about them are dropped in casually here and there without overwhelming, the way kids learn best. There's also a trip to a petting zoo, where llamas show what good kissers they are and where a blindfolded Martin has to identify a sheep from two other animals by feel alone.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Kratt brothers, Chris and Martin, are something of an acquired taste. They tell corny jokes, they mug and grin at the camera, they fall down in the mud, and their simple, kindly faces make perfect targets for pie-throwing monkeys. And yet you have to hand it to them: They pack an awful lot of stuff into a 50-minute program. And this isn't just any stuff. ZOBOOMAFOO: PLAY DAY AT ANIMAL JUNCTION is educational, environmentally conscious, ecologically friendly stuff. And they make it fun.

The show is hyperactive, unstructured, a mishmash of live-action, claymation, puppetry, and cartoon, but those goofy Kratt brothers pull it off with the help of their chatty lemur pal, Zoboomafoo.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the natural world, and take a nature walk in their neighborhood (to find suburban or urban wildlife), at a local zoo or in a field. How do they interact with the natural world? What's an appropriate way to treat other living animals?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1999
DVD release date:September 19, 2000
Cast:Chris Kratt, Martin Kratt
Directors:Jacques Laberge, Pierre Roy
Studio:PBS Home Videos
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:50 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Zoboomafoo: Play Day at Animal Junction was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byMommaOfTwoo July 26, 2014
age 2+
 

we love it!

My kids love Zoboomafoo! Truly a great show!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 1, 2010
age 2+
 

Wonderful!

This show is perfect for younger children! It's educational and the content is very kid friendly.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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