Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas Soundtrack

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas Soundtrack Music Poster Image
Jazzy holiday soundtrack makes great background music.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

"The Gift Song" assures listeners that gifts aren't as important as people and showing people you care is the best gift you can offer. "What should I find and what should I do to find something as special as you?"

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the songs present positive images of family and friends celebrating the Christmas holiday together and enjoying the little things about the season, not just the big presents.

Consumerism

This album is the soundtrack to the 2009 holiday DVD Curious George: A Very Merry Christmas.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that little fans of the Curious George TV series and holiday DVD should find this album a welcome musical addition to the collection. With nearly half the songs being instrumentals, this isn't the type of album to inspire holiday sing-alongs, but might appeal more to those quiet times when a little age-appropriate background music is in order. With an emphasis on jazz, this album will introduce young listeners to a new genre in a familiar and cuddly package of the beloved monkey tale.

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What's the story?

In the movie that CURIOUS GEORGE: A VERY MONKEY CHRISTMAS is inspired by, Curious George can't wait for Christmas Day to arrive. To help make the wait more tolerable, the venerable "Man with the Yellow Hat" engages George in all the joys of preparing for the holiday, from decorating to picking out presents. This album follows that progression, with songs such as "Christmas Tree Shopping" and "The Gift Song." There's also a slew of instrumentals from Nick Nolan, the composer behind the animated PBS series.

Is it any good?

What's most to like about this album is the sophisticated nature of the music: complex instrumentals performed by real musicians. Similar to Vince Guaraldi's wintertime classics that accompany Charlie Brown's holiday special, this album doesn't pander to a young audience with simple music-box stylings. Instead, youngsters awaiting Santa will be treated to an introduction to genres of music that they might not have a chance to hear any other time of year. Dr. John performs the Curious George TV theme song with near perfect New Orleans jazz style, and simian-themed tunes like "Christmas with a Monkey" add a lighthearted spirit. A little more of Curious George's impish spirit and lovable comedy is all that's missing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite parts of the holiday season. Does your family have any special traditions during the holidays? Can you think of any new traditions you would like to add this year?

  • Talk about why it's important not to lose sight of the true spirit of the holidays. Are you excited about getting presents? Can you think of what else makes the holidays special? Why do you think so many stores advertise for people to buy presents?

  • Talk about patience. Curious George can't wait for Christmas, and the "Man with the Yellow Hat" has to come up with ways to keep him distracted.  Do you have trouble waiting for something exciting like your birthday or a special holiday to arrive? Do you think TV and video games can make you less patient because of their immediate effects? How can you balance out your media diet?

Music details

For kids who love holidays

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