“Wherever there's a princess in need of rescue, I am there,” Paul Rudd's relentless Prince Charming informs Sesame Street's favorite pink heroine Abby Cadaby in her newest DVD that focuses on not just the letter P but also activities that begin with the sixteenth letter of the alphabet including playing pretend and problem solving.
Even though he hopes to save Abby and her friends Rosita and Penguin from any unfortunate situations that may arise including losing a roller skate and getting stuck on a balcony or in a mailbox, Rudd fears he's become “a failure, an absolutely gorgeous failure,” when the young Muppets figure out how to rescue themselves, often with the employment of teamwork.
Frustrated by the fact that the solutions he's most famous for carrying out in storybooks don't apply to any of the incidents the trio of pretend princesses stumble into during the course of an afternoon, the prince is nonetheless thrilled when he discovers that sometimes you can have more fun by making things up as you go along such as when Abby decides it's time to play Princess Football.
Rudd is one of two movie stars who pay a visit to arguably the most famous fictitious street in the world along with Natalie Portman who joins her pal Elmo for some good old fashioned Princess and the Elephant make believe. And in addition to the spot-the-celeb fun, this enjoyable forty-five minute DVD also boasts two bonus episodes of Sesame's new CGI animated spinoff series Abby's Flying Fairy School.
Likewise, the main program features a number of shorter segments that all compliment each other nicely from musical numbers to humorous game playing as the characters urge viewers to join them in working on identifying as many words that start with the letter P as possible while visiting Mr. Hooper's store.
Despite this, structurally it would've been better to insert the sequence where Elmo first teaches Abby how to make believe before the fun begins to introduce the key activity. And while I was surprised by the sexist writing on the back of the DVD box that only describes parenting tips from the masculine point-of-view, overall it doesn't detract from the delight of the disc's contents in the slightest.
Colorful, educational and worthy of repeat viewings, the best part about Abby and Friends is that it encourages interaction, inviting children tuning in to help the Muppets solve the problems even faster than Rudd's meddlesome prince, which still makes Sesame Street head and shoulders above the rest of preschool programming for never being content to simply entertain without trying to simultaneously inform.
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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.
Labels: TV on DVD