DVD Review: The Wiggles Go Bananas!

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So okay, on the one hand, I'm always worried that someday-- like one of those computer hard drives that's about to read "full"-- my brain will finally snap shut from too much useless information. Yet, on the other, I find myself strangely filled with pop culture envy whenever I'm faced with something with which I am completely unfamiliar.

And of course, this was precisely what happened when I met the four human Australian coloring crayons a.k.a. the singing, dancing Wiggles from Down Under who beamed like they'd just gotten their teeth whitened at the dentist and were told that the effects would only last for the duration of the running time of a children's television program.

My then toddler aged nephew (who's now all about skateboarding and video games) inexplicably loved The Wiggles-- dancing with glee as the grown male stars went through more costume changes than a Cher show, moving from country to pop to songs involving mini-teaching lessons involving colors and shapes-- and not just their brightly colored long sleeved shirts which helped me tell them apart beyond the level of superficial attractiveness or singing talent.

And thus I realized instinctively that part of the appeal of this eye candy-centric show was that it possessed just about the same attention span as its target audience. Whether it was employing video game like graphics that seemed to cry "green screen" with colors that pop and segments that went anywhere from ten seconds to a minute and a half if it was particularly catchy-- any given Wiggles episode is almost dizzingly fast-paced to the point that if you were an adult or even a child over the age of five looking for a narrative, you are going to grow seasick or disinterested fairly quickly since even Barney had more of a cohesive glue holding it all together.

Yet, for highly energetic ADD prone or just excitable toddlers, it was just the ticket. Now with a series of spinoff DVDs filled with more music, color, endlessly packaged with songs and even guest stars as this disc in particular boasts Kylie Minogue (and jokingly a special appearance by Kylie's sparkly pink shoes) as well as "Australia's" John Waters to make the much needed distinction between their child friendly crooner and our helmer of films like Pink Flamingos-- the group of four are back on a new disc from Warner Brothers with the promise that this time around they're giving us a "fun way to learn about animals."

While animals are definitely used throughout-- I can't say that I learned anything in particular about that specific subject matter. Although I what I did learn was that I never want to see Minogue ever sing (or most likely lip-sync) "Monkey Man" a.k.a. "huggin' up the big monkey man" again nor witness The Wiggles use Elvis to do a send-up on his King status for their version of a lion as The King of the jungle. And while admittedly I'm the furthest thing from their target audience as the nonlinear and just plain nonsensical theatrics made me miss the children's shows of my youth--however-- as I'd seen years earlier with my nephew, I know those from 1-3 and or possibly even 5 depending on boredom and maturity level will find at least some enjoyment out of the forty-seven minute disc.

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