The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Elmo's Travel Songs and Games

Anyone who has ever taken a car trip with young children knows that it can be a dull, frustrating experience for them. Being strapped in a car seat for hours on end is no one's idea of a good time, yet it's often a necessary evil. Elmo's Travel Songs and Games, the latest in a series of "Sesame Street" DVDs, is designed to help kids deal with the boredom of physical travel. It works on two levels: if you have a DVD player in your car, it will keep your children entertained for 45 minutes, and if not, watching it at home will teach them ways to amuse themselves during the drive.

On the DVD, Elmo and Abby go on a road trip to the zoo with Elmo's father. Abby, who is used to magically flying wherever she needs to go, has difficulty adapting to being in the car. Elmo helps her by suggesting different games they can play. "Sesame Street" being educational, the games of course teach things such as rhyming, counting, and the alphabet. In one game, Elmo and Abby try to find various shapes in things they see looking out the car window. In another, they try to find all 26 letters on passing stores and signs. Interspersed throughout their story are songs/music videos related to travel. The most enjoyable is one about the importance of using the bathroom before leaving the house. A valuable lesson!

Everything in Elmo's Travel Songs and Games is presented with the humor and charm that have become "Sesame Street" trademarks. That makes it enjoyable viewing for both children and their parents. I also think that this is a particularly clever installment of the DVD series, in that it targets a subject not commonly dealt with in children's entertainment, yet one with practicality to their lives. All kids deal with automobile boredom at some point; this disc shows them how to make an extended ride go faster and become more pleasurable.

Elmo's Travel Songs and Games is available from Warner Home Video starting May 3. With summer vacation fast approaching, it is a disc worth picking up if you have young ones. This will help them prepare for that loooooong drive to the beach.