Shalom Sesame a Hit; Bible Kid-Vid a Miss

MORSE, NAOMI S.

VIDEO Shalom Sesame a Hit; Bible Kid-Vid a Miss Shalom Sesame 5 videocessertes in color. 30 minutes each. VHS or Beta format Includes The Land ol Is/set. Tel Am. Ktboutz. The People ol Israel and...

...There is teaching without pedantry here...
...ol facriov Surmum, Ont Irann Pun...
...By contrast, a short Bible sequence in the "Shalom Sesame" program shows Abraham welcoming the three travelers who announced that Sarah would conceive a son...
...If you think television is a passive medium, try sitting still for these programs...
...The Great fit Adventure...
...The stories arc all introduced by the unlikely framing device of three modernday archaeologists: a bland young man and young woman and a stereotypical Hispanic boy, falling through quicksand back into time...
...Could Noah have used a metal-bladed saw to cut the lumber of the ark...
...Done in animated cartoon form, but with humor, warmth and a very human quality, this sequence shows that the Bible can be made palatable in children's video...
...I hope to see more programs from "Shalom Sesame" in the future...
...But the formula of two-dimensional cartoon characters dors not adapt well to the complexity of Bible stories...
...Big Bird has been replaced by Kippi Ben Kippod, a larger-than-life-sized porcupine with a mane of wild orange quills who is appealingly childlike...
...They make you laugh and sing Violinist Itrhak Perlman kibrtzes with Kippi Sen Kippod...
...Isn't this thrilling...
...Hebrew rock songs delivered by puppets are suitably wild...
...However, it is not these details, but the general operatic, larger-than-life approach to the stories that makes them hard to believe...
...SlfjO for IM wl ot l« AKc i.iiH from SMoertii, PuDMIwt Aon a and up The Greatest Advenlure Stories /mm Mie Bible 6 mrjeocatsenet in color, 30 minutes each...
...VHS or Beta lormel Animated cartoons includes Noah's ArK Moses, Darnel hi the Lion's Den Samson and Delilah and Joshua and me Battle otJencno ProOuced by Harm Baiteri...
...Israeli-born violinist lizhak Pcrlman participates in each program, talking to children, listening to them, playing the violin, and recounting bits of Israeli history' here and there...
...I highly recommend all five programs...
...Kn Tort...
...In their zeal to make the Bible secular, and thus marketable to all denominations, the producers have created superficial images and characters, neither offensive nor inspiring., Naomi S. Morse is the head children's librarian at the White Oak branch of the Montgomery County Public Library in Silver Spring, Maryland...
...Israeli Arab adults and children arc well represented here and several songs arc sung in Arabic and subtitled below...
...Some of these videos were better than others...
...Oscar the Grouch has been transformed into Moishe Oofnik, a nudnik who sustains his cranky performance with charming chutzpah...
...Such conversation as, "There it is...
...Viewers are exposed to Hebrew in an entertaining formal...
...It sounds unlikely, but it works...
...Moishe Oomik's theme song is clever and very funny...
...And the closing song is a moving call for peace...
...Hanna-Barbera's technically ambitious production will fill time, but not hearts or minds...
...In mini-dramas, children show and tell about their lives on kibbutz, in Tel Aviv or in Arab Jerusalem...
...Reviewed by Naomi S. Morse Nobody needs to be told how much television children watch, and what a powerful force il can be...
...The able camera work catches their infectious laughter, for example, when they try to teach American adults Hebrew, or when a little girl explodes in laughter as Moore tries to pronounce the word "tcaharatm" (noon...
...along with the catchy tunes...
...These are, after all, human dramas, and a human scale is needed to present them...
...Incredibly, the Bible characters that they meetóMoses, Noah, Daniel, Samsonódo not question their sudden appearance, their modern dress or their colloquial English, and they are made welcome to participate in the drama being played out...
...NT 10023 134.95...
...Shown and told this way, the stories become shallow superhero adventures full of exaggerated action...
...Kjppi's character is a counterpart to Bif Bird, who appears on the lone-running "Sesame Sircar profram "Shalom Sesame," the adaptation ol Israel's 'Reno* Sumsum," introduces A/nencen (amities to Israeli culture...
...To order the videos and books reviewed here, see inside back cover...
...Each program opens with the "Shalom Sesame" musical theme accompanied by animation that whisks Bert and Ernie on a paper airplane to Israel, where as "Brut/" and "Arik," one speaks Hebrew and the other answers in English...
...The naivete is mind-boggling...
...The development of the vidcocassette player and the production nl children's videos have given parents an opportunity to select television programs for their children with the same care they use in selecting If you like the charming and intelligent PBS series, "Sesame Street," you'll love "Shalom Sesame," the combined effort of Children's Television Workshop in America, and Israeli Educational Television, which produces the Israeli counterpart of "Sesame Street," "Renos1 Sumjum...
...A glossy magazine that accompanies the "Shalom Sesame" videos introduces the cast, summarizes each program, and includes Hebrew language, games and the words to the "Shalom Sesame" theme song...
...The People ol Israel and Jerusalem Live action, puppetry, animated cartoons and graphcs CrHJrodocad by Chddrws TaltwMn Wtfhtfiup and IVM» Educational Tilmn I9S& Onmbutod by mt Amtrcan Fnandr...
...Apparently, these programs are the first adaptations of Bible stories for the home video market, and as such, they are enjoying success in the marketplace...
...dialogue is still and stilted, either loo formal or too familiar...
...Each show is sponsored by a Hebrew letter, word and number, which are repeated during the program...
...Bonnie Franklin, an American television actress, is also featured: Mary Tyler Moore and Mandy Patinkin make cameo appearances...
...Indeed, the strength of "Shalom Sesame" is the warm rcspcci it shows for children's humor, inielli-gence and tastes...
...1985...
...Kermil the Frog reappears as Kcrmit haTzfardayah, the trench-coated reporter who speaks Hebrew as fast as Kermil the Frog speaks English...
...Plot becomes all-important, while character and motivation count for little...
...The Hebrew graphics are as inventive and funny as we have come to expect from "Sesame Street" productions: the aieph bet is playfully displayed and animated as children sing the letters' names...
...prevails...
...Bui thr real stars here are ihr Israeli children on the sei...
...II9Waacri AftsS-IO...
...This would be a wise investment for schools and synagogues...
...The promotional material boasts of half a million copies sold...
...By building on the "Sesame Street" formal that is familiar to American children, the producers have created five outstanding bilingual and birultural programs...
...A woman I consulted, whose church uses these to keep children occupied, describes them as "harmless...
...a flint-part television series produced by Children's Tate vision Workshop...
...Joshua and the Battle of Jericho was the best, and Moses the least successful...
...The chest containing the Ten Commandments...
...Imagine three cartoon characters riding on the ark with Noah and his family, or joining Samson when he visits Delilah...
...Hanna-Barbera's series of videocassetles...
...a (our rear-old porcupine itappod), on "Shalom Sesame...
...Perhaps so, but "harmless" is not a very good recommendation for material that has the potential to be moving and memorable...
...Children will recognize Barvazonee, a Hebrew version of Rubber Duckie...
...Anachronisms also get in the way of these stories...
...Stent) From thr Bible, builds on another tradition of children's television: Hanna-Barbera's animated cartoons, exemplified by their popular Tam and Jerry, i'tjgt Bear and The Flintstones programs...
...The music and narration in these videos are overly dramatic...

Vol. 13 • June 1988 • No. 4


 
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