CBeebies Compilation: Bedtime Review
After successful party-, Christmas- and summer-themed collections, CBeebies turn to another of the most troublesome times in the relationship between parents and young children, that of bedtime. As the father of three young children, I know just how well they can stall the walk from the living room to bedroom. If the television remains on at all, they will find that they have a sudden interest in what Sophie Raworth has to say on Middle Eastern trade negotiations, on Julia Bradbury walking alongside the abandoned railway tracks of the Black Country or in the Hairy Bakers (or Bikers) making a Victoria Sandwich cake. Granted, the latter don't help matters, particularly when they choose to cure salmon by dressing up as ABBA but it really doesn't matter so long as there are moving pictures and sound. But if not the television, then you could, if you were here, marvel at their demands for milk, for a kiss, for another story, of feeling sick, of needing medicine, of having a sore toe...of just anything so long as they don't have to go to bed!
CBeebies do try to ease bedtime tantrums with their bedtime hour, a series of shows, like In The Night Garden..., that are well-suited to getting children to bed. To that they can now add this DVD in which a series of bedtime-themed episodes see some CBeebies favourites walk up the wooden hill. The DVD starts with what I'm sure are most peoples CBeebies favourites, Charlie And Lola, in one of the Lauren Child stories that started the whole thing, I Am Not Sleepy And Will Not Go To Bed. As is the way in the Summer family, Charlie must put Lola to bed but she is not tired at seven o'clock, eight o'clock, nine o'clock...and so on. She probably will not even be tired at thirteen o'clock! So Charlie must come up with a way to get his little sister to bed, which sees him dealing with some tigers in need of pink milk, a whale that must be shooed down the plughole, a toothbrush-eating tiger, two pyjama-wearing dogs and a very sleepy hippipotamous!
The Fimbles are next with Fimbo finding the moon and deciding that, rather than leave it where it is, she wants it for herself. Pom rushes about so much that she needs a nap, which allows Florrie to make Fimbo's wish comes true! Napping is also what's needed in Me Too! with Bobbi dropping Kai off to Granny Murray's for the night while she goes to work at the bus station. Kai doesn't want her to go with the night getting very long when Bobbi leaves with Mr Begbie! Not the psychopath from Trainspotting but Kai's teddy. Meanwhile, in that peculiar part of England that is home of the Teletubbies, Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, La-La and Po watch James and his mother put Angus to bed. Then Dipsy goes for a nap! Everyone tries to be quiet but it's very, very hard not to wake Dipsy up.
"Hi, I'm Holly!" In Jackanory Junior Holly Aird tells the Jeanette Winterson story about the greedy king who wishes for two mouths so he could eat all of the food in front of him without making such a mess of himself. On the other side of Capri lives a washer-woman and her cat. Unlike the king, she worries about having two mouths to fill but not enough food to do so. Fate brings these two people, the richest and the poorest in Capri, together. Next up is that reprise of The Fimbles, The Roly Mo Show, with everyone settling down for a night's sleep after Roly Mo makes sure that their dreams are never nasty. Unfortunately, this particular trick seems to have passed Scary by in Little Robots, who is so tired that he falls asleep during one of his magic tricks. Eventually waking him up, all of the robots learn that the reason Scary is so tired that his dream the previous night was so exciting that not only did it wake him up but that he couldn't get back to sleep afterwards!
In Balamory, Edie calls on Archie at eleven o'clock in the morning. But he's still in his pyjamas and thinks that rather than it being the morning, it's actually eleven o'clock at night! It's all the fault of his new waking-up-machine! Edie goes in search of some help, finding Josie Jump, whose exercises help Archie to stay awake. Meanwhile, in Tweenies, Bella goes for a sleepover with Fizz but without her mother and father, no one's sure if she'll stay the whole night. Fizz and Bella remember some funny times at nursery but when the lights go out and they settle down to sleep, Bella isn't sure if Fizz's house is where she wants to sleep. Finally, in Charlie And Lola, Lola isn't really scared of the dark but still asks Charlie, "Can you maybe turn the light on?" Lola also wants the blind up and the door open! When Charlie turns the light off, closes the door and pulls down the blind, he bangs his toe. All that noise sounds like the ogre has come and Lola doesn't like the ogre!
Being so very similar to The Ultimate Party Collection from a couple of years ago, this section is largely a reprint of what was written then. With everything here anamorphically presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, the quality of these shows are very consistent. Without a Lazytown to stretch the capabilities of the DVD, everything looks very reasonable and usually very much better than they do when broadcast on CBeebies. Balamory is let down by the scale of its production while Little Robots is a crisp little animation that, with its bright colours and chunky figures, ought to capture the eyes of even the youngest ones. Everything about the DD2.0 audio tracks is well handled, not least that they sound clean and without any obvious problems with background noise or audio effects. Once again, the BBC are to be congratulated for included English subtitles on each episode included in this set.
There isn't much on here but with almost three hours of episodes, that's not surprising. There are two songs, the Sunset Song (56s) and the Goodnight Song (1m00s) and Pui's Strange New Worlds (8m49s) in which the one-time Teletubbie Po goes exploring in some exciting lands, where the mud is made of chocolate and the trees of candy floss and rivers are more pink than blue. Finally, the disc offers a Bedtime Mode, which plays the Goodnight Song after any selected episode.
Does it work? Well, not in this house it didn't but that's hardly the fault of the disc. Our children would always have tended to stay up slightly beyond the CBeebies/CBBC closing time of seven o'clock and so have always expected another thirty minutes of television after the CBeebies Goodnight Song. Still, there were some strange omissions from the disc, particularly the set-at-bedtime In The Night Garden... and, personally, they could have had more Jackanory Junior as we always end our day with a bedtime story but it's as good a selection as any of these CBeebies discs. And one can never complain about having two episodes of Charlie And Lola.
Last updated: 10/05/2018 07:54:16