"That's an obelisk!" "We have to find those dragon kites!" "The big red balloon can't fly high enough to get over Coit Tower!" The four "Little Einsteins" kids travel to Egypt, China and San Francisco on this DVD, which groups together two episodes of the popular Disney Channel preschooler series with a third episode never shown on television. As always, the episodes include serious works of art and classical music.
In "The Legend of the Golden Pyramid," the kids -- Annie, June, Leo and Quincy -- take off to Egypt, where they travel through the desert, down the Nile and to the Sphinx. They eventually find a pyramid that contains a golden harp, where they have a dance party with the ancient hieroglyphics inside. The featured music is "Hungarian Dance No. 5" by Johannes Brahms.
"The Dragon Kite" sends the curious crew to China, where they help track down friends of a Little Dragon Kite and then join the big Dragon Kite Parade. This show introduces little paste-eaters to paintings by Zhou Shen, Cai Jia, Zhang Lu and Chou Ying as well as the music of Edvard Grieg ("Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1: In the Hall of the Mountain King").
The new episode, "Annie and the Little Toy Plane" is set in San Francisco. As the gang, and the plane, tries to rescue a helicopter, viewers learn about Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's got Keith Haring's "Untitled, 1988" and Mozart's "Symphony No. 40."
There's also a bonus feature, "Where's Froggy's Family?" This one is snooze city for parents, but kids may like it. Using his or her television remote like a video-game controller, a viewer joins Leo for a globe-trotting (yet snail-paced) interactive journey that helps a frog return to his home.
If you're new to the "Little Einsteins" series, think of it as the best intentions of National Geographic, Sesame Street and the National Endowment for the Arts combined with an animation budget of, oh, maybe a dollar.
Still, what's not to like? The four kids are cute (their heads are as big as their bodies), all the messages are positive, the art and music are handled just right for a preschool mind, and the shows never talk down to kids.