As avid, avid fans of the Ralph's World CDs, we rushed out in a torrential downpour to purchase this DVD on the first day it was available. We have all four of Ralph's CDs, and there is one at the ready near every CD player in the house or car. Our daughter (18 months) has been requesting "Ralph" by name for almost as long as she's been able to speak. You get the picture?
But I have to be honest. We are disappointed with the DVD. Ralph, who comes across as so free and expressive in his music, seems stilted and uncomfortable on camera. While the dancing kids are sometimes a nice touch, often they seem forced. The costumed characters also seem to fall short of their intended impact. The best thing about Ralph's music is the authenticity; he does not pander to our children, and he has a fabulous sense of the world from their perspective. This DVD is the antithesis of his music, in my opinion, which is a terrible shame.
So now you're wondering: what does my daughter think? Well, she'll watch it on occasion, but she doesn't ever request it like she does the CDs. In fact, if I'm trying to buy some time to cook dinner, I am better off putting on a Ralph's World CD.
I understand that this is the first of a series, so here's some feedback for the next one: be true to the music. Invest in having the whole band present so the songs don't have to be torn straight from the CDs. Musicians playing instruments are at least as interesting to kids as strange men on unicycles. And I'd rather see the kids singing and dancing along in their own way.
So if you are reading this and considering this DVD as a first foray into Ralph's World, do yourself a favor and pick up some of his CDs first. Once you have fallen in love with Ralph's music and his inimitable style, you will be more inclinded to forgive him for this DVD.