Shaun the Sheep, who first appeared in the Wallace & Gromit short A Close Shave, turned out to be so popular that he got his own TV show. And little Timmy, the adorable baby lamb from the Shaun the Sheep series, was so popular that he got his own spinoff-of-a-spinoff: Timmy Time, which airs on CBeebies in Britain and the Disney Junior channel in the United States.
In Timmy Time, our hero is off to nursery school, where he and his animal friends (a puppy, a kitten, a calf, and so on) have entertaining adventures. The DVD Timmy Time: Happy Birthday Timmy features five 10-minute episodes, including the title character’s birthday party (where he just can’t stay away from the cake), his ill-fated attempts to fly like his friend Otus the owl, and his creation of a new “pet” out of an old mop.
Timmy Time is geared toward a younger audience than Shaun the Sheep: the storylines are much more simple and Timmy’s world is rendered in absolutely gorgeous, bright colors. The good news is that Aardman Animation resisted the temptation to make Timmy Time with cheap CGI: this program is painstakingly rendered stop-motion animation, just like its parent–and grandparent–show.
My three-year-old absolutely loves Timmy Time, and it has won me over as well. Timmy is an irresistible character, and the animators include enough details and in-jokes to reward repeat viewing. (I was halfway through the DVD before I noticed the miniature versions of Timmy and his pals in the class cuckoo clock.)
Best of all, when the little ones are ready to move on to Shaun the Sheep, a hilarious Timmy-centered episode of that show–Shaun has to rescue Timmy’s teddy bear from the farmer’s house–is included in the DVD as a bonus feature. There is also a short “sing-along” segment, which my boy didn’t seem to enjoy as much as the Timmy Time theme song.
It is almost expected that parents will quickly get sick and tired of the DVDs their kids want to watch over and over again. Timmy Time: Happy Birthday Timmy, however, might hold up much longer. (But talk to me after my son has watched it 100 times.)