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DVD Review: Timmy Time: Timmy Steals the Show

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(editor’s note: a full review of the TV series is available here)

In my review of the television series Timmy Time, I wrote that “while the show may be imparting positive messages to youngsters and doing so in a way they will enjoy, it does little to convince an adult audience that they at all want to sit down with their offspring…and watch with them.”  Timmy Time, a spinoff of Shaun the Sheep which in turn is a spinoff of Wallace & Gromit takes the youngest member of Shaun’s flock, Timmy, and sends him off to preschool where he learns important lessons about right and wrong.  A good idea?  Certainly, it’s just that the execution leaves something to be desired.

After watching the five episodes that are included on the DVD Timmy Time: Timmy Steals the Show, I can confirm that the impressions from the episodes I watched on the screener are in fact accurate — the show is so relentlessly geared towards a younger audience that parents are going to tune out the entire affair before the opening song finishes.  Everything about it is cloyingly sweet, overly simplistic, and relatively dull.

It really is a shame that this is the case as Timmy Time is done with Aardman’s usual attention to detail and certainly an attempt is made to make the show amusing, it’s just that it’s only meant to be amusing for those barely starting to be aware of television.  One can’t deny the amount of effort that has gone into not just the stop-motion work, but also in conceiving of plots that might be relatable to the youngest members of any television audience, but it really is done at the exclusion of those who watch with that audience.

Having worked from home for the past three-and-a-half years in order to spend time raising my daughter, I have learned that children’s television programming doesn’t have to only provide amusement to the primary audience.  There are actually a plethora of programs (including educational ones) which are geared towards a young audience but which adults will most definitely want to sit down and experience with their child.  From Sesame Street, to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, to Sid the Science Kid and beyond, the choices in children’s television programming in this day and age are so expansive that there is no reason why a caregiver can’t search out a program that will provide them at least a modicum of enjoyment in addition to thrilling the actual target audience.

In fact, I would think that it is far better to keep the adult’s attention on the screen as well so that the child and adult can have a discussion following the show about any confusing topics or to recap the lessons that have been imparted by the series.  For a show to exclude the adult audience not only makes it harder to convince an adult to turn it on, but also eliminates a great learning opportunity upon its completion.  Despite the effort that may have gone into Timmy Time‘s production, it certainly ends up in that unfortunate territory.

This first DVD release of the series, as noted, comes with five episodes.  These episodes run for approximately 43 minutes and there is also a sing-along of the title song available as a special feature.  I certainly recommend watching an episode or two on television prior to buying it this on DVD.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • Jack

    Whereas the Shaun the Sheep DVDs are great, the Timmy Time shows are down with a lot of computer generated backgrounds, which really diminishes the appeal of the show. It watches like an ordinary saturday morning cartoon instead of the entertaining-for-the-whole-family Shaun shows. I have my doubts as to whether many of the Shaun the Sheep creators are really involved with the Timmy shows.

  • Teacherandmother

    I completely disagree with this review. As a working mother of a 19 month old, I try to make every moment I spend with my child count. One of our favorite past times is to sit down and watch an episode of Timmy Time on Netflix. I can safely say we’ve seen the same ten episodes about 100 times and it still remains fresh not only for me, but for my daughter. I think the story telling is ingenious, that it leaves much to the imagination and challenges my child to read the behavioral cues of the characters to make inferences about what is actually going on. Of the TV shows that are available to children today Timmy Time is one of those few programs that encourage the child to think.