With over two dozen DVDs on the market, the Baby Einstein brand has to keep pushing to find new and innovative topics. They have done just that with their latest release Baby Einstein – Lullaby Time.
As the name implies, the DVD is full of lullaby music. The music is accompanied by pictures of babies either with parents, alone, or with stuffed animals. For the most part, the infants are in their pajamas and clearly preparing for bed.
Additionally, some scenes feature soothing views of the ocean, tranquil shots of clouds, and the usual assortment of toys and games that the Baby Einstein line of DVDs are known for. The DVD is, very consciously, a soothing blend of imagery and music. As with all Baby Einstein DVDs, one gets the sense that every single frame of the production is thought out in advance, with the most minute of details considered.
The point of it all is to prepare your child for going to sleep. Even the lamb puppet that hosts the DVD eschews the usual wackiness and jokes (save for one time at the very end of the credits). Instead he is seen doing things like rocking a teddy bear in a bassinet to sleep and reading a story to a bunny.
Just when one thinks the DVD cannot possibly continue with the lullaby music, a soothing voice comes on and recites a bedtime story about a baby lamb. This is accompanied by a computerized picture book that features images that match the story being told (one wonders if the picture book is immediately available for purchase). The reading of the story is available to be viewed by itself in the bonus features section of the disc.
The program even finishes with a drop to black and a moment of silence. An astute parent whose child does in fact near sleep towards the end of the video will have time to quickly grab the remote and turn off the television before the credits begin to roll and music returns.
The DVD features several extras including "Aren't Ewe Sleepy," which features the lamb puppet looking at a bedtime story and then preparing for bed by putting away toys and being tucked into his own bed to go to sleep. He even proceeds to dream of sheep jumping over a fence, which is portrayed in a less than soothing fashion and seems like an odd choice for the video.
One of the other extras, "Sleep, Sleep, Mr. Sheep" shows our sheep host falling asleep in various places including in his food (a truly distressing experience as any parent who has witnessed such things will attest to). A third one, "Sheep Dreams" shows relaxing, virtually still, images of nature like water rippling on a lake from behind a tree, and grass slowly blowing in the breeze. These are accompanied by sounds of nature and it lasts nearly as long as the main title itself.
This certainly isn't the most stimulating or imaginative entry into the Baby Einstein series, but nor does it intend to be; in fact it wishes to be the very opposite of these first adjectives. The goal is to put out a DVD that both fits into the Baby Einstein mold and that will help calm your child down. Does it work? I have to imagine that the answer to that depends greatly on the child. There certainly is little present that would cause them to be more active. I will say that I certainly felt entirely soothed and relaxed upon completing my viewing of the program.