on the award-winning books by Lauren Child, Charlie and Lola come to
DVD. Charlie and Lola Volumes One and Two (two separate
packages) use 2D CelAction
animation, fabric design, paper cutout, photomontage, and other
media to bring the storybook world to live. The result is a
thoroughly charming and unique format for preschoolers. Actual
children voice the realistic dialogue. The format is engaging, and
the content very clever. Children are encouraged at all times to use their
imaginations, as well as to think for themselves. This is BBC's
first-ever preschool property.
The stories feature Charlie and his little sister Lola. Charlie
tells the audience, "I have a little sister Lola. She's small and
very funny." Lola is an imaginative little girl who is quite a
handful, what with her imaginary friend and grand ideas. Charlie
needs to draw on his own imagination to handle Lola, and the results
In "I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato", Charlie is in charge of
feeding his very fussy sister. Lola lists all of the foods she
doesn't like--peas, carrots, spaghetti, eggs, and the list goes on.
Tomatoes, however, are the worst, according to Lola. Charlie decides
to turn the dreaded foods into fabulous things in order to encourage
Lola to eat them. First step: carrots. "Carrots are for rabbits",
declares Lola. Charlie tells her that, in fact, carrots are from
Jupiter. While Lola finds peas "too small and too green", Charlie
explains that peas are actually green drops from Green Land, where
everything is green.
The animation is unique and the stories have universal childhood
themes that any child (and adult reminiscing) can relate to. As
noted above, real children (with British pronunciations) voice the
characters. Charlie is an excellent role model as an older brother.
He's delightfully responsible, supportive, and patient. Lola truly
is "funny"--enthusiastic and creative. Themes include such things as
bedtime routines, keeping secrets, getting sick, fear of spiders,
separation anxiety, and more.
Extras on the DVDs include outtakes and games.
Best For: Ages
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Charlie and Lola, Vols. 1 and 2
Reviewed: September 2006