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Created and produced by Maddy Darrell, who has also produced the children’s television shows Bear Behaving Badly and Pet Squad, Baby Jake blends animation and photo images to tell imaginative adventures starring a ten-month-old baby as his older brother narrates for the audience.
The BBC has released a number of merchandising for babies and toddlers while the series is continuing with its success and the company have distributed the series’ first DVD. While I am not as much of a fan for this show as much as the likes of Numtums and Charlie and Lola, this is no doubt different from other productions currently available for children.
As previously mentioned, each episode starts out with introducing a family that includes ten children that live in a windmill in a big, beautiful cornfield.
But out of this big family, we focus on Jake the baby and his older brother, Isaac, as Jake’s brother can translate his gurgles and burbles into words for the audience and we are then taken on a magical journey that turns their world into a colourful and bright animation.
It is these scenes that make up the majority of the series, as we see Baby Jake turned into an animated character that explores new lands and meets new characters in obscure and imaginative stories. While the majority of children shows tend to focus on a specific message, this series leans towards things like playing ball games or peekaboo to appeal to babies and toddlers.
The animation technique that they use is a blend of photographs taken on the baby’s face and using vibrant computer effects and while I am not the biggest fan of this format, it is very bright and colourful in the same way In The Night Garden and Teletubbies use colours to appeal to very young viewers. At the same time, I did find this quite a weird show to watch as we see a baby dancing in jungles, driving smiling tractors and playing with a group of astronaut hamsters. But then it is that same quirkiness that makes this interesting.
Meanwhile, the use of sound effects, music, and narration is not as subtle as other preschool television shows and I understand that most will not have a problem with this and young children would find this appealing, but it was a little too much for me to watch all the episodes back to back. This will not be a problem for most, but if you do plan to get this for children who might not like anything too loud, you might want to watch it with them for an episode or two to make sure that they will be okay to watch it on their own.
As for episodes, there are only seven episodes included with no additional extras, and like it was great to see the last Waybuloo to have a nice little feature exclusively for the show, it would have been nice to see this DVD release to have a nice little addition for children to enjoy.
Baby Jake: Going on an Adventure is a good purchase for those who are fans of the series and if you are new to the series, it might be a good idea to watch an episode or two before picking this up as it will not be for everyone.