Non-violent, non-scary videos

I need ideas. Peanut watches about half an hour of videos once a week, and we’re getting bored with what we have.

We watch Signing Time, Charlie and Lola, and Planet Earth. We’ve checked out Boobah from the library. He loved it, but our new library only has the VHS, which won’t play on my laptop.

These are all fine and lovely, but we’d like something more.

I know it’s a lot to ask, but, ideally not something that appears on sneakers, cereal, or bandages. I’m not in the mood to explain why a Dora scooter is not a better choice than a well made scooter.

We want non-violent, non-sarcastic, non-annoying, non-religious, non-scary movies or shows with no “bad guy” (despite grandma’s best intentions, he still doesn’t know the word “bad” or that there are generally not-nice people out there. He knows there are people who sometimes do not-nice things. He just learned at a play place last week that some people hit their kids.) (Way to go, btw, random mom. I’m sure that slapping your daughter to make her stop grabbing kids’ toys will definitely teach her not to grab. Too bad it will also teach her might makes right and if you’re bigger you can hit people to get what you want. Outstanding work.)

Anyway. Videos. Suggestions? Nothing with “just a few minutes of scary,” or “just one bad guy.” No scary. No badness. No lurking, no dead mothers, no abandoned by parents. Nice stuff. Like Signing Time and Charlie and Lola.

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9 thoughts on “Non-violent, non-scary videos

  1. I’ve heard good things about (haven’t seen) Max & Ruby and The Backyardigans. One that I have seen, and I’m actually using for my thesis, are the Kipper videos. YouTube sometimes has snippets of episodes,which may help.

  2. i, too, have recently introduced the world of video to my two.something daughters. granny and baba have some old bugs bunny (extremely violent but cheeky, so i only get kind of pissed when beenie drifts off into a weirdo trance at their house in front of the telly), for at home, obsessive watching over and over again videos, i have the following suggestions:

    1.) Maisy Mouse. This is a very slow moving dvd, kind to one another characters who are animals. A friend who is a British ex-pat got us one called Maisy’s Farm, with the British narrator rather than the American one, which I love. They talk about the change of seasons and combine tractors sucking up the harvest. Good good good. I can’t wait to get them a new one in addition to the Farm one. Lots to choose from I believe. Both girls cry for it in the evening.

    2.) Planet Earth, which you already have. I think there is another one, also, by the same peeps, but don’t know off-hand what it is called.

    3.) I’m not sure when I first encountered Dr. Seuss, but I am pretty sure it changed my life as a small person. I recently introduced Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat to my 2 new viewers. The day after we first watched it, Beenie, the resident TV critic/fan stood up in her crib and stated: “CAT HAT”. It is just weird enough with cute and confusing songs, including the brilliant “Sleep Little Kittenfish”, which my own feline father sang to me and my sibs as little people, and there are the ultimate twinsies in it, too… THING 1 AND THING 2! All the best messages, presented in sort of a stoner silly way. Love it.

  3. Ok, that is a large order. Anything baby einstein with the music and words and pictures. We have Baby Neptune and Baby MacDonald, which my boys love. Now these are a little commercial but they may work. We own Sesame Beginnings Make Music Together which is sesame street chacters as babies with their parents singing and moving. We also have a Bob the Builder DVD, which may be to commercial for you. I’ll ask around too.

  4. Little Einsteins!! (All of the Baby Einstein DVDs, as Faemom suggested, are fabulous, but if he’s watching Charlie and Lola, which is talky, then he’s also ready for Little Einsteins). And to follow up on some other people’s suggestions, we also really liked The Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, and Kipper. (In fact, we have some Kipper DVDs that we don’t watch any more, and I’d be happy to send them to you if you email me your address.) Lately, the boys have been really enjoying Imagination Movers, too.

  5. i have just been surfing for same question. i have not watched it but like what i read about My neighbour Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki

  6. some other recommendations that i found in the Yahoo Non violent communication parenting group. a parent called chanel put together a list and then i added the descriptions from amazon sites

    LITTLE BEAR STORIES
    Bless Little Bear’s heart. Youngsters eagerly awaiting Halloween will get into the spirit with four reassuring and richly illustrated stories that capture all the magic, fun, and fantasy of the autumn season. “Goblin Night,” more about costumes than candy, follows Little Bear and his friends as they don their costumes and set out to scare the goblins away. “Moonlight Serenade” echoes The Snowman as Little Bear embarks on a nocturnal Harvest Moon romp with a friendly scarecrow. “How to Scare Ghosts” is a delightful story in which Little Bear discovers a trio of music-playing raccoons in his home. In the final story, hot cocoa (with lots of marshmallows!), songs, and a little imagination help Little Bear to be less afraid of the loud “Thunder Monster.” This collection was previously released on VHS as Little Goblin Bear, but this DVD edition includes eight bonus stories. With no discernable buzz and not a hint of edge, this charming Nickelodeon series based on the Else Holmelund Minarik-Maurice Sendak books continues to strike a resonant chord with children who take comfort in Little Bear’s close-knit relationships with family and friends. Donald Liebenson, Barnes & Noble
    (from Chanel….The plots are absolutely sweet and without any real “drama;” it’s interesting how they convey a world of such beautiful thoughtfulness, imagination, and cooperation without ever focusing directly (heavy-handedly) on those qualities. The music is beautiful too. )

    MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO
    While their mother recovers from an illness, Satsuki and her little sister Mei (voiced in English by Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning) get away from it all in an idyllic rural retreat. Far from the bustle of the city, they discover a mysterious place of spirits and magic, and the friendship of the Totoro woodland creatures. Conceived as a family film devoid of conflict and suffused with the carefree pleasures of the summertime, My Neighbour Totoro sees Hayao Miyazaki create a parable of friendship and imagination populated with unforgettable characters. A universal classic for all generations, showing Japanese animation`s famous Studio Ghibli at its very best, and is an elegy to two ever-fading miracles: the fairytale world of childhood and the disappearing countryside. (description from Amazon)

    KIPPER VIDEOS
    Featuring the most adorable dog on the small screen, Kipper is based on the best-selling books written and illustrated by Mick Inkpen. Optimistic and curious, Kipper is the quintessential child with an overactive imagination, loveable antics and unforgettable charm. Gentle humour, laughter and warmth fill each adventure of the affable hound and his animal friends; Tiger, Jake, Pig and Arnold,as they find themselves in one hilarious escapade after another.
    (Chanel said …Kipper is very mellow. No loud music or fast action or frenetic pace like some other kid videos. The music is actually really nice – mellow jazzy music. The animation is very soft and not visually overwhelming. It is just very pleasant. And my son loves Kipper and the
    other characters. They have adventures that are fun and sweet. They treat each other kindly. There is one character that is sometimes selfish or boastful and it always plays out well in the end. Language is always appropriate for little ones)

    DANNY AND THE DINOSAUR
    These monster stories just want to have a little fun! DANNY AND THE DINOSAUR (By Syd Hoff) When Danny visits the museum, he thinks it would be nice to play with a dinosaur. Well, the dinosaur is as eager to play with Danny, and they spend a whole day together. THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG (By Steven Kellogg, Narrated by Anthony Edwards, with Diana Canova, Steven Kellogg and Mary Beth Hurt) A band of mice and their leader set sail to an island inhabited by a hostile Skog with gigantic feet. But when the two parties finally meet face to face, they find they have a lot in common. THE BEAST OF MONSIEUR RACINE (By Tomi Ungerer) Monsieur Racine lays a trap and catches a marauder, a strange but harmless-looking beast, who has been stealing his prize pears. What happens when Monsieur Racine presents his catch to the Academy of Science throws Paris into an uproar.
    (descript from Amazon)

    WHY MOSQUITOES BUZZ IN PEOPL’S EARS..AND MORE STORIES FROM AFRICA (SCHOLASTIC VIDEO COLLEVTION)
    Adapted from the Caldecott Honor Book By Verna Aardema, Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, Narrated by James Earl Jones. A tall tale sets off a chain of mishaps in the jungle. Will the jungle creatures ever get the story straight? A STORY, A STORY Adapted from the Caldecott Honor Book By Gail E. Haley. Once, all the stories in the world belonged to Nyanme, the Sky God. He kept them in a box beside his throne. But Ananse, the Spider Man, wanted them — and caught three sly creatures to get them. WHO’S IN RABBIT’S HOUSE? By Verna Aardema, Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, Narrated by James Earl Jones. Rabbit has a problem — someone is inside her house and won’t let her in. Can the leopard, rhino or elephant help Rabbit get in her house? (desc from Amazon)

    MR ROGER’S NEIGHBOURHOOD
    Mister Rogers visits a restaurant and is invited to talk with the chef. When Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl have trouble cooperating, Lady Aberlin helps them work things out and realize that even good friends can get upset with each other once in awhile. LOVE: Mister Rogers hears a lullaby performed on a mandolin at the Neighborhood Music Store. Lady Aberlin sees King Friday and Queen Sara have an argument and learns that people who love each other can also have angry feelings sometimes. Includes an Exclusive Care-Giving Tips Booklet and comes packaged in a reproduction of Mr. Rogers’ famous red sweater. (descr from Amazon)
    (comments from Chanel.. Anyone who has seen his show can attest to its respect for children’s sense of time. No quick transitions. Very soothing and, I feel, beneficial television. …He just really meets children where they are & answers their questions, asked & unasked. Just
    had a thought–he’s quite a role model of empathy for parents/adults.

    THE SNOWMAN by Raymond Briggs
    This charming British animated short film (it’s just 23 minutes long) is a 1982 production of London’s Channel 4, based on the classic children’s book by Raymond Briggs and crafted with a colored-pencils-on-paper look, like fluffy, hand-drawn illustrations. Small children should be entranced by the story of a small boy in rural England whose lovingly constructed snowman comes to life and takes him flying over the white-blanketed landscapes, in a beautiful rotoscoped (traced) sequence based on live-action flying footage. Part of the charm of the film is the gentle, everyday quality of its fantasy adventures: the snowman is invited in to try on clothes and play with the Christmas decorations, then plays host to the boy at a party in the woods, at which his snowy relatives do English country dances. This is one of the very few Christmas tapes on the market that really deserves to be a holiday perennial, a gentle fable of friendship and the power of imagination. –David Chute(desc from Amazon)
    (Comments from Chanel… A snowman comes to life & takes the boy who built him on a journey to the north pole. Santa’s makes an appearance, but it is not about him. Wonderful music. Very few words. Enchanting.)

    Others recommended Big bird in China

    i have just posted this line on that site to get other parent’s opinions. there are over 900 members so they may have other recommendations, feedback. i will let you know if i hear anything more
    sara

    • Awesome suggestions. I forgot to say that we have, already, seen a bunch of the Caldecott and Newbury winning books as movies. We’ve seen Where the Wild Things Are and the Nutshell Library as videos, and The Snowman, which is AWESOME, and A Story A Story with Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, and a bunch of other 1970s book adaptations. Thanks for the Little Bear suggestion, since we love that book, too.
      thanks for the info that there is a yahoo group about nonviolent goodness, too. That’s awesome to know. Thanks!

  7. Ok, I was thinking about this post the last few days. You see I watched Wall*e again and again and I think you should have a look. I know. I know. It’s the evil corperation. But I think you might like it and you can judge to see if Peanut would like it.
    My reasons as follows:
    1. Pro-enviroment and stewardship
    2. Anit-corpiration (so much so I couln’t believe Disney made it)
    3. Pro-physically fit
    4. Anti video games and cell phones
    5. Breaks gender stereotypes

    Now you may not like it because Eve has to learn to ask questions THEN shoot and there is a potentially scary part, which is why I think YOU should watch it and not take my advice. But it may apeal to you. So give it a try.

  8. Pingback: Pleasant toddler movies: update « Writing at Naptime

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