We were recently sent the new Fireman Sam Helicopter Heroes DVD to review and try out on Elliott.
Now this may be surprising but Elliott hasn’t watched the new version of Fireman Sam – he loves fireman, he loves the old “Postman Pat” style of Fireman Sam but he hasnt had an opportunity to see the new computer version of the Welsh hero.
It is hard to review this from Elliott’s perspective in a way because he isn’t at a point that I can ask him what his thoughts were etc so I will put my thoughts on the actual content and also Elliott’s reaction to the DVD…..in fact I have a video that I recorded to demonstrate.
Here are my thoughts. First of all I personally prefer the “old school” way of making the show – but then I guess it’s probably just because watching such animation reminds me of my childhood. The first thing I noticed was that Pontipandy had moved from the Valleys to the seaside and Fireman Sam is no longer a comfy looking inventor but a tall butch Welsh man with a deep voice – even Station Officer Steel seems to have had a trim and been on a diet! Dylis has lost her curlers and her little corner shop seems to have dramatically changed over the years into a mini supermarket!
Some of the many changes do make sense, for example the move to the seaside obviously opens up the possibility for emergencies at sea, but some others I’m not too sure about. Why does Sam need to be more Buzz lightyear in his appearance why can’t he be “ordinary” with his comfy jumpers and inventing shed? I grew up surrounded by fireman – lucky girl – as my dad worked closely with the fire service and I can guarantee none of them would have ended up on a calendar but they were all heroes for putting their lives on the line.
As an educational aid you do have to question the communities over use of the fire service but as they seem to have no police force or ambulance service I guess they don’t have a lot of choice. When the residents get lost in the valleys it is the fire service that respond to the alarm rather than the boys in blue. I’m also not sure how many fire services have their own helicopters but in saying that if its good enough for Postman Pat these days then its good enough for Fireman Sam!
Anyone with a 2+ year old boy will back me up when I say that helicopters are cool – you could slap a helicopter in the middle of Take The Highroad (wow that’s going back a bit!) and all of a sudden 2-year-old boys all over the country would be glued to the screen!
I personally found some of the voices really annoying, James in particular needs to possibly see a dr but really does any of this really matter? As a child I drove my mother up the wall by insisting that she read Noddy to me every night, which she hated, it didn’t take anything away from the fact that I loved Noddy and Elliott certainly loved this DVD happily chatting about what he was watching.
He was very engaged and happily watched every episode requesting more as the credits rolled – he went off to school, came home and asked to see it again – really what more could you want. It has everything a little boy wants, animation, helicopters, fireman, simple plotlines and adventure.
The DVD isnt very long, which to me is a good thing because I don’t want Elliott sitting watching endless numbers of episodes of a TV show and after 50 minutes of Sam this offers an end point where you can turn it off and move onto something else without restricting how much of the DVD the child can watch
I would say this is a must have for any little Fireman Sam fan and Elliott certainly enjoyed it as much as the previous versions of the show.