Meet Joe and his best friend Jack, who happens to be a cat. When these two are together their imaginations run wild! A bunch of sticks are transformed into a top secret spy headquarters, a cardboard box becomes a space rocket and their garden becomes a jungle.
When I received this to review I had never heard of 'Joe and Jack' but my sons name is Jack and his Opa is Joe - I knew the kids would think it was great! The picture on the outside of the DVD reminds me of 'Where the Wild Things are' book - not sure if this is a coincidence or not.
When we played it I was surprised at the graphics being a little old fashioned and similar to TV shows I watched as a child. The graphics are like story book pictures that are animated. My 5 year old sat down and was drawn to it and watched the whole thing through. Each episode is quiet short, the running time of the DVD is 91 minutes and there is 12 episodes. My son happily sang along to the theme song which I will admit is very catchy - I even found myself humming along seeing as it plays so much!
I really liked the themes of the stories, there was a lot of imagination going on in each story and most shows lack real imagination and the ability to demonstrate how to use it. This is fantastic and I could see my son really thinking about the contexts that popped up. He learnt what a moat was and other cool little facts. I like that Joe and Jack play outside a lot, this just reinforces the normality of outdoor play in my opinion and is great to see as both my children love being outside.
It's a very stereotypical depiction of a family, there is a mum and dad and the dad is going off to work or doing jobs in the outdoors, while the mum seems to be looking after the children/doing domestic work. I found that in itself a little conservative and it made me screw my nose up a bit but it is a preschool DVD so I'm not sure of the alternative - (we are a very standard family with a mum, dad and two children! So was very 'normal' for my sons but I despise stereotyping families in this modern world)
However my 3 year old has not once sat down and watched this when it has been on, so it's a downside for me that only one of the boys likes it. I think it was a little 'slow' and not highly animated for his taste. The graphics are well contrasted in colour and it is vibrant just not in the way other cartoons such as Chuggington and Fireman Sam are.
Overall I really like this and it's great my 5 year old does but I don't think I would go out and buy any others in the servers because of the dis-interest of Mr 3. If you are looking for safe fun cartoons for your little one I would definitely look at this as Joe the boy and Jack the cat are pretty cute!
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