Evan's Favorite Shows
Fall 2002

With me and you and my dog Blue we can do anything that we want to do!

Evan has been an avid Blue's Clues fan since he was able to stare at the TV instead of the ceiling. The creators recently replaced the main character, Steve (pictured above), with a new guy named Joe (Steve went to college). Evan doesn't like Joe. so he only watches the old episodes.

Blue's Clues is a breakthrough play-along show. Viewers "step inside" the bright, fanciful world where the host, Steve, lives with his animated puppy, Blue. The audience actively participates in Steve's and Blue's daily routines and helps solve everyday problems all within a context of entertaining games and activities. Blue's Clues employs a think-along, play-along format to encourage flexible thinking. Skills in language use, listening, motor control, and perception are called upon in each episode, providing preschoolers with opportunities to enhance their feelings of mastery and self esteem.

Way up high in the rolie polie sky is a little round planet with a really nice guy....

Rolie Polie Olie has been one of Evan's favorite shows almost as long as Blue's Clues. Rolie Polie Olie tells the story of Olie, a six-year-old robot boy who lives on planet Polie, and his mom, dad, little sister Zowie and best friend Billy (who comes from planet Cubie). Kids see how the family members learn to work together, share and help one another. It has a definite 50's sitcom feel. Great fun for the whole family!

Bob the Builder
Can we fix it?
Bob the Builder
Yes we can!

Welcome to the world of Bob the Builder! With their chorus of "Can we fix it?" "Yes, we can!" Bob and his crew of talking machines teach the value of friendship, problem solving and cooperation. Any show with construction equipment gets the thumbs up from Evan.

What's that smell?
Oh, it's you!

In Bear in the Big Blue House, the lovable seven-foot Bear invites the audience into his home to play, learn and sing with his muppet friends. The curriculum incorporates a range of child development strategies with an emphasis on Emotional Growth and Cognitive Development.
  • Social and Emotional Development - The characters live in a community and have to resolve many dilemmas. They also learn how to reflect on their own behavior and that of others.
  • Cognitive Development - Facts and information about the world of the characters are revealed in each show.
  • Thinking Skills - At the end of each episode, the interaction between Bear and Luna gives a chance to reflect on the day and explain what happened and to show how the characters made their decisions.
  • Ethical Development - As the "adult" in the house, Bear often offers an ethical or moral dimension to the experiences of the household.

I dig dirt! I dig dirt!
Yes I do! Yes I do!
Scoop it in a shovel,
Dump it in a pile,
Pick up more! Pick up more!

I Dig Dirt is a 30 minute video that takes us to the Black Thunder Coal Mine in Wyoming to see some of the largest earth moving equipment in the world. We see 240-ton capacity dump trucks the size of a two-story house, a giant shovel that fills the dump trucks, and Ursa Major (the big dipper). Ursa Major, pictured below, is the third largest dragline in the world. The boom on Ursa Major is longer than a football field; the bucket holds 240 tons of dirt. The red circle in the picture shows the room (with floor-to-ceiling windows) where the operator sits.

I wonder where all our food comes from....

Farm Country Ahead is a 30 minute video that shows us how fields are plowed, crops are harvested, cows are fed and milked, and my personal favorite, how the cow waste is spread on the fields to start the whole process anew. It also shows us how bread, peanut butter, potato chips and apple cider are made. Evan likes to watch all the farm equipment in action.

Power Rangers Wild Force is a 30 minute Saturday morning live-action show in the grand tradition of Japanese action/fantasy. Each show features ridiculous characters, a trite plot and horrible acting. There is no educational value whatsoever. But they occasionally feature motorcycles and a giant wheel-monster, so Evan has taken an interest.

Monsters, Inc. is a full-length computer-animated motion picture. Evan has seen it countless times, requesting it daily until he discovered Toy Story.

The folks at Pixar can do no wrong with Monsters, Inc., the studio's fourth feature film, which stretches the computer animation format in terms of both technical complexity and emotional impact. The giant, blue-furred James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (wonderfully voiced by John Goodman) is a scare-monster extraordinaire in the hidden world of Monstropolis, where the scaring of kids is an imperative in order to keep the entire city running. Beyond the competition to be the best at the business, Sullivan and his assistant, the one-eyed Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl dubbed "Boo," who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley one night. Director Pete Doctor and codirectors David Silverman and Lee Unkrich follow the Pixar (Toy Story) blueprint with an imaginative scenario, fun characters, and ace comic timing. By the last heart-tugging shot, kids may never look at monsters the same, nor artists at what computer animation can do in the hands of magicians.

Toy Story is a full-length computer-animated motion picture. Evan has seen it countless times and as of this writing continues to request it daily. Luckily for the adults it's great entertainment for children of all ages, and is easily tuned out. Evan has also seen Toy Story 2 a few times, but he prefers the original.

Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Andy's favorite bedroom toy, tries to calm the other toys (some original, some classic) during a wrenching time of year--the birthday party, when newer toys may replace them. Sure enough, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the new toy that takes over the throne. Buzz has a crucial flaw, though--he believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, not a toy. Bright and cheerful, Toy Story is much more than a 90-minute commercial for the inevitable bonanza of Woody and Buzz toys. Lasseter further scores with perfect voice casting, including Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn as a meek dinosaur. The director-animator won a special Oscar for "the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film."