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What to know: Entertaining and information science lessons for grade school kids.
Recommended age 5-11
90 minutes
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THOMAS EDISON Click to play video trailer
I just love the animated series, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting. I found myself smiling, giggling and bouncing in my seat. I actually never left the couch because science is my favorite school subject and I didn't want to miss a thing! I really like all eight fun-filled episodes that are about solving interesting scientific problems. I like the different animated characters, story line and upbeat music that make science come to life! I also absolutely love that we meet many very important scientists like Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur and others that help the world be a better place.

Guided by a virtual Thomas Edison, each episode is packed with fascinating scientific information and vocabulary that entertain and inspire the young scientist in each of us! The Lab Team Angie, JD, Kent and Nicky jump into virtual worlds in each episode through a machine called, ALVA where they seek the advice of many important and famous scientists to solve scientific problems. The robot Von Bolt is a nice addition to the team and funny as he tries to attract a girl robot in one of the episodes. At the end of each episode a robot group, the Von Bytes, perform happy, upbeat, catchy, fun songs with pop up scientific vocabulary words used in that episode.

Elements, enzymes, fossils, fertilizers, cloning, animal behavior and even body odor are just some of the fun scientific topics we learn about in this animated series.

While there are many super fun episodes, my favorite is Dunkin' Zombies because the character JD turns into a funny green donut craving zombie after he gets infected by a virus. There are several hilarious scenes in this episode alone like zombies not liking gluten-free donuts and craving donuts instead of brains. By the end of this episode we learn how viruses spread and also how they can be cured by a vaccine. Through challenge and perseverance the lab friends with the help of Thomas Edison and Louis Pasteur defeat the virus.

The only downside to this series are first, some viewers may find the animation kind of square and simple when compared to other more sophisticated animated shows. The other downside is that it would be better for the kid voice-over roles to be actual kids so that young viewers can better connect to the kid characters. At the same time, the kid characters are quirky and you can't help but love them.

This film teaches viewers that science is not only important but fun. All the different episodes spark the imagination and, if you are not someone who likes science, you may just be by the end of this series, or at least you will have a better understanding of the world of science. Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting is a great educational series and an entertaining way to introduce kids to many different scientific topics. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.

Our tour guide today is Thomas Edison. What a great person to learn science with. This movie is educational and cute. It is a fun way to learn many science facts that can normally be boring.

There are many quirky characters to guide you through each episode. I like that each one is different with a unique story line. Thomas Edison listens to the problem at hand and then guides the junior scientist to an expert from the past to help them solve problems. We see Zombies who eat donuts. Learn what happens when a robot is too smart and you have no chemistry. And, how to determine if you a real fossil. All your problems are solved with science. This DVD contains eight episodes.

One of my favorite is Zero Chemistry. It is hilarious. No matter what Von Bolt, the ever helpful robot, does he cannot make another robot like him. Now I know what makes people like each other or at least one of the many reasons some people are attracted to other people.

The animation is pretty old style. I know that a lot of work went into making this film but, it is somewhat hard to watch because the graphics don't compare with those of today that are so amazing. It is definitely not as advanced as the newer cartoons we typically see today. I think that with better graphics it might reach a larger audience.

The voiceovers are somewhat hit and miss. Some of them are simply annoying. It sounds as if adults are doing the children's voices. Many sound too high pitched to be actual kids.

I do love the concept of learning science through watching an animated show. It makes it interesting and fun. Having a visual aid is a big help to remember facts. I can visualize the cartoon and remember the answers to questions and the scientist who studied a specific problem. This video makes learning science easier.

The videos are all followed by a music video which is easy to remember and to sing-a-along to. Scientific words pop up during the video so you can see the spelling and have another resource to help you remember.

I give this DVD four out of five stars and I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 14. The cartoons will keep younger ones interested. The learning of science and big words will keep older ones paying attention because they will learn a lot and remember what they learned, thanks to the animations. Since it is split up into eight separate episodes you can watch one or all of them at once.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This is a very entertaining and informative way to give science lessons to young people ages 5 to 12. Thomas Edison, inventor appears as an alter ego and teaches his young potential scientists. The team includes, Angie, her brother JD, friend Rex and robot Volt Bolt. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of scientific discoveries. One episode I found very interesting was "If Fossil Fits." It gives a very good explanation of what are fossils and how they are created. Rex finds what he thinks to be a fossil of a new dinosaur. After a virtual trip back to prehistoric time, the young scientists learn that Rex's discovery is not a new dinosaur. They learn how the earth creates a fossil and make their own versions of fossils.

The entire show Lab is enjoyable and even I learned some scientific facts that I did not know. I like the way Thomas Edison appears to encourage and motivate his young prot�g�s. For example, in the "Dunkin Zombies" episode, when the young people are squabbling about how to save JD for his zombie addition to donuts, Edison reminds them "Finding solutions not pointing fingers" is the key.

I recommend this DVD to ages 5 to 12 and think adults will enjoy it as well. The film meets the baseline KIDS FIRST! criteria and is very enjoyable and entertaining. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! juror.

Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison had a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a nearly-completed robot to guide and inspire future generation of young scientists.

The secret lab, Edison's virtual alter ego, and his prototype robot remained hidden until a 12-year-old prodigy cracked the secret coded message that Edison left behind.� This young genius named Angie and her science club friends move into the lab and the fun begins!� Each episode covers fun scientific topics from dinosaur fossils to minerals to gravity and so much more!� Join Angie, JD, Kent and Nicky as they work with the robot, Von Bolt, and Thomas Edison's virtual alter ego in this wacky world of scientific discovery!�

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