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What to know: Enjoyable animation about dreaming, teamwork and reaching your goals.
Recommended age 5-10
25 minutes
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I found this animated short quite enjoyable because it's a story about dreaming, teamwork and reaching your goals. Also, it has a happy ending. It makes playful reference to Noah's Ark, hinting that the animals are going to have fun there. The animals are not shown in pairs such as they are in Noah's Ark, so it's not accurate in that sense. It is well produced with cool visual images of glowing crystals which Screech discovers in the cave. The bright colors hold the viewers' attention. The music is quite enjoyable. There is good harmonizing of voices and cute rhyming in the songs. They show healthy fruit snacks which look quite appetizing. The animation is well executed with good movement of the animals and their mouths are synched to their dialogue. The voices vary in speed and clarity, making some characters seem smarter and some, less so. Screech turns out to be a hero, since his glowing crystals help light up the carnival at night. The carnival games that the characters invent look like fun, with lots of up and down motion involved. It flows well, makes sense and is very watchable. The vocabulary and concepts are very age appropriate. I enjoyed the professor-type character, who wears eyeglasses that make him appear smarter than the other characters. I smiled a lot during the funny, slapstick comedy scenes when the characters are busy building the carnival. It is comforting to hear from the characters that "God is always watching over us." The repetitive song about thanking God sounds a bit corny at first, but the repetition eventually becomes rather catchy and grew on me. If kids viewing this film do not have a religious or spiritual environment, they might not enjoy this film. I believe the film appeals to kids of almost any religion. The message is about the value of sharing responsibility among community members. It shows the virtues of hard work and cooperating with others. Characters encourage each other to invent things and try new activities. One character, Shadow shows good sensitivity regarding why Screech does not want to participate in building rides or game booths for the carnival. Dreamer accurately demonstrates the power of dreaming to achieve something special in our lives. The film's message of inclusiveness is quite strong. My favorite part is when Shadow goes searching for Screech, to ask him why he didn't want to participate in the carnival planning. It gives Screech a chance to express his feelings of being less talented than the other characters. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
In the series opener, the Noah's Park friends create a Carny-val to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Noah's Park. It's quite an undertaking for Honk the camel and Dreamer the rhinoceros as the animals want their Carny-val to include a carousel and a rollie-coaster, which they have learned about from one of Dreamer's more outlandish dreams.
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