In true childrens' television tradition, In The Night Garden is often as alien to adults as it is compelling to its real target audience. But heck, do children love it. Accompanied by the gentle narration of Sir Derek Jacobi, it's billed a nursery rhyme picture book of sorts. This manifests itself in the shape of a wild mix of children and characters, who get up to a mixture of diverse and diverting activities.
And this is one of the many areas where In The Night Garden strikes gold. Not only does it have a distinctive and warm collection of characters, but it does have an educational undercurrent to it all. In short, it engages its target audience particularly well, and teaches them a little in the process.
The DVD is rounded off with special bonus footage and a parents' guide, but it's the five episodes that are set to be spun time and time again. And rightly so. Expect this to be the first DVD release of many, too, for a show with many, many years ahead of it. --Jon Foster
Features these episodes:
Makka Pakka Washes Faces
Tombliboos Waving Game
Everybody all aboard the Ninky Nonk
The Prettiest Flower
Makka Pakka's Trumpet Makes a Funny Noise.
Extras: Interactive menus, Bonus footage, Parents' guide.
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