“Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry, Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry, Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry Shortcake I know a girl And there is no one sweeter She’s got that special touch Best friend in the world And when you get to meet her You’ll love her berry much She’s doin’ fine Growin’ better all the time She’s cool She’s fun She’ll lead the way Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry Shortcake That girl’s so sweet Just like her name Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry, Strawberry Shortcake She’s so ve-ve-very extraordi-di-nary She’s Strawberry Shortcake That girl’s so sweet Just like her name Straw-ba-ba-berry, Strawberry Shortcake. Cha Cha On!”
If you have young daughters or grandkids, then odds are pretty good that you’ve seen this hipper and more modern incarnation of Strawberry Shortcake which airs on the cable network, The Hub. A far cry from the frumpy Strawberry Shortcake of my youth, this series is entertaining for both parents and kids alike.
While it is not a series we tend to watch on a regular basis, whenever my girls (Claire aged 3 and Emily almost 6) happen to catch an episode, they always enjoy it. I know I’ve seen a book or two based on the series floating around our house as well. I picked up the DVD of Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Friends Forever on its release day and due to some other activities, we were unable to sit down and watch it until tonight (Thursday). Each night, despite it being bedtime (or maybe because it was) Emily would beg and plead to watch it and seeing TV commercials for the DVD on TV brought huge smiles to her face. (And more pleading)
Going into our viewing of Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Friends Forever, my girls thought they were about to watch an 89 minute Strawberry Shortcake film, but instead what we got was a collection of 4 episodes from the first season of the animated series.
Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, I mention it only because we were all a bit surprised, as even the television ads made it look like it was going to be a feature film. My girls had only previously seen one of the four episodes included in this collection.
The DVD contains the following episodes:
“Manners Meltdown” – Season One, Episode 16
When Princess Berrykin decides to bring back the old tradition of the Berry Derby and it’s up to Strawberry and her friends to throw the Berry Derby party. Blueberry spends so much time worrying about everyone else’s manners that she forgets to use her own good manners.
“Good Citizens Club” – Season One, Episode 24
Lesson: What it means to be a good citizen
The Ladybugs (Sadiebug and Kadiebug) create a new club and invite Strawberry and her friends to join. S & K only create the club to be popular and be leaders, they have no idea what it really means to be a good citizen. When Plum’s Good Citizens Club pin gets lost in the mail, S & K use the opportunity to take advantage of Plum and trick her into doing a number of their chores as her ‘test’ to earn her pin. After all, Good Citizens are ‘happy to serve others’.
“Team For Two” – Season One, Episode 25
When Strawberry asks Lemon and Raspberry to give the Berrykin Day Care Center for the Baby Berrykins a makeover, at first they refuse. They explain to Strawberry that they just don’t work well together due to ‘creative differences’, and will only get on each other’s nerves. They reluctantly agree, but after a good deal of arguing and a lot of wasted time, they realize that they really do work well together and must rush to get the job done in time for Princess Berrykin’s deadline.
“The Berry Best You Can Bee” – Season One, Episode 07
Lesson : Doing your best and never giving up
When the postal worker gets sick, Strawberry Shortcake volunteers to go to Acorn Acres to deliver a very special birthday package for Clem Cricket. She’s deputized by the Post Master as an official postal carrier of the Berry Bitty City post office. While on her way out of town she gets delayed by her Lemon who needs her help with a hair-mergency. A storm has caused a tree to fall and block the road to Acorn Acres, forcing Strawberry and Pupcake to abandon her scooter and travel on foot. Along the way, they encounter a number of obstacles and people who need her help. When she sees the bridge is out, she’s forced to turn back toward home, will she be able to deliver the package on time?
What’s Included on the DVD:
- 4 episodes of the series (89 min)
- “Manners Meltdown”
- “Good Citizens Club”
- “Team For Two”
- “The Berry Best You Can Bee”
- Widescreen 1.78:1
- Audio: English DD 2.0 Surround, Spanish DD 2.0
- English, Spanish subtitles
- Never Say Never music video
- Printable Coloring Pages
As a parent, one thing that I really like about the Strawberry Shortcake series is that even the ‘mean’ characters aren’t overly rude or disrespectful and each episode tries to teach children a meaningful lesson while entertaining them.
My girls sat captivated watching the show, only taking their eyes off the screen to get up and dance during the theme song or what I’ll call the ‘lesson song’ which comes near the end of each episode and really helps reinforce the episode’s lesson. After all four episodes were over, Emily’s reaction was “Awwwww I wanna watch another one!”. So yes, she enjoyed it!
The picture quality looked crystal clear and the audio , while only a DD 2.0 track sounded great. To be honest anything more would probably be overkill. The dialog was easy to understand and the songs were no less dance-worthy.
The extras were a little lacking. That being said, the girls really enjoyed the included music video. They both love arts and crafts so I’ve printed out (2 copies of) each of the five printable coloring for later use. One extra I would have loved to see is a ‘fake’ outtakes reel. Those always get lots of giggles in our house.
Overall, the whole family enjoyed the episodes of Strawberry Shortcake included on the Berry Friends Forever. Hopefully we’ll see an original feature film based on the series in the future, but until then this DVD is a nice way to take some episodes of the show with you to entertain and educate your kids in the house, in the car, or away from home.