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Although there are quite a few Handy Manny dvds available now, this dvd was the first to be released.
Handy Manny is an animated children's tv program, aimed at pre school and early school children, which is currently on the Disney Junior tv channel, almost daily. Disney Junior was orginally Playhouse Disney so don't be confused by playhouse disney appearing on the box.
Handy Manny is a hispanic handyman, who spends his days in the town of Sheetrock Hills, fixing things and doing odd jobs for friends, family and the towns people. All with the help of his talking tools. Manny owns a repair shop. Throughout later episodes Handy Manny gains some extra tools, but the main tools and the ones featured in this dvd are as follows,
Turner- a flat head screwdriver
Pat- a clumsy hammer
Rusty- a monkey wrench who is scared of everything
Stretch- a tape measure
Dusty- a hand saw
Felipe- Phillips head screwdriver
and there robot dog called Fix It
All episodes also feature the following characters
Mr Lopart- a candy store owner who owns the store next to Manny. Mr Lopart is always getting himself into trouble especially when it comes to DIY and he never accepts Manny's help.
Kelly- Owns a hardware store used by Manny and the tools, and she always has everything they need no matter how obscure.
Each episode also features a few songs, including Hop Up Jump In, which is the song they sing every time they head out to do a job.
Handy Manny is voiced by Wilmer Valderrama, who some parents my recognize as That 70s show's Fez, well recognize the voice anyway.
Handy Manny teaches you and your child a little Spanish, and shows some cultural diversity. There are spanish words spoken throughout but and english explanation is always given.
The dvd features 5 Handy Manny episodes, which all have a pet/animal theme.
1- Squeeze Makes A Promise
In this episode Manny and the tools are called to Mrs Portillo's house to fix a broken table leg. While there Squeeze takes to Mrs Portillo's pet chameleon. Seeing this Mrs Portillo lets Manny and the tools look after her chameleon, but only if Squueze promises to take good care of it and remember to always keep the cage closed. But is this easier said than done?
In this episode Manny and the tools are called to Sheetrock Hills' pet store to fix a broken bunny cage. While there the tools manage to accidently let all the little bunnies out. Will Manny and the tools manage to catch all the bunnies and get the pet store back to normal before the owner returns from her errands.
In this episode, Kelly brings a kitten to Manny's store, she is looking after it for the animal shelter, and is trying to find it a home. The tools want to keep the little kitten, but after they are called out on a job they soon realise there is a more suitable home for the kitten.
In this episode a gopher is digging holes all over the town's park. Manny and the tools are called out to help. They try their best to catch the gopher and fix the mess in the park but in the most animal friendly way they can.
5- Renaldo's Pretzel Castle
In this episode Manny and the tools are called to Renaldo's pretzel stall in the park. His giant pretzel sign is falling apart, but what is causing it to fall apart? And how do they fix it?
The dvd and extras-
When you first enter the dvd it comes up with a choice of language in Handy Manny style writing, these languages are, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
The dvd running time is 58 minutes, and has a U rating. Subtitles are also available in the lanuages mentioned above. The dvd comes with Disney fast play, as most disney dvds do these days, but for those of you who don't know, the dvd will automatically play through the trailers, episodes and a selection of bonus features without you having to hit a button. However if you prefer you can skip onto the disc menu, the disc menu is as follows,
The sneak peeks may sound intresting but all they are, are the trailers from the start of the dvd.
The bonus feature however are much better. One of the bonus features is a game, where you use your remote to move along various different paths to the tools help save various different animals get out of mazes. The other bonus feature is an episode of fellow Disney Junior programme Micky Mouse Clubhouse. The episode is "Daisy's pet project" which ties into the theme of the dvd perfectly.
When I bought this dvd for my son, Handy Manny was still pretty new over here in the UK, and this was the only dvd available, and it wasn't on the tv as much. However Handy Manny is on the tv daily now, so although when I first bought this dvd it was watched alot, it just sits collecting dust now. I would say however that if you don't have the Disney Junior tv channel available to you, I would highly recommend this dvd for your pre school or early school child. I paid £9.99 for this dvd when it first came out but you can pick it up much cheaper now. I think Handy Manny is a great children's programme. Its bright, colourful and eye-catching. The songs are catchy and you and your child will be singing along in no time. Each episode carries its own little message, but overall I think it really shows that its good to work hard, but to enjoy life too. I feel especially in this day and age that this is a really important message to teach our children. I also enjoy the fact that Handy Manny and co speak a little Spanish, as it introduces children to another lanuage and makes them realise that ot everyone speaks the same. The spanish isn't over used so it isn't confusing and when it is used it is always followed by an english explanation. Handy Manny actually helped me out at work the other day, with a question I was asked. I only managed to answer the question by singing one of the Handy Manny songs in my head and counting in Spanish. There is also a little bit of sarcastic humour in there that although the kids won't pick up on it, its a little added giggle for the parents. Most episodes follow the same structure, but they don't feel repetitive so its a great show for adults to watch with their children. However its also easy for your child to understand so it can give you the opportunity to get on with that pile of ironing. Overall I would highly recommend Handy Manny and this is a great first dvd.
Little Man has always favoured Disney Junior over Cbeebies , so while other parents share their world with a bloke called Justin and In the Night Garden, I have been spending more and more time with a hispanic builder who goes by the name of Manny Garcia, or Handy Manny. Manny was starting to take up a lot of room on the sky plus so when I found the Pet Roundup DVD in Asda for £5 it seemed like a wise investment.
Handy Manny is a charming young builder who lives in the town of Sheetrock Hills with his talking tools - Pat, Filipe, Turner, Rusty, Dusty, Flicker, Stretch, Squeeze and their robot dog Fix It. He spends his time doing odd jobs for his friends and neighbours, and trying to keep the tools out of trouble. As Manny is hispanic he often weaves a few Spanish words into the programme, and Flicker the torch only speaks Spanish, although an English translation is always given. This is done quite subtley unlike other language based shows like Dora. So far the language part has gone way over Little Man's head, but I'm picking a few words up!!
Pet Roundup is a collection of animal related episodes.There are five episodes on the DVD:
Squeeze Makes a Promise - When Squeeze looks after a pet chameleon, he promises to always keep the cage closed. Will he be able to keep his promise?
Pet Problem - While doing a job at the pet store the tools accidently release all the bunnies from the cage. Can they restore order before the owner returns?
Kitty Sitting - When Kelly looks after a kitten from the animal shelter the tools decide they want to keep her. But is there a more suitable home for the kitty?
Gopher Help - Gophers and taken over the park, so Manny and tools try to find the best way to restore order.
Renaldo's Pretzel Castle - Birds keep eating Renaldo's giant pretzel sign. Can Manny and the Tools find a solution before he loses all his customers?
There are also a couple of extras on the DVD. These include a maze game that you play with the remote control, and a bonus episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse -Daisy's Pet Project which fits in really well with the theme of the DVD.
I was really impressed with the DVD. It was just under an hour long so gives me time to get some jobs done without Little Man getting bored. Handy Manny is one of my favourites of all the programmes he loves. The songs are catchy and each episode has a message about responsibility without being patronising. The tools all have their own individual personalities , and I love sarcastic Turner the screwdriver, as his digs probably go over the kid's heads but entertain the parents!
Available from Amazon for £4.49 delivered, and I would recommend the DVD to all Manny Fans.