Series / Kidsongs
is an American children's media franchise which includes Kidsongs Music Video Stories on DVD and video, The Kidsongs TV Show, CDs of favorite children’s songs, song books, sheet music, toys and an ecommerce website. Kidsongs was created by producer/writer Carol Rosenstein and director Bruce Gowers of Together Again Video Productions (TAVP), both of whom are music video and television production veterans. The duo had produced and directed over 100 music videos for Warner Brothers Records (WBR) and took their idea of music videos for children to the record label. Warner Brothers funded the first video, “A Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm”. Shortly thereafter, a three way partnership between TAVP, WBR and View-Master Video was formed with TAVP being responsible for production and WBR and View-Master responsible for distribution to video and music stores, and toy stores respectively.
The home video series was launched with four Kidsongs Music Video Stories episodes at New York's Toy Fair in January 1, 1985. "A Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm” was one of those first four and has sold over 4 million copies and won the Vira Award. Each half-hour Music Video Stories episode features 10 to 15 songs, in a music video style production starring talented kids. They sing and dance their way through well known children's songs, nursery rhymes, and covers of pop hits from the 50's, the 60's and the 70's—all tied together by a simple story and theme.
The TAVP/WBR/View-Master Video (Viewmaster was acquired by Tyco in 1992-1994) partnership produced fifteen Kidsongs episodes of the Music Video Stories. In 1995, WBR and TAVP bought out Tyco's distribution rights and produced an additional 3 View-Master videos: "Country Sing-Along", "Billy Biggle's Favorite Songs", and "Boppin' with the Biggles" and 2 Kid Vision
videos: "Let's Put on a Show" and "Baby Animal Songs", as part of a new venture with another division of Warner Bros.—Warner Vision. In 1997, TAVP acquired all rights from WBR/Warner Vision and become the sole owner of all Kidsongs properties.
Later in 1997, TAVP entered into a distribution/production agreement with Sony Wonder which resulted in the production of four more titles: "I Can Dance!", "I Can Do It!", "Adventures in Biggleland: Billy's Birthday" and "Adventures in Biggleland: Meet the Biggles". That agreement ended in 1998 and in 2002 distribution rights were licensed by Image Entertainment who continues to distribute the videos.
From 1985 to 1998, 25 Kidsongs home video episodes encompassing 300 children's songs, nursery rhymes, and cover versions of adults' pop songs were produced featuring a variety of subjects that are of interest to kids: animals, birthdays, the zoo, the amusement park, camp adventure, fantasy, vehicles and general silliness. 14 have been certified platinum by the RIAA, with 5 of them having sold more than 2 million copies. As of now, the videos have sold over 19.5 million copies.
The following is a list of Kidsongs music video titles available on VHS:
- A Day at Old MacDonald's Farm (A Day at Series Video) (1985)
- I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (1986)
- Good Night, Sleep Tight (1986)
- Cars, Boats, Trains and Planes (1986)
- Sing Out, America! (1986) (Retitled "Home on the Range" in 1990 and later "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in 2002)
- A Day with the Animals (A Day at Series Video) (1986)
- What I Want to Be! (1986)
- The Wonderful World of Sports (1987) (Retitled "Let's Play Ball" in 1990)
- A Day at the Circus (A Day at Series Video) (1987)
- A Day at Camp (A Day at Series Video) (1989)
- Ride the Roller Coaster (1990)
- Very Silly Songs (1990)
- A Day of Fun (A Day at Series Video) (1991) (VHS Release Only)
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas (1992)
- Play Along Songs (1993)
- If We Could Talk to the Animals (1993)
- Country Sing-Along (I Can Series Video) (1994) (Retitled "I Can Go to the Country!" from 1997-1998)
- Billy Biggle's Favorite Songs (1994) (Retitled "My Favorite Songs" in 2003)
- Boppin' with the Biggles (I Can Series Video) (1994) (Retitled "I Can Bop with the Biggles!" from 1997-1998)
- Let's Put on a Show (I Can Series Video) (1995) (Retitled "I Can Put on a Show!" from 1997-1998)
- Baby Animal Songs (I Can Series Video) (1995) (Retitled "I Can Sing Baby Animal Songs!" from 1997-1998)
- I Can Dance! (I Can Series Video) (1997)
- I Can Do It! (I Can Series Video) (1997)
- Adventures in Biggleland: Billy's Birthday (1998)
- Adventures in Biggleland: Meet the Biggles (1998)
This franchise provides examples of:The Music Video Series
The TV Series
- An Aesop: Shows up every once in a while, notably in "A Day With The Animals" and "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing".
- As Himself: It's safe to say that all the kids played themselves, but the most notable one is Chris Finch.
- Downplayed in "Good Night, Sleep Tight" and "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" where some of the kids are given character names.
- "A Day at Old McDonald's Farm" may have at least one—the girl referred to as Mary may not in fact be named Mary. Not sure?
- Bowdlerise: Some of the more adult-oriented pop songs covered by the kids had to be slightly rewritten to be more family friendly.
- "Achy Breaky Heart": "You can burn my clothes when I'm gone" gets changed to "You can just forget me when I’m gone"; "He might blow up and kill this man" gets changed to "I might break down and cry today"; "You can tell your dog to bite my leg" gets changed to "You can tell your dog I'm gone for good"; "Or tell your brother Cliff whose fist can can tell my lip" gets changed to "Or you can tell your brother Cliff I've given him the slip".
- "At The Hop": "You can slop and you can stroll it" gets changed to "Do the stomp and even stroll it"; "Where the jockey is the smoothest" gets changed to "Where the jumpin' is the smoothest".
- "C'Mon And Swim": "Bobby's gonna show you how to do the swim" gets changed to "We gonna show you how to do the swim"; "Pretend you're in the water and you go like this" gets changed to "When you’re in the water, you go like this"; "Just like the dog but not so low" gets changed to "Kinda like the dog, but not so low"; "C'mon baby now, and swim like a fish" gets changed to "When you’re in the water, you swim like a fish"; "A do the swim baby, now work it on out" gets changed to "Do the swim now, just work it on out". In addition, the first chorus and second verse are switched around, and the last few verses are removed.
- Not a pop song, but in "Cars, Boats, Trains and Planes" the lyrics to the "U.S. Air Force" song were heavily edited. For example, the line "Off with one helluva roar" became "Off with one mighty roar."
- Costume Porn: Some of the costumes are quite appealing, even for a kids' series.
- Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: The song "The Thing" is about this.
- Edutainment Show
- Food Porn: Invoked by the "Fast Food" song from "Ride The Roller Coaster".
- Scenery Porn: Manages to slip in occasionally, especially in the older videos.
- "Cars, Boats, Trains, and Planes": The carousel is breathtaking to look at, as are the many hot air balloons, most likely due to the beautiful lighting and editing effects.
- "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" boasts marvelous, if not entirely realistic, Christmas scenery, but one standout has to be the fantasy shots in "If I Had A Pony For Christmas".