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Baby Einstein is a series of educational direct-to-video programs created in 1997 by Julie-Aigner Clark, a former teacher and the full-time mother of two girls. The videos are meant for very small children under the age of 4 years old. The videos use classical music and puppetry to introduce babies and toddlers to various subjects such as art in Baby Van Gogh and animals in the Baby Dolittle videos. The series was a financial success and spawned into music albums, books, flash cards, toys, and other baby products. The company's videos was distributed by Artisan Entertainment until November 2001, when the company was bought outright by The Walt Disney Company. 12 years later, in October 2013, it was sold to Kids II, Inc.

Not to be confused with Little Einsteins, though created by the same company

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    List of Baby Einstein Videos 
All of the videos released under the Baby Einstein name.
  • Baby Einstein: Language Nursery (1997)
  • Baby Mozart - Music Festival (1998) note 
  • Baby Bach - Musical Adventure (1998)
  • Baby Shakespeare - World of Poetry (1999) note 
  • Baby Van Gogh - World of Colors (2000) note 
  • Baby Santa's Music Box (2000)
  • Baby Dolittle: Neighborhood Animals (2001)
  • Baby Dolittle: World Animals (2001)
  • Baby Newton - All About Shapes (2002)note 
  • Baby Beethoven - Symphony of Fun (2002) note 
  • Baby Neptune - Discovering Water (2003)note 
  • Baby Galileo - Discovering the Sky (2003)
  • Baby Einstein: Numbers Nursery (2003)
  • Baby MacDonald - A Day on the Farm (2004) note 
  • Baby Da Vinci - From Head to Toe (2004)
  • Baby Noah - Animal Expedition (2004) note 
  • Baby Monet - Discovering the Seasons (2005)
  • Baby Wordsworth: First Words - Around the House (2005) note 
  • On the Go - Riding, Sailing, and Soaring (2005)
  • Meet the Orchestra - First Instruments (2006)
  • Baby's Favorite Places: First Words - Around Town (2006)
  • Baby's First Moves (2006) note 
  • My First Signs (2007) note 
  • Discovering Shapes (2007)
  • Lullaby Time (2007)
  • Baby's First Sounds (2008)
  • World Music (2009)
  • World Animal Adventure (2009)
  • Animals Around Me (2010)
  • Wild Animal Safari (2010)
  • Baby Lullaby (2011)
  • Neptune's Oceans (2011)
  • World of Rhythm (2011)


This series provides examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Some of the puppets wear an article of clothing (shirt, hat, etc.) but never wear pants (then again, they're puppets in a baby show). Some animals don't wear any clothes. Some of the characters wear clothes in artwork but not as puppets.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Since most of the puppets are just animals, they go by names such as Duck and Tiger. Other puppets, like Bard the Dragon and Vincent Van Goat, do have their own names.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The goat puppet Vincent Van Goat from Baby Van Gogh is blue, and many other puppets throughout this specific video follow this troupe, like a pink/purple goat, a red moose, a orange rabbit, and a blue mouse.
  • And Starring: The Baby Einstein Puppets.
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    • From Baby Shakespeare to World Animals, it focuses primarily on the main puppet of the video rather than all of them.
  • Anything Can Be Music: In Meet the Orchestra, the duck puppet plays Blue Danube with bottles.
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: In On the Go, during "The Wheels on the Bus", the engine of the bus breaks and everybody has to evacuate the bus.
  • Balloonacy: In Baby Galileo, the kangaroo puppet flies into space.
  • Banana Peel: In World Animals, Jane the Monkey slips over a banana peel, and then makes monkey noises due to confusion, which makes no sense at all in context. Jane also slips on a banana peel in Wild Animal Safari.
  • Baths Are Fun: The "Bath Time with the Pandas" scene in World Animal Adventure and the "Pop Goes the Bubbles" scene in Baby's First Sounds are prime examples of this.
  • Beach Episode: Baby Neptune.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Language Nursery and Baby's First Sounds received criticism for using more than one language in the same video. Baby's First Sounds uses four languages (English, French, Spanish and Chinese), while Language Nursery uses seven (English, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian and Spanish). Not only that, Baby da Vinci uses three (most versions use English, French, and Spanish, the Japanese dub uses English, Japanese, and Italian, the European Spanish and Portuguese dubs use English, Spanish, and Portuguese, the Catalan dub uses English, Catalan, and Portuguese, the Hebrew dub uses Hebrew, English, and French).
  • Boxing Kangaroo: There is a toy kangaroo with boxing gloves in Baby Noah.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Pavlov the Dog sports the letter P on his collar, which is short for his name.
  • Cactus Person: The two dancing cacti seen at the beginning of Baby Van Gogh.
  • Cartoon Conductor: The koala in certain re-releases of Baby Mozart.
  • Christmas Special: Baby Santa's Music Box.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: All DVDs after the 2000 release of Baby Van Gogh (excluding the 2010 release of World of Colors) have Bolero omitted from the Concert Hall, most likely because Ravel's Bolero wasn't in the public domain until 2016. However, it was still left in the video itself.
  • Counting Sheep: Seen in a bonus feature on the Lullaby Time DVD, in which the sheep puppet.... counts other sheep puppets. How ironic.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: Language Nursery, and then Numbers Nursery. World Animals and World Animal Adventure was probably unintentional.
  • Classical Music: The staple of the series. The only video without it is Language Nursery.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: A toy version is seen in Baby Shakespeare and World Animals.
  • Dance Party Ending: Seen at the end of World of Rhythm.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: Used to, in this case. Disney owned Baby Einstein for 12 years, having bought it in November 2001 and sold it to Kids II Inc. in October 2013. Despite this sale, they still own Little Einsteins.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Language Nursery, the first video in the series, is basically missing every single staple of the series (classical music, puppets, stock footage, etc.)
    • Baby Bach doesn't have the official Baby Einstein puppets either, but still follows the same formula as the others. The first video to officially include signature puppets was Baby Shakespeare (Bard was actually featured in only one scene in Baby Mozart.)
  • Educational Song: There are many, including Deep Blue Sea from World Animals and I Know My Shapes from Baby Newton.
  • Edutainment Show
  • Fainting: The duck does this after looking at a washing machine for a while in Baby Neptune.
  • Floating in a Bubble: This happens to the turtle puppet in Baby Neptune (in an albeit dark manner as the octopus laughs and waves good-bye).
  • The Fool: The horse puppet. In various videos in the series, he proves that he's not the brightest.
    • In Neighborhood Animals, he continues to steal the cow's bale of hay until he ends up getting caught anyways.
    • In Baby Beethoven, he loses track of the puppets in the parade twice until getting on the right track.
    • In Numbers Nursery, he eats a flower, which makes him go crazy and make strange sounds until he runs off. Averted in Baby MacDonald where he eats a flower without any consequences. He also knocks over the tiger's block tower for no reason and doesn't know numerical order either when he mixes up the numbers 2 and 4.
    • In On the Go (where he is also the titular host of the video), he doesn't know how to properly row his rowboat and gets quickly passed by the raccoon.
  • Goto Sleep Ending: Baby Shakespeare.
  • Hand Puppet: Most of the puppets in the older videos (before Disney started distributing the videos) are hand puppets. Some were used later but rod-controlled puppets were prominently used also.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Later videos are notorious for having either reused clips from other videos (Baby's First Sounds is infamous for this), and other videos completely reuse ideas (Discovering Shapes and World Animal Adventure).
  • Licensed Games / Edutainment Games: Two in total were released, one on Windows computers based on the Baby Newton video, and one on the V. Smile Baby educational learning system.
  • Long-Runners: Videos were released from 1997 to 2011 (14 years).
  • Merchandise-Driven: The series was originally just for videos but slowly turned into a multi-million dollar company. CDs, toys, books, discovery cards, and other baby products were created after the brand. In fact, now that the company doesn't make videos anymore, its profits are from toys and books.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Baby Mozart, Baby Bach, and Baby Beethoven are obvious examples of this.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Every video up to Baby Wordsworth except for Numbers Nursery follow this. Language Nursery was originally called Baby Einstein and the Neighborhood Animals and World Animals videos were originally released as Baby Dolittle.
  • No Antagonist: For obvious reasons.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: These videos don't really have a need for a plot. The target demographic wouldn't be interested anyways. The closest thing to a 'plot' in these videos would be the structure of Baby Van Gogh, where each segment is about one of the seven colors of the rainbow, and similar themed structures in other videos like World Music. Baby Bach has by far the least plot, as it barely qualifies as coherent anyways. Of course, this isn't a bad thing.
  • Non-Indicative Name: This series was notorious for being recalled by the FTC for being "non-educational and unhealthy for your baby". However, it was revealed that this is neither true nor false.
  • Oddball in the Series: Language Nursery (which was also the first video ever released) has no classical music, puppets, and is in multiple languages.
  • Openthe Doorand See Allthe People: Seen in Baby Newton when the horse's door bursts open as other puppets begin to walk in.
  • Off Screen Crash: Pops up often in several videos.
    • Baby Van Gogh, after the titles, opens with one after a brief second of static.
    • Neighborhood Animals has one during the cat footprints puppet show.
    • World Animal Adventure features one in the "Horse Shoe" puppet show, when the mommy horse is playing a game of horseshoe with her foal. The first time the mommy throws the horseshoe, it ends up flying past the peg and crashing off-screen.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Almost all of the music tracks and songs in Baby Einstein are from the public domain. Few music tracks and songs are original.
  • Puppet Shows: Another staple in the series. As usual, the only video without it is Language Nursery.
  • Same Language Dub: 15 of the videos were dubbed in British English for the European and Australian DVD/VHS releases. DVDs released in 2005 often contain both British and American versions on the same disc.
  • Santa Claus: Winks at the viewers (through stock footage) near the end of Baby Santa's Music Box.
  • Scary Jack-in-the-Box: A jack-in-the-box toy is seen in many videos, but it is never scary.
  • Screen Tap: Pavlov the Dog licking the screen in Neighborhood Animals.
  • Sequel Episode: Discovering Shapes is more of a rip-off of Baby Newton rather than a sequel since it was meant to replace it rather than spin off of it.
  • The Song Remains the Same: Four examples, all in foreign language versions:
    • The Baby Shakespeare adaptation of the ABC song is entirely in English in the Hebrew version. Other Asian-language versions skip it altogether. Justified as the Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai alphabets are drastically different from the Latin alphabet used in most languages.
    • The 2004 version of the Baby Newton song "I Know My Shapes" has all the singing parts remain in American English for the British dub, whereas the speaking parts in the middle of the song are dubbed.
    • The World Music song "This World, Our World" (save for a few speaking parts) isn't dubbed or subtitled at all in French or Latin Spanish. This is not the case in the Castilian Spanish and Catalan versions.
    • The "World Animal Song" from World Animal Adventure re-used the Latin Spanish version for the Castilian Spanish version.
  • Spin-Off: Little Einsteins. Another spinoff called Einstein Pals was set for direct-to-DVD release sometime around 2007-2008, but was quietly canceled after controversy sparked about the brand.
  • Stock Footage: Seen in most videos, besides the ones that focus on music or language.
  • The Rival: Many shows tried to copy it, like Brainy Baby & Baby Genius, but none were as successful as Baby Einstein.
  • Washy Watchy: Seen in Baby Neptune when the duck ends up watching the washing machine. Due to becoming dizzy, he ends up fainting, as mentioned earlier.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Especially applies to the Disney-distributed videos, which think babies are so dumb that everything needs to be repeated twice.

 
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Dizzy Duck

Seen in the Baby Einstein video Baby Neptune when the duck ends up watching the washing machine. Due to becoming dizzy, he ends up fainting.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / WashyWatchy

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