Television: Sleeping Bassoon

Sleeping BassoonThe Little Einsteins seem to read the oddest versions of fairy tales. This time, Quincy reads them his favorite story – “Sleeping Bassoon”. In the story a princess Bassoon (complete with pointy princess hat) makes everyone happy by playing a happy song, but the grumpy wizard doesn’t want to be happy or see anyone else happy, so he casts a spell to put the princess in a deep sleep. If no one can wake her up before all the purple pebbles fall in an hourglass, she’ll never wake up. None of the instruments in the kingdom seem able to replicate the bassoon’s happy song (the wedding march) to wake her up. The Little Einsteins rush to the rescue, since Quincy can play the song on his trumpet. After much searching, aided by a fish and hampered by the grumpy wizard, they reach the castle and Quincy manages to awaken the princess. Everyone is happy, even the grumpy wizard (go figure).

Although this was a rather interesting telling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story, I actually found it rather unsatisfying. I think part of the problem was that in changing the focus of the story from the princess to the questing rescuers, the writers ended up kind of removing both the impetus for the action in the first place and the repercussions afterwards. Why did the grumpy wizard suddenly become not grumpy at the end? It really didn’t make any sense. The use of the song to wake her up and everyone else trying to play it (in sort of a more genuine version of everyone trying on the glass slipper) was really interesting and well done. I would have liked to know what was special about the song that made it impossible for any other instrument to play (part of the spell, maybe?), but I liked the element of them trying to awaken her.

I find the fluidness of stories really interesting in Little Einsteins. They enter the books they read as easily as they encounter “real” things, which is very much the way children are able to interact with books and stories. It’s like the fairy tales are games to them, rather than books, and that’s perfect. I love how they’ve made that the case and yet haven’t felt the need to explain or qualify it at all. It just is. This is definitely an interesting series!

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