VHS Review (Posted on 05-19-2013)
Before I start, let me post an update that should clear things up: according to my research, Mother Goose, volumes three and four, are
included on DVD. Apparently, the way Image Entertainment stuffed them on DVD is shown on this chart:
So on VHS, there are four volumes. However, volumes one and two are stuffed in one DVD as "Volume 1" and volumes three and four on VHS are on DVD labeled "Volume 2." So apparently, yes, all four volumes are on DVD. Glad we have that cleared up. This, of course, is the VHS review which I've had since first watching it as a child (thanks mom!). Will I review the DVD versions? Most likely, depending on the demand. Would you like to see a DVD version reviewed? Contact me. Choose the Vimeo membership that’s right for you.
Now the review: the moment the kids begged Mother Goose to read them a story, it quickly transitions to "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" musical performance. It was taken place at school—the same scene shot for "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The performance was simplistic yet sleek. After the story was over, Bertram was hoping Mother Goose came up with a story about a brave and handsome goose who knows how to find things. Mother Goose couldn't find one, and Bertram then...walks away?
As the kids wanted another story, Tom Thumb makes an appearance performing "I Knew A Little Person" with a glass mug Mother Goose would lie sideways and then upright. Meanwhile, Bertram walks by the town feeling beaten until Peter Piper runs into him and utters a poetically-twisted riddle (try reciting what he said on that scene). Mother Goose, sympathizing Bertram, couldn't help much knowing he's really depressed not having a story about him, when suddenly Little Bo Beep—Stacie Sheets—jumps into the scene (although she would often co-star with the others, she was always in the background from the previous two volumes). You already guessed it: she's missing her sheep and needs to find them. Mother Goose recommended Bertram's help as she admits not being able to find things very well (isn't that the truth?).
The Letters Man runs into Bertram, as Bertram continues to ache in pain not having to find/come up with a story about him. The Letters Man then rummages through the alphabet yet again, this time using each letter to refer to specific nouns thus reciting "A Was an Archer." Looking through them, the same cast members portrayed the characters, one of them played Joan, Jack, Crooked Man, Little Bo Peep, you name it; they're all there. When that was all done, The Letters Man couldn't rewrite the whole thing to include Bertram, as Bertram walks away again.
"The Queen of Hearts" was performed in the next scene, along with Old King Cole whom you've met back in volume one
of this series. Bertram runs into Old King Cole offering rhymes and stories about him to Bertram, as the poor goose is really feels the suffering. I remembered as a kid, I really wanted to try those tarts as they looked really good. Also, I used to think the man who played Old King Cole was
Rodney Dangerfield. Yeah...
The next scene was something my sister and I wanted to recite and memorize the whole time: "This is the House That Jack Built." As the story goes on, the faster the poem is recited. I thought it was well acted and well done. If you're familiar with the previous two volumes, you'll notice some things featured here. First, the cat and mouse were the same props used during the scene with "The Crooked Man." Second, the cow and the chicken were the only time used/featured in a scene from the entire series; in other words, this was the only time you see them. Third, the dog included in the rhyme was the exact same shot used when Joan sang "Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone" from volume two
. The other scenes were acted by the cast members themselves, one of them played The Letters Man and Peter Piper. The poem comes to a close and Jack lies on the bench feeling worn out, then Bertram jumps in but Jack couldn't react and help Bertram's bad day as the heart-broken goose walks away (whoa, that rhymed).
Bertram shows up at the village of Gooseberry Glen—a place Bertram has promoted at the very end of the film from the previous volumes and it's time we saw a full shot of the busy village itself. Bertram runs into The Numbers Lady—Sharon Baird—as she performs "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe." If her voice doesn't sound familiar, she's that girl with the sultry voice who played Little Miss Muffet from volume two. Now that that was done, Bertram couldn't bare the pain anymore and continues onward (have scientists allowed geese to take antidepressants?)
I'm sure you were wondering when 'she' was going to show up again, and you're in luck: Little Bo Peep couldn't bare it anymore and needs to find her sheep, thus singing and acting the scenes out. Bo Peep takes a nap and dreams about one of her sheep, and she thought it was so real that the folks in the village reminded her it just a dream and needs to physically find them (haven't we all had those dreams?). Bertram jumps in and shares his bad day with Bo Peep, when she suddenly found her sheep! (Yeah, if only we were mathematically that lucky to find/get what it is we're looking for in a few seconds.) Anyway, Bo Peep finds out that her sheep were missing their tails, and Bertram offers to help find them. As the song goes, little did Bertram know he was included in Little Bo Peep's story, when he finds that the sheep tails were hung on a tree to dry. Finally finding everything, Little Bo Peep has finally carried on, as does Bertram knowing he just was mentioned in a story and got out of his depression.
Bertram breaks the news to Mother Goose, who sat in front of their house all day long (what happened to the shopping she promised to do from the previous film?), as Mother Goose congratulates Bertram and proudly writes the story down. Mother Goose then reads Bertram another story titled "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe," which was rather short and had no happy ending. The goose didn't like the happy ending, neither did Mother Goose (she said so in volume one about 'Humpty Dumpty'), however stated the truth that the kids misbehaved and deserved their punishment. Without further ado, Bertram decides to jump in and stretch the story a bit to rewrite a new, and happy, ending. He told the kids that if they did what the old lady told them to, they'll be awarded with a special treat: bread and jam. The kids made a deal with Bertram, helped the old lady out with her chores and voilà: the kids get bread and jam. You can tell the bread and jam were decoys and thus the cast didn't really dine on them.
Bertram now with a renewed set of confidence appeared in two stories as Mother Goose, relieved, prepares porridge for supper. Before getting back into the house, Bertram and Mother Goose recite "Star Light, Star Bright" as a star appears in the night sky. Mother Goose, as usual, blows a sweet kiss to the viewer. The film ends with credits.
Volume one states to heed other people's warnings before it happens and volume two states to never put things off in the last minute or until tomorrow (procrastination). This third volume states to go out and get involved, even if it means rewriting the outcome. Who knows, it may just be a happy ending, and may likely save lives as well.
Having watched the two volumes prior to this one, I think producers finally gave time to spotlight Stacie Sheets after having been in the background during scenes. She was great, and yes, she'll keep your attention during her scenes; she's that pretty. Speaking of that, you can tell that the sheep used in the background with Bo Peep are tiny action figures. These little things, as well as others, shouldn't surprise you by now.
Another thing about Little Bo Peep: besides PSY's viral hit "Gangnam Style," I suppose you're not heavily familiar with Korean pop music. Whether you are or you aren't, Little Bo Peep might
have been the inspiration for Korean girl group T-ara
and one of their top number one hits "Bo Beep Bo Beep
." It's a very catchy song, but click on the link (opens new window/tab) and see for yourself.
Now that we've gotten this far, which one of the girls did you like so far? Mary, Joan, Miss Muffet, Bo Peep? Oh nevermind, you liked the women that played them, not the characters. Well, I'm with you on that.
, there was something else I noticed: Mother Goose left her book and bag outside as soon as she walks back in the house. Okay kids, take this from me: never leave your belongings outside overnight. It could get stolen. If you don't believe me, leave your cell phone, computer, TV and other prized belongings if you like.
Lastly, Bertram promotes the other three volumes with the fourth volume being the last and final volume of this wonderful Mother Goose series on VHS. As he talks about the first two volumes, he said something about volume two which may need a bit of explaining:
"In Volume Two, London Bridge fell down. Oh that was exciting!"
Kids today would think a bridge falling down interpreted as something "exciting" would refer to the song instead of the tragedy (let's hope). I can imagine heartless adults would be singing this about the bridge in San Francisco if Mother Nature barged in, thus replacing "London" with "Golden Gate." Yeah, not exciting at all considering the countless folks traveling through the bridge every single day. (Not that this critique matters but it caught my attention as I was finishing up the tape.)
Out of the three volumes so far, this featured a ton of the cast members hired in the making of this series. Most of them also played multiple characters as well, so you do see a handful of familiar faces, even a couple of them featured from previous volumes. Because I loved this series as a child, if I had to choose one to recommend highly, I'd go with this third volume. To fellow collectors: The VHS tapes for the third and fourth volumes are becoming extremely scarce. A very good/like new condition may leave a moderate scar on your wallet. A brand new, sealed condition may require sewing up that large wound on your wallet, so shop smart and shop carefully when needed.
I'm wondering: did you ever look back at your favorite TV shows as a kid and wondered what ever happened to those amazing, talented people that made you happy, kept you busy and taught you something you'll never forget? This is plaguing my mind when I look back, watch and review these excellent shows/films. Because of that, I'm left with no choice:
If you are one of the cast members, backstage crew, and/or producers of this series, I would like to interview you on this website
. Please provide full details and proof that it is you, making sure I'm talking to the right person (word from your manager/agent will help out a lot). You may use the Contact form
on the contact page, or you can email me: kris *at* showsotros.com
. The questions I ask you and your answers will be posted here for fans to see. I look forward to hearing from one of you!
(Yes, I'm very serious about this request for an interview. Fans have recalled this series now and are eager to hear from all of you on this website. Contact me immediately.)
UPDATE: Check out our interview with the star of the Mother Goose series, Mother Goose herself, Cheryl Rhoads!
Also for you proud parents: entertain your kids with the amazing classics on DVD at Warner Bros Online Shop! Get $5 off with orders of $50 or more:
© 2008-2018 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
The Numbers Lady
Queen of Hearts
Little Bo Beep
Norman Merrill, Jr.
The Letters Man
Knave of Hearts
Townspeople of Gooseberry Glen
"Dear Mother Goose" written by
Kristin Nelson Willauer
Bertram Constructed by
Production Stage Crew
Cynthia Romo Heltsley
Post Production Sound
Assistant to the Producers
Written and Produced by