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Featured TV on DVD Review: Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to School

July 17th, 2010

Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to School - Buy from Amazon

Martha Speaks is a book series that started in the 1990s about a dog, Martha, that learns to speak after eating some alphabet soup. Martha Goes to School is the second DVD release for the show. I reviewed the first release previously, so how does this DVD compare?

The Show

There are four episodes on this DVD, most of which are split into two parts...

  1. Martha Goes to School
    Helen and T.D. are getting a substitute teacher, so T.D. signs her up as a substitute teacher as a joke, but she gets the job. Martha takes her job very seriously, even if her qualifications are dubious, at best.
  2. T.D. and the Light Bulb of Doom
    T.D. has to do a report on Thomas Edison, but he's a master of procrastination. Now he's got less than a day to complete his report for school.
  3. Truman's Secret
    Truman's hiding from his friends and they are determined to figure out why. But he's too embarrassed to tell them, or to even let his friends see him.
  4. Skits Monkeys Around
    Skits, Helen's other dog, is addicted to a TV show and pretends to be a blue monkey called Malcolm. Martha is desperate to get him to stop.
  5. Ain't Nothin' But a Pound Dog
    In a two-part episode, Martha accidentally loses her collar and gets picked up by the dog catcher. While in the pound, she leads an escape, but realizes that freedom without a family isn't worth it, so she organizes a talent show to show off the dogs that need adopting.
  6. What's Bothering Bob?
    Something's wrong with Bob, the mean dog in the neighborhood. He's broken free and chasing everyone around. But why? There's only one dog who can figure it out... Martha.
  7. Martha Spins a Tale
    A heatwave has hit the city and Jake, Helen's little brother has a heat rash. So help take his mind off the heat, Martha tells him a fairytale. Or to be more precise, she tells several fairytales mashed together.
Martha Speaks is a very repetitive show with key vocabulary words, and their definitions, repeated throughout the show. While this makes the dialogue feel clumsy, it also makes it a useful learning tool for its target demographic. Also, with fun stories and plenty of humor, parents will be able to watch along with their kids, which can only help improve the effectiveness of the show.

The Extras

Extras consist of some DVD-ROM activities, but there are no subtitles or proper chapter placements.

The Verdict

Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to School is good value for the money and parents looking for an educational program to watch with their pre-school kids.

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