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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cool New Video: Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman!

I came across this really neat video at Barnes and Noble, which took me back to my Middle School days. Well, I am not sure I really wanted to be taken back, but as soon as I saw the video on the shelf.

I looked over and as I saw the cover of the video I had this great feeling of joy. It was a feeling like you had rediscovered something that you really enjoyed as a kid. Remember when you were walking down the grocery store aisle and saw that can of Tang? Or when you were at the amusement park with your kids and you wanted to try that Snow Cone again?

Well, things never are as good when you are older as you remember them to be. But this was a video that was targeted towards kids and it was an extension of the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. Man, I used to love those books when I was in 5th – 8th grade. They were books where you would read an adventure and would make choices throughout the story of what you would do in a given situation.

There were a series of children's books first published by Bantam Books in the 1980’s. Each story is written from a second person point-of-view, with the reader assuming the role of the main character. I later found out that the books sold over 250 million copies, making it one of the most successful book series of all time.

When I would read these books, I would become a part of the story. You normally would read an introduction and then you were given choices of how the story should progress. For instance: If you decide to start back home, turn to page 4. If you decide to wait, turn to page 5. Depending on my choice, the plot would unfold in different ways and eventually lead to many different possible endings.

Well, I found a video that was based on these books. It was called Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman DVD. It was the same branding and the cover looked the same. Wow! I was so happy to be taken back to reading these books and really becoming involved in the stories. I couldn’t wait to watch the DVD. I have two sons now, so I have an excuse to buy the video, and if it is even somewhat close to the books, Dryver and Stryde will love this.

I immediately bought the DVD and headed home. It was a cool Saturday and I figured I had a good excuse to watch the video during the day with the kids to keep them busy. Jennifer wouldn’t mind too much, as long as they were not making a mess. I got home and told the kids about what I had found. They seemed as excited as if I had bought anything new home. Stryde has a tendency to jump up and down, regardless of what it is that I bring home. He also is the first to complain if he does not like something later.

Anyway, we went to the family room and put the DVD into the player. The movie started. It was actually good animation and the story seemed to be good. The voices were professional with William Macy, Felicity Huffman, and Mark Hamill all doing the main characters. The video was much more professionally produced than I had expected.

We started to watch the video, and the kids were really getting into it. I had to admit that I was also really into the story. It was really a great adventure story and when we got to our first choice we were all excited to choose which way we wanted the story to go. I let Dryver do the driving on the remote and Stryde was able to choose once in awhile when Dryver and I could not agree on a path to take. It ended up being a good system.

We watched the story (and made many decisions) until we ended up in an endless maze and the story was over. But, we could start over and take another route. It was great. We really had a great time, and now a movie that the kids would normally watch 100 times, at least had a different storyline every time we watched it. I also felt like the kids brains were actually working, rather than when they are normally watching a movie.

The kids really enjoyed the whole adventure, including when the plane crashed or when the Abomibal Snowman got us. Unlike the disappointment I had when I tried Tang again, or when I had a Pop-Tart again after many years; this movie was great and it reached, if not exceeded all my expectations.

I would recommend this video to anyone that enjoyed the books. I also recommend it to anyone that has kids between the ages of two and eighteen. Well, I could see where even college kids or young adults would also enjoy this video. You can pick it up at B&N or if you want to buy it for this holiday season or just for fun!

It is a great present for the holidays coming up. I hope the next video they produce will be the Cave of Time or Journey Under The Sea! Those were my favorite books in this series.

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