Humf Volume 1 - Humf & the Balloons (DVD)
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Review of "Humf Volume 1 - Humf & the Balloons (DVD)"
Ten year old Hollie is getting rid of a lot of her 'too young' toys (*sob*) - so I'm reviewing them thanks to the fact I CANNOT get new and still-available products added for love nor money!
~x~x~x~ A blast from the recent past ~x~x~x~When Humf first started on Nick Jnr back in 2008 my (then) one year old daughter absolutely loved it, like most small children she had a love of 'cute things' and Humf certainly is one of those even if I've never been quite able to work out exactly what he is! This is very much a pre-school show/character and unlike many other kids shows I've noticed that once a child is 'too old' for Humf they never tend to go back to it, and if you don't have a child under ten you may not even have heard of it as there has never been all that much publicity for the show (and surprisingly very little merchandise available). Fast forward a couple of years and Hollie's brother came along, eventually learning how much fun television (and particularly Nick Jnr) was and discovering Humf for himself. I forget which child we bought this DVD for, it's the first of three 'box sets' and was released in 2011 (so probably David was the lucky recipient) - box set being in quote/unquote as this is ten episodes on a single DVD, presumably the first series of the cute little show.
~x~x~x~ What the heck is a 'Humf'? ~x~x~x~Humf, as described by Nick Jr themselves, is a 'little purple furry thing' - he's very sweet and lives with his mum and dad in a flat, neighboured by his friends Loon and Wallace (who are also unidentified but very sweet little creatures). You meet Humf's parents for brief periods during each episode but the focus of each short story is always Humf and one or both of his friends, watching as they go about their lives and sharing in their experiences and the lessons they learn.
Humf (the show, not the creature) is quite a 'moral' programme, designed to help the small viewers make correct choices and also to teach them things aren't ever as scary as they seem when you're a small person in a big person's world. It's not preachy in any way and when the kids were small it was nice to be able to point out something that Humf was struggling with, and offer them an adapted solution based on what had happened on the show - it's by no means a learning aid and doesn't pretend to be, but a good example was when Hollie was getting a bit fussy with her food when she was around two and a half. Crying, screaming and generally getting into a bit of a tizzy with her wasn't helping at all - but one day she came home from a weekend at her Nan's house telling me all about how Humf and his Uncle Hairy went to a restaurant and Humf stopped being so fussy! I don't know what Uncle Hairy said to Hollie, but it worked!~x~x~x~ Ten episodes of sweetness ~x~x~x~
These are the first ten episodes of Humf, each episode being around seven minutes long and the DVD having a run time of 70 minutes. There are no extra features at all other than scene selection and subtitles, and it's classified as 'U' for universal viewing by children of any age. There's nothing offensive, scary or anything in Humf so I can't think of anything that may upset even the most sensitive child - Hollie and David both watched this series loads of times (there are actually episodes I could still recite, some three or four years later!), Hollie on the tele and David using this DVD. It was a long time between series one and two of Humf so Nick Jr played the same twenty episodes over and over for months, neither of the kids ever commented on this and the only reason either of them stopped watching Humf was when they got 'too old'.Each episode tells a little tale - there's always a feel good factor to each episode and, of course, everything ends well. The friendship element is pushed in the majority of episodes on this DVD which is a good thing in my opinion as children will be starting nursery and school at around the time they watch Humf, I like to think watching something like this helped prepare my two for meeting lots of new children and making friends in a new environment.
~x~x~x~ The _PERFECT_ narrator ~x~x~x~I really like Caroline Quentin and she's absolutely the perfect choice for this programme, her sweet and very gentle voice is definitely soothing for little ones to listen to - she's got a 'crisp' voice and pronounces her words absolutely perfectly, I can see why she was chosen to narrate Humf. Now she's older Hollie has seen Caroline Quentin on the tele and heard her on the radio, I can think of a few times that she's said 'isn't that the Humf lady?' so it's obvious she has a voice that sinks into a child as they're immersed in a fantasy television world.
Morwenna Banks and Christopher Fox provide the voices for Humf, Loon, Wallace and other characters in the series - I LOVE Morwenna Banks but am always surprised to see her involved in kiddie shows as she can be so rude as a comedian; she really is brilliant at voice acting for children though, and like Caroline Quentin has a lovely sweet voice which definitely appeals to young kids (Morwenna Banks also provides voices for Peppa Pig). I remember Christopher Fox from The Bill and never in a million years would I have had him down as a Humf actor - he's also excellent and to be honest, overall I'd say the casting of Humf is just about perfect.One thing I've always loved about Humf is the fact that only the children speak; so while Humf, Loon and Wallace chatter about (well) whatever it is three year olds find to talk about, the parents just make a white noise 'blah, blah, blah' when they're speaking. This is good as it keeps the emphasis on the 'kids', which is what you want really when you remember it's a show for real children who are around the same age as Humf and his friends.
~x~x~x~ Check Nick Jnr... ~x~x~x~I was surprised checking Amazon this morning that this Humf DVD is £4.25, I remember it being around a fiver when I bought it - but that was six years ago and such a small price drop over that time for a relatively short DVD of a not particularly popular character seems a bit stingy to me. I do love Humf and the episodes in this DVD are sentimental in a way as they were the first thing Hollie really watched on the tele and she absolutely LOVED Humf as a baby - I wouldn't pay £4.25 for it though these days (especially considering it's available on You Tube and is also still shown sometimes on Nick Jr).
Entertainment One Humf and the Balloons - Volume 1
Humf is a furry thing. He is short and round and purple and cuddly. At three years old, Humf is full of wonder at the world, and is always eager to explore t...
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Product Information : Humf Volume 1 - Humf & the Balloons (DVD)
Manufacturer's product description
DVD Region: DVD
Actor: Caroline Quentin
Production Year: 2011
Listed on Ciao since: 30/03/2017