Today I want to talk about something that takes up a lot of my spare time. Kids television. In particular I want to talk about one such show. BUMBA. It is a Dutch / Belgian show made by a fantastic company called Studio 100 who make only shows for children, and have numbers bands and musical acts, also aimed solely at children. I can honestly say that I have never seen another company structured in quite this way aimed at children. There is no patronizing, no talking down to the children, but anyway, that is a topic for another post.
I have three children, aged 4, 2 and 1, all three of them have watched this clown from infancy, and from the word go he has held them all captive. We have numerous DVD’s all of which have been worn thin through use, and my 2 year old son goes to bed each night with around 11 (yes I said eleven) different Bumba (and Bumbalou – his red suited friend) toys. Including one Bumba cuddly toy that is about 1 meter long and acts as his pillow.
The show itself is simply enough, each episode is but 5 minutes in length and is composed of numerous small sketches. There is no real language spoke, although the ‘Narrator’ does teach the off word for certain sketches. Such as Auto (Car) or Wortel (Carrot) etc.
Bright colors abound and with a plethora (from a child’s perspective at least) of supporting characters from Monkeys and birds to Boom-Boom the Rhino and Tumbi the Elephant, hilarity is as good as guaranteed.
I can understand the appeal of the show, and think that it is great for kids of any young age, but still find it incredible that children are glued to this show from the very first moment they see it. There is something about it that no other children’s program has, or at least not one that I have ever seen.
Maybe it’s just a Dutch (Belgian) thing, I don’t know. But I have added one of the 5 minute episodes below. Show it to your kids and watch as they sit transfixed on the adventures of Bumba and his Friends. Just be careful not to watch it yourself, because you will be whistling the tune day and night before you know it.