Can you help entertain my kid?
April 10, 2010 6:33 AM   Subscribe

I need movies for my 3 year old kid to watch on my iphone. Suggestions wanted. Pretty specific parameters...

my kid has kind of weird tastes but can be entertained for good stretches by watching movies on my iPhone. I'm looking to get an extra movie or two through iTunes before we leave on a long car trip-- very short notice-- in about six hours. Any further answers after then is fine, too, as we have to drive back after the memorial service in question.

Here are the basic parameters:
* he loves music, and music videos. Lady Gaga (uh no, not the Telephone video, what kind of monster do you think I am?), The Postal Service, Fatboy Slim, OKGO, he loves watching these.
* he likes cartoons like Bugs Bunny, but has no use for slower ones like Clifford (thank god, me neither)
* He likes nature movies, but tends to prefer ones with music in the background as opposed to boring narration
* basically I'd love to get a movie or two that are an hour or two long with virtually ONLY music in the background, the techno-y the better, with nature or something else interesting to watch. Or if you can buy collections of reasonably appropriate videos of good fast music, that would work too.
* he also likes things like 'how it's made' and other factory type settings.
* he's cool with musicals, at least the part with actual music. We can watch The Wizard Of Oz, for example, but I have to skip through the scary parts and basically we just watch the songs.

Any suggestions? Again, to make this easy, I'd really like to get one or three through iTunes in the next few hours just to have ready for him.
posted by norm to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Animusic. It's balls bouncing around and instruments playing themselves and all kinds of stuff like that. Sort of in the same vein as the Honda commercial where the car puts itself together. It's also not bad music for someone who hears it but can't see anything.
posted by theichibun at 6:41 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: TMBG: here-comes-science-audio-video

Also recommend "here come the abc's" and "here come the 123's".
posted by bodega at 6:50 AM on April 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yep, TMBG. What bodega said.
posted by umbú at 6:59 AM on April 10, 2010

Best answer: These aren't moves, but easy to use. My 4 year old spent and hour singing along to the ladybug song. She also likes reading along to now Louie!, and she LOVES playing with first words try the sampler to see if your kid likes it.
posted by dabitch at 7:19 AM on April 10, 2010

I was going to recommend Winged Migration — a music-heavy (though not techno) nature film with some breathtaking, eye-popping footage — but it's not available on iTunes. You'd have to buy the DVD and rip it to MP4. In a similar vein is Koyaanisqatsi (check it out on YouTube). It's all music with video clips of different things. Some natures footage, some factory/how-it's-made stuff. Both of these movies might be a little slow-paced for your kid, if it's non-stop motion and excitement he's looking for, though the NYC scenes of the latter are rather quick and cool. But still maybe a bit boring for a 3-year-old attention span.

Also consider Stomp (Live). Watching cool music being made and danced to in unconventional ways is always fun.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:21 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also, this isn't for kids but every kid I've met so far can't stop playing with Melodica (free). You have a grid of notes, and you turn the notes on and off by touching them. Draw a pattern and you'll hear it as a song, it's really quite nifty.
posted by dabitch at 7:25 AM on April 10, 2010

What about Microcosmos? It's 80 minutes of dramatic music and beautiful insects. (I think there's also the odd scene of bug sex, but you can skip over that if it worries you).
posted by embrangled at 7:46 AM on April 10, 2010

Have you done muppets? The kid I used to babysit for loved older Sesame Street videos (because they had more music) as well as some muppet stuff--The Muppet Movie,The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Show. For some reason, Fraggle Rock always fell flat, though. I have no idea why.

For musicals, try Bye Bye Birdie, The King and I, the movie version of Hair (some "adult" lyrics, but they'll really fly over a 3-yo's head). The aforementioned kid I babysat for loved The Sound of Music, but there's a lot of stuff to fast forward through on that one.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:49 AM on April 10, 2010

PhoBWan - My 3 year old is the same way. She loves the Muppet Movies, but had absolutely no interest in Fraggle Rock when I got it for her.

I know this doesn't really fit your criteria at all, but she loves to watch Team Umizumi on my wife's iPod Touch. Episodes are available on iTunes and it's not a super annoying show. Be warned that you will be singing their theme songs constantly after watching it though.

Not sure if it's available on iTunes, but we watched An American Tale last night and she loved that.
posted by speeb at 7:57 AM on April 10, 2010

Our almost-3-year-old loves the Animaniacs cartoons. Lots of music and the pace is definitely faster than Clifford. :)
posted by belladonna at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2010

My just-turned-four-year-old loves the Wiggles, which is just four guys singing and dancing. I bought one of their movies on iTunes and keep it on my phone for emergencies.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:03 AM on April 10, 2010

I feel like you are asking for Interstella 555

Techno. Check.
Hour long music video.
Daft Punk's best album discovery.
Lots of crazy things going on the entire time. Oh yeah.
posted by lakerk at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2010

We got the Spike Jonze and Michele Gondry video collections and ripped 'em. Fascinating stuff, that Bjork and Fatboy Slim.
posted by Gucky at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2010

When my kids were little they watched A Bugs Life nonstop. LOVED it.
posted by Edubya at 6:51 PM on April 10, 2010

Response by poster: Followup: we are halfway there, and the lil stinker has been MESMERIZED by the Firstwords app. As in, two solid hours of playing. We started with the free one and then bought the deluxe version once it was clear how much he loved it.
posted by norm at 7:32 PM on April 10, 2010

Response by poster: Also, yes, he does love all the Muppets songs, if not the skits. Should have probably put that in the original question. I have all the TMBG cued up for tomorrow. Thanks again! There's a lot to go through yet.
posted by norm at 7:34 PM on April 10, 2010

Cool! Glad the first words app was a hit. :) Also, agreeing that microcosmos that embrangled suggested is an awesome movie in general (there's slugs "kissing" in slow-mo which is just weeeeeeeeiiiird).
posted by dabitch at 4:18 AM on April 11, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, followup. He is still addicted to the FirstWords app. Moreover, he can now spell lots of stuff. This is from a couple of weeks ago: spelling demonstration. Since then, he's now moved on to become the only three year old I know that can spell "koala" and "hexagon", which I assure you is quite the party trick. The downside is that we have to limit his exposure to the thing, because he would sit there and play this game for two hours straight if we let him-- which is great on a car trip, but not great when I'm trying to also teach him to ride his new bike.
posted by norm at 12:16 PM on May 10, 2010

That's awesome. :)
posted by dabitch at 9:25 AM on May 11, 2010

Have you tried "Shaun the Sheep"? Very funny.
posted by Loptastic at 3:52 PM on May 28, 2010

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