Friday, February 11, 2011

'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Masquerade' with Mickey Mote Review

With its new DVD, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Masquerade," Disney is hoping preschoolers will push their buttons. On purpose.

In fact, they've included a mini Mouseketool to do just that.

The Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment package, which hit shelves earlier this week, includes not only the adorable, Minnie-centric DVD itself but also Disney's Mickey Mote, an exclusive remote control with four color-coded buttons that allows kiddos to interact with what's on screen.

And after I got it programmed -- in a few easy steps -- CC was an instant fan.

"Minnie's Masquerade" (SRP $29.99 with Mickey Mote) features four animated adventures that star Minnie, of course, as well as Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Daisy. The first episode has everyone playing dress-up as they figure out what they're going to wear to the masquerade ball. While getting ready for the big party, the friends make royal crowns for their costumes and search for Goofy's -- er, Sir Goofalot's -- lost shoe.

What's great about the Mickey Mote is that kids can answer questions using the buttons during each episode. Those range from picking which shoes Minnie should wear (any answer works for this one) to remembering what color Goofy's hat is or what symbol appears on Pete's costume (with only one answer being the correct one).

It challenges kids to really pay attention to what's on screen and to observe details that might otherwise be lost on them. Questions also tackle preschool-centric skills such as color and shape recognition.

There's even a Discovery Mode feature that includes two levels of play, which offers more challenging questions as children get older.

The Mickey Mote also works for more than 11 Disney titles, so kids have the opportunity to interact with other shows.

CC enjoyed setting up the Mickey Mote as well as answering the questions on screen. Admittedly, it took some getting used to. We were both a little quizzical at first when all of a sudden the episode's action paused for a few seconds before the question popped up. The first couple of times we wondered if something was wrong with the DVD.

Other than that, it was great watching CC master yet another tech device -- and even more fun hearing her shout out answers that were right on target.

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