It’s Saturday night and you want to head to the club, get your groove on, and to quote Gloria Estefan: “Turn the beat around.” The only problem is the kids. Well, why not bring the club to your house and enjoy it with your children?
Check out Crazy Frog: he’s this short helium voiced bluish-gray CGI character who stars in a series of videos featuring techno versions of classic rock songs. The character got his start in Europe around 2001 when he was called Annoying Thing. He quickly became a popular marketing tool for ringtones and was rechristened Crazy Frog in 2004. In his online CGI videos, Crazy Frog dances to booming techno versions of “We Are the Champions” and “Safety Dance.” The videos are loaded with fast music sure to get your kids jumping and inventive CG animation. So forget the club, and start your own little dance party at home with the kids.
For whatever reason, both my kids love to watch Thomas the Tank Engine. Up until last year his face never moved and he could only roll his eyes. He also has a very checkered track record as he seems to always get into accidents (although luckily no one ever gets hurt). My boys love to look up Thomas online but the official site has a very limited number of videos to watch (and most are promos) so I turned to YouTube.
You have to be very careful playing Thomas videos on YouTube, since most of the videos are homemade mash-ups that might not be appropriate for young kids. I found Thomas songs mixed with Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, but I also found a great Thomas video set to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Using all the dark and spooky footage from Thomas, the video’s “editor” has mixed a story with Jackson’s classic song. The mash-up is less scary than Jackson’s original million-dollar music video and it’s a great way to teach your kids about eighties music. You may want to stop it just before the end because there are some shots of zombies from Jackson’s video which could be a little frightening to your little ones.
If you’re a woman and you grew up in the eighties, chances are that at one point you probably wished Captain Lou Albano was your father. The man was a legend in the wrestling community but he also played Cyndi Lauper’s dad in her raucous “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video. It was Lauper’s first solo single and was seen as a feminist anthem.
The video is the perfect piece to watch with your daughter. From the first notes of the piano roll, the catchy hook will have you dancing (like everyone in the video) through your house. Kids will also like the cheesy eighties effects and Lauper’s outrageous eighties wardrobe. Say what you will about Lauper’s accent, but her voice is perfect for pop songs like this. So invite over eight of your daughter’s friends to perfect the three rows of heads waving back and forth and start having fun.
In honor of the release of Here Comes Science, the new kid’s album and animated DVD from They Might Be Giants which comes out September 1, here is a classic video from one of our favorites, the Grammy-winner Here Come the 123s.
John and John present the days of the week, with Never Go To Work: