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Free to Be You and Me

125 customer reviews

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(Nov 20, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This unique, highly acclaimed entertainment, stars Marlo Thomas, and features such celebrated talents as Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Mel Brooks, Rita Coolidge, Billy De Wolfe, Roberta Flack, Rosey Grier, Michael Jackson, Kris Kristopherson, THe New Seekers, Tom Smothers, The Voices of East Harlem and Dionne Warwick. Free To Be...You And Me is a journey into the endless possibilities of life, rich with positive, life-enhancing messages about growth and change. In a series of live action and animation, positive messages of self-esteem are illustrated through songs, stories and laughter. It explores children's authentic experiences, their dreams and concerns, their fears and fantasies. Among the highlights are Marlo Thomas and Mel Brooks in Boy Meets Girl and football hero Rosey Grier, singing It's Alright to Cry. In addition, Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack perform When We Grow Up and Alan Alda narrates the tale of Atalanta. This enchanted fun-filled voyage of discovery for adults and children to enjoy together is a superb addition to any family's home video library.

Like Schoolhouse Rock, Marlo Thomas's 1970s children's TV show, Free to Be… You and Me met with immediate success and became a treasured piece of entertainment over the years. Based on her award-winning album of songs, skits, and comedy, Free to Be explores the infinite possibilities of childhood. Fans know most of the skits in the 45-minute show verbatim, and it's easy to see why right from the beginning with an infectious title track followed by a puppet sketch featuring Thomas and Mel Brooks as newborns. Top talent appears on both sides of the camera, including Alan Alda who directs and performs a cartoon about a boy who wants a doll. However, the presentation does show its age at times: a teenage Michael Jackson singing (with Roberta Flack) on how he's not going to change when he grows up. For all ages. --Doug Thomas

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Mel Brooks, Rita Coolidge
  • Directors: Bill Davis, Fred Wolf, Len Steckler
  • Writers: Alan Uger, Betty Miles, Bruce Hart, Carl Reiner, Carole Hart
  • Format: Color, Live, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Henstooth Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 48 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OKQT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Free to Be You and Me" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Sanguine on May 14, 2005
Format: DVD
When my daughter was born, a relative and I wound up reminiscing about this album and how much we both loved it growing up. Next thing I knew, a copy of the DVD arrived as a gift for my daughter and me. The first time I sat down and watched, it brought back all my memories of being a little girl in the 70's. I could even still sing along with the title song! Right now, my daughter is too young to do much except listen as I sing or play music for her, but I hope she grows up enjoying these songs as much as I did. Yes, the visuals are dated, but I believe the messages of these songs are as pertinent now as they were thirty years ago. Best of all, the songs get their messages across without being "preachy." I think this is a fabulous alternative to much of what's out there for kids today, and dated as some elements may be, "Free to Be You and Me" is still a long, long way from going out of style.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 2001
Format: DVD
I have been searching for the VHS version of this production for 3 years now. Needless to say, I am beyond excited that it is being re-released on DVD. I was very influenced by this program when I first saw it in the third grade back in 1987. I was just learning how to be a best friend and how to deal with children teasing me for my very long and extremely coarse 'nappy' hair, my 'white' grandmother (she's biracial), and my 'funny' proper accent.
Watching this movie in Mrs. Hammond's 3rd grade class was eye-opening. It taught me that it was okay to cry about things and to talk about how I feel to family, friends, and bullies. I am definitely going to buy this DVD for my 15 month old son and his 1 month old twin sisters so they can enjoy it.
Oh, and the scenes with the baby puppets (a boy and a girl who teach kids about the differences and similarities between girls and boys) are must see--believe me. The scenes are extremely funny--I laugh just thinking about them--and are great for little kids and for dispelling some common social conceptions and misconceptions about gender & gender equality.
This program will re-enforce the lessons my husband and I are trying to teach our kids--epecially since we are a multi-racial family who speaks 3 languages at home and travels between our two homes. DO BUY THIS DVD when it becomes available.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mara Mindell on August 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I recently became obsessed with this movie. I'd seen it in pre-school and somehow remembered the songs, stories, and humorous skits up through college. And I'm not alone! Others like me are frantically searching for this piece of their childhood, perhaps the only video to REALLY say to kids, "Just be yourself." A football player tells boys it's okay to cry, a fairy-tale tells girls they don't have to get married, and Mel Brooks and Marlo Thomas approach subjects like gender roles and childcare in four skits that can have even grown-ups laughing out loud. Though the song featuring a young Michael Jackson singing "We don't have to change at all" is extremely ironic and more than a little sad, the video is a fun experience overall. The book and soundtrack are also both wonderful tools to have in raising open-minded children, but I must admit that as cheesy as it sounds, it's the movie that really helped shape my life.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jane Public on October 25, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's hysterical and pitiful that some of the other 'reviewers' describe this program as though it is some subversive, dangerous, dogmatic propaganda.

WARNING: This program teaches children to love themselves and respect others and we all know how threatening and subversive those values are! Quick run back to the cave and hide! The sky is falling!!

If you believe little boys playing with dolls is sick and threatens their development, then you won't like this program. If you think it's subservise propaganda to tell little girls it's okay for them to be smart and strong, then you won't like this program either. On the other hand, if you are a nurturing parent and some of your goals include teaching your child to have a sense of self, to respect humanity's differences (gasp!) and to empower (double gasp!) them to reach for the stars, then you'll enjoy sharing this program with your kids.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By dkr on August 5, 2005
Format: DVD
This dvd brings me back to when I was growing up in the 70's. I am happy to share this with my kids. Who can forget the baby puppets in the hospital window trying to figure out if they are boys or girls or Rosie Greer singing "It's Alright to Cry." One of the highlights is the duet by Roberta Flack and a young Michael Jackson singing "You Don't Have to Change at All." I am so happy I am able to have this piece of my childhood to share.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Heather Bee on September 6, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD for my almost-three-year-old through a sentimental haze; I suppose I hadn't seen this on television since 1977 or so. Back in the day, this show was broadcast annually, so I couldn't remember it too well - the puppets in the hospital nursery was about it.

But I certainly still had the songs in my head (my record was played daily) as well as the ideas, and these I wanted to share with my son. So, I bought the book and the CD and the DVD, all to make certain my son knows he is free to be, darn-tootin'.

The DVD, however, has turned out to be somewhat of a letdown. As another reviewer wrote, it is dated. I can't see this show, in 2004, as the most effective vehicle to transport the message to little Sam. As for Mommy, I prefer to sing along with the CD, allowing my son to listen to what he's hearing and not get lost in (or perhaps bored by) what he's seeing on screen.

Somewhere on Amazon I read that the show was developed in response to the success of the record. This reassures me that the content is well-carried without the visuals.

Feel free to profit from my over-enthusiasm - I watched the DVD once after it arrived and probably won't again. And in Sam's book, the Free to Be DVD probably earns 4 stars, but ranks rather at the bottom of his must-see-for-the-43rd-time list.
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