As seen on PBS, Mr. Humdinger Goes Fishing is a live-action video that shows kids two to seven years old what it is like to be a commercial fisherman for a day.
Mr. Humdinger and his puppet sidekick Mr. Fin learn about the fishing industry from Captain Emery, skipper of a 90-foot fishing boat. Together, they learn about boats and safety equipment, visit the icehouse and dry dock, and take the boat out on the ocean to catch fish and prepare them for the grocery store.
While on the "job," Mr. Humdinger and Mr. Fin have all sorts of comical misadventures: while putting on a life jacket Mr. Humdinger falls into the bay; Mr. Fin hijacks a fishing boat to search for the perfect fishburger; Mr. Humdinger learns what it is like to eat on the ocean while making banana soup; Mr. Fin is accidentally sucked up the processing plant’s "fish" hose; Mr. Humdinger discovers fishing is very hard work while scrubbing the deck with a toothbrush.
Both funny and educational, Mr. Humdinger Goes Fishing is packed with hilarious gags, goofy sound effects and fun original music including the final song, a rousing version of "Sailing, Sailing (With Mr. Humdinger)."
This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.
Decked out in a spiffy sailor's cap and matching shorts, Mr. Humdinger is on board the Oregon Beaver
fishing boat to give youngsters an up-close look at the commercial fishing industry. After a short lesson on life jacket safety, our skipper and his first mate, an orange puppet named Mr. Fin, take viewers on a tour of the vessel's galley, icehouse, propeller room, and deck while Mr. Humdinger peppers his chitchat with slapstick stunts and goofy shenanigans. We're not sure why, since the film's seafaring footage contains enough real-life excitement to keep kids engaged: salty air, ocean waves, shimmering fish, and impressive hydraulic equipment. Unfortunately, Mr. Humdinger's over-the-top wackiness (picture Gilligan crazed on caffeine) detracts from the otherwise captivating elements of the film. While his humor is well intentioned, all but the youngest viewers will find it tiresome. Better would be a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to an interesting topic. Thankfully, the film finds its footing halfway through the 35-minute program, when Mr. H becomes serious enough to narrate a day-in-the-life of a commercial fisherman. Kids will learn how a troller boat works as it drags a fishing net capable of carrying 50,000 fish. They'll watch how the slippery creatures are sorted and stored on ice before being whisked away to the processing plant for packaging and distribution. Filmed in the California coastline cities of Eureka and San Francisco, live-action footage also contains glimpses of a Coast Guard rescue boat, fireboat, and towboat. (Ages 2 to 8) --Lynn Gibson