If there’s one thing you get to know as a parent, a Dad especially, is that there are some special forms of torture aimed directly at us. They’re called Bad Kids Telly. You soon develop the ability to tune most stuff out (apart from Lenny Henry, that’s technically not possible you know) but there are some programmes that you find yourself watching rather than enduring.
For example, we have this 12 DVD box set of the original Ben 10 (when he was actually ten you know) and it has been an absolute life saver on rainy days, sick days, days with the elderly grandparents and days when simply nothing else will do. So when we were tipped off that a new live action Ben 10 film was out on DVD, we (and by this I mean me because I am still a kid at heart) leapt at the chance to have a borrow of a promotional copy. Purely for research purposes you understand.
Ben 10 Alien Swarm is based in the Ben 10 Alien Force Universe. For those of you that don’t know one from the other, Alien Force sees Ben and his chums a bit older and edgier in a child safe sort of way than in the original series. Before I get into the dangerous territory of beginning to sound like a trekkie, I better move on to the film itself.
The characters from the TV show are very well realised and the production values are pretty high for what is effectively a straight to video release. Seeing his favourite characters rendered in the flesh more than made up for a slight lack of action- I guess having Ben transform every couple of minutes in animation is no more expensive than having him walk along the street, but in live action stuff this isn’t quite the case. It’s something I noticed but our lad certainly didn’t, he was as pleased as punch and has constantly asked for Big Boy Ben 10 to be put on.
I think live action is an important facet of childrens programming, it gives them opportunity to study and understand human interaction better than cartoons do. Not that our lad will be considering that, he’ll just be pestering me for a copy of Ben 10 Alien Swarm until I cave in.
Ben 10 Alien Swarm was released on DVD and Blu Ray last week (Monday 11 October 2010), just in time for the predictably horrendous weather we’ll no doubt have over half term. Grab yourself a copy and have a sit down and a cup of tea while your little darlings are engrossed.