Peter and the Wolf
Kids may not know who Prokofiev is, but often his work is their first taste of classical music. Now they can experience Peter and the Wolf (IBM/7th Level – ages 3 – 8) through this very good multimedia version. The story, read by a suave Tony Randall and animated in the style of Fantasia, is slightly updated through the device of having Peter attend the show in a concert hall, rather than just presenting the show itself. He keeps daydreaming about the story as it progresses, occasionally getting caught up in the performance. Characters sometimes leap out and chase him around the concert hall. The story is broken up into eight chapters, each starring a character like the duck, the wolf, and the bird. There’s no interactivity in the story segments, but plenty available when you’re in the concert hall between scenes. Click on the audience, the stage, the orchestra pit, and something happens. There are two games – in one you hear the sounds that the instruments of the orchestra produce; in the other you match Peter’s thought balloons with like objects (match telephone with TV because they’re machines; match Mrs. Jones with Mr. Blankbecause they’re people). The games are over-simplified and aimed at the lowest end of the recommended age group, but the rest of the program is appropriate for everyone. The best thing about this program is that it gives the Provofiev composition an entertaining but not overly cute visual accompaniment without in any way diminishing the beauty of the musical experience.
– October 1995, Music