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The Busy Little Engine -- Ages 3-6

Preschoolers Learn About the World with a Friendly Pig and a Busy Little Engine

childrens video, squirrel tracks

2006 -- Looking like a young child's board book come-to-life, "The Busy Little Engine" DVD combines high-tech computer animation with live action to tell the story of a wooden toy train who pretends to be a real train. Gentle transitions and easy pacing make the DVD appropriate for even the youngest viewers, while magical animations, real trains, unforgettable songs, and the lovable Pig make it fun for all ages.

Desmond Mullen, owner of Squirrel Tracks and creator of The Busy Little Engine, points out that, "Children love to play with wooden trains, but most children don't really know much about what real trains do. Learning a little about what trains do all day really enhances a child's creative play possibilities and helps the child understand a little more about how the world works." With the help of an off-screen narrator, Busy Little Engine and his lovable puppet friend, Pig, learn a little about the world around them and use their imaginations to discover what real trains do.

The DVD features three original songs written and performed by Jimmy Magoo. Magoo's deceptively simple compositions for The Busy Little Engine have proven pleasantly infectious to early reviewers who have reported finding themselves happily singing the words even when they're not around children.

While there are many children's DVDs about trains on the market, The Busy Little Engine is the first DVD to feature a wooden toy train. "By focusing on a toy that is familiar to most children, we can present concepts about how the world works in a way that even the youngest child can understand and apply to his or her own life," Mullen says. He adds, "The excitement that a child has when he sees a thing in the real world that he recognizes, or when he applies a concept he's learned to a new situation, is wonderful. That thrill of discovery of the world is infectious. That's what I love about helping children understand the world around them."

DVD Special Features include: Scene Selection so children and parents can jump to their favorite parts of the DVD, three original sing-along videos where viewers can sing-along with Pig (lyric sheet is included), and a special short, "Making The Busy Little Engine" where viewers can see how the animations were created and how Pig was performed and added to the show.

The Busy Little Engine retails for $15.95 and is available in specialty shops nationwide and online at (, Busy Little Engine's website (, and other Internet retailers. Mr. Mullen reports that The Busy Little Engine, released December 12, 2005, was a big holiday hit and that shipments exceeded expectations.

With a background in high-tech show-business (including George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic and Silicon Valley's Rocket Science Games and WebTV Networks), and with twin toddler sons and a 6-year-old daughter at home, Desmond Mullen found himself uniquely positioned to create a high-tech masterpiece about wooden trains for young children.

As half of the show production team at the world-renowned Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Mr. Mullen has created acclaimed science education shows enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of North Carolina school children and their families. With The Busy Little Engine, Mr. Mullen helps young children and their parents stretch their imaginations, learn about the busy world around them, and have lots of fun with creative play.


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