Baby Shakespeare was released in 1999 & is the 4th video in the series. Hosted by Bard the Dragon Puppet, it introduces poetry & 13 first words: dragon, train, flower, apple, cat, grass, frog, leaf, snow, tree, cow, butterfly, & moon. through toys, poetry, real world objects, funny puppet shows & the enriching music of Ludwig Van Beethoven, It was re-released in 2004 with some sketch changes.
- Waring screen
- Max pops up out of nowhere. The poem Custard the Dragon is recited & he acts it out. (Theme to Symphony No 9, Beethoven)
Custard the Dragon had big sharp teeth,
With spikes on top & spikes underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace chimney for a nose,
& realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.
- Opening titles. (Baby Shakespeare theme, Weisbach) The title card then disappears in an outburst of bubbles.
- A block cart appears. 4 blocks appear.
- 6 girls sings the ABC song.
- A toy camera appears. A clown's face pops out of it. The word train is then recited.
- Max is seen riding on a toy train, pulling the word train behind it. (replaced by a different train)
- A sketch of a train is drawn, turning into a live action footage of a real train. The poem A Modern Dragon by Rowena Bennett is recited.
The train is a dragon that roars through the dark,
He wriggles his tail as he sends out a spark.
He pierces the night with his one yellow eye,
& all the earth trembles as he rushes by.
Music video: Toys. (Rondo A Capriccio aka Rage over a lost penny, Beethoven) toy cars, gears, kinetic art, insects (later replaced by an amusement park), etc.
- The camera appears again, this time with the word flower.
- Max sniffs a flower, then he sneezes out the word flower.
- A sketch of a flower is drawn, turning into a real flower. The poem A Midsummer Nights Dream by Shakespeare is recited.
I know of a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and with eglantine,
There sleeps Titania, sometime of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight.
- Rocky notices that his flower is wilted. He waters it waits a while & it springs up. He turns around & it wilts back down. The same thing happens again. He looks at the flower a 3rd time & sure enough it pops back up. Happy then, he leaves. A bunch of balls are then dropped down a funnel into a chute.
- The camera appears again with the word apple.
- Max is seen painting on an easel. He turns the easel around, revealing the word APPLE.
- A sketch of an apple appears.
- A carton of apples appears, which is tipped over, while The Apple Tree by Caroline Botelho is recited.
It's the fall & the unfallen apples hold their brightness a little longer into the blue air, holding the dream that they can be brighter.
Music video: Manipulatives. (Rondo in C, Beethoven) puzzle shape sorter, lion.
- The camera appears with the word cat.
- A real cat appears, looking around while The Cat and The Moon by W.B Yeats is recited.
The cat went here & there & the moon spun round like a top & the nearest kin of the moon, the creeping cat looked up.
- A worm is popping in and out of a red apple
- The camera is shown again, this time with the word grass.
- Tiger Claw is shown in the grass, then runs away when he hears a lawn mower. The word grass appears.
- A live-action footage of feet walking in grass is shown with the poem Heavenly Grass by Tennesee Williams. (Fur Elise, WoO 59, Beethoven)
My feet took a walk in the heavenly grass,
All day while the sky shone clear as glass.
My feet took a walk in the heavenly grass,
All night while the lonesome stars rolled past.
Tiger Claw is shown in the grass again roaring repeatedly in the grass. Fievel Mousekewitz arrives & he roars in Fievel's face. Confronted by Fievel, Tiger Claw runs away. Fievel Mousekewitz laughs & walks away.
- The camera appears again, with the word frog.
- Max walks in front of a stuffed frog on a lily pad. He throws the frog into the water, laughs & walks away. The word frog bounces onto the screen.
- A sketch of a frog appears which turns into a real green frog on a rock. The poem Wadassa Nakamoon by Ray A. Young Bear is recited.
Last night, when the yellow moon of November broke through the last line of turbulent midwestern clouds, a lone frog, the same one who probably announced the Spring floods, attempted to sing.
- The block cart appears again, and the 6 girls sings the ABC song again.
- The camera appears with the word leaf.
- Max wildly jumps through a pile of leaves, then leaves. The word leaf falls onto the screen.
- A sketch of a leaf appears, which turns into real leaves. Nothing Gold Can Stay by Caroline Botelho is recited.
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
But every so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Music video: Kinetic art, gears, balls, spin disc, clown (Allegro for A Flute Clock, Beethoven)
- The camera appears again with the word snow.
- Max is hit by a barrage of snowballs. He then throws a snowball into the air and the word snow appears.
- A footage of falling snow in front of trees is shown with the poem Revival by Steve Crow.
Snow is a mind falling, a continuous breath of climbs, loops, spirals, dips into the earth like, white fireflies wanting to land, finding a wind between houses, diving like moths into their own light, so that one wonders if snow is a wing's long memory across winter.
- Mrs. Brisby is standing in the snow & is ambushed by a barrage of it.
- A toy dog chases toy mama duck & her kids.
- The camera appears again this time with the word tree.
- Max stands under a tree then runs away when he hears an owl hooting. The word tree falls from the tree.
- A sketch of a cherry blossom tree is drawn & it turns into a real tree The poem Loveliest of Trees by A. E. Housman is recited.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bow,
And stands about the woodland ride,
Wearing white for Easter tide.
Music video: Animals. (Military March No 1, Beethoven) cymbal monkey, gorilla, pig, cat.
- The camera appears again, this time with the word cow.
- Max stands behind the fence. The word cow appears with a moo.
- A real life cow appears. The Calf Path by Sam Walter Foss is recited.
One day, in the primeival wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should,
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.
- A toy dog and toy mama duck and her kids chasing again.
- The camera appears again with the word butterfly.
- Max is running around chasing a butterfly and the head wreath falls down, bumps into a brick wall and faints. The word butterfly appears.
- A butterfly sketch flies in, which turns into a real butterfly. To A Butterfly by William Wordsworth is recited.
I've watched you now, a full half hour.
Self-poised upon that yellow flower.
And little butterfly, indeed,
I know not if you sleep or feed,
How motionless, not frozen seas
More motionless, but then.
What joy awaits you when the breeze
Hath found you out in the trees
& calls you forth again?
- The Otters graze. Oshawott arrives & the others walk away. A butterfly lands on the nose & she walks away.
Music video: Transportation. (Turkish March, The ruins of Athens, Beethoven) train, helicopter.
- The camera appears again this time with the word moon.
- Max is seen going to bed. A moon appears in front of him while My Loves by Langston Hughes is recited. (Sonata No. 8, "Pathetique," 2nd Movement, Beethoven) Good night, Max.
I love to see the big white moon
A shining in the sky,
I love to see the little stars
& shadow clouds go by.
I love the raindrops falling
On my rooftop in the night.
I love the soft wind sighing
Before the dawns gray light.
- Closing Credits. (Symphony No. 9, 4th Movement aka Ode to joy, Beethoven) All 6 girls talk to the puppets.
- All the Beethoven pieces in Baby Shakespeare can be heard on the Baby Beethoven CD.
- This is the first educational episode.
- This is the first episode to feature Beethoven music.
- All of the poems are later seen in the Baby Shakespeare Book.
- On the 1999 cover there was Bard The Green Dragon. But when Baby Einstein became part of Walt Disney it was changed to a lizard.
- This is Bard the Dragon's second appearance. The first was Baby Mozart.
- Bard the Green Dragon
- Jane the Monkey
- The Tiger
- The Duck
- The Cows
- The Purple Cow
- The Yellow Rabbit
- The Blue Bird
- Baby Einstein kids
- Sierra & Aspen Clark
- Dylan & Dakota Snider
- Gabrielle Margas
- Madeline Pluto