Picks and Pans Review: For Our Children: the Concert
Blending good intentions and good fun, this is an all-star concert of children's songs by performers from Paula Abdul to Randy Newman. The concert, originally on the Disney Channel, is a Pediatric AIDS Foundation benefit.
TV stars, some of them minor, provide between-song patter. (Woody Harrelson sings a folky ditty, "Happy to the Sun.") While the perky-chirpy Abdul and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" are an ideal match, she is best suited to visual media, so merely listening to her sing the tune is frustrating. Musical highlights include teenage R&B star Shanice's soulful version of "Mockingbird," Melissa Etheridge doing "The Green Grass Grew All Around," Newman's "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and Bobby McFerrin's Wizard of Oz medley. Two lows: Michael Bolton's silly, overwrought "You Are My Sunshine" and Patti Labelle closing with "What a Wonderful World," a shockingly clumsy choice for an AIDS benefit.
A child young enough to get a kick out of these tunes is too young to have his AIDS consciousness raised, but older kids who recognize the performers can tune in to both messages, philanthropic and musical. All profits go to the foundation. (Disney)