Picks and Pans Review: Drug Avengers
Originally designed to be shown in classrooms to first through sixth graders, this tape is such a soft-sell antidrug vehicle that it's hard at times to figure out what the point is. It does draw attention to aspects of the drug problem subtly and in an animation style that should be familiar to young TV watchers. There's also a sci-fi/fantasy component to keep the kids involved. The tape's 10 five-to-seven-minute episodes show three youngsters from the future who are sent back to the late 20th century to rid Earth of drug addictions. The word "drug" is loosely interpreted, since the trio of heroes, Zena Thompson, Victor Morales and Elliott "Skate" Skolamowsky, warn about everything from overdosing on vitamins and cookies to using alcohol and marijuana. There's only a minimum of preaching, and the three main characters are helped by such gimmicks as a musical heart which sings, "Some of those pills can stop my pumpin'/ Come on, man, you crazy or sumpin'?" Directed by Reading Rainbow producer Larry Lancit, the tape could serve, segment by segment, as a starting point for discussions without wearing down any attention spans. (Lancit Media, $34.95; 800-358-5858)
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