By Y. Yaakov
I’d bet there are children’s musical albums that you grew up that are still ingrained in your memory. These were the true classics, whose songs and dialogue taught lessons and positive messages are still with us today.
For our kids growing up nowadays, I believe The Kneidles will be one of those instant classics.
For starters, as an animated story-book style musical, The Kneidles enters a genre that is not heavily populated.
But who are The Kneidles? They are a brand-new family of characters that truly spark a child’s imagination. They come to life and do things that real kids do, but filled with discovery and adventure.
Kneidles is the traditional Yiddish name for Matzah Balls and would you know that this particular Kneidle family not only knows how to get in – and out of – all sorts of good-natured mischief, but they do it with Simcha “Singing and dancing all over your table.”
In this video we meet up with The Kneidles as they seek to escape the summer heat with “A Shabbos Up North”. Every child loves going to the country. But what happens if things don’t go perfectly according to plan? Well The Kneidles know just what to do, and they all get involved in helping the family get ready for Shabbos. They’ll “Sing, clap, hop and roll,” and have a contagiously good time doing it.
The Kneidles is the creative brainchild of well-known Chassidic artist, Peretz Schmukler. His many talents truly shine in this production, as an animator, composer, musician and perhaps above all, as an educator par excellence. It is the type of video that engages children in a fun and entertaining way, while instilling ideas and values will be remembered for a lifetime.
As a parent watching the video, I was impressed by the degree of thought that is apparent throughout. As my wife has said, it is a video that she doesn’t mind if the kids watch over and over again, because every detail of it is instilled with Torah, Hashakafa, Halacha and a deep sense of appreciation for overall joy of being a Jew.
The songs in the video deserve a mention in their own right. I find myself humming the tunes myself and I can see some of them making their way into the Jewish education music world, alongside classics such as those found in Torah Avenue and Marvelous Middos Machine. Oh, and without giving too much away, don’t miss the copyright song – that’s all I’ll say!
As someone who has always had a soft-spot for animated production, I have an extra appreciation for the animation in this video which relies less on computer special effects and more on the classic early Disney-like artistic handy work. I think this is also part of the reason why kids are taking so positively to this video, because despite its imaginative storyline, it still maintains a certain earthy, down to earth feel that they can relate to.
To conclude, if you are looking for a creative, educational and entertaining video for your little ones – whether at home, in the classroom or for car trips – The Kneidles is a must have.
The Kneidles Animated Musical is now available for purchase and instant download and play