Filmmaker William VanDerKloot was watching kids' videos with his children. He was disappointed with what he saw... and what he didn't. With a few notable exceptions, most children's videos were poorly done and overly simplistic. "It seemed as if very little effort was put into the research or production of those products," said VanDerKloot. "Many looked like amateur home videos."
Then he got an idea.... A Peabody award-winning director/producer, VanDerKloot decided to produce one himself. The first subject came to him while driving past the Atlanta airport in a car full of children. As they drove down I-75, a giant plane took off overhead. Immediately VanDerKloot was bombarded with questions from the kids, "What kind of plane is that?" How fast is it going?" "How many passengers are in it?" The Big Plane Trip, the first video in The Big Adventure Series®, was born.
But VanDerKloot did not want to make a simplistic video "just for kids." Each subsequent video in the series, is constructed with various levels of information so that an entire family, from the youngest to the oldest, can enjoy and learn something new with every viewing. "There is something that happens when you become a parent," says VanDerKloot. "You begin to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Suddenly the normal becomes the extraordinary and you see things in a whole new way."
The Big Adventure Series® shows how things work with a child's sense of wonder. And who better to critique an adventure-in-progress than kids themselves. The team at Little Mammoth holds a number of screenings for children's groups while videos are in their rough edit stage. Utilizing the input, the videos are modified. The results are productions that have received national acclaim from the critics, and most importantly, from families and children.
This hard work has paid off. The BIG Adventure Series®, which is now sixteen titles strong, has received dozens of awards and citations from such organizations as Parent's Choice, Kids First!, Video Librarian, CINE, and International Monitor Awards.