Review: Adventures of Chicken Weebus (Volume 1)

For a variety of reasons, it takes me longer to get to story reviews.  I apologize, therefore, that I didn't write this review three months ago.  My bad.

So let me introduce to you Chicken Weebus, a plucky little chicken -- more like a chick, really -- whose adventures in The Town There are the funniest audio plays you and your family will hear all year.  Chicken Weebus is the brainchild of husband-and-wife producers Karl Hirsch and Lauren Proctor.  Adventures of Chicken Weebus (Volume 1) collects the first four stories they wrote and recorded with a fine cast of talented voice actors, and it's a great way to amuse your kids (and maybe you) for more than an hour.

Trying to explain Chicken Weebus too much would be to diminish the slightly absurd joy and probably make it sound dorkier than it really is.  Think of Chicken Weebus as akin to a slightly-less-worldly Kermit the Frog -- the straight man (albeit with a dry sense of humor) amidst a large cast of characters, many of whom are, like, Gonzo or Animal, crazy in their own little ways.  It's that interplay between the nasally Weebus and the rest of the town (like Officer Longneck, the slow-talking cop, or the self-important narrator) that makes these plays so much fun.  Each story does have a lesson for the listeners to learn, but it's doused with sufficient cheese sauce that the broccoli is easily digested.  And the characters break the fourth wall and have just a tiny bit of knowing attitude just enough that the age range for these stories goes up higher than you might think.  My favorite of the stories is "City Chicken, Country Chicken," but there isn't a weak link.

The stories are most appropriate for kids ages 4 through 10.  You can preview the four main stories on the CD -- and download the entire first story for free -- here.  You can download the stories; the CD also includes interstitials not available for download -- they're funny, though not essential.

Adventures of Chicken Weebus (Volume 1) is a smartly-conceived and well-produced set of audio stories.  Funny, smart, and knowing without being smart-alecky, I can see these stories becoming a well-loved part of many families' car trips and lazy afternoons.  Bring on Volume 2!  Highly recommended.