In these fun and funny animated episodes of Professor Balthazar, the great professor and inventor is also a humanitarian, ever ready to help his fellow man in a jam.
In episode one, the professor heads out on a holiday to the Swiss Alps. He travels by train and zip line. When he arrives, he is heartily-and loudly- welcomed by Johanne. Johanne loves to yodel and does so not so quietly. He is loud enough to bring down an avalanche of snow! He and Johanne share a mug of some sort of drink and the professor enjoys a bit of sledding in the frigid temperatures.
On his arrival home he has caught a cold and visits his doctor. His doctor prescribes a trip to a tiny island in the south seas, which he believes will speed up the professor’s recovery time.
At the island, there is a lighthouse and a keeper of the lighthouse, namely Hannibal. Hannibal and the professor hit it off and enjoy looking through the telescope at passing ships. They spot everything from a king’s ship, a musical ship, and a Scottish cargo ship, to even a pirate ship. The animators added little skulls flying above the pirate ship and it adds nicely to the feel of the moment in the show.
One day, a blue whale named Otto shows up and takes Hannibal and the professor on a ride on his back, which they believe is more enjoyable than riding on a ship. Otto has lots of personality and jumps up and down in the water and flaps his tail a lot.
Hannibal isn’t entirely happy on the island. The sun shines every day, and the heat causes him to order ice cream cones all the time. But it always melts in the hot sun. Hannibal has a pile of empty ice cream cones that he never got to enjoy eating with ice cream. Professor Balthazar wants to cheer him up, so he adjusts Hannibal’s telescope so he’s able to see beyond the horizon. The professor soon heads home and Hannibal watches the Alps, and he longs for the snow and ice cream that he sees there. So, Hannibal sends out six dozen applications in bottles to the sea, hoping to find a way to travel to the Alps. He receives replies, all of them stating he needs to find a replacement before he can leave the island.
Hannibal loses hope he will ever be able to leave the island, especially with all the fog making it impossible for anyone to see it. But when something huge collides with the island, Hannibal sends a request to the professor, asking for help. And Professor Balthazar doesn’t let him down. He invents a turbo-jet sucking machine to lift the fog off. Just when it looks as if no help will come to get a ship off the island, Otto shows up and makes it happen!
Johanne shows up, as he wanted to be able to yodel in a place where the snow won’t avalanche down on him. Is it possible for Johanne and Hannibal to change places? We won’t give it away but we will say that Hannibal and his new friend Otto the blue whale manage to both enjoy some ice cream — finally!
In the second episode, Professor Balthazar takes the local streetcar to his laboratory. The professor’s good friend, Fabian, is a motorman and runs the streetcar. Fabian works hard all day and then at night both he and the streetcar rest. One year the winter weather is severe, and poor little sparrow, Ernest, has to resort to asking for help in order to survive. He asks those passing by his spot for a coin or two. Ernest, from the small coins of charity, buys crumbs from a local baker in order to survive. Fabian meets Ernest and takes him in to his own home. He and Ernest really hit it off as Ernest is quite the cook and knows 17 different recipes for spaghetti!
However, after an incident involving his streetcar, Fabian loses his job and soon he and Ernest are barely surviving. But good old Professor Balthazar comes through again. With Ernest’s help Fabian learns to fly and the professor invents a new streetcar that can actually…fly. Soon he is back in business again.
We should note that parents will want to point out to their children not to attempt to learn how to fly on their own as it could prove dangerous. Fabian falls down in his first few attempts before he manages to master it.
These wonderful and wholesome episodes have earned our Dove seal for All Ages. They give a wonderful portrayal of the importance of helping friends and being concerned for the poor.
THE DOVE TAKE:
This remarkable show does a terrific job in showing that smart people like the professor care about and help others out.