The Bottom Line
* Watch a video about Mickey Mote
- Easy to set up and easy for preschoolers to use
- Adds interactivity to DVD viewing and helps kids develop thinking skills
- Two levels of play: easy level for young preschoolers or more challenging questions as they grow
- Limited uses (can ONLY be used with certain Disney DVDs for preschoolers)
- Left/Right buttons may have a glitch during regular viewing (see review below for explanation)
- Doesn't always remember the Discovery Mode Level selection when choosing new episodes
- Mickey Mote has four buttons that allow preschoolers to answer questions embedded in Disney DVDs that contain Discovery Mode.
- The Mickey Mote is available packaged WITH certain Disney DVDs for $29.99 total list price, but can be found on sale.
- Look for the "Discovery Mode" bonus feature on the back of the DVD packaging to see if it will work with Mickey Mote
Guide Review - Mickey Mote Review
According to Disney, the Mickey Mote should work with most DVD/Blu-ray players that support infrared. (If you use a PlayStation 3, you will need an IR adapter.) You also need the DVD/Blu-ray player remote, or in our case, the Harmony universal remote worked.
The Mickey Mote works with any Disney DVD for preschoolers that contains "Discovery Mode." Over 12 titles featuring shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, and My Friends Tigger & Pooh are available for use with Mickey Mote, and more are coming up.Mickey Mote Programming:
The Mickey Mote is simple and quick to program. We just followed the few step-by-step instructions and setting up our Mickey Mote was a snap.Functionality:
Our Mickey Mote works, but there is one glitch. When we push the right/left buttons during viewing time (when a question is not being asked) the Mickey Mote causes the player to fast forward/rewind the movie. The only way to stop it is to use the player remote. This caused our two-year-old some frustration at first, but now she knows not to push any buttons unless it asks a question.
I can't say for sure, but I believe this glitch could be because we used the Harmony remote to program our Mickey Mote, or because we use a PlayStation 3 as our movie player. I assume that had we used a regular DVD or Blu-ray player remote, we might not have had the glitch.
One additional note: with our remote, if it gets shaken the batteries dislodge slightly causing it to reset or turn off.Entertainment/Educational Value:
The scope of the Mickey Mote is limited, since kids can only play with it in conjunction with select Disney DVDs for preschoolers. That being said, the Mickey Mote is inexpensive, there are many titles available, and kids can have a more interactive experience.
Our two-year-old became immediately obsessed with the Mickey Mote. She quickly learned how to use it and can answer the level 1 questions on her own. She doesn't have a long attention span with it, but then again, she's only two. The Mickey Mote seems most suited for preschoolers who are about 3-5 years old.
As a parent, I love the Mickey Mote because it keeps the kids off of our regular remote. I am not a big fan of any games that use the regular remote control as a game controller. The Mickey Mote is easy for kids to use, and it adds an additional educational element as well as entertainment to the regular TV viewing experience.
The questions kids answer with the Mickey Mote are, for the most part, educational in nature. Kids can answer questions about numbers, colors, letters and more. Also, the very process of picking the correct answer to the question and then being able to choose the corresponding button on the Mickey Mote is a great learning opportunity for kids. If you have a preschooler who loves Disney TV shows, and you often buy DVDs containing show episodes, I would recommend the Mickey Mote.(Updated 1/11 after review of a second Mickey Mote)