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New Vanderbilt Planetarium shows: What do the kids think?

Kids voice their opinions after the new shows

Kids voice their opinions after the new shows at the Vanderbilt Museum's Planetarium in Centerport. Credit: Beth Whitehouse

Three new video shows have debuted at the newly renovated Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport, and Parent Talk was of course eager to see what the kids think of the flicks projected onto the domed ceiling. We attended an afternoon of viewings to get reaction from the people who matter most to us.

Here’s what some kids said about each new, half-hour-long show:

ABOUT “ONE WORLD, ONE SKY”: This one is for littler kids, though even the viewers up to age 10 loved it. Its full title is “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure,” and it features “Sesame Street” characters including Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu of the Chinese version of "Sesame Street." There’s singing and audience participation and familiar venues such as Hooper’s Store.

“I liked Elmo kicking the soccer ball on the moon,” said Alex Valder, 4, of Bohemia, who saw the show with his twin brother, Anthony.

“It’s not so much for babies even though it’s Elmo and Big Bird,” said Ashley Trotta, 8, a second-grader from Commack.

“I liked how it taught you Chinese.The movie made it feel like you were moving, so it’s really fun. I did not know the constellation is called the Big Dipper. I did not know that at all,” said Marissa Bodden, 9, a third-grader from Brooklyn who was visiting her aunt in Wheatley Heights.

ABOUT “SOLAR SYSTEM ODYSSEY”: This show is more plot driven, occurring sometime in the future. The animated cartoon features fictional multimillionaire Warren Trout of Trout Enterprises, who sends astronaut Jack Larson on a trip to find a planet to colonize. Trout’s teenage daughter stows away on the ship and refuses to come home until she and Larson visit three possible contenders. “You are so grounded,” dad tells her.

“This was the first planetarium show I’ve ever been to. I thought it was just going to be showing the constellations, but it was like a movie. It had a lot of information,” said Rachel Anderson, 15, a 10th grader from Stony Brook. “I didn’t know there were so many moons around other planets.”

Christian Hill, 13, had this criticism of the show: “There was too much focus inside the ship and not enough visuals of the planets,” said the eighth grader from Port Washington. "Overall I would recommend it."

Natalie Anderson, 9, a fourth grader from Stony Brook, appreciated the fact that the clever teen who stowed away was a girl. “The girl knew a lot,” she said. “I think the astronaut learned a lot more from her.”

ABOUT “STARS”: “Stars” is narrated by actor Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars.” It’s a documentary-style video with graphic images of bursting stars, nebulas, clusters and more, with dramatic music by The Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

“I learned that when stars explode, black holes are left,” said Lilly Schatz, 9, a fourth-grader from Northport.

“I liked at the end when they talked about what could happen if you got sucked into a black hole, that you could be stuck in time, or you could be shrunken to a small dot because of the gravity,” said Jackson Bright, 11, a 6th grader from Copiague.

“I like how they showed the different scientists, Albert Einstein, Copernicus and Galileo,” said Sophia Bright, 9, a fourth grader from Copiague.

“I want to be an astronaut,” said Amelia Bright, 4, of Copiague.

And there you have it. The critics have spoken.

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