I am mom to two children, aged seven and three. Other parents out there know what this means. It means I am familiar with the latest Disney movies, I am very often pretending to be a pirate, or a knight, or a princess with my kids, and I spend hours building things with Lego. It also means that I know about a particular group of guys called the Imagination Movers. And I have become a big fan of them. (Of course my kids are huge fans too, and my hubby is as well.)
The Imagination Movers have saved me from those other kids TV shows. I was reminded of this earlier today when I had to sit through one of them. It was raining heavily and so we were inside, and as I turned on the TV while my daughter and I started gathering the Barbies to play with, she saw a puppy. Zoey LOVES puppies. And so she wanted to see this show that had a cute little puppy on it. After a short time I really, really wanted to find some earplugs. The characters – dressed in bizarre costumes that were kind of scary to me! – and their songs left much to be desired. I was so distracted by the weirdness of it all that I have absolutely no idea what the message of that particular episode was. And I started to count my blessings that we have watched very little else than the Imagination Movers over the last two years (their show still airs here on Disney Junior). The Movers are real people – no fake body parts, no strange makeup, no wigs (unlike the characters on the show I had to sit through today) – who solve problems together, creatively, and with respect for each other. They teach their audience lessons about working together, being good friends, and being true to themselves. And they are entertaining. And funny. I would watch their TV show on my own, without my kids. (Admission: I watch their concert footage while running on my treadmill…without my kids in the room. What??? The music is perfect for my running pace!) They’re also real musicians, who have fantastic music. Yes, the lyrics are about robots, a jungle room, a butterfly, and wanting to be a frog, and so the songs are perfect for little ones, but the music is so good. (Another admission: I take our Imagination Movers CDs with me when I’m heading out even without my children.) I work at two radio stations, and the Movers’ music is just as good – I’d say better, actually – than what is on the radio.
Which brings me to another reason I am a big fan of the Imagination Movers. I have been to four concerts of theirs in the last two years, and they are awesome. Not only do the Movers sound just as incredible live as they do on their CDs, but the concerts are “experiences”. The guys are full of energy, and they try their hardest to get to every single child in the audience to say hello, give a high five, and smile for pictures.
The kids love it. They love them. At one of the most recent concerts I went to about a week and a half ago, Mover Rich was making his way to a spot where he’d say goodbye on behalf of all the guys, at the end of the concert. He couldn’t get there. He was surrounded by little ones who were hugging him and wouldn’t let go. His response? He started laughing about it.
These guys feel the love, and they appreciate it. I have also been lucky enough to meet the Imagination Movers a few times after their concerts, and they are so giving of their time. Both times they have stayed long past when they were supposed to leave so they could just hang out with their fans.
You’d think they’d be exhausted after having a sound check party earlier in the day, and then working their butts off on stage during the concert, and then meeting, talking with, and taking pictures with another long line of people. I’m sure they were. But they showed no signs of that. They were friendly, kind, and appreciative.
And that takes me to one of the biggest reasons why I love the Imagination Movers. These guys are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
I have been in the media for years, and have worked with television personalities and musicians. Many of them are friendly and nice, but some…not so much. The Imagination Movers make everyone who meets them – young and old…er – feel like they matter. I recently saw a musician I had worked with briefly, decades ago (in 1995), and he was just as unpleasant as he had been so many years ago. More so, actually. The Movers would never treat their fans like that. And the Imagination Movers are accessible. I have had several conversations with a few of them on Twitter and email, and they are ALWAYS pleasant, gracious, and the most down-to-earth you can get. When I was going to return to teaching last September, I asked Mover Dave if he could Skype with me and my media class and talk about children’s television. He gladly agreed. And Mover Rich has done several telephone interviews with me for my radio job, even when he had no idea who this woman was who was contacting him about his solo project! Imagination Movers fans can enjoy even more accessibility right now as part of the Movers’ PledgeMusic campaign for their latest album. Your kids can chat with them via Skype, you can host an acoustic concert with them, and they’ll send your child a personalized birthday video and birthday card. My friend Tammie’s little girl just got the video and card, and she was over the moon! Who else would do that for their fans????? (http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/imaginationmovers#exclusives)
Most importantly, the Imagination Movers have given my family so much joy. Going to their concerts has been a wonderful bonding experience for us, and we have Imagination Movers dance parties on a regular basis. It’s music we can all appreciate – from the three year old to the forty year old – and we’ll keep buying it and loving it as long as they keep making it. Oh, and we’re very excited because the Movers will soon be making a new TV show. More Movers to watch = happy Mercers!
My friends without kids don’t get it…and they think I am a little over the top with my Imagination Movers appreciation. I respectfully disagree.