writer, director and producer of the movie, "The Wheels on the Bus,"
which makes its debut on DVD today. "You don't want to teach kids to
blow bubbles in their milk."
Macy, the inspiration for the video as well as one of its stars,
learned as much. In the final version of the video, the only bubbles
are the appropriate kind, floating through the air from a bubble
Armstrong, who lives in Glendale, has made movies for years,
including educational videos for schools and corporate videos, such
as training movies for Xerox and other companies.
But 3-year-old Macy opened him up to a new world.
"I had never heard the song "Wheels on the Bus" until Macy was
born," Armstrong said. "I started going to Gymboree, Mommy and Me,
and everywhere you go, you hear that song."
Curious, Armstrong searched the Internet to see if there were
movies based on the song. Finding none, he took matters into his own
hands. He wrote the script for a movie in which a bus travels around
town, stopping at the zoo, an aquarium and a farm. He wrote the
lyrics to songs based on the famed "Wheels on the Bus" song, and he
turned to Macy for ideas. Macy likes bubbles and puppies, so there
are plenty of bubbles and puppies in the movie.
He even landed a few stars. Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who,
plays the role of Argon the Dragon, the bus driver. Laura Hall, a
regular on ABC's "Whose Line Is It Anyway," plays a lead role and
wrote the music to go with all of Armstrong's lyrics.
"She came up with some unusually fun and hip songs," Armstrong
said. "She believes you don't have to write music for kids that's all
syrupy and sweet. You can make just fun songs."
Armstrong is already working on a sequel, "Mango Helps the Moon
Mouse," which features much of the same characters.
He'll have a few new members in his audience, too. His wife gave
birth to twins, Lilly and Daniel, last week.
"When the kids finally go down at two in the morning, I'm turning
on my laptop and working on lyrics for the second one," Armstrong
said. "I'm definitely time-crunched."
The video, aimed for children between 18 months and 4 years old,
will be available in stores today. The DVD costs $14.99 and the VHS