Olive Us: Betty in Paris — with Commentary!

February 6, 2014

Betty in Paris by Rebecca Ricks

By Gabrielle. Illustration by Rebecca Ricks.

Betty in Paris, the most watched Olive Us episode, just turned ONE! It’s a big milestone for us so we’ve been in a joyful mood, and we’ve come up with a couple of fun ways to celebrate.

First, Rebecca Ricks, one of the talented illustrators we’ve worked with on many of the Olive Us episodes, drew the illustration above in response to the video. And we love it! The baguette! The red hat against the grey steps! So charming.

Second, we asked Matt and Julie Walker, the amazing team at Tiger in a Jar, to share commentary about the video (it’s the video above). Matt and Julie directed Betty in Paris and I love hearing their thoughts on some of the decision making behind the film. I hope you enjoy watching it!

A video-with-commentary is a first for Olive Us, and we are very much digging it. I hope we can do more of this! For example, I think it would be fun to hear Oscar giving commentary on Stacking Wood. : )

Lastly, this doesn’t have anything to do with Betty in Paris, but we’re totally jazzed about the Olive Us Instagram stream — each of the kids has been creating Instagrams to share! Family movie night recommendations, app reviews, joke-of-the-day — that sort of thing. If you’d like to get to know the Olive Us kids a little better, I hope you’ll follow us there!

P.S. — Would you like to know more about Olive Us? Here you go:

- Find the official Olive Us website here.
- Subscribe to the Olive Us Newsletter here — it’s written by Ben Blair and always has fun content and interesting contests!
- Find all the posts I’ve written about Olive Us — including every episode — here.

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Betty in Paris by Olive Us - a bonjour
May 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea February 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Amazing work you all are doing! I love the philosophy and the innocence behind this series. Families loving each other and getting along! So uplifting and real but rarely showcased these days. Thank you for celebrating the friendships and love of siblings!

And I can’t wait to check out the instagram feed!


2 Emme February 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm

You might want to change that to “Betty IN Paris”… in the first line. :)


3 Design Mom February 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Oops! Thanks for letting me know.


4 Liz Stanley February 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Yeah!! loved it and always love Rebecca’s illustrations ;)


5 NSH February 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm

This isn’t entirely germane to Olive Us, but I’m curious about your take on kids having cell phones and the cost of multiple phones/iPhones — I know your three biggest kids have their own Instagram accounts, and you mentioned that all of the kids have been contributing to the Olive Us Instagram account.


6 Amy February 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm

This seems like a good time to tell you that one of my favorite memories from this last Christmas season were the three nights that my ten-year-old daughter and I spent watching every single Olive Us episode while wrapping presents for her other mom, brother, cousins, aunts, and grandparents. If we had run out of presents before we ran out of Olive Us episodes, we would have made more on the spot just to keep watching! As we shared that time together, I thought of Ben Blair’s Olive Us Manifesto.


7 Design Mom February 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

This made me super happy, Amy. Thank you for sharing it!


8 Jenny also February 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Will def. be adding Olive Us to my Instagram feed.

I love that some of these videos feature siblings at very different developmental stages interacting, playing, living, and learning together. (especially the one with Ralph and Oscar lawn bowling) One of my brothers is 7 years younger than me, my husband has brothers 15 years younger than him (Yep, same mom and dad, people always ask), and our boys are 4 years apart. We’re all very connected to our siblings. It’s a different kind of close, maybe, but it’s still CLOSE. I find that so many of our friends have 2 kids within 2 years of each other and then are done; they don’t seem completely comfortable with (or maybe just used to) the younger or the older kid around. Your videos, and family, are a good examples of the diversity of loving families.

p.s. Now that my younger brother is 33 and my twin bro and I are 40 the “little” guy has caught up to us. We’re all at the same “season” of life and my2 brothers’ children are actually very close in age; mine are a bit older and adore all their baby cousins.


9 Design Mom February 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I love your thoughts on this, Jenny. Ralph and Oscar — the two brothers — are also 7 years apart. And I wondered if they would have a close relationship.


10 Sarah February 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

My two-year-old daughter Jane loves Olive Us, and tells us when she wears her winter hat that “it has a pom-pom, like Betty’s!” Is the illustration available for sale? I think she’d love it!


11 Rebecca February 7, 2014 at 11:35 am

Sarah, if you are interested in purchasing a print of the Betty in Paris illustration please email me at baricks@gmail.com and we can talk :)




12 Tamsin February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

My little almost-four-year-old and I are big Olive Us fans. We won’t watch them for weeks and weeks, and then we will snuggle up together with the laptop and go on a little binge and watch five or six in one sitting. The videos have triggered some great conversations about families, being a big brother, storytelling, traveling, how people live in different countries, languages, do tortilla chips have feelings, and if so, do they like being eaten?

Happy anniversary, and thank you so much for the little gift that these videos have been!


13 Jolene February 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I just showed my almost 4 year old daughter the Betty in Paris video for the first time. She loved it so much, she kept commenting on the food Betty was eating or done eating:) She loves the Madeline character and wants to go to Paris. Now if only I can make that happen and visit all the places Betty does:)


14 ann February 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Totally think you should do a children’s book based on the illustrations above. I know my daughter, who already enjoys the video, would love it.


15 Ania @ The New Diplomat's Wife February 7, 2014 at 2:31 am

Loved this – I think adding the commentary (and the illustration – ditto to the above on the book idea) was fantastic. I remembered loving the video the first time around – I travel alone a lot for work and while Betty and I are somewhat apart in age, I still recognized that same sense of looking at things closely, seeing things differently, and tottering across that line between a little bit alone and sometimes, a little bit lonely. I thought the commentary was fantastic in corroborating what I’ve always thought about Tiger in a Jar as well – this isn’t so much about making videos, this is about making small films that tell the story of our every day experiences. It’s about putting on screen the little moments that we see in our own heads when we try to remember something….


16 Valerie February 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

This really is such a magical video and I love that it is from Betty’s viewpoint. And that illustration by Rebecca Ricks is gorgeous!


17 gina February 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I agree. This is stand out adorable. I love them all but, this one sits with me! Yeah. Olive us!


18 samantha hahn February 14, 2014 at 7:00 am

I love this. Betty is precious!


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