PBS Kids’ New Dinosaur Train Is A Fun-Filled “Ride” For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution just announced Wednesday that it will release another brand new collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train later this month in the form of Dinosaur Train: Explore Outdoors.  Its release on April 21st will come almost two months after the release of the series’ most recent DVD Dinosaur Train: I Love TrainsDinosaur Train: I Love Trains is in its own right another enjoyable addition to the series’ already long list of previously released DVDs and just as welcome in any family’s home DVD library.  The main reason for this is, as with any TV show or movie, its writing.  The series’ writers have crafted eight more stories that not only educate young viewers about more dinosaurs but also about some important life lessons, too.  The run time of each episode remains the same as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases.  Considering that the combination of those run times and the equally well-written episodes prove clearly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

The latest addition to PBS Kids’ already long list of Dinosaur Train DVDs, Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, is one more welcome addition to any family’s home library.  This is regardless of how often one family or another gets to see Dinosaur Train.  The central reason for its enjoyment is the strong writing exhibited in each previously released compilation from the hit series.  This is exhibited in all eight episodes that make up the DVD’s body beginning with “Junior Conductor Jamboree.”  Usually the Pteranodon kids goes to one specific time period or another and learn about one kind of dinosaur or another.  In the case of this episode, the kids ride the train from one end to the other, picking up friends along the way for one big prehistoric celebration.  The kids learn about conducting the dinosaur train and about the different time periods along the way.  This includes learning about a variety of dinosaurs that lived in each time period instead of just one.  On the surface one might think that this means presenting a rather broad swath of information for young viewers that they might not fully catch.  But credit where credit is due.  The writers actually handled this issue quite well by offering just enough information to be considered a small introduction to the given dinosaurs and their time zones.  Their handling of the information in question will in turn lead young viewers to want to learn even more about everything discussed.  The show’s writers really should be applauded for that effect.  It is their painstaking efforts to balance everything that will lead to that love of knowledge among its younger viewers (and maybe even some older viewers, too).

On another note, “Rocket Train” is another important example of why the work of the show’s writers remains so important in this compilation of episodes.  “Rocket Train” is an especially important episode for younger viewers because of the important life lesson that it presents.  The lesson that it presents is that just because something is new, shiny, and “high performance” does not necessarily mean that it is better than what’s already out there (I.E. something older).  We live today in an age when young people (children, teens, and even adults) want the next cool, shiny, “high performance” gadgets.  The thing is that just like the Rocket Train, the next new cool gadget is anything but perfect.  Smart Phones may seem cool.  But it has been pointed out that they have their own security flaws versus the simplicity and security of say a flip phone.  In the same vein, the Rocket Train ended up needing help by the older but more reliable Dinosaur Train.  Again, the connection is clear.  It is an episode that every family should see.  With any luck, maybe older audiences and younger alike will catch that lesson and take it to heart.  It would prove the writers’ efforts weren’t in vain.  Regardless it proves once again why the writing is so important to the whole of this DVD’s episode.

One more example of the importance of the writing in these episodes lies in “Troodon Train.”  This episode is a little more basic than the others that have been noted already.  It serves more as a review of sorts per se as it re-introduces the Elvis’ prehistoric dino counterpart in the form of King Cryolophosaurus.  The *ahem* king is re-introduced in this episode as the Pteranodon Family takes a trip to Troodon Town to celebrate Troodon Train Day.  The festivities are capped off by a performance by The King himself.  King Cryolophosaurus was already introduced in previous Dinosaur Train DVDs.  So having him play a part in this episode is really a way to get him fresh in young audiences’ minds.  That the writers would maintain King Cryolophosaurus as an ongoing character and include him yet again so as to basically review in a manner of speaking  is pretty smart to say the least.  So credit goes out to not only Dinosaur Train’s writers but also to those charged with assembling the episodes included in this set for including this episode if only for that purpose.

All three episodes noted here are each prime examples in their own right as to why the writing in each episode makes this compilation so enjoyable.  Of course there are five other episodes that present their own value to audiences.  Regardless of which episode(s) audiences find as their favorite(s), every viewer will agree that all eight episodes together clearly show why the writing behind these episodes makes them so enjoyable and in turn Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains in whole so enjoyable, too.  Now having noted this, the writing is not all that is worth noting in the enjoyment of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains.  The run time of each episode is just as important to the whole.  Just as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases, the episodes presented here run no more than roughly than about eight to ten minutes each.  Considering the series’ key audience, this is just long enough to keep younger viewers’ attention from beginning to end of each episode.  And because the topics and subjects handled in each episode are done so in a relatively simplistic manner, it guarantees even more that said audiences will not only enjoy each episode and remain fully engaged, but that those viewers might even actually retain at least some of the information shared in each episode, too.  So to that extent, the run time of each of the DVD’s episodes does in fact prove once again to be just as important as any other element that makes the show so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The work of the writers behind Dinosaur Train goes hand in hand with the run time of each episode included in this DVD in examining what makes it another enjoyable presentation. The relatively short run time of each episode will keep young viewers’ attention just long enough for them go grasp the equally simplistic delivery of the topics covered in each episode. While both elements are of equal importance to the whole of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, there is still one element remaining that should be noted in regards to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. The element in question is the material included with the DVD as bonus material. For the most part, the bonus material is a handful of printable coloring pages. That includes even the printable activities. The activities in question are the starting point for activities that could be done away from the TV. And at the same time, they also double as coloring pages for some younger audiences, too. The real gem of this DVD’s bonus material is its interactive CD-Rom game that allows users to play as one or two of the Pteranodon kids, paddling down a river and collecting bugs. Children can compete to see who can catch the most bugs first as they make their way down the river. It teaches both counting skills and entertains at the same time. So even in this case, the bonus material definitely lives up to its name. And together with the work of the writers, and the overall run time of each episode, all three elements come together to prove exactly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is another wonderful “ride” for any young paleontologist in training and for any family in general.

Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575196&cp=&sr=1&kw=dinosaur+train&origkw=Dinosaur+Train&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Dinosaur Train DVDs and episodes is available online along with Dinosaur Train games and activities at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DinosaurTrain

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