Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Tales Boasts Big Family Fun

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family

Blythe and her furry friends at the Littlest Pet Shop are back again.  Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios released the latest collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s animated series Littlest Pet Shop today.  The DVD, Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Tales, offers audiences five more episodes filled with fun stories for the whole family.  Each of the disc’s episodes present stories that will both entertain the whole family, and at times even teach some important lessons along the way all without being preachy in the process.  This makes the disc’s episodes their own important element in examining the disc’s overall presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  The episodes, with their entertaining and occasionally informative stories, are just one part of what makes this latest collection of LPS (as it will be called from hereon out) episodes so enjoyable.  The writing within the episodes is once again just as important to note in this collection as the episodes’ stories.  There are pop culture references that the entire family will appreciate throughout as well as jokes that children and adults will each appreciate alongside the episodes’ dialogue.  Those more minor details within each episode complete the episodes’ stories.  They are just one more part of what makes this brand new DVD another fun addition to any family’s home DVD library.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important to note of its enjoyment as the stories within the episodes and their more minute details.  That is because the cast’s interpretation bring not just their respective characters and the scripts to life but also they bring a certain substance to the series once again with their chemistry; a substance that will keep viewers of all kinds engaged in each episode.  Each element proves to be equally important in its own right to the overall presentation of LPS: Pet Tales.  Altogether they make this latest collection of LPS episodes another great addition to any family’s home DVD library and an early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new Family DVDs.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Tales, the latest collection of LPS episodes from Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios, is another wonderful addition to any family’s home DVD library.  That is thanks in large part to the work of the series’ writers in regards to the stories crafted for each of the disc’s five featured episodes.  Each episode presents its own share of entertainment throughout each one’s roughly twenty-minute run time.  At the same time at least two of the episodes present some important secondary life lessons for young viewers.  Whether or not those lessons were intentionally included in the episodes is anyone’s guess.  The writers likely know for certain.  Regardless the combination of that entertainment and information makes the episodes in this collection plenty of reason for audiences to purchase the collection.  One of the most enjoyable episodes included in this collection is its lead episode “So Interesting.”  This episode sees Blythe’s furry friends sharing stories about where they came from.  Penny Ling however feels left out because she doesn’t have an interesting story to tell.  So she comes up with a fantastical tale of fairies, goblins, and a watering stone.  By the story’s end Penny has to admit that none of it was true and that she just made it up as she went along.  After her admission her friends tell her that she didn’t have to make up her story to be interesting.  They tell her that she is interesting just because she is herself.  This leads to the embedded lesson about people simply telling the truth and being who they are.  It emphasizes that friends who like a person for who said person actually is, are real friends.  Again only the show’s writers know for certain if the lesson in question was intentionally included in the episode.  Regardless the fact that the writers were not preachy in including said lesson makes the episode in whole that much more enjoyable.  That sentiment is partially echoed in the DVD’s final episode “Proud As A…Peacock?”  That episode centers on a neurotic, hypochondriac peacock  (yes, you read right) who echoes hints of Woody Allen and Jack Lemmon’s Felix Unger from The Odd Couple.  That will be discussed later in the notes about the more minute details of the writing in these episodes.  Getting back on topic, Feud For Thought” is another episode that audiences are sure to enjoy.  It employs an oft-used story line for its foundation.  Blythe and her friends have to deal with Brittany Biskit after she and her sister have a temporary parting of ways thanks to Brittany scoring better on a test than her sister.  So it’s up to Blythe and her friends to get the Biskit twins back together even if it means enduring their dual torment.  This sort of story line has been used any number of times in other children’s shows including but not limited to Hey Arnold! and Recess.  The twist that the writers used in the case of this episode kept the story original and just as entertaining as it is in the other noted series.  On the other end of the episode Blythe’s furry friends have to deal with a pair of feuding koalas brought in to the pet shop.  This leads to a division of the pets and eventually realization that they need to re-unite the koalas.  What’s funny about the whole thing is that it playfully pokes fun at the age old story of the Hatfields and the McCoys here.  Yet again this is another minute element of the writing that will be discussed more shortly.  The fact that the writers could weave both storylines together so seamlessly  is in itself quite impressive.  This, just as much as the stories exhibited in each episode and their minute details, goes to show what makes the writing overall such an important part of each episode.  The writers split each of the episodes into two parts that allow both Blythe and her pet pals their own story.  This means even more entertainment for the whole family and in turn forms a solid foundation for the collection.

The foundation established by the episodes’ primary writing is plenty of reason for any family to add this DVD to its home DVD library.  As important as the primary writing is to the episodes it is just one part of what makes the episodes so enjoyable.  The more minute details within the writing add even more enjoyment to each episode (and the collection in whole), proving even more why this latest episode compilation is so enjoyable for the whole family.  The series itself is aimed at young female viewers.  That is obvious.  But as has been noted with previous LPS compilation discs, there are lots of smaller details included in each episode that will entertain not just girls but boys and even moms and dads.  For instance, the writers included a not so subtle tribute to the Indiana Jones franchise in the lead episode here as Penny Ling makes up her story.  And that the story is itself fantasy, male and female viewers alike will enjoy it.  The fact that the writers used Penny Ling’s pet shop pals to fill out the story is in itself a time honored tradition that has been used in so many other series.  This includes both animated and live action series.  More often than not this sort of practice is used in shows when they use dream sequences in their stories.  “Feud For Thought” plays on the classic Hatfield vs. McCoy story, only in this case the famed clans have been replaced with a pair of feuding koalas.  Interestingly enough the koalas are owned by a pair of backwoods country hillbilly looking figures.  Yes, the writers actually went there.  The irony in that juxtaposition in itself is worth plenty of laughs.  And seeing Sunil covered in watches as the “watch captain” of one side created by the koalas is worth just as many laughs.  As if that isn’t enough the central character in “Proud As A…Peacock?” is not just any peacock.  It is a neurotic, hypochondriac peacock that exhibits hints of Woody Allen and Jack Lemmon’s Felix Unger from The Odd Couple.  It even has its own special pair of prescription glasses that make it look somewhat like Woody Allen in peacock form.  And in “Fish Out Of Water” the pets encounter an alligator who is apparently from Minnesota, eh (yes, that was intended) as they search for Goldie the goldfish.  The fun presented in the episodes’ minute details still doesn’t end there.  The writers throw in a very subtle tribute to The Wizard of Oz in “What’s So Scary About The Jungle? Everything” that will only be caught by those paying close attention to the episode.  It’s only a little moment.  But those that catch it will find a bit of humor in its use and the very fact that it was used.  There is so much more that could be listed here.  But what is listed shows in its own right shows quite clearly why the minute details of each episode’s script are just as important to the episodes’ presentation as the episodes’ primary writing.  Both elements are equally important to the collection in whole.  That goes without saying.  But together they make this collection just as enjoyable as the series’ previous episode compilations.

The writing that went into each of the featured episodes in this new DVD is hugely important to its presentation.  From the episodes’ primary story lines to their more minute details, to the ability of the writers to seamlessly tie together two story lines within each episode LPS’ writers are to be applauded for their efforts.  Of course as important as their work was to each of the featured episodes their work is just part of what makes the episodes’ presentation so enjoyable.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important as that of the writers.  What’s really interesting is that Blythe’s pet pals are the real stars of the show yet again.  Audiences will love watching Kyle Rideout (Deadpool, Packages From Planet X, Hop The Twig) as the voice of Vinnie the gecko in these episodes.  When he takes on the voice of the “goblin” geckos in Penny Ling’s story he is especially entertaining.  That is because he makes the “goblins” an almost surfer bum sort of persona rather than that of goblins.  And while Mrs. Twombly largely takes a backseat to the rest of the characters in these episodes she is still so great to watch in the introductory scene of “Feud For Thought.”  She is standing at the store’s front counter playing a handheld game as if she was a teen.  It’s one more of those examples of what makes the writing’s smaller details so important to the episodes.  In the same breath Kathleen Barr’s (Reboot, Dinosaur Train, Slugterra) handling of this moment will put a smile on any viewer’s face regardless of said viewer’s age and gender.  On another note, Shannon Chan-Kent is just as entertaining as Blythe’s friend Youngmee Song here.  There is one story that sees Youngmee trying to convince Blythe to use her ability to talk to animals for various schemes.  Youngmee’s over-the-top enthusiasm for her own ideas is just as entertaining as the interactions of the rest of the characters.  It is really one of those moments in which Chan-Kent really shines in her comic timing.  It would have been so easy for her to ham it up so much more than she did in this mini-storyline.  But she handled the moment with the fullest expertise.  Because she did it makes her completely believable, and again entertaining.  It’s just one more way in which the work of the voice cast proves to be so important to these episodes.  There are so many other moments that could be cited such as Peter New’s (Agent Cody Banks, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, InuYasha) handling of Sunil when he is made “watch captain” in “Feud For Thought” that prove it just as much.  But there is not enough space or time to note every single notable moment.  Keeping that in mind it is safe to say that the work noted here proves unquestionably that the work of the show’s voice cast is just as important to these episodes as that of the writers.  All things considered the end result of the writers’ work and that of the cast is a collection of episodes that while small shows big, great things do indeed come in small stores…er…packages.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Tales only contains five episodes.  At roughly twenty minutes each that is a total of roughly 100 minutes.  It is 100 minutes that will assuredly bring the whole family together and keep the whole family engaged and entertained.  That is thanks in large part to the work of the show’s writers in these episodes.  The stories seamlessly combine together two separate storylines to keep audiences engaged.  The stories, while somewhat familiar in their setup, are still entertaining in their own right thanks to the approach taken to each.  The smaller details of each episode make the episodes even more entertaining, again showing the importance of the work put in to these episodes by the show’s writers.  Of course the writers are not the only ones to be commended.  The show’s voice cast brings the characters to life and makes them just as entertaining as ever.  This includes when they are by themselves and when interacting with others.  It is not limited to the show’s main voice cast either.  Even the supporting cast deserves its share of credit.  Each noted element is important in its own right to the whole of Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Tales.  Altogether they prove once again that big, great things do indeed come in small stores…..um……packages.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-pet-tales.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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