PBS Kids, WGBH’s New ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Is A “Great One”

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/WGBH

PBS Kids’ animated series Molly of Denali has been in the news a lot in the past year or so.  The series’ fans got good news about the show back in April when WGHB and PBS Kids announced that more than two years after its launch, the series will get a second season. According to the information provided at the time, the award-winning series is set to premiere its second season “in Fall 2021.”  The announcement came only months after PBS Kids released an extensive collection of Season One episodes in the form of Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures.  Its released was followed up last month with the release of the show’s first single-disc presentation, Molly and the Great One.  The DVD is another wonderful presentation from PBS Kids and WGBH that audiences of all ages will enjoy.  The presentation’s positives begin with its primary content, which is the hour-long episode, “Molly and the Great One.”  It will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that accompanies the main feature builds on the appeal created through the main content.  It will be discussed a little later.  Considering the content in terms of its breadth and depth, it makes the DVD’s pricing key in its own way.  To that end, this item will also receive its own attention here, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make the presentation one of the best of the year’s new family DVDs/BDs.

PBS Kids and WGBH’s recently released DVD presentation, Molly of DenaliMolly and the Great One is a wonderful new presentation from PBS Kids and WGBH.  As with its predecessor, this first-ever single disc collection from the series (the first collection was a double-disc set) offers a lot for audiences to like, beginning with its primary content.  In this case the primary content is the hour-long episode, “Molly and the Great One.”  The episode serves as what would appear to be the season finale for the first season of Molly of Denali.  There is a lot going on in the story, but it is all woven together so seamlessly.  The central story finds Molly and her friend Tooey joining Molly’s Grandpa Nat as he and Molly’s dad, Walter, make their way up Mount Denali, North America’s tallest mountain.  The journey happens because Molly wants to help Grandpa Nat achieve a lifelong dream, a bucket list item so to speak.  Everyone has their own bucket list, so to that end, this is a starting point that will make it easy for even grown-ups to relate to this story.  Also along for the hike is the internet celebrity Mac McFadden.  Meanwhile, Molly’s other friend Trini is finally – albeit temporarily – reunited with her mother back in town.  Her mom ends up playing her own important part in what happens on Mount Denali, too.  Obviously everything has a happy ending.  That goes without saying.  What is really interesting here is the clear cultural divide between Molly’s father and grandfather, and Mac.  Mac is a solid representation of not only today’s internet celebrity culture, but also of so much American culture, specifically of white Americans of European descent.  Case in point is when Nat and Walter warn Mac to not try to get to the mountain’s peak alone during a major snowstorm.  Like the fool that he is, he ignores their warning, leading to the noted role that Trini’s mom ends up playing.  Mac’s behavior – that machismo, that refusal to listen to wiser people who know the land – is so representative of how dismissive Americans of European descent have been to people of other ethnicities for centuries, and it is fully deserved.  The writers are to be commended for taking on this matter and doing so without being preachy about it in the process. 

Getting back to Trini’s story, while it is secondary, it is still an important part of the story in its own right.  In this case, it is revealed that Trini’s mom is a helicopter pilot.  It should be obvious from here how she plays into what happens atop Mount Denali later in the story.  She works with the military to a certain extent.  This means that she is gone a lot, which would explain why it is the first time that audiences have seen her this season.  By showing the dynamic between parent and child here, it serves as a certain representation for those children whose parents serve in the military, whether full-time or as reservists.  It helps those children watching this program to see that they are not alone, and that they will be okay, even as emotionally tough as it may be to not have that parent there all the time.  To that end, it is a great addition to the story that works both as its own strong standalone story and as an equally enjoyable addition to the primary story.  Keeping all of this in mind, the main story featured here does a lot to make the DVD’s main story enjoyable and engaging.  While it does so much to keep viewers engaged and entertained, it is only one of the DVD’s positives.  The bonus content (of sorts) that accompanies the main feature is also of note.

The bonus content that is featured in this new DVD is actually composed of more episodes from Season 1.  For those who perhaps do not keep up with Molly of Denali, its current lone season (thankfully Season 2 is coming…allegedly) is composed of 38 episodes, each episode being composed of two separate stories.  Last year’s double-disc release, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures featured 16 of those episodes.  That is just under half the season.  This DVD presents another four episodes, putting the total count now to more than half of the season’s episodes.  Even more impressive is that the stories featured in this DVD are not carry-overs from the previous collection.  They are all previously unreleased on DVD.  Yes, it’s sad that the entirety of Season One hasn’t been released to DVD, but maybe that will come sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, having these additional stories along with the mass of stories featured in the previously released box set should make any fan of Molly of Denali happy.  From making a journey to one of her people’s important cultural events in “Canoe Journey,” to adopting a frog in “Froggy of Denali,” to trying to save Trini’s garden from the work of some beavers in “Busy Beavers,” and more, the stories here offer entertainment for audiences of all ages.  Keeping these stories in mind along with the fact that technically, “Molly and the Great One” is in fact technically just another episode (just in hour-long format), and it makes the whole that much more appealing for audiences.  Considering the content and depth therein of this DVD’s content, the presentation’s pricing proves to be its own positive worth discussing.

The average price point of Molly of DenaliMolly and the Great One is $9.02.  That price was obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store.  Believe it or not, while PBS often has the most expensive of listings for its DVDs, that is not the case with this case.  As a matter of fact, its listing of $9.99 is also not the least expensive, but is the most commonly occurring price.  In this case, Walmart’s listed price of $11.80 is the most expensive.  Amazon and Target’s listing of $6.69 is the least expensive.  Looking at these prices, that they are mostly less than $10 (technically right at $10 or a little more counting tax, and shipping and handling for online ordering), the DVD clearly will not break any viewer’s budget.  Those who are able to find the DVD in store will not have to pay that noted S&H, meaning the prices will be what they are.  To that end, it makes those less expensive listings that much more appealing.  Either way, the pricing for this DVD is largely positive.  That is especially considering the amount of content featured between the DVD’s primary and bonus content and the depth therein.  When this is considered along with the content, the whole makes the DVD that much more of a win for all involved.

PBS Kids and WGBH’s recently released Molly of Denali DVD, Molly and the Great One is a wonderful new collection of episodes from the series.  It is another great way for fans to pass the time as they wait for the show’s alleged second season to premiere “this fall.”  The DVD’s success is shown in large part through its main feature, the hour-long story which bears the DVD’s title.  The story is fully immersive, engaging and entertaining.  That is thanks to the writing and acting alike.  The bonus content that accompanies the main feature is actually more episodes from the series’ lone season.  That content and the main feature, which is actually Season One’s finale, bring audiences even more episodes from Season One along with last year’s box set.  Considering the content featured here and its depth, the DVD’s pricing proves to be its own positive.  That is because it is largely so affordable, even when ordered online with shipping and handling.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make the DVD one more of the best of this year’s new family DVDs/BDs. 

Molly of DenaliMolly and the Great One is available now. More information on PBS Kids and WGBH’s new Molly of Denali DVD is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:



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