Shout! Factory To Resurrect Another Hidden Classic This Fall

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Fabulous Films

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Fabulous Films

This fall, Shout! Factory will resurrect another piece of hidden television history that was long thought forgotten when it releases the short-lived ABC action-comedy Automan.

Shout! Factory, in partnership with Fabulous Films, will release Automan: The Complete Series on Tuesday, November 10th. The 13-episode series originally ran on ABC from December 15th, 1983 to April 2nd, 1984. It starred Desi Arnaz, Jr. (The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy) in the series’ lead role of Walter Nebicher. Nebicher was an IT professional with dreams of being more than just a tech man for his local police department. Though, his superiors have other ideas. So he creates the artificial intelligence program Automan (Chuck Wagner—General Hospital, All My Children) to help fight crime in his city. Automan is accompanied by a small, floating droid named Cursor much as Clu did in Disney’s surprise hit 1982 movie Tron. Speaking of the similarities between Automan and Tron they are not coincidental. Automan was co-produced by Donald Kushner (Tron, Tron: Legacy).

Automan: The Complete Series will be accompanied by a handful of extras for even more enjoyment including a forty-two-minute documentary titled: “Calling Automan – The Auto Feature,” which includes interviews with series stars Chuck Wagner, Glen A. Larson, Desi Arnaz, Jr., and heather McNair. There will also be a feature focusing on “The Story of Automan,” a trailer for Manimal: The Complete Series, which will be released alongside Automan: The Complete Series by Shout! Factory and Fabulous Films, a number of picture galleries and more. The complete list of bonus features included in Automan: The Complete Series is noted below.

Special Features:

  • “Calling Automan” – The Auto Feature – 42 minutes

An all-new documentary featuring interviews with Chuck Wagner, Glen A. Larson, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Heather McNair

  • The Story of Automan
  • Feature Story
  • Original Cast and Crew Biographies
  • Collectables Gallery
  • Stills Gallery
  • Manimal Trailer

Automan: The Complete Series will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, November 10th. It will retail for MSRP of $26.99 but can be pre-ordered for a discounted price of $21.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-sci-fi/automan-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Starz To Hoist The Flag Again This Fall

Courtesy: Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Starz network will hoist the flag once again this fall.

Officials with Starz network announced this week that it will release the second season of its hit high seas action/drama Black Sails on Tuesday, November 3rd. It will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The second season of the Emmy Award-winning series picks up right where Season One left off. The crew of the Walrus is in a standoff with an army of Spanish soldier who stand in the way of a large trove of Urca gold. The events of Season One now see Flint and Silver being forced to team up in order to survive their ordeal. While the pair is away, a new group of pirates led by Ned Low has descended on Nassau. This leaves Eleanor Guthrie fighting to keep her hold on the region.

As Season Two progresses and tensions heighten, Charles Vane is faced with some difficult decisions. He must decide if he values Eleanor more or the respect of his crew. These distractions allow for a priceless treasure to be smuggled into Nassau. It is a treasure that is so invaluable that its discovery will have an immeasurable impact on everything and everyone that everybody knows.

Along with its full compliment of episodes, Black Sails: The Complete Second Season will also have more than an hour of exclusive bonus features, that also includes expanded commentaries from the show’s cast and creators, behind-the-scenes featurettes that center on the show’s stunt work and special effects, and more. The complete list of bonus material to be included in Black Sails: The Complete Second Season is listed below.

New Bonus Features:

Inside The World Of “Black Sails”
The Man O’ War
Expanding Worlds
High Seas Action
History’s Influence

Black Sails: The Complete Second Season will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, November 3rd. It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $49.98 and the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack for MSRP of $59.99. More information on Black Sails, including all of the latest news from the set, is available online now at:

Website: http://www.starz.com/blacksails

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blacksails.starz

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blksails_Starz

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Takes Wing Next Month With Its New Avian-Centered Documentary

Courtesy:  PBS/New Hampshire Public Television

Courtesy: PBS/New Hampshire Public Television

PBS takes flight next month when it releases the new box set Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration.

PBS Distribution will release its new box set Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration on Tuesday, September 8th. The new two-disc set features five episodes that follow the migratory patterns of some of New England’s migratory birds. Hosted by Willem Lange, the program was produced by New Hampshire Public Television. Lange makes his way through both North and South America as he follows the birds. He meets a number of bird enthusiasts and experts along the way who work to track and protect the birds throughout their trips. Lange is an author and Emmy Award-winning host of New Hampshire Public Television’s Windows to the Wild series.

The set’s title episode opens the presentation. It is in this episode that Lange brings viewers along to meet members of the National Audubon Society at the organization’s annual Christmas Bird Count. The count takes members of the organization (and Lange) from New England all the way to the mountains of Ecuador and even to Cuba.

“Bird Tales” follows Lange as he meets people from all walks of life and finds out what it is about birds that makes them so devoted to birds.

The set’s third episode “Saving Songbirds” takes viewers along with Lange as he delves even deeper into his encounters with people of all ages working to protect migratory birds. This includes scientists that track the birds’ migratory patterns, coffee farmers that have instated bird friendly practices that protect the birds and their homes, and even school children in Vermont doing their part to bring trees back to the deforested regions of Costa Rica.

“Journey of the Broad-Winged Hawk” is the fourth program featured in Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration.” This program focuses centrally on the 4,500 mile migration of the Broad-Winged Hawk from New Hampshire to South America. Lange traces the hawks’ migration and meets those that follow their migration along the way.

Closing out this set is “Plight of the Grassland Birds. This program focuses on a variety of birds that call North America home and the danger facing their existence as their habitats are gradually disappearing more and more each year. It serves as a warning to audiences that something must be done to protect the birds in question.

Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration will be available on DVD on Tuesday, September 8th on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and can be ordered online now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=67509596&cp=&sr=1&kw=counting+on+birds&origkw=Counting+on+Birds&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Out Of The Vault: Halloween Is A Frightfully Fun Treat For Every Nicktoons Nostalgic

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

August is almost over and September is about to begin. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is right around the corner. With the unofficial start of the annual holiday season nearing once again audiences are going to start seeing any number of seasonally-themed DVDs and Blu-rays hitting store shelves if they haven’t already. While many of the DVDs and Blu-rays are the same ones that are seen every year, there are some new additions each year. One of the most notable of this year’s crop of new holiday-themed DVDs is Nickelodeon’s new Out Of The Vault: Halloween collection. This new collection of Halloween-themed classic Nicktoons episodes is one that audiences of all ages. The main reason for this is the collection’s episodes. The collection features sixteen classic Nicktoons episodes pulled from five classic Nicktoons series. Their presentation is relatively well-balanced over the course of the disc’s roughly three and a half hour run time. The writing behind each of the featured episodes is just as important to the collection’s enjoyment as the episodes and their distribution. The writing incorporated into each of the episodes equal amounts and frights and fun. Rounding out the reasons that this brand new compilation is so much fun is the various animation styles of each series. It is a subtle factor. But it really shows in the bigger picture one of the most important parts of what once made cartoons great. That will be discussed at more length later. But it is just as important as any of the other reasons noted here. All things considered, Out Of The Vault: Halloween shows in the end to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays and one more collection that any “Nicktoons Nostalgic” will want to have in his or her own home collection.

Nickelodeon’s new holiday DVD Out Of The Vault: Halloween is one of the best of this year’s new crop of holiday DVDs and Blu-rays. Holidays aside, it is also another collection that any “Nicktoons Nostalgic” will want to have in his or her own home collection. The main reason that it is such an enjoyable watch is its featured episodes. The episodes are not limited to just a small handful from one classic Nicktoon. Rather they are pulled from a healthy spread of the network’s classic animated series. Those series include: Hey Arnold!, Angry Beavers, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, and CatDog. Each series is well-represented, too with four of the series being represented by three episode each and the fifth—Rocko’s Modern Life—being represented by four episodes. That brings the episode total to sixteen episodes and roughly three and a half hours of programming. In an even larger sense, what such a balanced representation does is give those that might otherwise not have any of the series’ previously released box sets the chance to finally own at least a part of the featured series and kick-start their collections. Keeping this in mind, the episodes presented in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Nicktoons Halloween collection show that on their own, they collectively make a solid reason for this collection to be part of any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home library.

The episodes featured in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Nicktoons Halloween collection by themselves why this collection is one of the best of this year’s new crop of holiday DVDs and Blu-rays. Of course the episodes themselves are just one part of the reason that the collection proves to be so impressive. The writing that went into the episodes is another reason that this collection proves to be such a solid new release. “Arnold’s Halloween” is just one example of how the writing behind the collection’s episodes makes the collection in whole so much fun. This episode playfully pays homage to both to Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. It just adds a little bit of a spin that will have audiences of all ages laughing throughout the episode and will ultimately leave them wanting to watch it again not just during Halloween but during any time of the year. The Angry Beavers episode “The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up” shows doubly just how important the writing behind the collections episode is to the presentation in whole. The first way in which it does so with this episode is the very title of the episode. The title is a playful poke at the classic 1951 sci-fi flick The Day The Earth Stood Still. the episode itself pays tribute to all of the classic sci-fi/horror flicks that were churned out throughout the 1950s. Having Dag and Norbert actually become part of one of those classic films puts its own spin on those classics that will have older audiences and younger viewers alike laughing together at the inanity of it all. “This Is Your Brain on Ickis” is yet another example of how the episodes’ writing makes this collection so enjoyable. As with the noted Angry Beavers episode, the title of this episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in itself an example of how its writing makes it so fun. The title is a playful homage to the 80s anti-drug campaign that told viewers “This is your brain on drugs” as it showed an egg frying in a pan. The episode itself shows the strength of its writing as Ickis shrinks down and takes over monster hunter Simon’s brain. The end result will have viewers laughing tears of joy. It is just one more example of how the writing behind the episodes featured in this collection makes the presentation in whole so enjoyable. There are plenty of other episodes featured throughout this collection that could be used as examples of the strength of the episodes’ writing. Those episodes and the ones noted here together show in whole why the writing behind each episode together with the episodes themselves makes Out of the Vault: Halloween a must have this Halloween for any Nicktoons Nostalgic.

The episodes featured as part of Out of the Vault: Halloween and the writing behind each episode both make for plenty of reason for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to add this DVD to their personal home DVD library. While both of the noted elements are clear reasons that this collection shines so brightly, the animation presented in each series proves to be just as important to the set in whole. Most people probably won’t pay that much attention to the animation style of each series presented in this DVD. But the reality is that the animation style of each series is just as important to the enjoyment of this collection as anything else. That is because it serves as a reminder of the artistic originality that once made cartoons so great. By comparison there is a troubling lack of that artistic creativity and originality in today’s cartoons. The series on television today by and large don’t even deserve to be called animated series being that they are cookie cutter creations made by computers rather than the human hand. Looking at the animation style of each presented series, it reminds audiences of the importance of putting one’s heart and soul into a cartoon rather than just moving a mouse and using a bunch of desktop tools. From the somewhat grainy look of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters to the softer design style of Hey Arnold! and CatDog to the rigidity of the animation in The Angry Beavers and even the almost free-flowing style of Rocko’s Modern Life the different animation styles within each series serves to give each series just as much of its own identity as the writing behind each series’ episodes. Both of those elements come together with the episodes themselves and their balance from one series to the next to make fully clear why Out of the Vault: Halloween is a must have for any Nicktoons Nostalgic and one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays.

Out of the Vault: Halloween is not the first Nicktoons compilation to be released this year by Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It is however, just as enjoyable as the companies’ previous compilation disc. The episodes featured in this collection and their balance from one series to the next are collectively one reason that it is so enjoyable. The largely laugh-inciting writing behind each series’ episodes is another reason that the collection proves so enjoyable. And the original, hand-drawn animation at the base of each episode rounds out the presentation. Each series’ animation reminds audiences of what once made cartoons so great. All three reasons considered together, they make Out of the Vault: Halloween one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays and a frightfully fun treat for every Nicktoons Nostalgic. It will be available next Tuesday, September 1st in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” It. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dodgers, Cubs Take Center Stage This Weekend On ESPN’s SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This Sunday night, ESPN’s flagship baseball broadcast returns to the west coast once more for a matchup of the Dodgers and Cubs.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Dodgers Stadium this Sunday night as the Dodgers host the Chicago Cubs in the closer of a three-game series between the NL foes that kicks off Friday night. Currently no information is available about who will take the mound for either team in Sunday’s game. The Dodgers currently lead the NL West division by a game and a half over the Giants while the Cubs sit third in the NL Central six and a half games back from the division leading St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis also leads the league overall at 79 – 45. Speaking of the NL Central, before the Dodgers take on the Cubs this weekend, they will look to end their five-game skid as they kick off a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds tonight in Ohio’s Queen City. Cincinnati is currently in the basement in the NL Central at 52 – 71 having just ended its nine game skid last night with a come-from-behind 12 – 5 win against the Detroit Tigers. Los Angeles is 25 – 36 on the road so far this season verses its far more impressive home record of 42 – 20 and has gone 4 – 6 in its last ten games.

ESPN’s SNB team of Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling, and John Kruk will b in the booth for the call for Sunday’s game. They will be joined on the field by reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary. Sunday night’s broadcast will be preceded, as always by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Adnan Virk will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

Those that won’t be near a television Sunday night can still catch that game live online via WatchESPN.

As an additional note, the rubber match in this weekend’s series between the Dodgers and Cubs will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio affiliates across the country Saturday evening at 8pm ET. Jon Sciambi will have the call for Saturday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by Chris SIngleton for the broadcast.

All of the latest information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN To Carry Arena Bowl XXVIII Live This Weekend

Courtesy:  Arena Football League

Courtesy: Arena Football League

The Arena Football League will wrap up its 2015 season this weekend.

The AFL’s 2015 season comes to a close this weekend as the Jacksonville Sharks take on the San Jose Sabercats in Arena Bowl XXVIII. ESPN will have full coverage of the annual AFL title game. It will air this Saturday, August 29th at 7pm on ESPN.

San Jose dominated the AFL this season, finishing the season with a record of 17-1-0 while Sharks had a harder road to run. The Sharks finished the season second in the American Conference’s South Division with a record of 10-8-0. That was also good enough to put the Sharks in third overall in the American conference behind the Philadelphia Soul (15-3-0) and the Orlando Predators (12-6-0). Its rough road aside, Jacksonville still looks to be a valid challenger to the Sabercats. QB Tommy Grady finished the season third in passing in the league, throwing for 4,660 yards and going 402 of 597 passes with only 11 INTs. Derrick Ross led the league in rushing, compiling a total of 586 yards and 33 TDs while San Jose’s Erik Meyer finished a distant ninth just ahead of Orlando’s Bran Thompkins with 142 yards and 6 TDs. Jacksonville also led the league in receiving (Anothony Jones–2,087 yards, 38 TDs) and Sacks (Joe Sykes–18.5 sacks, 117 yards). the Sabercats on the other hand far outperformed the Sharks in tackles, INTs, and kicking on both sides of the ball. So this weekend’s AFL title game is apt to be an evenly matched game.

Coverage of this weekend’s season-ending title game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN. More information on the AFL and ESPN’s coverage of the AFL is available online now at:

Website: http://www.arenafootball.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Kids’ Second Reading Rainbow Collection Will Hopefully Not Be Its Last

Courtesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

PBS’ programming has changed a lot over the years since the network first hit the air. Through all of the changes in its programming lineup, there have been some shows that have remained fan favorites among the network’s legions of fans. Those shows include the likes of Wishbone, Sesame Street, and Reading Rainbow are just a few of those shows. There are plenty of other classics that remain favorites among audiences today. The specifically noted shows are just a few of the network’s most popular series to date. The latter of that trio of series went off the air almost ten years ago. Though, it did make its somewhat triumphant return online roughly a year or so ago much to the surprise and even dismay of some. Thankfully for those hoping for its return to television, PBS Kids and BS Distribution released a pair of DVDs this summer containing a handful of classic Reading Rainbow episodes. The first of the DVDs, Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, was released this past May. The second collection, Reading Rainbow: Animal Café, was released June 30th. This collection is even more of a must have for long-time Reading Rainbow fans as the prior release. The main reason for this is its episodes. Three of the collection’s four episodes originally aired in 1985. That was when Reading Rainbow was still very much in its infancy. Older audiences will get a sense of nostalgia watching those episodes. That is especially the case in seeing the fashions from that era as well as hearing the music and the show’s overall production values. The episodes themselves are just part of what makes Reading Rainbow: Animal Café enjoyable for audiences. Some of the books teach even more invaluable lessons and others present some simple, enjoyable stories that will put a smile on any viewer’s face. Last but not least that makes this latest collection of episodes so fun for the whole family is the “teaching guide” included with the set. The “guide” serves as a starting point for teachers and parents alike to present lessons about ecology, conservation, and simply giving thanks. It is a great addition that can go a long way for teachers and parents alike. And together with the set’s episodes and their content contained therein, it makes the collection complete. It works with those elements to make this collection one more than every family should have in their home DVD library.

Reading Rainbow: Animal Café is only the second official collection of classic Reading Rainbow episodes to be released by PBS Distribution since the series went off the air in 2006. That is saying quite a bit. Being only the second official collection released from the one-time home of the family favorite series, it proves itself to be one more welcome new collection and hopefully not the last either. It proves itself so valuable primarily through its featured episodes. Four more classic episodes are presented in the body of the DVD. Three of those episodes come from 1985. That is the when the series was still in its infancy. It would have only been on the air for two years at that time. And it shows through the fashions and music in each episode as well as the hairstyles and production values. It might leave some audiences laughing including the series’ now grown-up original viewers looking back on how much things have changed since then. In the process, looking back at the days gone by, watching these episodes may even create a sense of nostalgia for those same audiences. It will remind those audiences of what once made PBS great and by comparison what still makes it so great even today. The children of those viewers will enjoy the episodes not for the nostalgia but for the general content of the episodes. They and their parents will all enjoy LeVar’s comedy makeover and classic slapstick routine in connection with the book Ludlow Laughs. The “Rainbow Classic” bicycle race set against the beautiful, tropical backdrop of Hawaii in the collection’s second episode and the race itself will entertain audiences of all ages just as much. And the throwback to New York City of the 1980s is still as relevant today as it was in 1985. That is because there are still people both there and across the country that work overnight. So it is still just as worthwhile an episode today as it was in its original broadcast. It is just one more example of what makes the episodes featured in this collection so important to the success of the set’s presentation in whole. Together with the collection’s other episodes, all four episodes show in whole why they are so important to the success and enjoyment of Reading Rainbow: Animal Café.

The episodes featured in PBS Kids’ latest Reading Rainbow collection do plenty to make this new collection a must have for any of the show’s original fans and for the next generation of Reading Rainbow fans. They are collectively only one part of what makes this latest collection so enjoyable for the whole family. The content of the episodes and the books presented in relation to the episodes make for even more enjoyment. The episode centered on The Tortoise and the Hare teaches the invaluable lesson of perseverance and hard work and its related results while Giving Thanks teaches exactly that. It teaches young viewers to be appreciative of everything that they have. Being that we seemingly live increasingly in a me first world today, this is an especially important lesson for young viewers to learn. Such a timeless lesson is yet another example of why audiences of all ages will appreciate this latest collection of Reading Rainbow episodes. Set against the collection’s more straight forward, fun-filled episodes, the material featured in all four episodes makes this collection all the more enjoyable. Collectively, all of the material presented in each of the disc’s four episodes shows just as much as the episodes themselves why this latest collection is a must have for Reading Rainbow fans of all ages.

The episodes that were chosen for Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe and the material contained therein are both key reasons that audiences of all ages will want to add this latest Reading Rainbow collection to their home DVD libraries. They are not the only reasons that audiences will appreciate it, either. Along with the centrally featured episodes, Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe also includes a “teaching guide” of sorts inside the DVD’s case. The “teaching guide” serves as a good starting point for teachers and parents alike. That is because it forms a foundation for the lessons presented throughout each of the presented episodes. Teachers and parents can drive home the lessons of Giving Thanks by having children form a “cleanup party” that with permission from a city or town government, would clean up designated areas of said town or city. The lessons presented by The Tortoise and the Hare are driven home by presenting an interactive activity that would see children grow their own plants. It would teach them the rewards of patience, hard work, and perseverance. There are even activities included in the “guide” that give parents and educators a starting point to teach children about appreciating not just Earth but all that Earth has to offer in its natural beauty. Teachers and parents could go from here and build lessons about appreciating other things (or people) that children have. As if that is not enough, there is also a lesson that lets children make their own pots just like the Native Americans presented in “Giving Thanks.” Each of the lessons in themselves offers its own enjoyment for adults and children alike. Together, they provide yet one more solid reason that this DVD should be in every living room and classroom even despite the episodes’ ages. And when set alongside the episodes themselves and the episodes’ content in whole, all three elements together show in whole why Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe is not just another must have for any family and educator but one of the year’s best new DVDs for children and families.

Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe is one of this year’s best new DVDs for children and families. It proves this through the combination of its episodes, their featured content and the DVD’s companion “lesson guide.” Whether used in the classroom or the living room, it proves to have something for audiences of all ages and will no matter how many times viewers watch it. Audiences can only hope that it will not be the last of PBS Kids’ Reading Rainbow compilations to see the light of day. With any luck it and its companion DVD Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie will prove successful enough that maybe PBS Kids and PBS Distribution will release this classic series in its own standalone season sets rather than smaller four-episode collections. Time will tell. And while audiences wait to see if anymore classic Reading Rainbow episodes will see the light of day, they can purchase this DVD in stores or order it online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=60650596&cp=&sr=1&kw=reading+rainbow&origkw=Reading+Rainbow&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.