The 2021 college football season is still very young, but ESPN has already planned its coverage of the sport’s “post season.”
A press release distributed Wednesday announced it will air seven conference championship games between Dec. 3 and 4. The conference championship games will be for the Pac-12, Big 12, MAC, Sunbelt Conference, American Athletic Conference, Southwest Athletic Conference, and Atlantic Coast Conference.
Coverage is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Dec. 3 on ABC and ESPN Radio with coverage of the PAC-12 championship. The other six championships will air throughout the day Dec. 4, starting with the Big 12 and MAC championships at noon. The Big 12 Championship is scheduled to air live on ABC and ESPN Radio while the MAC Championship is scheduled to air on ESPN.
Coverage continues at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN with the Sun Belt Conference Championship. The AAC Champion will be crowned in that conference’s championship game at 4 p.m. ET on ABC.
Kickoff for the SWAC Championship is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The day winds down at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN Radio with coverage of the ACC Championship.
The full Dec. 3-4 CFB Conference Championship Schedule is noted below.
Fri, Dec 3
Pac-12 Championship Game (Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, Nev.)
Sat, Dec 4
Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game (AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas)
Rocket Mortgage MAC Championship Game (Ford Field – Detroit, Mich.)
Sun Belt Conference Championship Game (Campus Site TBD)
American Athletic Conference Championship Game (Campus Site TBD)
SWAC Championship Game (Campus Site TBD)
Subway ACC Championship Game (Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, N.C.)
More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available along with all of the latest college football headlines at:
Turner Network Sports will start its coverage of the NHL next week.
The company made the announcement Wednesday through a news release. The document states the company will launch its first-ever season of NHL coverage Sept. 30 with a double header schedule.
The schedule opens at 7:30 p.m. ET with a matchup of the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins. The Las Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings will take to the ice in the schedule’s second game at 10 p.m. ET.
Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk, and Keith Jones will provide commentary and coverage for the Flyers-Bruins game. Brendan Burke, Darren Pang and Jackie Redmond will have the call for the Golden Knights-Kings game.
Studio coverage for the upcoming double header will come courtesy of host Liam McHugh, analysts Anson Carter and Rick Tocchet, and contributor Tarik El-Bashir.
In related news, TNT will launch its inaugural season of NHL regular season coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET Oct. 13. The opening game in the evening’s double header schedule will see the New York Rangers on the road against their Eastern Conference foes, the Washington Capitals. Later at 10 p.m. ET, the Western Conference takes to the ice as the Colorado Avalanche will host the Chicago Blackhawks.
Counting those two games, TNT’s regular season coverage of the NHL’s 2021-22 season will feature games on 25 Wednesday nights, including 15 double headers. Additionally, TNT’s coverage includes coverage of the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic (scheduled to take place Jan. 2, 2022), the 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series (Feb. 26), and 2022 Tim Horton’s NHL Heritage Classic (March 13). Also, TNT will feature seven weekend of Sunday afternoon telecasts in March and April.
TNT’s full broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 NHL season is available here.
Audiences can stream TNT’s NHL coverage via the WatchTNT app on mobile devices and smartTVs, and online here.
Angels & Airwaves is picking up the push for its new album.
The band unveiled the latest single Wednesday, from its forthcoming album, Lifeforms. The song, ‘Timebomb,’ is the fifth from the album, which is scheduled for release Friday.
The band premiered the video for the album’s fourth single, ‘Spellbound’ early this month. Its release was preceded by the release of the album’s other singles, ‘Losing My Mind,‘ ‘Restless Souls,‘ and ‘Euphoria.‘
Front man Tom DeLonge said in a prepared statement, the song is meant lyrically, to address the feelings of pressure through which everyone goes through.
“‘Timebomb’ is a special song to me because it represents the emotional equivalent of an armed device about to blow, said DeLonge. “I think everyone can relate to the pressure of life bearing down on a young teenage heart. It’s taken me a long time to present my art in the way I envisioned over a decade ago. Lifeforms is the first part of what I saw could be possible then.”
The musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s accessible lyrical theme is itself accessible. Its full-on electronic sound and stylistic approach is infectious what with its steady beat and harmonies.
In related news, Angels & Airwaves is scheduled to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live Sept. 28. Additionally, the band is scheduled to launch its tour in support of its new album the very next day in Riverside, CA.
The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.
Angels & Airwaves 2021/2022 Tour Dates:
9/29/21 – Riverside – CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium 9/30/21 – San Francisco – CA – Warfield 10/2/21 – Portland – OR – Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn 10/3/21 – Seattle – WA – Showbox SODO 10/5/21 – Salt Lake City – UT – Union 10/6/21 – Denver – CO – Fillmore 10/8/21 – Minneapolis – MN – Skyway 10/10/21 – Detroit – MI – Fillmore 10/12/21 – Newport – KY – Ovation 10/13/21 – Nashville – TN – Marathon Music Works 10/15/21 – Oxon Hill (DC) – MD – MGM National Harbor 10/16/21 – Columbus – OH – Express Live 10/17/21 – Sayreville – NJ – Starland Ballroom 10/19/21 – Phi – PA – Franklin Music Hall 10/20/21 – Boston – MA – House Of Blues 10/22/21 – Pittsburgh – PA – Stage AE 10/23/21 – New York – NY – Hammerstein* 10/24/21 – Norfolk – VA – NorVA 10/26/21 – St. Petersburgh – FL – Janus Live 10/27/21 – Orlando – FL – Hard Rock Live 10/28/21 – Atlanta – GA – Tabernacle 10/30/21 – Dallas – TX – South Side 10/31/21 – Austin – TX – ACL Live 11/1/21 – Houston – TX – House Of Blues 11/3/21 – Phoenix – AZ – Van Buren 11/5/21 – Los Angeles – CA – The Palladium* 11/7/21 – San Diego – CA – Soma 3/10/21 – Leeds – UK – 02 Academy 3/11/22 – Birmingham – UK – 02 Academy 3/12/22 – Manchester – UK – Academy 3/13/22 – Glasgow – UK – 02 Academy 3/15/22 – Nottingham – UK – Rock City 3/16/22 – Bristol – UK – 02 Academy 3/17/22 – London – UK – 02 Kentish Town Forum 3/20/22 – Paris – FR – Le Trianon 3/22/22 – Munich – GER – Tonhalle 3/23/22 – Berlin – GER – Huxleys 3/25/22 – Koln – GER – E Werk 3/27/22 – Hanover – GER – Capitol
More information on Angels and Airwaves’ new single, video, and live dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
PBS Kids is doing its part to honor its female viewers with a new DVD. The DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures, was released Sept. 7 through PBS Distribution. The episodes featured in this collection –15 in all as the DVD’s title notes – are the main strength for the presentation. While the episodes are important in their own right, the very fact that they are centered on just female audiences detracts notably from the DVD’s presentation. It will be discussed a little later. For those audiences willing to overlook this shortcoming, the DVD’s pricing proves to be its own positive. When it is considered along with the episodes featured herein, the DVD proves far from perfect, but still entertaining enough.
PBS Kids’ recently released compilation DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures is an intriguing offering from the network. The DVD’s primary strength comes in its featured episodes. The episodes lift from the majority of PBS Kids’ series. There are some omissions, though (E.g. Odd Squad, Wild Kratts, Curious George, etc.) but by and large, the episodes pull from a respectable amount of the networks’ shows. Arthur is represented through the episode, “Muffy’s New Best Friend.” The story here finds Muffy and Francine learning a valuable lesson about friendship even when two people have differing opinions on things, and that those differences can actually help friendships grow. It is a familiar topic that will appeal not only to young females, but to audiences in general. This leads to the aforementioned discussion on the DVD’s one main shortcoming, which will be addressed shortly. Molly of Denali’s episode, “Stand Back Up” finds Molly learning a valuable lesson about pushing on through failings in any situation in life when she learns how to ski. Once again, here is a show that yes, is centered on a female character, but with a lesson that applies to girls and boys, men and women alike. Again, it leans toward the DVD’s noted concern. On yet another note, Let Go Luna!’s episode, “Aren’t We A Pair” centers on Carmen and her Egyptian friend Leyla and their search for their pets. The friendship element is there, but as with so many episodes of the family favorite series, the episode is more about promoting multiculturalism, which is wonderful in its own right. The thing is that the series focuses not just on a girl, but a group of friends (two boys and a girl, plus Luna, who is female). The story is a great way to teach and learn about culture in Egypt. Again, it will appeal just as much to boys as it will girls. It is one more way to show the importance of the DVD’s episodes to the disc’s presentation. That is done as it pulls from yet another of so many PBS Kids series. On the other hand it is yet another example of how problematic the DVD is in the bigger picture.
While the episodes featured in this disc make for plenty of appeal, the very fact that they will appeal to boys and girls alike as well as men and women alike, it makes the very presentation format extremely problematic. As noted, the stories and lessons that are presented in the majority of this DVD’s featured episodes will appeal to and connect with boys as well as girls. Add in that the fact that many of the shows from which the episodes are pulled are examples of PBS and PBS Kids’ long-running tradition of trying to normalize equality among genders, sexes, races, and ethnicities and it just makes the whole presentation seem like a knee-jerk reaction from someone or some people at PBS and PBS Kids. Given again, a show, such as Molly of Denali is centered on a young girl, but the stories and lessons involve her as well as her friends, who are male and female. Even a “newer” series, such as Elinor Wonders Why is centered not on just its titular character, but on her and her friends, who are male and female alike. Once again, the diversity is evident in the episodes and their lessons. That has been a trademark of PBS Kids shows for such a long time. It just leads one to wonder why someone would even take the time to try and release a collection of episodes that it claims are “Girl Power” adventures. The very approach is counter to everything for which PBS Kids has come to be known. It is really disconcerting. Even with the concern raised by the DVD’s very presentation, there is at least one more positive to examine, and that is its pricing.
The average price point for 15 Girl Power Adventures is $8.22. That price was obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS. The DVD was not listed through Books-A-Million at the time of the DVD’s review. An average price point of less than $10 for a DVD that for the most part will appeal to boys just as much as girls and that pulls from so many of PBS Kids’ shows new and old alike is not bad at all. Adding to the appeal is that for the most part, the separate listings are below that price point, save for PBS’ own listing of $9.99 and (surprisingly) that of Walmart, at $12.37. Target actually has the least expensive listing this time out at only $4.99. Amazon and Barnes & Noble Booksellers each list the DVD at $6.99 while Best Buy is not the best buy at $7.99. So in looking at these prices, the overall pricing really is not bad. It will not break any viewer’s budget. So taking that into account with the DVD’s content, the whole makes for at least some appeal even despite the incongruous nature of the content with the DVD’s title. Keeping this in mind, the DVD is problematic. There is no denying this matter. At the same time, it is not a complete failure.
PBS Kids/PBS Distribution’s recently released DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures is hardly the best presentation that the company and its home distribution arm have ever released. At the same time it is not the worst, either. The DVD succeeds largely because of its episodes and their stories. The episodes pull from a healthy cross section of PBS Kids’ shows. The stories and their lessons will connect to boys just as much as girls because despite the DVD’s title, they are not centered just on females and will relate not only to girls, either. This leads to the DVD’s one major shortcoming, its titling. The DVD’s title markets the presentation as being “girl power,” but as noted the episodes are largely a continued display of PBS Kids’ successful efforts to normalize equality among genders, sexes, races, and ethnicities without being preachy. Keeping that in mind, there really was no reason for any branch of PBS to present such a DVD since it has always treated males and females, blacks, whites, and otherwise equally. While this is clearly problematic, it is not enough to make the DVD a total failure. The DVD’s overall pricing proves positive, considering the amount of content presented therein. The pricing will, for the most part, not break any viewer’s budget. That selling point (no pun intended) along with the content is just enough to save the DVD. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation. All things considered, they make the DVD problematic but not a total failure.
15 Girl Power Adventures is available now. More information on this and other titles from PBS Kids is available along with all of the network’s latest news at:
Reboots are big business for Hollywood, or so it would seem. Looking at recent headlines for TV shows rebooted by the major TV studios (including digital servers), reboots do not actually seem to be doing as well as studio executives and advertisers would like people to believe. Punky Brewster became the most recent reboot to be cancelled this month. The show was axed from NBC’s Peacock streaming service after just one seasons. Also cancelled this year are reboots of MacGuyver, Murphy Brown, Charmed (which did not even get past the pilot stage), and even Lizzy Macguire. Fuller House, the reboot of the classic sitcom Full House also got the axe from Netflix this year after five seasons. Even the reboot of Rod Serling’s classic series The Twilight Zone was justifiably canceled early this year after just two seasons. Between that reboot, the update of Hawaii 5-0, and that of MacGuyver, which itself ran for five seasons before its end (two seasons less than the original series’ run), it is safe to say that reboots really are not the safe bet that studio execs and advertisers thought they would be. Even Roseanne ended up being “cancelled” and re-tooled as The Connors. Now keeping all of this in mind, one cannot help but wonder how long Hulu’s reboot of the classic cartoon series Animaniacs will last. It was just recently announced that the series, which saw its first season released to DVD June 1, will launch its sophomore season in November. If the lead season of this reboot is any indicator, one can only imagine that it will be lucky to be renewed for a third season. That is proven in part through the content featured in the first season of this reboot. It will be discussed shortly. The lack of any bonus content with the season’s home release is also of concern, especially considering the original series’ legacy. So this will be discussed a little later. Looking at all of the negatives noted here, it makes the DVD’s pricing problematic, too. This will be discussed later, too. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this recently released collection. All things considered, they make the first season of Hulu’s Animaniacs a completely disappointing presentation. It additionally is more proof that reboots are clearly not the best investment for any network.
The first season of Hulu’s Animaniacs reboot is proof positive that for all the reboots out there, reboots do not make the best business sense for any network, whether on TV or online. This is proven in large part through the content featured throughout Season 1. Given, there was plenty of adult-themed humor that ran through the original series during its five-season run from 1993-1998. Steven Spielberg himself was even quoted as saying much of the humor in the original series was inspired by the humor of Looney Tunes and none other than Groucho Marx. At the same time, there was also plenty of more family friendly content included throughout the show in the noted time frame. By comparison, this updated take on the series is nothing but dated, adult humor. It is all snarky shots about the world’s current social and political atmosphere. The only time when the show actually goes full family friendly comes late in its run in the short, “Here Comes The Treble.” The celebration of classical music finds the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot going toe to toe against a very self-righteous conductor. The story is a reboot in itself of a certain classic Looney Tunes short in which Bugs Bunny faces off against an arrogant opera singer. Even worse is the moment in the “Pinky and the Brain” short, “Mousechurian Candidate” in which the writers decided to go blue. Brain tells Pinky in one line that he is going to put one character “through hell.” Yes, the writers went there. Thankfully it is the only point at which such language is used. The original series succeeded without ever having to use foul language, so why did the show’s writers feel the need to go such route here?
Speaking of Pinky and The Brain, they are they and Ralph are the only secondary characters who are regularly featured in this season. There is one episode, “Good Warner Hunting,” in which the writers bring back all the old secondary characters (E.g. The Hip Hippos, Slappy Squirrel and her nephew Skippy, Katie Kaboom, etc.) but instead of paying tribute or even hinting at them being brought back long term, the story in the episode feels more like the writers were thumbing their noses at viewers. They were acknowledging the absence of those characters from the reboot, but basically just kept them as a secondary element in that one sole episode. In their place are far worse secondaries “The Incredible Gnome in People’s Mouths” and “Starbox and Cindy.” These characters and their shorts come across like something that was crafted when the writers were high on something. One cannot help but wonder, in looking at these new secondaries, if the writers from Ren & Stimpy were involved in this season, considering this and all of the primary writing concerns. All things considered here, the content featured in the lead season of Hulu’s Animaniacs reboot is reason enough to not watch or even buy the show’s two-disc set. It is just one of the problems from which this set suffers. The lack of any bonus content detracts from the presentation’s appeal even more.
The lack of bonus content is important because while Animaniacs only ran for five seasons in its initial run in the 90s, that was still a long run. To this day, it is still very much a beloved property. That is again because of the brand of verbal and physical comedy that it brought forward. Yes, it was modern at the time, but it resurrected a brand of comedy that was far more common to cartoons and movies of the early 20th century. What’s more, the work put in by the voice cast and the animators added even more appeal. Sadly, none of that is discussed here. As a matter of fact, there is no bonus content to speak of. There is no retrospective on the importance of the original series. There is no defense made by the show’s cast and crew for this unnecessary reboot. That someone or certain parties felt that the show did not need defense in its rebooting (considering it is among so many reboots) is just lazy and irresponsible. Maybe had someone taken the time to try to defend this reboot, it might have led some viewers to rethink their views especially after watching the featured main content. That is not guaranteed, but the possibility is there. On another note, that the only references made to the original series came in the shorts (and in rather sarcastic, dismissive fashion at that) is only that much more disrespectful to the legacy of the original show and to the fans. It leaves audiences feel that the writers wanted to bring in the audiences who watched the original show, but did not care enough to actually keep things family friendly. It is all just so disappointing.
Now keeping in mind everything addressed here, it makes the two-disc set’s pricing problematic in its own right. Walmart has the set available in store at a price of $20. It should be no more expensive than $15, honestly, considering It runs 13 episodes. If it were more expansive, that would guarantee the price. That is the same price at Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million each list the set at $24.99 and $24.98 respetively, far exceeding the more commonly occurring price of $20. All things considered, neither price is worth paying considering how little this set has to offer audiences of any age. Between the dated, adults-only content that fills out most of the season and the lack of any bonus content, the prices are just too much all the way around. Keeping this in mind, it is yet another negative and shows once more why this two-disc debut season of Hulu’s Animaniacs reboot is a failure.
Hulu and Studio Distribution Services’ DVD presentation of Animaniacs Season 1 is a disappointing offering from the companies. Knowing that the series has already been re-upped for a second season, odds are that those behind this reboot or even its home release have learned anything from the mistakes of this presentation. There is nothing redeeming about the set. The main content is clearly aimed mainly at adults, unlike the original series. To make it worse, the content featured here does not even have any longevity. It is dated throughout so much of what is shown. All of this in mind, the content is just one of the set’s shortcomings. The lack of any bonus content in the set decreases its enjoyment even more. Taking that into account along with the less than memorable primary content featured in this set, the whole makes the set’s pricing even less appealing. Keeping all of this in mind, the whole makes this presentation anything but appealing.
Animaniacs Season 1 is available now for those who actually want the set. More information on the set is available along with all of the latest Animaniacs news at:
When the concept of mass transportation was first thought of in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the belief was that it would help reduce human created pollution. As time has gone on, those views have increasingly changed, obviously. They proved to be almost as problematic in terms of pollution as personal transportation. Coal-burning steam engines that put so much smoke and other chemicals into the air have given way to much cleaner rail transport. Many buses nationwide have switched over from gasoline and diesel to much cleaner power sources, too. While those measures have done and are doing their part to reduce mankind’s impact on the naturally occurring process that is climate change, there is still much more to do even on their end. While those mass transportation means continue to evolve and change for the better, one means of mass transportation that is sadly only now beginning to evolve is air transportation. Jets and planes put pollution into the air every day, but thankfully, there is a growing number of companies out there whose work aims to eventually make mass air transportation cleaner. Their work is the focus of another recently aired episode of PBS’ long-running science-based series, NOVA. Having originally aired May 26 on PBS stations nationwide, it was released Aug. 3 on DVD, and is also streaming online now, too. The noted “race” to develop “clean” air transportation is at the center of this episode. It is quite interesting and will be discussed shortly. The visual aids that are used to help tell the story add their own interest to the presentation and will be discussed a little later. Considering all of that content, the DVD’s pricing rounds out its most important elements. IT will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make this episode a presentation that (pardon the awful pun) is a high-flying success.
NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is another successful offering from PBS’ long-running, science-based series. It is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Its success comes in large part through its central story, that of the efforts underway to evolve mass air transportation in regards to its energy source and impact on climate change. This revelation leads to the story’s most important aspect. While the impact of air travel’s pollution on climate change serves as the basis for the bigger discussion, it remains just that. So while this is hardly the first time in recent years that PBS programming has focused on climate change and humans’ impact thereon, it does not just preach about it nonstop. Rather the story naturally grows from that topic to the innovations that are happening as a result of the efforts to make air travel cleaner. At no point does the program ever try to lie to audiences, either. It is pointed out multiple times throughout the almost hour-long program that the efforts to make air travel cleaner are in their infancy and that there is still a very long way to go. To that end, that realistic view makes things interesting in itself. The various ways in which the different startups and established companies are trying to use clean energy to power planes and jets is just as interesting to learn about. It seems, in watching the whole, that the most feasible energy source at this point would be hydrogen. That is just this critic’s own interpretation. That is especially considering the note of how many pounds of batteries would be needed to replace approximately 40,000 pounds of fuel in a full-size jetliner in order for it to maintain its range. On another hand though, the thought of batteries being recharged in-flight by the same propellers that they are powering is interesting in its own right. Of course, that would seemingly only be feasible in small, one and two seat planes, but is still a potential upgrade that could work in that avenue. That so many efforts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint of air transportation companies is just as interesting to learn about as the efforts being made to simply pull carbon from the atmosphere in another of PBS’ climate-related NOVA episodes. It is just one part of what makes this episode interesting. The visual aids that are used add their own interest to the episode’s presentation.
The visual aids in question are actual footage of the prototype planes and “helicopters” that are being developed by the noted startups. This may seem minor on the surface. However, being that there are so many visual learners out there and that television is, after all, a visual medium, actually getting to put a picture with the discussed concepts serves very well to keep viewers engaged and entertained. What’s more, actually seeing the concept vehicles at work (both in reality and in concept videos) enhances the viewing experience even more. One cannot help but wonder if a “helicopter” powered by as many as six propellers is really as efficient as a combustion-powered chopper (which uses only two rotors). That such a clean-energy vehicle would need that much power shows that there certainly is a long way for clean energy air power to go before it is perfect, but at least the effort is being made. On another note, watching another clean-energy air vehicle actually taking off and landing around the Hawaiian islands shows that some progress is happening. Again, these visualizations may not seem like much on the surface, but when viewers actually see them as they take in the story, they will ensure those viewers’ engagement and entertainment that much more. That ensured engagement and entertainment will also ensure that viewers will better understand and appreciate the efforts taking place and why they are taking place. Keeping all of that in mind, the overall content featured in this DVD does plenty to prove the appeal of the episode and DVD. It is still just part of what makes the DVD and episode appealing. The DVD’s pricing, again considering the content, proves important in its own right.
The average price point for NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is $21.49. That price was reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store. While the average price point is a little bit high, some of the separate listings are more appealing by comparison. Case in point is Amazon’s listing of $16.79, the leas expensive of the listings. The only listings that exceed the noted average come from PBS, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-a-Million, at $24.99 each. Best Buy offers the DVD at just under $20 at a price of $17.99 while Walmart’s listing is slightly more expensive at $19.17. Given, with shipping, each listing’s price does go up, but again by comparison to the three listings that exceed the average, those lower listings are still relatively affordable. Considering again, the overall content featured in this episode of NOVA and its ability to ensure viewers’ engagement and entertainment, those less expensive listings are still money well spent. To that end, the pricing and overall content featured in this episode of NOVA makes the episode in whole a fully successful presentation.
PBS and PBS Distribution’s presentation of NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is a successful new offering from the company and its home distribution arm. That is proven in part through the episode’s central story. The story in question follows the efforts underway to progress air travel from a hugely polluting means of mass transportation to something much cleaner. The visuals that are used throughout the episode add their own appeal to the whole. That is because they make the episode more interesting for viewers. That added interest ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment in its own right. To that end, the pricing for the episode’s home DVD release proves mostly positive in its own right. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make the episode and its DVD presentation a presentation that passes…with flying colors. Yes, that awful pun was intended, too.
NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is available now.
More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:
Throughout the course of human history, there have been so many pivotal moments that have forever changed things for the world. The creation of fire and the wheel, the development of electricity, the development of mass communications and recording technology are all prime examples of those key moments. They are hardly the only key moments in human history. In a recently aired episode of its long-running science-based series, NOVA dubbed Ship That Changed The World, PBS examines a key turning point in nautical history. Having originally aired June 2 on PBS stations nationwide, it was released to DVD Aug. 17. The story featured in the nearly hour-long episode creates a strong foundation for the program and will be discussed shortly. The secondary story that accompanies the main presentation adds to the episode’s engagement in its own right. It will be discussed a little later. Keeping those two items in mind, the program’s pricing proves to be important in its own way, too. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation. All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences, from history buffs to nautical history lovers, to even those with any interest in engineering.
NOVA: Ship That Changed The World is an interesting new episode of PBS’ long-running science-based series. Its interest comes in large part through its primary story. The story in question follows a group of marine archaeologists who have located the remains of a ship off the Swiss coast known as the Griffin Dog. That is the English translation for the ship’s name. As narrator Craig Sechler points out, the ship is important to the bigger picture of maritime history because of its construction. Audiences who have any interest in that topic will remain engaged just as much as anyone with any interest in the history or maritime warfare and history in general. Watching the group try to identify the ship and solve what caused it to sink (and succeed in the process) gives audiences reason enough to watch this episode of NOVA. While that aspect of the episode is interesting in its own right, the episode’s secondary story (which could actually be argued to be the episode’s main story in its own right) makes for just as much engagement and entertainment.
The episode’s secondary story involves the history lesson on boats’ construction in comparison to that of the Griffin Dog. Viewers will be interested to learn, for instance, that while Vikings’ construction of their longboats is legendary, it was in fact imperfect. That is because as is noted in this episode, the longer the boats became, the more problematic was their mobility in the water. On a different note, viewers will learn that by comparison, boats that were created in the Mediterranean region of the world had their own problem. Their problem was not one of mobility, but of the ability to carry large cargo capacities. As the secondary story progresses, viewers learn that the shipbuilders who created the Griffin Dog used the style of not one but both regions in creating the ship. The result was that the creation and launching of the Griffin Dog was really that turning point in maritime history. The ship was, as one interviewer called it, a castle of sorts, on the water. It allowed for certain unique military advantages for the soldiers on board as well as the ability to carry extensive cargo loads and to provide certain comforts for the crew and passengers. That aspect of the story is really just as interesting as the efforts to identify the Griffin Dog if not more so. That is why, again, viewers can argue that this secondary story could also be the episode’s central story and vice versa. Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s pricing proves to be a positive in its own right.
The average price point of NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is $21.38. That price was reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store. Target did not list the DVD at the time of this review’s posting. Amazon’s listing of $16.79 is the least expensive of the listings, while PBS, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million all had the most expensive listing, at $24.99. Walmart listed the DVD at $18.52 while Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 is not the best buy, but is still well under the noted average point. Short and simple, three of the listings are well above the average while the other three are all below that point, and are also less than $20. To that end, those three less expensive listings will not break viewers’ budgets. Considering the DVD’s content, again, that information proves its own positive in the bigger picture of the DVD’s presentation. Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is an overall successful presentation.
PBS and PBS Distribution’s presentation of NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is a largely successful presentation. That is proven in part through its initial story. That story in question follows the search for and discovery of a five century-old warship. The warship in question, the Griffin Dog, changed the face and history of maritime warfare and history. The explanation of how the ship incorporated different ship building techniques from two parts of the world thousands of miles apart from one another adds to the overall presentation. That overall content makes the DVD’s pricing – average and separate – positive in its own right. The DVD’s average price point and most of its listings are inexpensive and will not break viewers’ budgets. Each item examined here, the whole makes the DVD a positive presentation. All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that will definitely float. NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is available now.
More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:
Paramount Pictures’ Jurassic Park franchise is a hugely successful series of movies. That goes without saying. The property has spawned five movies with a sixth on the way next year. There is also a lego-based series on Nickelodeon and a series of related kid-friendly video games. It has even spawned any number of second-rate knock offs from so many independent studios that are anything but memorable. It really speaks to the franchise’s popularity and longevity. This past April, the franchise’s popularity was shown even more when PBS and PBS Kids aired a new Dinosaur Train “movie” in the form of Adventure Island. Unlike all of those noted knock-offs, this take on the Jurassic Park franchise this take is completely entertaining. That is thanks to its story, which will be discussed shortly. The bonus episodes that accompany the “movie” make the movie’s home presentation appealing in their own right. Considering that content featured in this DVD, it makes the DVD’s pricing a positive in its own right. Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island one more of this year’s top new family DVDs/BDs.
PBS Distribution’s home release of Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island is a welcome new addition to the show’s ongoing series of DVDs. It is so enjoyable that there is no doubt it deserves a spot on the list of this year’s top new family DVDs/BDs. The DVD’s appeal comes in large part through its main feature, its almost hour-long “movie,” Adventure Island. As has been noted, the “movie” is a spoof of the movies in the Jurassic Park franchise. In this story, the Pteranodon family is invited to Adventure Island, a theme part island populated by a bunch of robot dinosaurs and filled with what are supposed to be fun rides. The robotic dinosaurs are powered by steam, and when unexpectedly go wrong with some of the island’s systems, the dinosaurs get too hot and end up going haywire. Fittingly, it is up to the Pteranodon kids – Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy – as well as the park’s employees to set things right and get the automatons working right again. The head of the whole operation denies the problems at first, but eventually admits something is wrong, leading to the eventual happy ending. While the story is clearly a lifting from the Jurassic Park franchise, it is still its own story. That originality — and the very fact that unlike the Jurassic Park movies, this movie is family friendly – makes for even more appeal.
The story’s pacing plays into the presentation, too. It ensures the story plays out fluidly from beginning to end. The result of the attention to that item is that it ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment in its own right. Keeping that in mind along with the story’s very presentation, the whole shows clearly why this main feature is so important to the DVD’s presentation. It is just one part of what makes the DVD so appealing. The bonus episodes that accompany the main feature add their own enjoyment to the whole.
The bonus episode, “Junior Conductor’s Academy” stands out because it marks the first time that the series has taken on the issue of autism. It joins the likes of Arthur, Hero Elementary, and Sesame Street to focus on the matter as the Pteranodon kids go to the Junior Conductor’s Academy and meet a new dino friend named Dennis. Dennis is autistic, but at no point do the show’s writers bring extra attention to this matter. Rather, they ensure that the Pteranodon kids treat Dennis just like he is one of them. In other words, the writers have normalized the condition rather than pointing it out. This is actually something hugely important. It is important because in reality, pointing out such a condition and bringing that added attention can in fact do more emotional and mental harm than good for someone who is autistic. It can actually be in advertently turned more into a stigma even if one’s attentions in pointing out the condition are honorable. The same applies to anyone with any handicap, whether mental or physical. Just like someone in a wheelchair does not want special attention or accommodations, but to be treated like a person first and foremost, so would a person with autism want to be treated as a person first and foremost. That is exactly what the writers have done here. The writers are to be highly commended for that approach, just like the writers on the other noted shows for their approaches.
The second bonus episode, “Rollin’ on the Riverboat,” is completely opposite from “Junior Conductor’s Academy.” In the case of this episode, the Pteranodon family takes a trip along a river on a paddle wheel boat. The kids learn about the animals that call the river ecosystem home. This lesson stands out because for so much of the series, the focus on aquatic life has been in the ocean or at a beach setting. So for the family to go down a more contained aquatic setting and learn about its ecosystem is a major change of pace for the series. The show’s writers are to be commended just as much for this switch-up as for the approach taken to “Junior Conductor’s Academy.” There is even a musical number that, in its own way, pays tribute to the one and only Tina Turner and one of her greatest songs. Audiences will be left to take in this moment for themselves. Along the way, the passengers even meet a giant dinosaur that they thought was only a myth, leading to a lesson about another dinosaur, which is sure to engage audiences of all ages even more. The combination of these two fully engaging and entertaining bonus episodes enhances the viewing experience even more. When that impact is considered along with the engagement and entertainment guaranteed through the DVD’s main feature, the whole shows the DVD’s content as one large whole that makes the DVD well worth the purchase. Considering the content featured in this DVD and its impact on the viewing experience, it makes the DVD’s pricing a positive in its own right.
The average price point for Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island is right at $8.00. That price is obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store. Considering that the average price point is less than $10 speaks volumes, considering how much content is offered in this DVD and its ability to keep viewers engaged and entertained. It is definitely something in itself that will encourage audiences to purchase the DVD. The least expensive listing is through Amazon and Target, at only $5.89. PBS, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers each list the DVD on the high end (so to speak) at $9.99. Walmart lists the DVD at $6.27, just above that lowest listing from Amazon and Target. Best Buy’s listing of $7.99 serves as the mid-range price. Looking at all of these prices, only three exceed the average price point, and Best Buy’s listing is the only one that even reaches that point. Walmart, Target, and Amazon all offer relatively affordable prices that will not break anyone’s budget by any means. Again, considering the amount of content featured in this DVD and that content’s ability to ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment, it makes those prices all the more appealing. Keeping that in mind, it shows why it is just as important to examine as the DVD’s content. All things considered, they make Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island one more of this year’s top new family DVDs/BDs.
PBS Distribution’s recently released Dinosaur Train DVD, Adventure Island is yet another impressive offering for the while family. It continues to show why the series is such a beloved property in part through its main feature. The main feature is a nearly hour-long story that uses the beloved Jurassic Park franchise as its inspiration, while keeping the story family friendly at the same time. That blend of originality and familiarity pairs with the story’s family friendly nature to make the story so enjoyable in itself. The two bonus episodes make for their own entertainment because they are unlike one another and unlike the main feature. Considering the content and its impact, the DVD’s pricing proves to be its own positive. The pricing comes in largely at less than $10 both in terms of the average price point and the separate listings. In other words, it will not break any viewer’s budget. Keeping that in mind, the pricing works with the DVD’s content to offer audiences even more motivation to own this presentation. All things considered, they make the DVD one more of the year’s top new Family DVDs/BDs.
Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island is available now. More information on Dinosaur Train is available online now along with lots of activities, printables, videos and more at:
Nickelodeon and Paramount’s latest Spongebob Squarepants cinematic offering, Sponge on the Run, is the absolute worst of the franchise’s movie offerings. Originally planned for big screen release in 2020, those plans were scrapped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It ended up going straight to streaming before being released to Blu-ray and DVD last month. There is really nothing about this movie that makes it memorable. Its story is the first of its failings and will be discussed shortly. The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home physical release is just as problematic as the story itself. It will be discussed a little later. The movie’s animation style is also problematic and will also be discussed later. Each item noted shows in its own way what makes this movie so disappointing. All things considered, they are going to make this movie the most forgettable of the Spongebob Squarepants movies to date.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run is hopefully going to be the absolute last of the movies from the series that started as a little show that could so many years ago on Nickelodeon. There is nothing redeeming about this movie. The movie’s story is the most glaring of its concerns. The story, at its heart, is just another story about Plankton trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula from Mr. Krabs. It essentially plays out as follows: Plankton’s computer wife, Karen, makes him realize that it has been not Mr. Krabs, but Spongebob who has ultimately prevented Plankton from getting the formula. So in finally realizing and accepting this, he uses King Poseidon’s hunt for snail slime (which he apparently uses to cure facial issues like lines, bags, etc.) and kidnaps Spongebob’s snail pal Gary and takes him to King Poseidon. This leads Spongebob and pal Patrick Star to go on a road trip to find Gary. With Spongebob out of the way, Plankton finally gets the formula, but of course his victory is short-lived. Mr. Krabs, Sandy, and Squidward eventually go in search of Spongebob and have to save him from an untimely end because Spongebob had tried to save Gary from Poseidon’s grasp. That final act (and much of the movie) throws in plenty of promotion for the new CG-based Spongebob Squarepants series, Camp Coral. Keeping all of that in mind, on the one hand, this is just another story about Plankton trying to get the Krabby Patty formula. It has been the basis of so much of the series’ content on television and in the franchise’s other movies. On the other hand, it is also clearly a blatant way for Nickelodeon and Paramount to promote the noted series, which completely ignores canon of the original Spongebob Squarepants television series. Taking all of that into account with the equally unnecessary celebrity cameos (Snoop Dogg, Mickey Rourke, and Keanu Reeves) and the equally unnecessary musical numbers, and what audiences get is a story that felt like it was just tossed together with hope that audiences would overlook it all. Given, this critic’s 8 year-old son is proof that children will definitely overlook all the noted problems, but adults with any common sense will see all the problems and realize just how dumbed down and awful this presentation becomes overall.
The problematic story at the heart of this movie is just part of its failing. The bonus content (or really lack thereof) makes the movie even less enjoyable. Every one of the bonus features in the movie’s home physical release focuses in one way or another on Camp Coral, yet again proving that this movie is ultimately just one big way for Nickelodeon and Paramount to promote that series, which is itself completely forgettable. There are art segments that show how Spongebob is drawn for that series. There is also a feature about Spongebob’s Camp Coral pals, and even a “mini-movie” taken from the series. That those behind this movie’s presentation would even call this feature a “mini-movie” is disappointing. It is a short. Even when it is played, it is called a short on screen. That is a far cry from a mini-movie. Mini-movie hints that it would be about half the time of the movie, which runs approximately 91 minutes. This “mini-movie” runs maybe six or seven minutes. Yet again, this is just so problematic, especially considering that this and the other bonus content clearly is just another blatant marketing means for Camp Coral. It is just more disappointment for this overall presentation. It is still not the last of the problems presented in this presentation. The animation style poses its own problem.
The animation style of Sponge on the Run is full on CG. It just does not look nearly as wonderful as that rough style used in the series’ infancy. Given, it is hardly the first time that the franchise’s creative heads have gone this route. Some of the latest Spongebob TV holiday specials (mainly Halloween and Christmas) have all used their own stop motion/CG hybrid approaches. The result of those approaches is really appealing in its own way, but the approach taken here is just ugly throughout. It shows that some things simply should not go the CG route. That aesthetic element may seem minor on the surface, but the reality is that the look makes it hard in itself to watch. When the difficulty wanting to keep watching that unappealing look is joined with a story that is just as awful and forgettable, and equally forgettable bonus content, the whole becomes a presentation that is absolutely the worst of the Spongebob Squarepants franchise’s cinematic offerings and one of this year’s worst movies, too.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run is the absolute worst entry yet in the Spongebob Squarepants cinematic series. It does nothing to help build the legacy of the series, which really stopped being enjoyable after its fifth season. That is proven in large part through its story. The story is just another tale of another of Plankton’s efforts to steal the Krabby Patty formula. On a secondary note, it is also a blatant machine for Nickelodeon and Paramount officials to market the new Spongebob Squarepants series, Camp Coral. That in itself is pathetic. Add in the fact that Camp Coral does not even stick to canon from the original series, and it makes that aspect even more disappointing and worthy of criticism. The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home physical presentation is even more marketing for Camp Coral, making for even more criticism. It makes it seem even more, that this movie was really just an excuse for Nickelodeon and Paramount officials to market the noted streaming series. The animation style used in the movie rounds out the most important of this movie’s problems. Its aesthetic effect makes it just as difficult to watch this movie as the movie’s content. Each item examined here is important in its way in showing why this movie is so bad. All things considered, they make Sponge on the Run the worst of the Spongebob Squarepants movies yet and one of this year’s worst movies overall.
The Spongebo Movie: Sponge on the Run is available now on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. More information on this and all things Spongebob Squarepants is available at: