Shout! Factory Kids’ New ‘LPS’ DVD Is A “Star” In Itself

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest entry in its ongoing series of Littlest Pet Shop DVD, Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among the bigger picture of the series’ current collections.  The DVD, released Feb. 14, is yet another enjoyable collection of episodes for the whole family.  That is due in part to the collection’s featured episodes and their sequencing.  That will be discussed shortly.  The episodes’ writing is just as important to note in examining this collection if not more than the episodes themselves. While it is a minute detail here, the series’ animation can actually be noted in the case of at least one of the collection’s episodes.  Each element plays its own important part to the collection’s overall presentation.  All things considered, this collection proves in the end to indeed be another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of entries and another one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest Littlest Pet Shop DVD Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is yet another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of home releases.  It is also an easy, early pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s DVDs.  That is due in part to the episodes that are featured on the DVD.  As with the series’ previous DVD releases, this collection features five more episodes from the family friendly animated series.  The episodes featured in this collection take families through the series’ second and third season.  What truly stands out here is that the episodes are presented in relative chronological order from start to finish.  This includes both overall and within the seasons themselves.  ‘Heart of Parkness’ and ‘Standup Stinker’ are both lifted from Season Two while ‘The Secret Recipe,’ ‘A Night at the Pawza’ and ‘Sue Syndrome’ are all lifted from Season Three.  On the surface, this seems like an unimportant element to examine.  In the bigger picture though, presenting the episodes in almost the same order as they aired in their original television broadcast shows a dedication to properly transferring the episodes from television to DVD.  Simply put, it’s an aesthetic element, but an important one nonetheless.  To that end, it is still a highly important piece of the DVD’s overall presentation, and not the only important piece either.  The writing behind each episode is just as important to examine as the episodes themselves.

The episodes featured in Shout! Factory Kids’ latest LPS DVD collection are in themselves important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  That is because they are presented in relatively the same order as they were in their original broadcast.  This is not the first time that Shout! Factory Kids has taken such painstaking efforts to properly transfer the series’ episodes from television to DVD.  That being the case, it makes this element well worth noting.  Just as important to note in examining the collection’s overall presentation is the work of the show’s writers within each episode.  The writing is notable first because of the stories that are at the center of each episode.  The writing in the set’s opening episode “Heart of Parkness” shows that the episodes can and do entertain even when only one of the cast is a story’s focus.  In this case, Sunil is the focus as he is separated from his fellow pet pals and is forced to defend a group of “native” raccoons in the park from a King Cobra.  The setup for the story comes from the Biskit twins’ release of the exotic snake from their father’s pet store because of their own selfishness.  Considering the very real issue of people having (many times illegally) exotic pets and the dangers posed therein, suspension of disbelief here becomes relatively easy.

“Standup Stinker” is another key example of why the episodes’ writing is so important to note. The dual-pronged story line presented in “Standup Stinker” sees both Pepper and Minka following their own dreams, connecting both with plenty of humor along the way.  This touches on another element of the writing that is so important to note–its pop culture references.  True lovers of classic sci-fi flicks will enjoy the manner in which the writers spoofed so many classic sci-fi/alien flicks here as the pets try to make Minka believe she has become the first monkey on Mars right down to the poorly designed alien costumes.  On another note, there is also a joke made through a reference to eBay at the episode’s end that only parents will appreciate.  Speaking of jokes that only grown-ups will appreciate, the story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” is one that adults will enjoy just as much as their children if not more so.

The story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” sees Blythe’s friend Youngmee Song pitching her not so tasty pet treats on a show called Bear Cave, which is very similar to ABC’s hit series Shark Tank.  In the case of Bear Cave, the “hosts” are dressed in bear suits (yes, bear suits).  The full-on spoof of Shark Tank highlights the often times silliness despite attempts by its heads to make it come across as something serious.  That is shown through the “hosts’” reactions and their general personas as well as Youngmee’s pitch.  The scenario is set up through a class project in which Blythe, Youngmee and their classmates have to develop their own businesses.  Again, such a setup is believable as there are some schools (and teachers) who do use this teaching method in their classrooms in real life.  It’s just one more way in which the writing proves so important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with so many other examples, it becomes clear why the writing is so important to the collection’s presentation.  It still is not the last element worth noting here.  The animation is, surprisingly, worth noting here, too.

The episodes that make up the body of LPS: Pet Stars and the writing within each episode is important alone and collectively to this collection’s presentation, as has been pointed out already.  While both elements are clearly important in their own right to the DVD’s presentation, they are only two of its most important elements.  The show’s animation is a minute detail to note here, but is in fact worth noting in this case.  That statement is supported partially in the design of the King Cobra in “Heart of Parkness.”  Rather than make the snake a full-on scary character, the show’s animators maintained a King Cobra’s look but also made the snake not look too scary or menacing.  By making sure the snake didn’t look too scary, the animators helped ensure even more engagement by the show’s younger audiences.  The work of the series’ animators also proves important in “Standup Stinker” as they designed a famous comedian as the host of a comedy competition show.  The animators took David Letterman’s tooth gap for the comedian’s design, crossed it with Conan O’Brien’s face and hair, and Jay Leno’s chin for quite the interesting hybrid figure.  Just as with so much of the writing, this design is something that only adults will appreciate.  On another note, the “hosts” of Bear Cave are an impressive likeness of the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank; so much so that the “sharks,” if they see these designs, would be moved to laugh at the similarities between themselves and the “bears.”  It’s just one more ways in which the animation proves so important to this collection of episodes.  When it is set alongside the episodes, their sequencing and the equally impressive writing within each episode, the whole of these elements shows fully why this collection is a star among this year’s current field of new children’s DVDs.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among this year’s current crop of new children’s DVDs.  That is, as already has been explained, due to the episodes featured in this collection and their sequencing, the writing within the episodes and even the animation featured in the series.  Each element shows in its own way to be an important piece of the presentation’s whole.  All things considered, they make Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars another enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages and—once again—one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Verizon Indycar Series To Open Its 2017 Season Live This Sunday On ABC

Courtesy: Verizon Indycar Series

The Verizon Indycar Series opens its 2017 season this Sunday, and ABC will have full coverage of the series’ season-opening race live from St. Petersburg, Fla.

Green flag for Sunday’s 110-lap race is scheduled to fly at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC.  Coverage of Sunday’s race will also be simulcast live online via WatchESPN.  The 1.8-mile track includes some of St. Petersburg’s streets and features 14 turns through which drivers must navigate on their way to the checkered flag.

This year’s telecast of the series’ season-opener will feature some new tech to enhance the viewing experience for fans.  One of those new improvements is a new analytics system designed for ABC and ESPN by tech company Pit Rho.

The analytics system will include everything that audiences have come to know from ESPN’s Verizon Indycar Series coverage including tickers and graphics.  Included in the tech this year is teams’ tire compound choices, laps on tired, fuel windows, optimal laps for pitting and much more.

Another new improvement that audiences will see in the network’s tech this year is the inclusion of a helmet cam that will be used during pre-race coverage.  The mini-cam will show audiences the effects of G-forces on drivers’ heads and bodies as they navigate the tracks’ tight turns.  Network officials stressed the cams would not be used during the race coverage as they might interfere with competition.

Along with its coverage of the series’ season-opening race in St. Petersburg, ESPN will carry full coverage of the 101st Indianapolis 500 on May 28 and the race’s two-day qualifying session on May 20 and May 21.  The series’ road race at the Indianapolis Speedway on May 13 and two races from Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit on June 3 and 4 are also on the networks’ schedule.

Allen Bestwick will once again anchor broadcasts of ABC and ESPN’s Verizon Indycar Series races this year.  He will be joined in the booth by former Indycar drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever for additional analysis and insight.

This season marks the 16th season that Goodyear has served as an analyst for ABC and ESPN’s Indycar broadcasts.  Cheever returns for his 10th season of Indycar broadcasts.  Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl and Dr. Jerry Punch will be on pit road once again, too.

More information on ABC and ESPN’s coverage of the Verizon Indycar Series is available online now along with all of the networks’ auto racing coverage at http://www.espn.com/racing.  More information on the Verizon Indycar Series’ and its latest news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.indycar.com

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

 

 

 

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 Networks Launch NFL Postseason Coverage Saturday

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NFL begins its post season this weekend, and ESPN will be along for the ride with coverage of the AFC Wild Card matchup between the Raiders and Texans.

Coverage of Saturday’s game begins at 3 p.m. EST with a special Postseason NFL Countdown broadcast hosted by Suzy Kolber.  The program will air live from NRG Stadium.  Kolber will be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson for additional commentary.

Chris Berman will co-host the broadcast live from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, CT. Lisa Salters and Adam Schefter will have team updates from both camps.  Reporter Britt McHenry (Raiders-Texans) and NFL Insider Ed Werder (Lions-Seahawks) will offer additional updates on Saturday’s games, too.

Live coverage of the Raiders-Texans games begins at 4:20 p.m. EST.  The game will be simulcast on television on ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and online via WatchESPN.  Kickoff for the game is currently scheduled for 4:35 pm ET.

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNFL

 

 

 

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.

Metallica To Perform Tonight On Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Metallica will be live on TV tonight.

The veteran hard rock outfit will perform live tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  The performance marks the first time the band has ever performed on the hit late night talk show.

There is no word on which song(s) the band will perform tonight.  Along with its performance, the band will take some time to talk to Jimmy.  Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs at 11:35 p.m. EST/10:35 p.m. CST on ABC.

Tonight’s performance is part of Metallica’s tour in support of its brand new album HardwiredTo SelfDestruct.  The album was released last month on the band’s own label, Blackened Recordings.  It debuted at #1 around the world.  The record was produced by Greg Fidelman along with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

HardwiredTo SelfDestruct is available now in stores and online on CD, vinyl, digital deluxe and double deluxe versions.  It can be ordered online direct via Metallica’s online store here.

More information on Metallica’s performance tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live! is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metallica.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/metallica

 

 

 

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 Announces College Football Week 14 Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The ESPN networks’ coverage of college football’s regular season wraps up this weekend with a group of championship matchups on its schedule.

The weekend’s coverage begins live from Detroit Friday when No. 21 Western Michigan takes on Ohio for the MAC Championship.  Broadcast begins at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN2.  Adam Amin will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by analyst Mack Brown for additional commentary.  Reporter Molly McGrath will be on the sidelines for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

The action continues at 9 p.m. EST live from Santa Clara, CA where No. 9 Colorado will take on No. 5 Washington for the 2016 Pac-12 Conference Championship.  The game will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio.  Bill Rosinski will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by David Norrie for additional commentary.  Ian Fitzsimmons will have all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

No. 4 Clemson rounds out the weekend’s coverage as it takes on Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship Saturday night at 8 p.m. EST on ABC and ESPN Radio.  Clemson is in the College Football Playoff Top 4 right now.  Chris Fowler will have the call for the game on ABC.  He will be joined by Kirk Herbstreit for additional commentary.  Reporter Samantha Ponder will have all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Ian Fitzsimmons will have the call on ESPN Radio live.

In all, seven championships will be decided this weekend on the ESPN networks.  The season’s final rankings will be revealed Friday at noon.  One more ranking will be announced tonight at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.  The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ weekend conference championship matchup coverage is noted below.

 

ESPN Network’s Week 14 Slate of Games

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, Dec. 2 7 p.m. 2016 Marathon MAC Football Championship from Detroit: No. 21 Western Michigan vs. Ohio
Adam Amin, Mack Brown, Molly McGrath
ESPN2
9 p.m. 2016 Pac-12 Championship from Santa Clara: No. 9 Colorado vs. No. 5 Washington
Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN Radio
Sat, Dec. 3 Noon 2016 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game: Temple vs. No. 25 Navy
Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
ABC
2016 Dynacraft Conference USA Championship Game: Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky
Dave Pasch, Tom Luginbill, Quint Kessenich
ESPN
Troy at Georgia Southern
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Paul Carcaterra
ESPN2
1 p.m. New Mexico State at South Alabama ESPN3
3 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe ESPN3
4 p.m. 2016 SWAC Football Championship Presented by McDonald’s from Houston, Tex.:Grambling vs. Alcorn State
Eric Clemons, Jay Walker, Sherree Burruss
ESPNU
5 p.m. Georgia State at Idaho ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Arkansas State at Texas State
Allen Bestwick, Ahmad Brooks, Kris Budden
ESPN2
7:45 p.m. 2016 Mountain West Football Championship Game
San Diego State at Wyoming
Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay
ESPN
8 p.m. 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game from Orlando, Fla.
No. 4 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha PonderRadio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons
ABC and ESPN Radio

Please note: Schedule does not include the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship which is carried exclusively by ESPN

 

More information on this weekend’s college football coverage on the ESPN networks is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.

Big 10 Matchups Take Center Stage On ESPN Networks’ Week 13 CFB Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

One of college football’s most storied rivalries will headline the ESPN networks’ college football broadcast slate this weekend.

Michigan and Ohio State will face off Saturday at noon on ABC.  Both teams are currently in the College Football Playoff Top 4 with Ohio State sitting 2nd while Michigan is right behind in 3rd.

If Michigan takes Saturday’s game it will clinch the East Division of the Big Ten. If the Buckeyes win the focus will move to State College, PA, where the Nittany Lions of Penn State will take on Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

If Penn State and Ohio State both win Saturday, Penn State will take the East Division in the Big Ten.  If the Spartans beat the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes will take the division.  Needless to say Saturday will be a big day for the Big East.

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder and Tom Rinaldi will have the call for the Ohio State – Michigan Matchup live from Columbus, OH.

Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard and Allison Williams will be live from Beaver Stadium for the call of the Penn State – Michigan State matchup.

Also of importance on Saturday, South Carolina and No. 4 Clemson will face off live on ESPN in primetime.  The Gamecocks and Tigers will go toe to toe live from Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. EST.  Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill will have the call for the game.

Over on ABC, Notre Dame and #13 USC will hit the field live at 3:30 p.m. EST.  Florida and Florida State follow at 8 p.m. EST as the Gators make their first-ever appearance on Saturday Night Football presented by Wal-Mart.  Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Tod McShay will be live from Los Angeles for coverage of that game.  Meanwhile, Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be live in Tallahassee, Florida for the game.

These are just some of the key college football matchups scheduled fro Saturday across the ESPN networks.  Saturday’s full college football broadcast schedule is noted below.

ESPN Network’s College Football Week 13 Schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Tue, Nov. 22

7 p.m.

Akron at Ohio

Eamon McAnaney, Rocky Boiman

ESPNU

 

Ball State at Miami (Ohio)

Jim Barbar, John Gregory

ESPN3

Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan

Michael Reghi, Dustin Fox

ESPN3

Thu, Nov. 24

4 p.m.

Miles College at Alabama State

Eric Clemons, Jay Walker

ESPN3*

7:30 p.m.

No. 16 LSU at No. 25 Texas A&M

Dave Flemming, Jesse Palmer, Laura Rutledge

ESPN

Fri, Nov. 25

Noon

Houston at Memphis

Tom Hart, Andre Ware, Cole Cubelic

ABC

NC State at North Carolina

TV: Adam Amin, Mack Brown, Molly McGrath

Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN and ESPN Radio

2:30 p.m.

Buffalo at Bowling Green

Robert Lee, Tom O’Brien

ESPN3

3:30 p.m.

No. 18 Nebraska at Iowa

Allen Bestwick, Mike Bellotti, Kris Budden

ABC

4 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at Southern Mississippi

Taylor Zarzour, Jordan Rodgers

ESPNEWS

5 p.m.

Toledo at No. 21 Western Michigan

Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Allison Williams

ESPN2

6 p.m.

Baylor at Texas Tech

Clay Matvick, Dusty Dvoracek, Shelley Smith

ESPN

8:30 p.m.

Cincinnati at Tulsa

Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia

ESPN2

9:30 p.m.

Arizona State at Arizona

Dave Lamont, Ray Bentley, Quint Kessenich

ESPN

Sat, Nov. 26

Noon

No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State

TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder

Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons

ABC, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes

Kentucky at No. 5 Louisville

Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Dr. Jerry Punch

ESPN

Virginia at Virginia Tech

Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Paul Carcaterra

ESPN2

Purdue at Indiana

Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks

ESPNU

Georgia Tech at Georgia

Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Olivia Harlan

SEC Network

Rutgers at Maryland

Mike Couzens, Al Groh

ESPNEWS

Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette

ESPN3

12:30 p.m.

Syracuse at Pittsburgh

ACC Network Extra

3 p.m.

Boston College at Wake Forest

ACC Network Extra

3:30 p.m.

Notre Dame at No. 13 USC

TV: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay

Radio: Tom Ramsey

ABC and ESPN Radio

Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State

Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams

ESPN

Duke at Miami

Eamon McAnaney, John Congemi, Dawn Davenport

ESPN2

Navy at SMU

Kevin Brown, Clint Stoerner

ESPNU

Mississippi State at Ole Miss

Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer, Kaylee Hartung

SEC Network

South Alabama at Idaho

ESPN3

Florida International at Old Dominion

ESPN3*

4 p.m.

Tulane at Connecticut

Chris Hassel, Matt Chatham

ESPNEWS

Nevada at UNLV

Dave Raymond, Tyoka Jackson

ESPN3

Appalachian State at New Mexico State

Brock Bowling, Brian Kinchen

ESPN3*

Troy at Texas State

ESPN3

7 p.m.

UCLA at California

Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich

ESPN2

Western Kentucky at Marshall

Bill Roth, John Gregory

ESPNU

7:30 p.m.

South Carolina at No. 4 Clemson

Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill

ESPN

No. 19 Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Tom Hart, Andre Ware, Cole Cubelic

SEC Network

East Carolina at Temple

Alex Faust, Kevin Weidl

ESPNEWS

8 p.m.

No. 23 Florida at No. 17 Florida State

Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

ABC

North Texas at UTEP

ESPN3

10:15 p.m.

Wyoming at New Mexico

Adam Amin, Anthony Becht, Alex Corddry

ESPN2

Utah State at BYU

ESPNU

 

 

More information on Saturday’s games is available online along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://epn.go.com/college-football

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.

‘Power Rangers’ Fans Will “Roar” With Approval For Franchise’s Latest Standalone Set

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Late last month Shout! Factory released yet another installment of Saban’s beloved Power Rangers franchise in the form of Power Rangers Dino Thunder: The Complete Series.  The series, which is also considered to be the franchise’s 12th season, is an interesting installment of the long-running franchise.  It proves over the course of its 38 total episodes to be a good bridge between the franchise’s past and future.  That is due in part to the work of the show’s writers.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note as that of the show’s writers.  It will be discussed later.  The show’s balance of CG effects and live action scenes is just as notable as the work of the show’s cast and writers.  It will be covered later, too.  Each element is important in its own right to the series’ presentation.  All things considered, the Power Rnagers’ 12th season proves to be yet another enjoyable addition to the franchise and perhaps one of its best since the end of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers era.

Power Rangers Dine Thunder: The Complete Series is one of the best installments of the Power Rangers franchise since the end of its Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers era.  That is due at least in some part to the work of the show’s writers.  The writers are to be commended once again for their ability to craft episodes that seamlessly blended together entertaining story lines with lessons about teamwork, friendship and other key topics for young people’s development.  What’s more, they managed to incorporate said lessons without being preachy either.  One prime example of that ability to so expertly balance the episodes’ entertainment and education (so to speak) comes in the form of “Diva in Distress.”  The episode, which comes early in the show’s run, finds the young residents of Reefside being turned old by Mesagog’s monster Donkeyvac (yes, that’s really its name).  It’s up to the Rangers to save the day and return everyone to their normal ages.  The central story is entertaining in its own right.  The lessons about friendship and respecting one’s elders are just as pivotal to the episode.  Audiences will be pleased to find that the show’s writers were able to so seamlessly tie everything together and do so without being preachy in the process.

“Bully For Ethan” is another key example of the writers’ ability to balance the show’s entertainment and educational content.  This time out, the writers take on the ever-present issue of bullying among teens when Ethan, the Rangers’ resident tech expert and Blue Ranger is bullied by a classmate.  The writers are to be commended in how they presented the situation and how it was handled.  Again, they managed to tackle the topic without getting too preachy.  At the same time, the episode’s central story is just as entertaining as the lessons are informative and educational.  That is because it could be argued to be the very beginning of the end for Mesogog and his minions as cracks begin to show in the villains’ relationships.  It’s just one more example of the importance of the writers’ work in this season of Power Rangers.  The series’ final could be just as easily cited as an example of the importance of the work of the series’ writers.

“Bully for Ethan” and “Diva in Distress” are both key examples of the importance of the work of the series’ writers in this installment of the Power Rangers franchise.  They are hardly the only episodes that could be cited in exhibiting that importance.  The series’ two-part finale could just as easily be cited in exhibiting the importance of the writers’ work to the series’ presentation.  That is because on the surface, the episode wraps up the series’ without leaving any loose ends.  On another level, one could argue that the episode also incorporates an important lesson about sacrifices.  That is because (not to give away too much here) the Rangers are forced to make a huge sacrifice in order to defeat Mesogog once and for all and save Reefside (and the world).  Given people might not have to make huge sacrifices on a daily basis.  But sometimes sacrifices are necessary in life in different ways.  To that end, this lesson – intended or not – is just as important to the show as any of the others which are presented throughout the series’ 38-episode run.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why the work of the writers is so important to the whole of Power Rangers Dino Thunder.  Their collective work is just one part of what makes this installment of Power Rangers so enjoyable.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note here as that of the series’ writers.

The work of the writers behind Power Rangers Dino Thunder is to be highly commended in examining the whole of the franchise’s 12th season.  That is because they displayed in every episode their expert ability to balance the series’ entertaining and educational elements.  As commendable as their work is, theirs is not the only work that is to be commended.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important to note as that of the writers.  Once again Jason David Frank impresses as Tommy Oliver.  While Tommy is all grown up and doing adult things the hints of the old school Tommy are clear.  That old school hero is perfectly balanced with the older mentor figure for the next generation of Power Rangers.  At the same time, Kevin Duhaney is just as deserving for his portrayal of Ethan James, the Blue Ranger.  It’s easy to see, in watching Duhaney’s performance, his channeling of the original Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston (played by David Yost).  At the same time, it was just as easy to see how he took Billy’s nerdy side and amped it up a little bit for a new generation of Power Rangers fans at the time.  Even Jeffrey Parazzo, who plays White Ranger Trent impresses in his on-screen work.  It would have been so easy for him to ham it up as Trent basically comes of age and has to make some tough decisions.  But he didn’t let himself go so over the top in that portrayal.  To that end, he gets the job done just as much as his cast mates.  That includes the rest of the cast not noted directly here.  Keeping that in mind, the work of the Power Rangers Dino Thunder cast is just as important to note here as the work of the show’s writers to the series’ overall presentation.  It still is not the only remaining element to note, either.  The series’ production values are to be noted here, too.

The work of the Power Rangers Dino Thunder writers and cast is equally important to the series’ overall presentation.  That is because both elements work in tandem with one another.  While both elements are clearly important to the series’ presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The series’ production values are just as important to note as the work of the series’ writers and cast.  That is because it took a path that balanced the show’s CG and live action elements much better than previous installments of the Power Rangers franchise.  The series’ CG elements were in fact used very sparingly throughout the show’s run.  Every now and then, the show’s creative forces would incorporate some CG in the closing fight scenes between the Rangers and the monsters.  But even in those cases, it was used very sparingly.  Instead, those moments relied more on live action more so than CG.  That is, in its own way, a throwback to the days of the MMPR, which to this critic is very welcome.  It is a nice change of pace considering the direction that the franchise had taken in previous installments.  When this is considered along with the work of the series’ writers and cast, all three elements join to show in full why Power Rangers Dino Thunder is such an enjoyable installment of the Power Rangers franchise.  All things considered, Power Rangers Dino Thunder: The Complete Series proves to be another welcome addition to any Power Rangers fan’s collection.

Power Rangers Dino Thunder: The Complete Series is a welcome new addition to any Power Rangers fan’s personal collection.  That is because this new standalone season set is a solid bridge between the franchise’s past and present.  That is most evident in the work of the show’s writers.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important to note in examining its overall presentation.  The balance in the show’s live action and CG elements is just as important to note in its presentation.  All things considered, this latest addition to the Power Rangers franchise proves itself a collection that will make fans roar with enjoyment.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-dino-thunder-the-complete-series.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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