PBS Kids’ ’15 Girl Power Adventures’ DVD Is Problematic, But Not A Complete Failure

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

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:

Website: https://pbskids.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbskids

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

Vintage, Modern Offerings Gave Families Lots To Like This Year

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Families spent a lot of time indoors together this year thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Between parents working from home and students forced to take classes online, parents and their children have seen a lot of each other this year; Probably a lot more than usual.  That increased time together can often lead to tensions between families.  Thankfully, plenty of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets were released this year to help relieve that tension and give families plenty to enjoy together.  That has already been pointed out in part through Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVDs & Blu-rays list.  Single disc presentations are just a part of what families had to enjoy together this year.  There was also plenty of content thrown in this year in the form of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for families.  Among some of the best of this year’s new family box sets are first time releases from the likes of Time Life, PBS, and Nickelodeon.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS

  1. Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
  2. The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4
  3. Dolly: The Ultimate Collection
  4. Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection
  5. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 2
  6. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3
  7. Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures
  8. The Jetsons: The Complete Series
  9. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1
  10. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2
  11. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 11
  12. Paw  Patrol: PUP-tastic 8-DVD Collection
  13. The Flintstones: 2 Movies & 5 Specials
  14. Garfield & Friends: Season Three
  15. Benji 4-Movie Collection

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the 2020 Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets and then the year’s top new re-issues to finish off this year’s lists.  Stay tuned for all of that this weekend.

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

PBS Kids’ New ‘Arthur’ Special Is An Enjoyable Way To Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids is doing its part to get families ready for Thanksgiving with a new Arthur special.  The network is scheduled to air An Arthur Thanksgiving Nov. 16 on PBS Kids.  That is a little more than two weeks from the day of this posting.  The almost hour-long holiday special is a mostly enjoyable new offering from the long-running animated series, though is not without at least one concern, which will be addressed a little later.  The concern in question is tied in to the special’s writing and the series’ as it relates to the series’ overall history.  Taking a step back, the story that is featured in the story makes for its own interest.  It will be discussed short.  The story’s pacing couples with the story to make for even more appeal.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the special.  All things considered, they make An Arthur Thanksgiving a special for while audiences will be thankful.

PBS Kids’ forthcoming Thanksgiving special An Arthur Thanksgiving is a mostly enjoyable new way for families to get into the holiday spirit.  That is due in part to its story.  The story in question is a two-pronged presentation that one side, follows Arthur’s search for his dog Pal.  Pal goes missing after Arthur puts him outside on a chain.  Pal is put out after Arthur’s dad accuses Pal of eating a plate of food that he (Arthur’s dad) prepared.  Not to give away too much here ahead of the special’s airing, the accusation stems from something that Arthur does, which results in a communication breakdown and Pal being put outside.  When Francine’s cat Nemo comes along to tease Pal, Pal gets off his leash and chases after the Nemo, leading Pal to get lost.  He tries to find his way back home and meets some new four-legged friends along the way, and shares a Thanksgiving meal with them so to speak.  In the midst of all of this, Arthur is searching for Pal while also preparing for the annual Elwood City Thanksgiving Parade.  When things go awry with the parade, the group ends up joining the search for Pal.  The search and the problems with the parade lead to a unique Thanksgiving dinner at the Read family home.  The story involving Pal and that involving Arthur’s preparation for the parade (and the problems that stem there from) are well-balanced throughout the approximately 56-minute special and is sure to entertain and engage audiences of all ages. 

For all that the story does to make the special so special, it is not without at least one fault.  That one fault comes from one specific element within the special’s story.  It involves the introduction (or rather re-introduction) of Arthur and D.W.’s aunt, Minnie.  Minnie reveals in a letter that she is coming to Elwood City for the family’s Thanksgiving.  When she does show up, she and Arthur apparently do not know one another.  This is shown as Arthur asks her who she is.  This is problematic because Minnie was involved in this special’s most recent predecessor, The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur, which aired in January of this year.  Arthur and D.W. travel to the Read family farm in Ohio in the noted special to celebrate a family member’s birthday, and Minnie shows up for that celebration, too.  Arthur and D.W. each met Minnie in that special, so to that end, having her a stranger to Arthur and D.W. in An Arthur Thanksgiving shows that someone either forgot about that special or they knew about it and it was just allowed to pass.  It is a minor issue with this element of the special’s overall story, but is still problematic in its own right.  Of course it is not such a detractor that it makes the special a failure.  On another note, Minnnie makes a revelation that means audiences may well see more from her in the series in the not too distant future.  That revelation will be left for audiences to learn for themselves.

The one plot hole that is evidenced in An Arthur Thanksgiving’s story cannot be ignored, but is not enough of an issue to make the special a failure.  The story’s pacing couples with the story itself to make it more appealing to audiences.  Considering the number of plot elements that are at work in the story and that it is a multi-faceted story, it would have been so easy for the special to get bogged down in itself.  The writers did not let that happen, luckily.  Audiences are able to follow everything happening without ever feeling left behind or even getting lost in everything.  To that end, the story will ensure even more that audiences remain engaged and entertained.  That is even with the one negative taken into account.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself another enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit as Thanksgiving nears.

PBS Kids’ new Arthur special, An Arthur Thanksgiving is, overall, an enjoyable way for families to get into the holiday spirit as they count down the days to Thanksgiving.  That is proven in part through its multi-pronged story, which finds Arthur’s family and friends coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving in quite the unexpected way.  The story does feature one plot hole that audiences cannot ignore.  Even as noticeable as it is, it is not enough to make the special a failure.  The pacing of the special’s story couples with the story itself to make the special that much more of a success.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the special.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself a presentation for which audiences will be thankful.

More information on An Arthur Thanksgiving is available along with lots of Arthur printables, activities, games and more at:

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

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.

PBS Distribution Announces PBS Kids Prime Video Channel November Streaming Schedule

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS is adding more content to its PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The channel’s November programming schedule is headlined Nov. 17 with a new Arthur movie celebrating Thanksgiving. Arthur: An Arthur Thanksgiving finds Arthur’s family and friends from across Elwood coming together to help Arthur find his dog Pal. Meanwhile, D.W. and Aunt Minnie have to learn to come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

CYBERCHASE VOL. 12

The month’s new programming schedule opens Nov. 6 with Cyberchase Vol . 12. The hit math-based animated series’ 12th collection of episodes features five more episodes that take audiences throughout cyber space. In one of the volume’s episodes, “Missing Bats in Sensible Flats,” audiences learn about the importance of bats when Digit’s cousin Brigit is in a bind. her cactus plants are not creating any fruit because the bats that are needed to pollinate them are missing. It’s up to the CyberSquad to find out what happened to them.

“Soil Turmoil” is another of the volume’s episodes. This episode follows the CyberSquad as it works to find out what is causing problems in the soil beneath Serene Greens. the search happens after Hapo the earthworm comes to the Cybersquad for help.

“Water Woes” focuses on efforts by Buzz and Delete to give The Hacker a relaxing spa day. There is just one problem. The water supply suddenly stops flowing. This means it’s up to the CyberSquad to find out what’s happened.

NATURE CAT VOL. 10

PBS’s November calendar of kids’ programming continues Nov. 13 on its Prime Video Channel with another collection of Nature Cat episodes in Nature Cat: Volume 10.

This latest collection consists of four more episodes from the his nature/science-based series. One of the episodes featured in this collection is “Tally Ho! A Volcano/No Rest For The Squeeky.” The first short in this episode finds Nature Cat and his friends playing a game of lava for their volcanologist club. There’s just one problem: The group wants to step up its game, meaning the need to find a volcano. The second short teaches the importance of sleep for the mind and body as Squeaks tries to stay up all night doing things, such as skateboarding, yodeling, and doing karate.

“Amber Rocks/The Big Stink” is another of the four episodes featured in this collection. The episode’s first short follows Daisy as she discovers what could be amber as she is cleaning the beach. “The Big Stink” the friends find some stinky mushrooms in Ronald’s backyard, and learn about them.

XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM VOLUME 5

The fifth collection of episodes from the history-based animated series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum continues PBS Kids Prime Channel’s new content streaming on Nov. 20.

Four episodes fill out this collection.

ELINOR WONDERS WHY VOLUME 4

Elinor Wonders Why is still very much a new series for PBS Kids, but it has already turned out enough episodes for a fourth volume of episodes.

The series’ fourth volume is scheduled to start streaming Nov. 27 with four more episodes. “Water You Doing?/Thinking About Blinking” is one of the volume’s featured episodes. The first short in this episode teaches a basic lesson about engineering and problem solving when Elinor and her friends try to figure out how to cross a stream. The group ends up building a bridge made out of stones. “Thinking About Blinking” takes on the timeless topic of staring contests. Ari has won a bunch of staring contests at school in the short’s base, which leads him to be named the school’s “Blinking Champion.”

“Make Music Naturally/Light The Way” is another notable episode featured in this latest collection. The episode’s first short teaches a basic lesson about music when Elinor and her friends hear that Senior Tapir is going to have a concert. They want to take part in the concert, but don’t have any instruments. The second short teaches a basic lesson about morse code and non-verbal communication when the kids go out on a camping trip with Elinor’s dad as their chaperone. When he falls asleep, they have to figure out how to talk without waking him up, leading to the lesson.

Subscription to PBS Kids’ Prime Video Channel is $4.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. More information on PBS Kids’ Prime Video Channel programming is available along with all of PBS’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PBS

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

‘Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection’ Is A Nearly Complete Success

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Friendship is one of the most important things that people can have in life.  Without friendships we as a species likely would have little chance of survival.  Friendships give us the experiences in life that help us become who we are.  They help keep us going in our highest and lowest points.  That is why they are central to almost every television show and movie ever created.  Early this month, PBS Distribution released a new collection of episodes from PBS/PBS Kids’ hit long-running series Arthur that focuses on the matter of friendship in the form of The Ultimate Friendship Collection.  While not perfect, the three-disc collection is largely a success.  That is due in part to its featured episodes.  They will be discussed shortly.  The episodes tie in to the set’s one negative, its lack of an episode guide.  This will be discussed a little later.  The stories that are featured within the stories add to the set’s appeal and couples with the episodes themselves to give audiences even more to appreciate even despite the concern raised by the lack of an episode guide.  Keeping all of this in mind, the set is one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS Distribution’s new Arthur box set is easily one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.  That is due in part to the set’s episodes.  The episodes in question take audiences from Season One all the way to Season 21.  It’s not a full series set, considering the series is in its 23rd season (with at least two more seasons already planned), but is still a deeply rich presentation in its own right.  It features specific episodes that focus on different issues of friendship.  There is the matter of teamwork, that of treating others as equals, and even not letting power go to one’s head among much more.  This will all be discussed in more depth later in the discussion on the stories featured in the episodes. Making the matter of the episods even better is that the set runs almost chronologically.  It starts in Season One with the episode “Poor Muffy” and runs all the way to Season 21’s episode, “Muffy Misses Out.”  Now that is not to say that every episode centers on Muffy.  The episodes feature stories that focus on her, Francine, George, Arthur, Buster and the rest of Arthur’s friends (including the Tough Customers) throughout.  Keeping all of this in mind, the episodes that are featured in this in-depth collection form a strong foundation for the set.

While the episodes that are featured in Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection go a long way toward making the set an impressive presentation, the lack of an episode guide to accompany them detracts somewhat from the set’s presentation.  Yes, there are 48 episodes here, and that is a lot.  That is understandable.  Even with that in mind, those responsible for the collection’s assembly could have just as easily printed the corresponding episode titles and disc numbers inside the case, as many companies do with their box sets.  Another option would have been to print a booklet of sorts that outlines the episodes and their corresponding discs.  The added material might have meant the possibility of the set’s average price point of $16.07 (determined by averaging prices at PBS’ online store, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – It was not listed through Target and Books-a-Million ) slightly higher, but still would not have made that price a budget breaker.  Yes, it is more of an aesthetic element, but the less time that audiences have to spend trying to decide which disc to watch, the more the enjoyment grows.  But in the case of this set, the episode titles are only available when each disc is played.  There is not even an episode summary.  To that end, this aspect does hurt the set’s presentation.  Luckily, the issues raised by the lack of an episode guide do not do enough damage to make the set a failure.  It is just something that hopefully will be taken into account with the next Arthur box set (or box set from any PBS Kids series).

Putting aside the concerns raised by the lack of any kind of episode guide here, there is still one more element to examine in PBS Distribution’s new Arthur DVD box set.  That element in question is the stories contained within the featured episodes.  As already noted, the episodes all follow the theme of friendship in one way or another, and rarely repeat their themes.  This adds even more appeal to the set.  One of the stories that audiences are sure to appreciate comes in the Season Seven episode “Prunella Sees the Light.”  This episode finds Prunella and her blind friend Marina butting heads after Prunella visits Marina’s house one day.  Prunella brings to light once too often, the fact that Marina is blind.  The problem is that Prunella thinks in her own mind that she is helping Marina.  Marina on the other hand, points out to Prunella that she does not need to be reminded that she is blind and that she is offended when she is treated as anything other than a person.  This is a time honored theme for children’s series (and even to an extent, for grown-up shows).  Saved By The Bell did this many years ago when Zack befriended a young woman in a wheelchair.  Other series have taken similar approaches.  It is a lesson that sadly even now in the 21st century, still bears repeating for audiences of all ages.  Making the episode even more enjoyable for audiences is the blatant spoof of the Harry Potter franchise, of which both young women are part.

“Buster and the Daredevils” (from Season 2) is another key example of what makes the set’s featured stories so important to this set.  It’s another story that focuses on a character other than Arthur, yet is so enjoyable in its own right.  It shows that while Arthur is the series’ title character, some of the best episodes are the ones that do not center on him.  Buster learns in this episode that real friends are those people who like you for you.  Real friends are not people who make you do embarrassing things in order to be accepted.  He learns this after he tries to make friends with one member of The Tough Customers and his own friend because he thinks at first that they are cool.  This is just one of those difficult lessons that everyone learns as part of their development.  It makes this story timeless in its own right.

In yet another important addition to the set, George (another of Arthur’s friends) has to learn the important lesson that it is okay to say no to people.  This happens as Buster keeps asking for everything that George has.  Buster essentially is taking advantage of George and his kindness.  It takes George losing his pencil, his jacket, and even a dessert at lunch one day for him to finally reach his breaking point.  What’s important to note here is that while George does in fact blow his top at one point, he is much calmer in handling Buster.  How he addresses the situation with Buster will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  It’s important because it shows it is possible for people to deal with conflict peacefully.  This is just one more of so many ways in which this box set proves such a success.  When all of the set’s stories are considered along with the episodes themselves, they make the set well worth watching.  Again, that is despite the one minor issue of the set’s missing episode guide.  Keeping all of this in mind, Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection proves to be a nearly complete success.

PBS Distribution’s new Arthur DVD box set The Complete Friendship is an impressive presentation that even despite its one negative, is still an enjoyable set.  The success comes mainly from the set’s featured episodes.  The episodes take audiences from Season One to 21.  Not every single episode from the series is featured here (especially considering that the series is in its 23rd season).  Even despite that, the episodes certainly present a rich picture of the series’ beginnings and evolution while also featuring stories that maintain the set’s central theme of friendship.  For all that the episodes do positively for this set, the lack of any episode guide detracts from the set at least to a point.  It does not make the set a failure, but certainly would have added even more to the set’s appeal regardless.  The stories entertain and educate audiences of all ages from one to the next, putting the finishing touch to the set’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection a nearly complete success.

More information on the new DVD set is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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.

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date, Specs For New ‘Arthur’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution will release a new collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Arthur next month.

ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection is scheduled for release Aug. 11.  The collection is composed of 48 episodes spread across three discs at a total run time of 10 hours.

This new collection of episodes reaches as far back as Arthur‘s very first season with the episode “Team Trouble.”  This episode finds Arthur, his best fried Buster and their friend Francine tapped to work together on a project about ancient Rome.  The trio agrees to create a comic book about ancient Rome, but that idea ends up causing its own issues among the trio.  The story has a happy ending that will put a smile on any viewer’s face.  It is just one of the most notable additions to the collection.  “D.W., Bossy Boots” is another notable addition to the set.

“D.W., Bossy Boots” is featured in the 10th season of Arthur.  This story centers on Arthur’s little sister D.W.  D.W. learns an invaluable lesson about friendship and being bossy after a series of actions leads her friends to shy away from her.  From D.W. blowing out the candles on her friend’s birthday cake before her to being reminded about pushing others out of the way in gymnastics to taking the noted friend’s present, she does a lot to push people away.  It is not until she has a dream that she realizes the error of her ways.  This is just another notable addition to ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection.  “Arthur’s Faraway Friend” is one more of the collection’s standout stories.

“Arthur’s Faraway Friend” is featured in the second season of the long-running series.  It teaches a key lesson about letting go when Buster reveals to Arthur that he is going to visit his father temporarily.  That means having to fly to another city.  Even though he knows Buster’s absence is only going to be temporary, Arthur still has a hard time coming to terms with the separation from his best friend.  That is until he receives a package from Buster.  Arthur then reminds himself that he hopes Buster has fun and that Buster’s visit with his dad is only temporary.

ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection will retail for MSRP of $19.99.  Pre-orders are open now.

More information on the new DVD set is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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.

Amazon Prime Video Channel Streaming New Collection Of ‘Dinosaur Train’ Episodes; ‘Molly Of Denali,’ ‘Arthur’ Episodes Coming

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/Amazon

PBS Kids is streaming more episodes of Dinosaur Train on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Dinosaur TrainVolume 10 started streaming Friday. The five-episode collection features the episodes ‘The Tiny-Saur Train/How Many Horns,’ ‘Don’s Hole-iday’/’We’re Not All Dinosaurs,’ ‘Gilbert The Conductor’/A Clubhouse of Their Own,’ ‘Mom Was A Kid Once (Parts 1 & 2)’ and ‘A Brand New Species (Parts 1 & 2).’

This latest collection of episodes takes the Pteranodon kids off to China for one episode.  In yet another episode, the kids meet a new friend who happens to be a small mammal named Adele Alphadon.  ‘A Treehouse of their Own’ finds the Pteranodon kids wanting a place of their own to hang out that is separate from that of the neighbors.  The kids eventually find the right materials to build their treehouse, thanks to help from their mom.

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS/Amazon

The Dinosaur Train episodes that are streaming now via the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel will help audiences pass the time until the premiere of Molly of Denali Volume Four and the new Arthur special, ‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur.’  The prior is scheduled to start streaming Jan. 17 and will feature five episodes from the fledgling series while the latter is scheduled to start streaming Jan. 21.

Molly of Denali Volume Four will feature the episodes ‘Northern Lights/Fiddlesticks,’ ‘Mollyball/Visit Qyah,’ ‘The Night Manager/Not So Permafrost,’ ‘Tooth or Consequences’/Qyah Spy’ and ‘Ice Scuplture/Tale of the Totem.’

‘Northern Lights’ presents Molly working to introduce her friend Trini to the famed Northern Lights after Trini confesses she has never seen them in person.  Molly and her friends make up their own game called ‘Mollyball’ in the aptly-named episode after wet cements ruins plans by Molly and her friends to play a game of basketball.

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS/Amazon

In Arthur‘s new movie ‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur,’ Arthur learns an important lesson about family and about music, culture and history when he and his family take a trip to visit his Great-Grand Uncle Theo.  Theo is celebrating his 85th birthday, and as the family celebrates, Arthur leans that life in the country is dramatically different from life in the city.

‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur’ runs one hour.

More information on these collections and the latest news from PBS Kids is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org

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

 

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

‘Arthur’ Leads 2019’s Top New Family DVDs/BDs With Its New Celebration Of Diversity

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Entertaining children and keeping them  entertained is not an easy task.  Every parent out there can attest to this statement, including this critic.  Thankfully, new DVDs and Blu-rays are released annually that go a long way toward keeping children entertained while also bringing families together.  This year saw its own share of strong new DVDs and Blu-rays for families, too.  That was thanks to PBS Distribution, Shout! Factory  and even — believe it or not — Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  From Sesame Street to Wild Kratts to even Scooby Doo and more, this year’s family-friendly DVD and BD releases offered hours of entertainment.

As with every list presented so far, this year’s list features the Top 10 titles of the year, plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 new releases.  Without further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Family DVDs and BDs.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

  1. ArthurArthur Celebrates Community
  2. Ready Jet Go!One Small Step
  3. Ready Jet Go!Space Rocks
  4. Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide
  5. The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
  6. Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes
  7. Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun
  8. Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection
  9. Sesame StreetCelebrate Family
  10. Scooby Doo & The Curse of the 13th Ghost
  11. Wild KrattsCreepy Creatures
  12. Wild KrattsBriny Blue Sea
  13. Splash & BubblesPole To Pole
  14. Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big & Small
  15. Oddsockeaters

 

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

Viewers Of All Ages Will “Celebrate” PBS Distribution’s New ‘Arthur’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

United we stand and divided we fall.  Sadly, it is seeming more and more like America (and the world) is on the brink of falling because we have become so divided by religions, political views and rhetoric.  To that end, PBS Distribution and PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community – released just last month – could not have come at a better time.  The DVD features eight episodes from the series that promote community unity in eight very different ways.  That variety of topics is one of the most important and notable aspects of the DVD and will be addressed shortly. While the episodes each promote community through their own unique fashion, they also serve as starting points for discussions on the various topics, another key aspect of the DVD that will be addressed a little later.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price range makes it a DVD that proves to be yet another welcome addition to the library of any family and educator.  Keeping all of this in mind, Arthur Celebrates Community proves to be a presentation that many audiences will themselves celebrate.

PBS Distribution/PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community is a presentation that many viewers will celebrate.  That is due in pat to the many ways in which its episodes promote that community unity.  The whole thing opens with the much-talked about episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” which is a story that addresses the issue of gay marriage.  The very topic is something that has been extremely divisive in America today, yet is becoming more accepted.  This episode serves to continue the fight to make it even more accepted as well as those who are within that community.  “The Feud,” which immediately follows that episode, encourages people to not let disputes between two people to infect their own views and spread like some disease.  Considering what is going on in America today because of Donald Trump, this message of maintaining community and unity is completely relevant and important.  Much the same applies to “When Rivals Came To Roost,” as it reminds us that we cannot let stereotypes and things of the past keep us divided.  Again, here is a key message celebrating community and unity.  “The Longest eleven Minutes” presents a unique message of community as it reminds audiences of the dangers of becoming so reliant on the internet because of how it has truly separated and dehumanized us.  “Muffy’s House Guests” turns things even more as it presents more of a message of biological and ecological unity.  Muffy wants to evict the peregrine falcons who have made a home outside her home, but she learns in the long run, the importance that they play in the Earth’s bigger community.  The tone changes slightly in “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” as Binky learns a key lesson that sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  That theme continues in “Muffy’s Car Campaign” as she and her friends learn about the impact of locally sourced resources versus those sourced from far away.  “Truth Or Poll” goes back to the issue of politics as it points out the negative impact that polls and statistics can have on community.  It approaches the topic in a way that is accessible for viewers of all ages, too.  All of these episodes considered, it is clear how they all follow the same theme of promoting community and unity by relation.  The fact that they follow that one central theme, but in so many ways, makes for plenty of reason for viewers to watch this DVD from start to finish.  The commonality of the episodes’ stories, in terms of their theme, is just one key aspect of the DVD.  The fact that the varied stories serve as their own starting points for so many topics makes the DVD even more appealing for viewers.

“The Longest Eleven Minutes” is a key example of how the episodes serve as that starting point. In an age when everything is digital and people have come to expect instant gratification and have seemingly forgotten about the beauty of the world, etc. this story is a good stepping stone to remind people of how humans survived prior to the digital age.  It reminds viewers that it is possible to survive without so much technology, too.  That Arthur’s father was listening to music on a radio instead of an ipad, a cell phone, etc. is proof positive of that.  “Muffy’s Car Campaign” and “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” serve collectively as a good starting point for a discussion about putting others’ needs before their own.  Such discussions can lead to discussions about the importance of sharing and considering others’ thoughts and feelings.  “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” serves as that starting point for discussions on the fact that not everyone is the same and that accepting one another’s differences will help make our global community so much better.  “The Feud” and “When Rivals Came To Roost” serves to remind viewers that words can be very powerful, especially when they are words of hurt and stereotyping.  This is something with which we as a people deal with even today in the real world.  It’s just one more way in which the stories featured on this disc show their importance not just for their stories but for what the stories can do in terms of creating whole new discussions among viewers.  Keeping all of this in mind, this DVD proves to have some very engaging and enjoyable content.  That content makes the DVD’s average price point money well-spent

The average price point for Arthur Celebrates Community is $5.99.  That price is determined by averaging prices from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ store.  At the time of this review’s posting, it was not listed through Walmart.  The most expensive of the listings is at PBS’ store and at Books-A-Million, at $6.99 while the least expensive listing is at Amazon and Target at $4.69.  Best Buy ($5.99) is the midpoint of the price range while Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listing of $6.58 is just under the most expensive listing.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the fact of the matter is that a portion of the sales will still go to benefit PBS in its efforts to continue to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.  It does that and more with this DVD, whose average price point doesn’t even reach $10.  Considering that the breadth and depth of the DVD’s content, that is a rather admirable aspect.  Keeping this in mind, it joins with that noted content to show even more why Arthur Celebrates Community is such a positive new release from PBS Distribution and PBS Kids.  It shows even more why viewers of all ages will celebrate the DVD, which is available now.

Arthur Celebrates Community is another positive new addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Arthur DVDs.  That is proven in part through the eight episodes that make up the body of the DVD.  The stories each follow the DVD’s central theme of community unity, all in different ways.  The discussions that the stories can start among viewers of all ages add to the DVD’s appeal, as noted here.  The combination of the stories and those discussions that they can create makes the DVD’s average price point of less than $10 well worth spending as it is certain viewers will find themselves watching all eight of the DVD’s episodes time and again and discussing their content plenty, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Arthur Celebrates Community.  All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that audiences of all ages will celebrate.  More information on the DVD is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

 

 

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.

Three New PBS Kids Titles Available Now Through PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution released three new titles for the whole family this month.

Released July 9 were Ready Jet Go!: One Small Step and ArthurArthur Celebrates Community.  The first of the two titles was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.  It features a special hour-long episode that looks back at the historic moon landing mission after Jet tells his friends that he has built a new super saucer.

The announcement leads Jet and his friends to the moon, and a rough  landing on the moon leads Jet and Sunspot to go missing, leading his friends to search for the pair.  In the process of the search, Jet’s friends find things left behind by the Apollo 11 mission.

Ready Jet Go!One Small Step can be ordered online at PBS’ online store now.  Ready Jet Go! games, activities and printables are available online at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/readyjetgo

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

 

 

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

ArthurArthur Celebrates Community features four episodes from the beloved animated series that teach invaluable lessons about compassion, civility, honesty and open-mindedness.  One of those lessons comes in the form of “When Rivals Come To Roost,” which finds the students of Lakewood Elementary having to share their school — and science fair secrets — with the students of Mighty Mountain after the school floods.

The episode’s second story, “The Longest Eleven Minutes,” finds Muffy having to deal with the internet going out as she obsesses over her blog.

The controversial “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” is also featured in this new collection.  This episode finds everyone’s grumpy Lakewood teacher tying the knot, but not to who they might think.

Also featured in this collection are the stories, “The Feud,” “House Guests,” “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants,” “Muffy’s Car Campaign” and “Truth or Poll.”

ArthurArthur Celebrates Community is available now through PBS’ online store.  Lots of Arthur activities, printables and activities are available online now at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

 

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On July 16, PBS Distribution released a brand new collection of classic episodes from the beloved series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood in the form of Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodWould You Be Mine Collection.  This second collection of classic episodes features 30 more episodes from the series, spread across four discs.

One of the series’ most beloved episodes, “A Visit to the Crayon Factory” is featured as a bonus in this collection.  Also appearing in the collection are famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, equally famous performance group STOMP and Olympian Suzie McConnell.  The set’s run time tops 14 hours, giving the whole family lots of entertainment.

Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodWould You Be Mine Collection is available now through PBS’ online store.  More fun for the whole family is available through activities, printable and games at:

 

Website: http://pbs.kids.org/daniel

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

 

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