Curious George Premieres New Season Dec. 3rd

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Kids Go!

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Kids Go!

PBS and PBS Kids are bringing back Curious George for a seventh season.  Everybody’s favorite little primate pal comes back with a whole new season of adventures, fun and learning beginning this Monday, December 3rd.  The first new episode of the season sees Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat taking a trip down under.  It will guest star Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin.  The young Irwin even gets her chance to spread her vocal wings as she gets her own song in this episode.  When the pair goes down under to the Aussie Outback, they meet Bindi and her mom.  George discovers kangaroos for the first time and even learns how to make a home-made watering hole while the Man with the Yellow Hat goes off with Bindi and her mom to take pictures of sea cows.

In the second half of Monday’s season premiere, George and his friends Bill and Allie learn about the Persied meteor shower.  “Bright Lights, Little Monkey” starts off with Allie telling George and Bill about “The Perseids.”  She tells them they’re nocturnal creatures and tells them she’s going to go hunt for them.  In the process of searching for the elusive “Perseids”, the trio also learns about communication through Morse code and other non-verbal means.  In the end, it turns out that the three had seen the Perseids after all.  That’s all on Monday, December 3rd.

On Tuesday, December 4th, George and the Man with the Yellow Hat go on a nature outing that leads George to make friends with a young otter pup.  He also has to get a very important key back from the young otter when the two get to playing too much.  The key is so important because it’s the last of a group of keys that had all fallen down drains.  What’s funny about those keys is where they turn up in the episode’s end.

The second half of Tuesday’s new episode sees George taking part in his very first ever community theater event.  It’s a medieval play.  As George helps out with the play, he falls asleep and dreams the he really is in medieval times and that he has to fend off a “dragon.”  This gives George an idea about how to keep the “dragon” away in the play that he is helping with.  The idea in question is something that kids and their parents will have to discover together for themselves as “Sir George and the Dragon” airs this Tuesday, December 4th on PBS Kids.

Last up in next week’s trio of new episodes is a pair of new episodes slated to air Wednesday, December 5th.  George’s canine companion, Hundley makes friends with a caterpillar in the first half of this episode in “Hundley, Jr.”  The caterpillar is on a bouquet of flowers that is delivered for one of the tenants in Hundley’s building.  At first, Hundley doesn’t like the caterpillar.  But then realizing how similar the two were in his mind, the more he likes the caterpillar.  So he does everything he has to in order to protect the now named “Hundley, Jr.”  IN the long run, it teaches a valuable lesson about letting go and about responsibility in general.  It makes for a great episode for parents and kids to watch together.

Next week’s brand new episodes finish off with the second half of Wednesday’s brand new show in “Curious George Gets Winded.”  This is a clever name for this episode as it’s an episode that teaches about problem solving skills.  When George’s friend Bill sets out to win a special paper delivery award, George helps Bill figure out the best way to deliver the newspaper in the snow.  It involves a sled and a sail, along with learning how to steer the sled.  Both kids and their parents will cheer on George and Bill as they figure out how to beat the clock as they deliver the paper to everyone.  It’s a nice finish for the week’s new episodes and a perfect fit being that the weather is beginning to turn colder.  Together with the week’s other episodes, all three days’ new episodes are a great chance for kids and parents to sit down together and enjoy another of PBS Kids’ best shows.  Parents can check their local listing for air times in their area online at http://pbskids.org/curiousgeorge/tv_schedule/

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‘Twas A Dinosaur Is A “Roaring” Good Time For The Whole Family

Courtesy: Sinking Ship Entertainment/NCircle Entertainment

Nick Jr.’s favorite young paleontologist has a new DVD out that’s fun for the whole family.  “Dino Dan:  ‘Twas A Dinosaur” offers audiences five more episodes that will get young audiences out digging for fossils themselves.  In this latest DVD release, it’s winter time in Dan’s hometown.  And being Winter, Dan learns in the episode, “He Shoots, He Roars” that while some dinosaurs were warm blooded, others weren’t.  He learns this when a paleontologist named Jim and his dino puppet friend, “Denny” visit the class.  Jim teaches the class that the difference between warm and cold blooded dinosaurs was in their ability to move in cold weather.  Jim tells the class that warm blooded dinosaurs moved quickly in cold weather.  But cold blooded dinosaurs moved slowly in cold weather.  So Dan decides to test this with one of his dino buddies during recess.  Younger viewers can find out the reaction of that dino when their parents pick up this DVD.

Dan’s lesson about warm and cold blooded dinosaurs is just one of a handful taught in this new collection of episodes.  Dan (and viewers) learns about a theory that dino gas may have actually been to blame for the extinction of dinosaurs in the episode, “Gas-o-saurus.”  It should be noted again that this is merely a theory.  It’s also very similar to a current theory about methane gases released by cows being a cause for temperature changes in the earth’s atmosphere.  How Dan comes to learn about this theory will have both parents and kids alike laughing.  And how the story keeps having the word “fart” covered up throughout the episode (yes, I said fart) will have parents and their kids laughing, too.

Dan learns some great lessons about dinosaurs in this new DVD compilation.  Parents and kids alike will enjoy these lessons.  Even more though, they’ll enjoy the revamped take on the classic holiday poem, ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.  In the episode, “‘Twas a Dinosaur”, Dan offers his classmates a modern take on the classic starring his dino buddies instead of Old Saint Nick.  Audiences are given a visual of the poem as Dan reads it to his classmates.  It makes for a great, original take on a holiday classic that the whole family will love as the holidays get closer.

Whether it be a new take on a classic poem, or learning lessons about dinosaurs, “Dino Dan:  ‘Twas A Dinosaur” offers loads of enjoyment for the entire family.  There are even more lessons for families in the episodes, “Tooth or Consequences” and “A Winter Tail.”  And there’s even more fun thanks to Dino Dan’s Dino Field Guide in the bonus features.  Dan features the largest of the dinosaurs, the Brachiosaurus, in the field guide this time out, as well as the Stegosaurus.  Families can even get a free dino app for their tablet computers through this new release.  The DVD is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via NCircle Entertainment’s website at http://www.NCircleEntertainment.com.

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Chuck Goes Good Or So It Seems In New WordGirl Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

WordGirl and her trusted sidekick Captain Huggyface are back with another great brand new adventure for audiences.  In this brand new adventure, WordGirl and Captain Huggyface have to face the evil Dr. Two-Brains again.  And this time, he’s not alone.  Also in Episode #503, Granny May is back with another evil plan.  And of course, Bo Handsome and his trio of contestants are back for another fun episode of everybody’s favorite vocab building game show, “May I Have A Word?”

The first half of Episode #503 opens as Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy is buying (yes, buying) items for sandwiches.  Much to her surprise, Chuck even shows WordGirl his receipt for everything when she accuses him of stealing them.  In her surprise, WordGirl asks Chuck what happened to his mom’s station wagon.  He tells her that he had always yearned for a lunch wagon just like in the old west.  So he converted the station wagon into his own lunch wagon from which he could sell his sandwiches.  After he leaves, Word Girl and Captain Huggyface fly off to keep watch over the city.  While they keep vigil, WordGirl tells Captain Huggyface how she has yearned to tell her friend Violet about her secret identity.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Dr. Two-Brains and his henchmen are driving, when they spot Chuck’s lunch wagon loaded with cheese.  So he pursues it in a plan to hijack it.  Just as Chuck thinks he’s getting away from Dr. Two-Brains, his lunch wagon breaks down, allowing Dr. Two-Brains to catch him.

While all of this is going on, Becky and Violet are at Becky’s house, sharing their dreams.  When Violet tells Becky of her dreams, Becky tells her that she should pursue her dreams.  Then Violet asks Becky about her dreams.  And just as Becky is about to reveal her secret identity to Violet, she’s told by one of the townspeople about Dr. Two-Brains’ plot.  So she has to race off to stop him.  It turns out that not only does she have to stop Dr. Two-Brains, but also Chuck, as he proves that he’s not all good after all.  The confrontation comes down to an old west style standoff, leading to the defeat of both Dr. Two-Brains and Chuck.  Having beaten both bad guys again, WordGirl heads back home to where Violet is still waiting for Becky.  Luckily, Becky/WordGirl is able to come up with a line about where she has been and what she was going to tell Violet, instead of her secret identity, protecting both herself and Violet.

As the first half of the episode ends, audiences get another brand new episode of “May I Have A Word?”  In today’s new episode, the contestants have to define the word, Clutch.  Emily gets the definition right, and wins an official WordGirl dune buggy.

The show moves back to the second half of the episode after this intermission.  In the second half of Episode #503, Granny May is back again.  This time, Granny May has devised a plan that would have made Mr. Big proud.  She has developed a plan to make accessories for everybody’s pets.  What the townspeople don’t know is that Granny May’s pet accessories are in reality mind control devices.  She is using them to get everybody’s pets to steal from their owners for her.  There’s even a reference to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video in this episode that parents will love as the pets’ minds are controlled.  The morning after everybody’s stuff is stolen, Granny May sinks to a new low, trying to frame Becky’s friend, Violet.  So Becky sets out to try and figure out what happened.  Later that night, she does discover what happened when her dad takes Captain Huggyface’s accessory to wash it.  He puts it around his neck to carry it to the wash, when his mind is suddenly controlled.  So WordGirl follows Mr. Botsford and discovers that Granny May really is behind the thefts.  Thankfully, one of the cats there unwittingly sits on Granny May’s mind controller, releasing all the animals from their trance.  Everything is returned and Violet’s name is cleared.

The show moves back to the bonus round of “May I Have A Word” from here, where Emily correctly associates the definition of Clutch to the proper picture, winning her a sand dune to go with her new dune buggy.  Captain Huggyface closes out the episode by showing what the word, perturbed means.

This episode may have aired in some markets and not others.  Audiences should check their local listings to see which new episode is scheduled to air each day.

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New WordGirl Episode Is Very Meaty, Will Leave Fans Seeing Double

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

Everybody by now has seen and/or heard all of the news about the current teacher strike in Chicago.  And standardized testing has been a hot topic among the educational community as far back as one can imagine.  These issues, along with so many others have put educational in more danger than before in recent years.  Thank goodness for PBS and PBS Kids.  PBS Kids offers a number of outlets for kids and adults that are both family and kid friendly as well as educational.  One of the most popular of those outlets is PBS Kids’ hit series WordGirl.  Now after a bit of a wait, fans of WordGirl are getting new episodes.  In the second of the new upcoming episodes, WordGirl has to face off against another old foe in The Butcher once again.  And Lady Redundant Woman returns.  She comes back.  Get the joke?  And of course, everybody’s favorite vocab building game show is back with another new episode, too.

In the first half of Episode #502, WordGirl has to face off against The Butcher once more when he discovers the source of his powers.  “The Meaty Dimension” reveals where The Butcher got his powers thanks to a book left by his father, Kid Potato.  The Butcher uses his new discovery to lure WordGirl’s sidekick, Captain Huggyface into the Meaty Dimension and trap him through a portal.  At first, The Butcher overpowers Captain Huggyface and traps him in a pork chop prison in the Meaty Dimension.  Much to his surprise and dismay, Huggyface’s appetite allowed him to eat all of the meat in the Meaty Dimension, and escape it through the same portal in which he was lured through in the first place.  He gets back to the real world and defeats The Butcher with the help of WordGirl’s friend, Violet.

After the first half of Episode #502, everyone’s favorite vocab building game show, “May I Have A Word” returns for another new episode.  This time, the contestants must define the word “Perspire.”  Tommy properly defines it, winning him an official WordGirl Launch Ramp.    

In the second half of Episode #502, WordGirl has to face off against Lady Redundant Woman in a classic evil twin plot.  When Lady Redundant Woman starts making evil copies of all of the city’s officials, Becky’s mom, who is the city’s Assistant D.A., is suspected of robbing a bank when her evil copy is actually behind the crime.  So the real Mrs. Botsford goes on the run, making WordGirl gripe about the situation. Finally, Mrs. Botsford comes face to face with her evil copy and manages to convince the police about which one is the fake when she asks both Mrs. Botsfords a question to which only the real Mrs. Botsford would know the answer.  All ends well with Lady Redundant Woman being arrested and the real city officials being released from prison. 

May I Have A Word closes out once the second half of Episode #502 ends.  Having won the first round, Tommy has to properly connect a picture to the definition of perspire.  He correctly links the two, winning him official WordGirl Frozen Treats. 

Audiences get one last vocabulary word as the show closes.  Captain Huggyface closes it out, as he always does with one parting word.  This episode’s parting word is BlitheBlithe means happy or joyous.  It’s one more word for young audiences to learn at an early age as they build their vocabulary knowledge.

WordGirl airs at different times on PBS Kids affiliates across the country.  So audiences should check their local listings to find out when this and the other new episodes will air.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.