PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ DVD This Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution will release a new collection of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes on DVD this fall.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Explore The Outdoors is scheduled for release Sept. 22.  The single-disc collection features six episodes of the beloved series, all of which center on the topic of going outside and appreciating all that the outdoors has to offer.

One of the most notable of the disc’s episodes — “Daniel Explores Nature” — finds Daniel and his parents spending the day outdoors.  Daniel discovers a bird, and in turn learn how birds build their nests.  The bird’s next falls out of the tree, so it’s up to Daniel and his parents to get the nest back in the tree.

“Daniel’s Nature Walk” is another episode featured in the DVD.  This episode’s story follows O the Owl and his uncle X The Owl as the duo goes for a nature walk in the forest.  Along the way, the pair sees all kinds of creatures, such as frogs and worms, and even gets to see a rainbow.

“Daniel Plays in a Gentle Way,” yet another of the DVD’s stories, reminds young viewers about the importance of being careful even when playing.  That lesson is taught as some of Daniel’s friends want to play fast, even though he wants to play slow and safe.

Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodExplore The Outdoors will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  Pre-orders are open now.

More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs is available online now along with activities, games, printouts and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

 

 

 

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‘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

 

 

 

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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.

PBS To Launch New Amazon Prime Video Channel Next Month

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will launch a new Prime Video channel next month.

The network is scheduled to launch its PBS Documentaries channel on Aug. 4.  The channel will featured documentaries from PBS’ series, such as FrontlineAmerican Experience and NOVA.  Audiences can view a trailer for the new channel here.

Andrea Downing, Co-President of PBS Distribution, shared her thoughts on the coming launch of the new streaming video channel in a prepared statement.

“PBS is the leader of high-quality, compelling nonfiction entertainment, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a natural addition to our current streaming offering on Prime Video Channels—PBS Masterpiece, PBS Living AND PBS Kids.,” she said.  “This channel will not only help bring engaging stories about life in all corners of our country to a new audience, it will provide needed revenues to sustain public broadcasting’s public-private partnership model for the benefit of all stations and the communities they serve,”

Documentarian Ken Burns, who most recently helmed the PBS documentary Country Music, and who has also helmed other PBS documentaries, such as JazzThe Vietnam War and Baseball said in his own comments that he was anticipating the channel’s launch,

“We had long hoped to be able to have all of our films available in one place so the public would have access to the body of work,” said Burns. “We’re thrilled that this is now possible thanks to the efforts of PBS Distribution and Amazon to launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel and also through PBS’s Passport initiative that allows viewers to support their public television stations. Both will also contribute to the larger mission of PBS.”

PBS Documentaries is expected to have almost 1,000 hours of content available for audiences upon its launch.  Burns’ documentaries will be among that content, as well as Stanley Nelson’s documentary The Black PanthersVanguard of the Revolution.

Nelson shared his pleasure at the announcement of the channel’s launch through his own comments.

“I’m thrilled to see that my work will find a new home on this channel,” said Nelson. “PBS has become a premier destination for documentary programming in the U.S. and has been hugely invested in giving films by diverse storytellers and emerging filmmakers much-needed national exposure. I’m so glad that my film on the Black Panther Party, which can inform communities in our current historical moment, will be able to reach different audiences on this new service.”

Subscription to PBS Documentaries will cost $3.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prim Video subscription.  It will only be available in the United States.

PBS Documentaries is just one of the ways in which audiences can view PBS’ documentary programs.  PBS also offers its own streaming service called Passport.  It allows people to pay a given fee to watch the network’s programs through its own website.

More information on PBS Documentaries is available along with all of PBS’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBS

 

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‘The Berenstain Bears’ Remains As Enjoyable, Entertaining As Ever In Its Final Season

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/Nelvana

When Stan and Jan Berenstain created their beloved characters The Berenstain Bears so many years ago, odds are they had no idea that their creations would become the beloved figures that they have.  The furry family has seen its adventures beloved by families for generations in countless books.  There are even plush toys, shirts and various DVDs.  One of the latest of those DVDs is the third and final installment in the series’ Treehouse Tales collections.  The two-disc collection is in reality the last season of PBS Kids’ series, which launched in 2003 and ran for three seasons on the network.  Released May 19, approximately four months after the series’ second season was released, this 26-episode collection is another enjoyable offering from PBS Kids, PBS Distribution and Nelvana.  That is due in part to the stories featured within the episodes.  This will be addressed shortly.  The lessons that are tied into the stories are important in their own way to the whole of the set, and will be discussed a little later.  Keeping in mind the amount and type of content featured in the et, its average price point proves key in its own right.  It will also be discussed later.  All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 a wonderful way to wrap up the series’ full season sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is an enjoyable final season set from PBS Kids’ beloved animated series.  It is another presentation that audiences of all ages will enjoy and appreciate.  That is proven in part through the stories featured throughout the season.  Season 3 opens with the Bear family getting a new neighbor.  The neighbor in question, Ursus, is a very tech savvy figure.  At first Papa Bear is not fond of Ursus because he is so much different from Mr. Kodiak.  However, as Papa gets to know Ursus, the pair becomes better friends.  The story itself is unique in the bigger picture of Season 3 (and the overall series).  What’s more, it presents a familiar lesson in that unique setting, proving easily why it is just one example of the importance of the set’s stories.

That story is followed up with a story in “The Big Election.”  The story at the center of this episode finds Papa unwittingly ending up as a candidate in the Bear Country elections.  Considering that this is an election year, it’s a fitting story.  Given, it isn’t the first time that any program – animated or live action – has ever gone the political route, but it still works even in this presentation.  Audiences will especially enjoy this story because of how realistic it is, what with people lobbying for this, that and the other thing.  That the topic is presented in a way that makes it easy for younger viewers to understand the matter, too makes the story that much more engaging for everyone.  To that end, it is just one more example of the importance of the set’s stories.  It is just one more way in which the stories show their importance.  “That Stump Must Go” is one more example of why the set’s stories are key to its presentation.  This story finds Brother, Sister, and Papa having to deal with their own problems.  Sister and Brother are struggling to make a present for Papa for Father’s Day while Papa is struggling to get rid of an old tree stump.  Each interweaving story line will connect with any viewer in its own right.  Parents will laugh as Papa loses the rear bumper on the family car in his efforts to pull up the tree stump.  Children meanwhile will connect with Brother and Sister’s frustrations in their effort to make something special for Papa.  Staying on that note, adults will relate to Papa’s quandary because even adults get frustrated when they struggle to reach a goal.  It’s one more way in which the stories featured throughout this set prove so important to the overall presentation of The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3.  When these noted stories are considered along with the rest of the set’s stories, the whole of that content comes together to make the collection well worth watching if only for that aspect.  Of course, it is just one of the set’s positives.  The lessons that are tied into the set add to its appeal.

The lessons that are connected with the stories are timeless and will connect with audiences of all ages just as much as the stories themselves.  Case in point is the lesson at the center of the episode “Pet Show.”  When brother enters his grandmother’s pet parakeet in his school’s pet show, the bid doesn’t talk, but does mimic various household sounds, such as a rocking chair, a typewriter and even bells.  The lesson that Brother learns in this episode is that expecting things to work out specifically one way is not the best plan of action.  Audiences learn that by looking at things differently than how one expects can reveal something good.  In this case, Brother had to realize that his expectation of the bird talking only resulted in frustration.  When he realized what the bird actually did, his outlook changed.  So, if we look at things in life in a way other than how we expect, that can make all the difference in our daily lives, whether adult or child.  It is just one of the key lessons featured in this season’s stories.  The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback” is another key example of the importance of the collection’s lessons.

The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback,” which is a sports-themed episode, reminds audiences that while practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, it plays a key part in us getting better at what we do.  The interesting thing about this lesson is that while the story is sports-themed, this lesson applies in so many avenues, from practicing a musical instrument to practicing for a big test or whatever other scenario.  Whether it be athletes at any level of their games, musicians at any level of their respective professions or even politicians preparing for public appearances, practice is critical for everyone in so many avenues.  It’s just one more important lesson that will connect with listeners of any age.  “Go To The Movies” is yet another example of the importance of the stories’ companion lessons.

The lesson at the center of this episode is crucial especially for adults.  It teaches grown-up (and children alike) that having quality family time does not have to mean making major plans and spending lots of money.  It can be something as simple as watching home movies at home together, remembering great memories.  In an age of social media and parents constantly bragging about their families’ vacations through nearly every (if not every) social media channel, this is a lesson that really every grown-up needs.  Parents have forgotten that vacations and family time are supposed to be about family, not about bragging about that time on social media and posting pictures of their children posed.  Family time is supposed to be about family.  Keeping this in mind, this unforgettable lesson proves once more why the lessons featured in this set are so important to its presentation.  When it is considered along with the set’s other featured lessons, that whole shows without doubt why the collection’s lessons are so important to the series and not just the set.  When all of this is considered with the season’s stories, the whole of the set’s content shows without doubt the important role that it collectively plays in the set’s presentation.  Considering the depth and breadth of the overall content featured in Tree House Tales Volume 3, it makes the set’s average price point a positive in its own right.

The average price point of Tree House Tales Volume Three is $11.83.  That price is obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  The collection was not listed through Target at the time of this posting.  The least expensive listing of $8.69 is at Amazon and Walmart while the most expensive listing of $14.99 is at Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Best Buy did not have the best buy in this case, listing the set at $9.99, which along with the listings at Amazon and Walmart is still below the noted average.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the set at $13.64.  Simply put, at least half of the set’s listings are below the noted average while the other half exceeds that number.  Even in breaking that boundary, even the most expensive of the listings are still below the $20 mark, so that means that it is still relatively affordable even if not the least expensive.  Considering again the breadth and depth of the discussed content, any of the listings are money well-spent for any family.  What’s more, a portion of sales through any retailer other than PBS still goes to PBS, so audiences will still be supporting the network regardless of which retailer is chosen.  Keeping this in mind along with the importance of the content, it makes the last of the Berenstain Bears season sets a positive finish in terms of the series’ season sets.  It makes it one more of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is a positive final season presentation from the beloved animated series.  The stories in the season’s episodes are just as engaging and entertaining as those in the series’ previous seasons.  The lessons that accompany those stories are just as important to the set as the stories themselves.  Keeping in mind the positive impact of the season’s overall content, the average price point of less than $20 (and separate listings, some of which are below $10), proves just as appealing for audiences.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make this final standalone season set from the 2003 Berenstain Bears set a fitting finish for the series’ full season sets.  It is available now.

More information on this DVD set and all of the latest Berenstain Bears news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.berenstainbears.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/berenstainbears

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

 

 

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.

Rena Strober Announces Release Date, Specs For Debut Family Music Album

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Famed actress Rena Strober will release her debut family music album next month.

Strober — who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor MoonLiv and Maddie, and Penn ZeroPart Time Hero and worked on a variety of Broadway stage shows — will release her new musical offering, titled Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss Aug. 28.

The 14-song record features guest performances from other famed figures, such as Jason Alexander (Seinfeldthe Hunchback of Notre DamePretty Woman), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The SunMomStargate), and Michael-Leon Wooley (The Princess and the FrogDreamgirlsPremium Rush) along with a variety of other well-known stars.

The compilation features some of the most beloved songs from Sesame Street‘s now 50-years-plus on television, including but not limited to the timeless tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Believe In Yourself.’

Raposo’s son Nick praised Strober for her work on her new record in a prepared statement, saying, “My family and I were thrilled to work with Rena Strober to bring this wonderful album to life. My father dedicated his life to respecting and nurturing all children, of every ability and heritage, everywhere.”

The release of Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is directly aligned with National Guide Dog Month, which is celebrated in September.  In celebration of the month, a portion of proceeds from the record’s sale will go to benefit Guide Dogs of America and the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation.  The agencies work to find a treatment and cure for blindness, with focus on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

The album will be available with a braille cover for audiences who are hard of sight and blind.  It can be ordered digitally and physically here.  Audiences can view a behind-the-scenes video featuring Strober talking about the album’s inspiration and creation.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://renastrober.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/renastrober

 

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.

Animal Lovers, Biologists Everywhere Will Enjoy ‘NOVA: Cat And Dog Tales’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Almost 30 years ago this year, the timeless animated series Garfield & Friends presented one of its most notable shorts, “For Cats Only.”  The episode is a hilarious telling of the history of cats (and to a point dogs) on Earth.  It is a laugh riot story that while largely fictitious, apparently had some truths, according to PBS’ recently aired NOVA episode Cat and Dog Tales.  Released to DVD in May, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is its own telling of the history of dogs and cats.  That story, complete with revelations about some other items – also addressed in the noted Garfield & Friends short – makes for its own reason to watch this episode of NOVA.  It will be addressed shortly.  The program’s general presentation adds to the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  All things considered, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that will appeal to any feline fanatic and canine companion.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that pet parents and pals alike will enjoy.  That is proven in part through its central story.  The story in question tells the history of cats and dogs and how they came to become humans’ beloved companions.  Now unlike in the noted Garfield & Friends short, audiences learn here that cats did not come from another planet, but in fact from Europe and Asia while dogs descended from wolves that had existed around the world for thousands of years.  At the same time though, that noted short apparently proves right about cats being domesticated according to his real life documentary.  The documentary points out that humans did not domesticate cats, but that in fact they domesticated themselves.  The same can be said of dogs, according to this program.  It points out in its central story, that dogs (like cats) domesticated themselves over time.  How each species’ domestication happened is interesting to learn in its own right.  Another item addressed in the overall story is that of whether cats and dogs actually love us or if they love the food that we provide.  Not to give away too much, but owners of cats and dogs alike should find no surprise in either revelation here.  All things considered, the overall story of feline and canine history is certain to keep audiences wholly engaged and entertained throughout each segment of the two-part program.

As noted, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a two-part program.  This is important to note as it plays directly into the episode’s general presentation.  Rather than bundling everything together into a single, nonstop, two-hour presentation, audiences can watch each “story” in itself.  As a result, audiences won’t have to worry about feeling mentally spent.  They will then have an easier time remembering everything presented in each story.  This is something that audiences are sure to appreciate.  To that end, those responsible for making the decision to separate the segments are to be commended for that decision.  It proves to be just as positive as the program’s overall, in-depth story to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with the noted content, this element gives viewers even more to appreciate in the DVD’s overall presentation.  It is just one more aspect that audiences will appreciate about the DVD.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is $19.32.  That price is obtained by averaging price listings through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  That is a price point that will not break anyone’s budget.  The same can be said of most of the separate listings.  While PBS’ listing, and that of Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listings exceed that average, they are not by much.  Meanwhile, the listing of $24.99 at Books-a-Million once more far exceeds the average.  Amazon, Walmart and Target each have the lowest price listing at $16.99 while Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 also comes in below that average.  It is not the least expensive listing, but is still less expensive than the average, proving once again that for the most part, the price for this DVD is not prohibitive for any viewer(s).  Considering all that the DVD offers in terms of its content and how said content is presented, it makes the DVD even more affordable and worth the price – save of course for that one noted listing.  Even with the listing at Books-A-Million noted, audiences should keep in mind that regardless of the retailer from which they buy the DVD, at least a portion of the price paid will go to benefit PBS.  That is always important to note considering how little funding PBS gets from the federal government.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales proves itself to be a DVD that pet parents and pals alike will appreciate.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that animal lovers everywhere will enjoy.  That is due in part to its central story, which presents the history of cats and dogs and much more.  The manner in which the overall story is presented adds to the appeal of the DVD’s presentation.  Considering all that the noted items show in themselves and collectively, audiences will agree that the DVD’s average price point is money worth spending.  Each item noted here is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that any animal lover will enjoy.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘NOVA: Look Who’s Driving’ Will “Drive” Plenty Of Discussion Among Audiences

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Just because we can, should we?  That is the basis of Look Who’s Driving, another new episode from PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA.  Having originally premiered on PBS last year, the episode was released on DVD in January.  The hour-long episode is an insightful look at the evolving technology of driverless vehicles and the divide that it has created among proponents and opponents.  That story and how the topic is examined serve as the foundation for this episode of NOVA and will be addressed shortly.  The program’s pacing plays its own part in its presentation, and will be addressed a little later.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves just as much a positive as the DVD’s other noted items.  It will also be discussed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Look Who’s Driving a presentation that paints a thorough picture of the future of transportation on America’s roads.

NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is a thorough and rich examination of the possible future of transportation on America’s roads as it relates to automated vehicles.  The story featured within this documentary opens with the story of a bicyclist who was killed when an automated car hit the cyclist, who was walking with her bicycle across the road while the car’s driver was busy looking at her cell phone.  From that point on, the discussion begins on the growing presence of automated vehicles on the nation’s roads and the issue of responsibility that drivers have as they ride in the vehicles.  Audiences will be interested to see just how many companies are working to this day, to create fully autonomous vehicles.  Additionally, brief comments are made through the story about not only safety concerns, but also concerns about the potential economic and ecological impacts of increasing numbers of automated vehicles on the planet.  Again, these notes are brief, so they make for a good starting point on deeper discussions on said topics, but the bigger discussion featured in the story is whether there is a place or even a need for autonomous vehicles.  Officials with many of the companies that are working to create said vehicles are interviewed throughout the course of the program.  While they allege that autonomous vehicles will make the nation’s (and world’s) roads safer and driving easier, none of those noted officials ever actually provide any solid proof to support their allegations.  Officials with two companies – Uber and Tessla – declined to take part in the investigatory program, as is noted in the documentary.  Ironically, those companies are the ones whose vehicles were shown to have been involved in at least a handful of fatal wrecks that involved automated vehicles.  The opponents to self-driving vehicles are also interviewed, so there is no bias featured in this documentary.  Their comments and the hard evidence shown throughout the program showing all of the complications that companies face in trying to make automated vehicles a full reality prevents anyone from trying to claim bias one way or the other here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the program’s central story in itself more than ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  It is just one part of what makes the program such an interesting presentation.  The program’s pacing adds to the episode’s strength.

The pacing of NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is important to note in its own right, as it is a counterpoint of sorts to the extensive discussion that takes place throughout the course of this episode of NOVA.  There is a lot of data presented throughout the episode that explains all of the concerns related to the matter of self-driving cars.  From the stories of people connected to the noted fatal, incidents to the clearly pointed concerns about cars not being fully intelligent – this in itself can lead to discussions on concerns about computers going from being AI to sentient, especially with the concept of “training” computers that run said vehicles – to the economic and ecological concerns, a lot of ground is covered here.  Add in the arguments made by the proponents of self-driving vehicles and even more ground is covered, even without any real substantive evidence supporting their allegations.  Considering all that is presented on both sides of the overall discussion, there is so much to follow.  Luckily, those behind the episode’s editing and general writing served to keep its pacing solid from start to end.  The result is a program that flows cleanly from one discussion point to another throughout the episode, and in turn ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment that much more.  Keeping all of this in mind, the pacing works with the episode’s story and proves without doubt, the program’s overall success.  While the episode’s overall content leaves zero doubt as to its success, said content is not all that will appeal to audiences.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The DVD’s average price point is right at $19.  That price is obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  While some of the listings — $14.98 at Amazon and Target; $17.55 at Walmart; $17.99 at Best Buy – are below the noted average price, others — $19.99 at PBS’ store; $22.74 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and $24.99 at Books-a-Million – exceed that point.  Considering that PBS’ listing is just barely over the average price point, it is still relatively affordable, meaning once more, the listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million are once again the most expensive.  The other listings are all prices that audiences will not mind paying, considering again that noted average price point.  They are price listings that will not break any viewer’s budget.  What’s more, considering the fact that the overall program will remain timely for the foreseeable future, this means that it is a DVD that audiences will not find themselves selling away or even donating.  Keeping that in mind, this price point once again proves without doubt why, coupled with the program’s content, the DVD is well worth the purchase and the watch.  It will certainly “drive” plenty of people to start their own discussions on the topic, leading it to be one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is a presentation that is well worth viewing.  It covers a very hot button issue without all of the typical talking head figures.  Yes, the proponents are there from the companies that are working to create autonomous vehicles, and so are their opponents.  It’s not one of those typical news style talking head programs.  Rather, it is a full-on investigative piece whose overall story will keep viewers watching through that presentation style.  The program’s pacing adds even more reason for audiences to watch.  The DVD’s relatively affordable price point rounds out its most important elements.  It is a point that will not break audiences’ budgets.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Look Who’s Driving one more of this year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Kids’ Second ‘Wild Kratts’ Box Set Is One Of This Year’s Top New Family DVD/BD Box Sets

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

School is still out for the summer, and right now many school districts’ officials remain uncertain when and how the new school year will look.  That is leaving many parents and students in limbo, too.  For parents, they are left in the dark as to how they are going to have to handle schedules.  For the students, their educational opportunities largely remain on hold until such time, especially since parents, in many cases, cannot be there to help their children learn.  Thankfully PBS Distribution offered a new resource for parents and students alike last month with the release of the new Wild Kratts DVD box set, Around The World Adventures.  The three-disc set is a presentation that the whole family will welcome.  That is due in part to its episode listing, which will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging also plays into its presentation, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Wild Kratts: Adventures Around The World.  All things considered, they make the set one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS Distribution’s new Wild Kratts box set Around The World Adventures is a presentation that the whole family will appreciate regardless of whether school is in session.  It is a resource that will educate and entertain audiences of all ages.  That is due in large part to its featured episodes.  The set is composed of 21 episodes spread across three discs.  That totals a run time of approximately 10 hours.  Parents especially will appreciate (for cost reasons, which will be discussed later), that the majority of the episodes featured in this set are previously unreleased.  In comparison to PBS Distribution’s only other Wild Kratts box set Wildest Animal Adventures, only two episodes from that set – ‘A Huge Orange Problem’ and ‘Mimic’ – are carried over from to this presentation.  What’s more, in looking at the roughly 21 (yes, 21) total single disc Wild Kratts collections that are available, only six episodes from those collections – ‘The Food Chain Game,’ ‘Cheetah Racer,’ ‘Rainforest Stew,’ ‘Shadow: The Black Jaguar,’ ‘Mimic’ and ‘A Huge Orange Problem’ – are carried over to this collection.  In other words, the majority of the episodes featured in this collection are previously unreleased, including the Wild Kratts “movies” ‘Amazin’ Amazon Adventure’ and ‘Back In Creature Time.’  Adding to the importance of the set’s episode list is that by comparison, Wildest Animal Adventures culls the episodes from four of the series’ standalone compilations, Creature Adventures, Jungle Animals, Lost At Sea and Predator Power.  The total episode count there is 20.  So in other words, odds are this collection likely would cull episodes from as many DVDs as no standalone DVDs featuring the majority of the noted episodes have been released.  This leads into another of the set’s most important elements, its packaging.

Adventures Around The World takes up half the space of the Wildest Animal Adventures set on racks because of the packaging.  The packaging in question places two of the new set’s three discs on either side of an insert inside the box.  The set’s third disc sits on its own spot on the inside back of the set’s case.  By comparison, the Wildest Animal Adventures places each of its four discs in its own standalone slipcase inside a larger box.  This means more material is used for packaging with the “older” set, and in turn more space taken up on racks.  So the saved space that results from the “newer” packaging model is to that extent, its own positive.  Half the space of another set might not seem like much, but like pennies, it adds up.

On another note, the discussed saved space that results from the packaging and the previously unaired episodes featured in this set mean that families will not have to worry about buying potential future standalone DVDs, which will save space in its own right.  It will also save families money.

Speaking of money saved, the average price point for this three disc set is another positive worth noting.  The average price point for Around The World Adventures is $15.99.  That’s for three discs of episodes that again, have largely been previously unreleased.  It’s well under the $20 mark, and considering the amount of entertainment and education offered through that span, that is not a budget breaker.  The price in question was obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barne & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ online store.  It was not listed through Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this posting.  PBS’ price of $19.99 and Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ price of $17.99 both exceeded that average while the other three listings each were noted at $13.99, well under the average.

By comparison, Wildest Animal Adventures is almost impossible to find through any major retailers.  It is not even listed through PBS’ store or that of the official Wild Kratts website.  An extensive search for the set did locate it at Walmart at a price of $25.85, but it was listed as being out of stock.  Amazon also listed the set.  Its least expensive price listing was $69.99 while it reached as high as $249.98.  In other words, odds are that set is now out of print.  This means that audiences who don’t already own said set will have to spend $10-$15 on each of the four DVDs culled for said collection if they do not own those DVDs either.  Meanwhile the set’s initial average price listing was about the same as that for Around The World Adventures.  So audiences would have spent about the same price for each box set.  Keeping this in mind, the relatively affordable price point for PBS Distribution’s latest Wild Kratts DVD box set proves just as positive to Around The World Adventures’ presentation as its content and packaging.  All things considered, they make this latest Wild Kratts box set one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

Around The World Adventures is another welcome addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Wild Kratts presentations.  That is due in no small part to its episode listing, which offers audiences a grouping of episodes largely unavailable on the series’ previous DVD episodes.  Only six of the set’s episodes are available on the series’ other DVDs.  That leans 15 episodes unavailable on said DVDs.  The set’s packaging takes up half the space of its predecessor, the previously released box set Wildest Animal Adventures.  The set’s average price point of less than $20 dollars is affordable especially considering the amount of content featured across its three discs.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of Adventures Around The World.  All things considered, they make the set one of this year’s top new family DVD/BC box sets.

More information on Around The World Adventures is available online along with all of the latest Wild Kratts news and games online at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/wildkrattsofficial

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 sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Distribution To Release Fujita Documentary on DVD This Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/WGBH

PBS is presenting a biography of the man who created the Fujita measurement scale in a new episode of its hit biography series American Experience.

American ExperienceMrTornado is scheduled for release July 21.  The hour-long documentary features the story of Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita, the man who developed the system that measures the strength of tornadoes.

The story starts in the Super Outbreak of 1974, which was the most extensive tornado outbreak in American history.  It spread a path of destruction across 13 states, generating 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Ontario, Canada.  More than 300 people died as a result of the storm outbreak, and thousands were left homeless.

Fujita spent months examining the result of the outbreak, using an aerial study, and mapped the path of destruction in the process.  His extensive study led to the discovery of microbursts — winds strong enough to knock planes out of the air — and to advance warning systems that have since saved thousands of lives as well as the Fujita scale, which is used to measure the intensity of tornadoes.

American ExperienceMrTornado will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

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.