SHout! Factory Kids To Release New Transformers Rescue Bots DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios are teaming up yet again for another collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots.

Shout! Factory will release the new Transformers Rescue Bots DVD Adventures in Time and Space next month. The single-disc DVD compilation, the series’ ninth collection of episodes, will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, February 23rd. It features five more episodes lifted from Discovery Family’s hit animated series. Four of the disc’s featured episodes are pulled from the series’ third season and one from its debut season. The episode in question is “It’s A Bot Time.” This episode is the first half of a two part-time travel story arc that is rounded out in the episode “Bot To The Future.” That episode was previously released as part of the Transformers Rescue Bots DVD Return of the Heroes early last year. In regards to the series’ Season Three episodes, the Chase and Boulder have to head back into space to complete a mission involving an Energon Eater in “Unfinished Business.” “Switcheroo” sees a nebula causing the Burns family and the Rescue Bots to switch bodies. Dr. Morocco is back again in this collection, too in “The Last Of Morocco.” And in “Time After Time” Cody finds himself in a time loop that is being cause d by the Mayor Luskey Clock Tower.  The complete episode listing for the DVD is noted below.

 

Episodes

Episode Episode Title
1 Transformers Rescue Bots: It’s A Bot Time
2 Transformers Rescue Bots: Unfinished Business
3 Transformers Rescue Bots: Switcheroo
4 Transformers Rescue Bots: Time After Time
5 Transformers Rescue Bots: The Last Of Morocco

 

 

Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, February 23rd. It will retail for MSRP of $14.93but can be pre-ordered via Shout! Factory’s online store now for a discounted price of $13.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-adventures-in-time-and-space. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest Is A Great Treat For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family

Labor Day has come and gone once again. The weather is beginning to turn for much of the country and has already turned for others. That means it won’t be long before Halloween is upon us once again. Even store shelves across the country are becoming filled with the annual bevy of Halloween fare. This includes the annual crop of Halloween DVDs and Blu-rays. The thing about Halloween is that it seems to produce the least amount of holiday programming in comparison to that of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shout! Factory however is looking to help change that as it released yet another new Halloween DVD earlier this month in the form of the new Littlest Pet Shop DVD Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest. This latest addition to the show’s already extensive series of DVDs is yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library and yet another breath of fresh air among the annual holiday fare. The main way in which it proves itself such an enjoyable new set of episodes is the writing behind each of its episodes. While Littlest Pet Shop has always been aimed largely at younger female viewers, the writing in the featured episodes is such that the whole family will enjoy each episode. That will be discussed at more length shortly. The work of the show’s voice cast is just as entertaining as the work of the series’ writers once again. Last but hardly least worth noting to this DVD’s positives is the inclusion of a pumpkin stencil exclusive to the DVD. With many stores and farms already stocking their annual supply of pumpkins, the stencil is a great addition for any family in deciding what design to use for their jack-o-lantern this year or any year. Each noted element by itself proves its own value to the whole of Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest. Collectively they show the DVD in whole to be a collection that is just as enjoyable in the realm of Littlest Pet Shop compilations as it is in the realm of new holiday DVD fare.

Halloween is one of the slimmest times of the year when it comes to new DVD and Blu-ray offerings. Why that seems to be the case is anyone’s guess. Regardless each year there are some new releases among those slim pickings of new releases. The problem is that among those few new offerings, even fewer can truly be said to be worth the watch. Shout! Factory has one of those few fully worthwhile offerings once again in the form of the new Littlest Pet Shop collection Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest. The main way in which it proves this is in its writing. At the center of the writing’s success is the script for each of its five episodes. All five episodes featured in this collection feature their own frightfully fun stories that are fitting for the whole family (say that one five times fast). It all kicks off with the absolute laugh riot “Door-Jammed.” This episode sees Blythe’s animal friends believing that each one is a monster after having watched a movie about a werewolf. Meanwhile Mrs. Twombley sets out to claim a doorknob (yes, a doorknob) away from her arch-nemesis Mr. Biskit. The LPS pals meet a new eight-legged friend in the collection’s second episode “Eight Arms To Hold You.” This episode is a good fit for the collection thanks to the execution of its story. As the story progresses, it is believed that the octopus is actually a monster. That’s because the new pal was kept in the shadows much in the vein of so many classic monster movies. And that will be discussed shortly as it is another element of the episodes’ writing that makes these episodes so enjoyable. As if the stories already noted aren’t enough to convince families, there is an equally enjoyable story in “War of the Weirds” the third of the DVD’s five episodes. The very title is itself a tribute to the classic sci-fi flick War of the Worlds. The episode itself will have viewers laughing till their sides hurt as the LPS pals become afraid that aliens are invading. There is an interesting twist at the episode’s end that makes for just as many laughs. On another level, the episode makes great reference to one of the funniest stereotypes of the alien conspiracy theory culture out there today. That is yet another more minute detail of the episodes’ writing that makes them so enjoyable, which will also be discussed shortly. Getting back on the subject at hand, all three of the stories noted here are in their own right prime examples of how the writing behind this collection’s episodes makes them so enjoyable. That is hardly to take away from the remaining pair of episodes–“Pawlm Reading” and “The very Littlest Pet Shop.” Both episodes make for their own share of enjoyment, too. All five episodes considered together make Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest well worth the watch within themselves. They are just part of the writing that makes this collection so enjoyable, too. There are smaller details within each episode that make each one even more enjoyable and the collection in whole that much more enjoyable.

The stories presented within each of the episodes featured in Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest give viewers plenty of reason to pick up this new collection of Littlest Pet Shop episodes. They are only part of what makes the writing so enjoyable within each episode. The smaller details included within each episode’s script adds even more enjoyment to the whole of the DVD. One example of how the episodes’ more minor details make the writing even more enjoyable comes in the set’s lead episode “Door-Jammed.” The writers make direct reference to the hit Hobbit movie franchise as well as Michael Jackson’s famed Thriller video complete with narration just as the actual video had courtesy of Vincent Price. The manner in which the writers kept the octopus in the shadows through much of “Eight Arms To Hold You” is very much in the vein of Hollywood’s classic monster movies. Those movies would build tension by not revealing the monsters until late in the movies’ run. One could even argue that the use of an octopus is in itself a direct throwback to the classic 1955 sci-fi/horror hybrid It Came From Beneath The Sea. In “War of the Weirds” the writers pay homage to the classic 1953 sci-fi flick War of the Worlds. There is also a hilarious reference to the stereotype of conspiracy theorists using tin foil hats to keep the invasion forces from controlling their minds. And just as interesting in this episode is the playful jab at the stores that employ people to stand on street corners and spin signs while dancing in order to get attention. These are just a handful of examples of how the more minor details of the episodes’ writing makes them so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. There is just as much that could be noted from “Pawlm Reading” and “The Very Littlest Pet Shop,” which in itself throws back to the likes of 1957’s The Incredible Shrinking Man. The ultimate reveal in this episode won’t be given away here for the sake of those that haven’t seen this episode (or any of the set’s others). But it is a timeless plot element that has been used time and again in so many other TV series and movies. Whether for that element, for any of the other minor details of the writing or for the stories themselves, it should be fully clear by now why exactly the writing behind the episodes featured in Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest is so important to its overall success and enjoyment. All things combined, the writing makes each of the set’s five episodes enjoyable not just for its target younger female viewers but for the whole family. Having noted this, there is still plenty more to note in regards to the enjoyment of Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest including the work of the series’ cast.

The work of the writers behind Littlest Pet Shop has clearly paid off in spades in this collection of episodes. All five featured episodes include something that at least one member of any family will appreciate if not the whole family. This includes both the episodes’ stories and the more minor details of each episode. For all of the enjoyment generated through each of the episodes’ writing, the work of the show’s voice cast makes for just as much enjoyment. Lead voice actress Ashleigh Ball (Johnny Test, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures) is just as solid as ever in her portrayal of Blythe Baxter throughout each episode. One instance in which this is clear comes when she is trapped in a bathroom with one of the Biskit twins at the Biskits’ mansion. Not once here does she try to ham it up as Blythe connects with said girl. Even at other points in which Blythe takes a back seat to her cast mates, Ball is just as entertaining. Viewers can really feel the respect that she has for her cast mates in those moments, which are themselves included in this collection. Peter New’s (Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Agent Cody Banks, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) work as the voice of Sunil Nevla is another of the high points of the cast’s voice work in this collection. New maintains his place as the comedian of the cast as he brings Sunil to life, spewing out conspiracy theories and coming up with all kinds of outlandish thoughts. One can’t help but wonder in listening to New’s delivery just how much of his work was ad-libbed and how much was actually in the scripts. Even if he did stick to the episode’s scripts, his timing was still impeccable, making for so many laughs in the long-term. Supporting actress Kathleen Barr (Reboot, Kid vs. Cat, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog) is just as impressive as the voice of Mrs. Twombley. Her delivery as she searches for and finds the doorknob she bid on in “Door-Jammed” will have both those familiar with the hugely successful Hobbitt series and those more familiar with Littlest Pet Shop laughing just as much as the other. While Barr, New, and Ball each add their own enjoyment to these episodes, their work is not the only entertaining work featured throughout the set. Each of the cast members could just as easily be noted for their work, too. Altogether, the work of the show’s voice cast plays just as important of a role in the enjoyment of Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest as the work of the show’s writers. The writers and cast together make each episode well worth the watch each time as the days close in on Halloween. Together, they make even clearer why this collection is such a breath of fresh air among this year’s holiday offerings. While both elements do plenty to show why this collection is so enjoyable, they still are not all that make it a wonderful new addition for families. The inclusion of a free bonus pumpkin stencil rounds out the ways in which the DVD proves itself so enjoyable.

The work of both the writers and the cast within each episode featured in Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest shows clearly why this new DVD is a breath of fresh air among the otherwise stagnant collection of holiday offerings on store shelves each year. For all of their collective importance in the bigger picture of the DVD, there is still one more element that makes the presentation whole here. That element is the bonus pumpkin stencil included inside the case. Now that fall is here, stores and farms are all beginning to pull out their annual stock of pumpkins for people to carve up and put on their porches. The stencil included in this DVD gives a great idea for fans of Littlest Pet Shop. The main reason that it is such a great addition is that it gives young Halloween lovers and fans of the show a starting point for their own original jack-o-lantern design. It also serves as another great opportunity for parents and children to do something together to get into the Halloween spirit all while celebrating younger viewers’ love of Littlest Pet Shop. Simply put it’s a double whammy for the whole family (hey, it rhymes). It gives the carver (whether it be adult or child) a clear explanation of where to and where not to cut their pumpkins. So it’s also user-friendly so to speak. Considering all of this, the bonus pumpkin stencil included in Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios’ new Littlest Pet Shop DVD is just as much reason to pick up this new DVD as the work of the show’s writers and cast. All three elements together make this DVD a breath of fresh air among this year’s crop of holiday DVD and Blu-ray offerings.

Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Adventures is not the only new offering among this year’s crop of new holiday offerings. However, it is only one of very few new offerings for Halloween. Considering all that it has to offer in regards to its writing, acting, and its bonus material of sorts, it is one of the best of this year’s holiday offerings. It is a breath of fresh air among that small handful of new offerings for the whole family. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-halloween-fest. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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.

The Rescue Bots Roar This Summer In Another New Collection Of Episodes

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

The Rescue Bots return once again next month.

On Tuesday, August 25th, Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios will release the latest collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit series Transformers Rescue Bots, Transformers Rescue Bots: Dinobots! This latest collection boasts five more episodes from the hit series. Unlike previous Rescue Bots collections, this collection features five episodes from the series’ most recent season, its third. This time out, audiences get a two-part story arc of sorts in its first two episodes–“Land Before Time” and “Big Game”–that sees Optimus gaining new abilities after having to save the Rescue Bots and the introduction of a new villain in the form of the hunter Colonel Quint Quarry.

Colonel Quarry returns in the disc’s third episode “Quarry vs. Quarry.” He holds Professor Baranova hostage in an attempt to obtain more robotic dinosaurs. It’s up to Optimus Prime and Boulder (who both have their own Dinobot forms by now) to save Professor Baranova from Colonel Quarry. Things only get more complicated from there, leaving it to Cody and his dad to save the day along with the rest of the Rescue Bots.

In the disc’s fourth episode “Did You See What I Thaw?” a caveman preserved in ice is discovered and thawed out. In thawing him out, it is revealed that he is wearing an energon necklace, leading to a search for even more energon. All the while, the Rescue Bots and the Burns family must protect the caveman, who is given the name Ira, as Mrs. Dumont makes a visit to Griffin Rock.

“The Attack of Humungado”, the disc’s final episode, sees a pair of movie monsters lift off the big screen and into Griffin Rock when a power surge hits Doc Green’s holomorphic projector. Having both of the big screen baddies in the “real world” it is up to the Rescue Bots to stop them and return them to their own big screen battles.

What audiences will especially appreciate about this collection of episodes is that not only does it offer five recently premiered episodes from the hit Discovery Family series, but it presents them in the exact same order as they appeared in their original broadcasts. Transformers Rescue Bots: Dinobots! will be released on DVD on Tuesday, August 25th. It will retail for MSRP of $14.93. It can be pre-ordered online now direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at a discounted price of $13.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-dinobots. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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

Shout! Factory To Release Another Pound Of Pound Puppies Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios will release yet another new collection of episodes from the hit children’s series Pound Puppies next month.

Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios will release Pound Puppies: Pick of the Litter on Tuesday, July 14th. The single-disc collection will feature five more episodes from the family friendly series. This collection sees voice actor Grey DeLisle (Secret Agent Oso, Curious George, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy) make an appearance as a puppy named Buttercup in “Cuddle Up Buttercup.” Buttercup looks so much like the toy sensation Cuddle Up Buttercup in this episode. Because Buttercup looks so much like the toy dog, she is in high demand. So it’s up to the Pound Puppies to connect her with her perfect person before she is adopted by some random child. There is also a story that puts a twist on the classic story the Prince and the Pauper in “I’m Ready For My Close Pup” as famed TV dog Pooches is sick of the limelight and wants a break. So she trades places with Cupcake, who ends up letting fame go to her head. All the while the Pound Puppies are searching for Pooches’ perfect person, who turns out ironically to be her on-screen enemy Amy. Amy might be Pooches’ enemy in front of the camera. But off camera, she loves Pooches very much. Lauren Tom (Futurama, King of the Hill, Codename: Kids Next Door) guest stars in this episode. There’s even an international flare in this collection in “The Pups Who Loved Me” as Lucky and British Pound Puppy agent Bondo have to chase down the Super Secret Pup Club when the young pups play in Bondo’s flying car and accidentally set off the car’s controls. Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain) guest stars in this episode alongside Jeff Bennett (James Bond, Jr., Curious George, Codename: Kids Next Door). These are just a few of the episodes presented in Pound Puppies: Pick of the Litter. There are two more episodes that audiences will enjoy together, too in the form of “Dog on a Wire” and “Pound Preemies.” Pound Puppies: Pick of the Litter will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, July 14th. It will retail for MSRP of $12.99 but can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store for a discounted price of $11.99 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/pound-puppies-pick-of-the-litter. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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

Clap Your Hands! Shout! Factory Kids Set To Release Another New Collection Of Episodes From Littlest Pet Shop

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory Kids will release the latest collection of episodes from the Discovery Family series Littlest Pet Shop later this month.

Littlest Pet Shop: Paws For Applause will be released on DVD Tuesday, June 16th. The single-disc compilation will boast five more episodes from the family friendly animated series at a total run time of 110 minutes. This collection offers up plenty of laughs from the series’ second and third seasons including a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rear Window in the episode “Back Window.” Also in this collection, Penny Ling has her hands full after trying to help Sunil overcome his fears in “Super Sunil.” Penny Ling gives Sunil a “super suit” and makes the pair a superhero duo in this episode in order to help Sunil overcome his fears. But she finds out that she’s bitten off more than she could chew when Sunil actually believes that he is a superhero. And in “Missing Blythe,” Blythe’s pet friends concoct a plan to visit her at her summer fashion camp with some rather interesting results to say the least. These are just a few examples of what audiences have to expect from Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause. The complete episode list for this compilation is noted below.

Episode Episode Title
1 Littlest Pet Shop: Missing Blythe
2 Littlest Pet Shop: Super Sunil
3 Littlest Pet Shop: Blythe’s Big Idea
4 Littlest Pet Shop: Some Assistance Required
5 Littlest Pet Shop: Back Window

Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, June 16th. It will retail for MSRP of $14.93. It can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $13.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-paws-for-applause. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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

Day At The Races Is A Fine Final Lap For Chuck and Friends

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hub/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hub/Hasbro Studios

The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races is more than likely Shout! Factory Kids’ last installment of episodes from the family friendly series. If it is in fact the last collection of episodes that audiences will receive, then it is safe to say that it is a great way for the series to go out. That is thanks in large part to its writing. Once again, audiences get ten episodes that present a solid mix of both entertainment and invaluable lessons for young audiences. The overall run time of this allegedly last installment of episodes is another important key to the whole of the DVD. The work of those behind the show’s look is worth the note one more time, too. The episodes here look largely unlike other CG-based children’s offerings out there in terms of its overall design. It rounds out the reasons the audiences of all ages will appreciate the episodes presented here and shows together with the other noted elements why it is fully deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the best new DVDs and Blu-rays for children and families.

If the latest collection of episodes of The Adventures of Chuck and Friends is in fact the last that audiences will get to enjoy, it is something of a sad thing. That is because even over the course of only two seasons it offered audiences so much to like. And this collection of episodes is no different from the series’ previous releases, either. The main reason that it proves itself just as enjoyable as its predecessors is the work of the series’ writers. Once more, the writers have crafted ten more episodes that expertly balance both entertainment and education so to speak. The education in question comes in the form of lessons that are just as invaluable for young viewers as those presented in the series’ previous compilations. Right from the disc’s outset this time, viewers are presented with an important lesson about teamwork in the episode “Contest Countdown.” The lesson in question is taught as a contest is held for the chance to ride with a well-known traffic reporter chopper. The way to win is to answer a riddle. Chuck and his friends end up working together and answer the riddle together. The lesson obviously taught here is that when people work together, everybody wins. As a sidebar, viewers also learn about the importance of developing problem-solving skills along the way. These two lessons are just a couple that show how the show’s writing proves its value to The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races. The disc’s second episode “Tough Break” teaches an equally invaluable pair of lessons.

When Chuck breaks his mom’s brand new wench in “Tough Break,” he enlists his friends to try to rebuild the wench. But in trying to cover it up, he ends up being caught and has to confess to what he’s done. He and his friends do end up fixing his mom’s wench. Along the way, he realizes the episode’s dual lessons–respecting others’ property and taking responsibility for one’s actions. These are lessons that can’t be driven home enough for young viewers. And they aren’t the last important lessons, either.

“The Short Cut,” the third episode included in this set, teaches its own equally invaluable lesson, to young viewers. The lesson presented here is that of the value of hard work. The lesson is taught as Chuck has some important things to do for his mom including building a new tool shed. In seeing the directions to building the shed, Chuck decides to try and take a short cut to finish the job, thinking nothing could go wrong. The end result is obviously quite the contrary. Simply put, the writers have presented to young viewers the message that nothing worth doing is ever easy. And the way to do things the right way is to follow the directions, NOT to try and do things one’s own way (I.E. taking shortcuts). This is an especially important lesson especially in an age when young audiences increasingly expect instant gratification for everything. It’s yet another example of how the writing used in these episodes shows itself the most important aspect of the collection. There are plenty of other important lessons that audiences will get out of the set’s other episodes. Those presented here are just a glimpse into how much the collection in whole has to offer audiences. For all of the value that the writing offers in this collection, the writing is just one part of what makes the collection in whole a success. The run time of each episode is just as worth noting in considering what makes The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races a success.

The work of the writers proves itself the most important aspect in The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races. That is because of the writers’ ability to balance the series’ entertainment with its more important developmental lessons. The lessons in question are presented in a fun way, rather than some obviously over the top, in-your-face approach that is used by other shows. As important as the writers work proves to be in the long run, their work would mean nothing without the time limitations put on each script or more simply put, the episodes’ run times. Each episode runs roughly eleven minutes. That means that the writers had a very fixed time in which to present each episode’s problem and solution/lesson. They managed those limitations with expertise, making sure not to spend too much time on the buildup or on the eventual outcome of each story. There are in fact some series whose episodes suffer from this issue of time management. The end result is young viewers easily losing interest even within the shows’ key demographics. That thankfully isn’t the case here. Because it isn’t the case, audiences will find themselves fully engaged yet again from beginning to end of each episode. Hopefully in the long run, that combination of solid writing and relatively short run times will lead to viewers of all ages picking up on the episodes’ lessons. In turn viewers will see for themselves why both elements of the episodes make this collection of episodes a success.

The run times and writing incorporated into the episodes featured in The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races are equally important to the set’s success. Of course they are only two-thirds of what makes this collection another success for audiences. The overall look of the episodes plays its own role in their enjoyment and success, too. Compared to so many other CG-based children’s series and movies (specifically Disney/Pixar’s Cars and Planes franchises) out there today, this series boasts its own identity thanks to its look. There’s something about the richness of the colors and even the design of the characters and their world in whole. While it’s obvious that this series was created via computers, it doesn’t look like the show’s heads and those behind its creation didn’t just toss something together and call it done. This has been a standard since the series’ first collection of episodes. There is a certain attention that has always been paid to the specific look of Chuck and each of his friends. Those responsible for bringing the characters and their world to life went to painstaking efforts to make each look as much like their real world counterparts as possible. That includes details as minute as the design of the vehicles’ tire treads and the overall shape of their chassis. Even the junkyard, the race track and Chuck’s “family home” received specific details. Audiences can tell that special attention was paid to especially this element with the inclusion of everything that a person would see in a normal everyday garage. It’s one of so many fine details that were given the utmost attention. Whether for these details or others not noted, the work put in to make them look different from the other CG-based series and movies out there paid off once again. Together with the work of the writers and the overall run time of each episode, all three elements make The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races one more (and last?) fun collection of episodes for audiences of all ages.

Whether it be for the work of the writers, the run times of each of the collection’s ten episodes or for the work of those responsible for designing the characters and world of Chuck and his friends and family, there is plenty to say to the show’s positive. It’s too bad that it looks like the series has now come to its end. One look at Discovery Family’s new website would seem to hint that it is no longer running the family friendly series. Even if it is indeed the end of the road for this series, then this potentially last installment of episodes proves a fine final lap (ba-dumb-bump bad pun fully intended) for one of the more underappreciated series in the last decade. The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/the-adventures-of-chuck-friends-day-at-the-races. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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.

Return Of The Heroes Is A Welcome Return For The Transformers Rescue Bots

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

In just a few weeks, Shout! Factory Kids will release its latest collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit series Transformers Rescue Bots. Transformers Rescue Bots: Return of the Heroes will be released Tuesday, May 12th in stores and online. Whether viewers are familiar with this family friendly incarnation of Hasbro’s beloved Transformers franchise or not, it can be said that it proves just as enjoyable for first time viewers as for those that are more familiar with the series. The main reason for this is the writing behind each of the collection’s five episodes. The stories themselves are tried and true. There are also smaller elements of the writing such as the dialogue that makes the episodes just as entertaining. The series’ animation remains the same in these episodes. Though, there is one episode in which the show’s animators get to show off their talents a little more as Blades and Cody enter a virtual reality video game. Audiences will enjoy this slight change of pace from the animation that they have become so accustomed to seeing from the series. It’s one more positive to the whole of this set that makes it worth the addition to any Transformers fan’s collection regardless of his or her age. Last but not least of all worth noting of this latest release is the work of the voice cast once again. LeVar Burton, Jason Marsden, Mauriche LeMarche and company are spot on in each episode as are the actors responsible for bringing the Rescue Bots to life. All three elements make this new collection of episodes a hit for Transformers fans of any age. Collectively, all three elements show why once again, Shout! Factory Kids, along with Discovery Family and Hasbro Studios, has released another DVD that is an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new releases for children and families in Transformers Rescue BotsReturn of the Heroes.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Return Of The Heroes is another welcome return for Shout! Factory Kids and for this hit series from Hasbro Studios and Discovery Family. The main, and strongest, reason that it is such a welcome return is its writing. This applies not just to the episodes culled for the disc but for the actual writing within the episodes, too. The episodes themselves present plot lines that are tried and true. There is the standard plot line of the good guys being brainwashed in “Rise of the Heroes.” In “Bot To The Future,” audiences see the Rescue Bots, along with Cody go back in time and set things right so that their original timeline can be re-established and the bad guy defeated. “A Virtual Disaster” tackles the topic of technology gone awry as Blades and Cody go into a virtual video game, only to fin themselves trapped in the game after a freak accident. “Bumblebee To The Rescue,” the disc’s opening episode, sees Blades having an identity crisis of sorts when legendary Autobot Bumblee comes to Earth to investigate a meteorite crash that is affecting the Rescue Bots. Knowing Bumblebee’s legacy, Blades doesn’t like being rescued by him. He wants to prove to Bumblebee that he’s not helpless and to impress Bumblebee. These are stories that have been used plenty of times in any number of series before this one. But even used in this setting, the stories are still just as enjoyable as they were in those other shows. That could be because of the execution of each story line. The stories have been updated and adapted to the series to make them completely entertaining and in turn fully engaging.

The execution of the stories in this collection makes for plenty of enjoyment for audiences of all ages. On a deeper level, the writing within the episodes coupled with the execution of the stories themselves, makes for even more enjoyment. One example of how the writing within the episodes makes them more enjoyable can be pinpointed in the episode “A Virtual Disaster.” Before Blades ends up being caught in the virtual video game with Cody, he is helping rescue an unconscious skier on a mountainside. As he is hovering over the mountainside, Dani (Lacey Chabert) tells him he has made the exact same maneuver hundreds of times. Baldes’ reply to Dani: “Yeah, but not on a snow day.” His grasp of the term snow day is itself entertaining. At the same time, Heatwave makes a typical hero remark saying, “looks like it’s time to play in the snow.” If that line alone doesn’t get some laughs, then nothing will. Blades’ comment about whether or not Cody and his family are leading the Rescue Bots into a trap while they are brainwashed in “Rise of the Heroes” will get just as much of a laugh, considering his character’s worrywart personality. There is also Chase’s constant deadpan delivery about so many situations such as his inability to control his reactions in “Bumblebee to the Rescue.” He tells Cody and the others that he can’t move or control himself in any other way. This is linked directly to the work of the cast’s voicework, which will be discussed later. Again, his deadpan delivery at such an important situation makes for so many laughs. It’s one more example of how the writing within each of this collection’s episodes adds to the episodes themselves, proving once again why the writing incorporated into each of this set’s collection is so important to the whole of the disc and its enjoyment.

The writing incorporated into each of the disc’s presented episodes proves clearly both on n macro and micro level its importance to the whole of Transformers Rescue Bots: Return of the Heroes. The writing is just as certain in this collection of episodes to entertain audiences of all ages and keep said audiences fully engaged throughout each episode. While the writing is pivotal to the enjoyment of this collection, it is just one part of what should be considered. The animation incorporated into the presented episodes should be noted, too. More specifically the animation incorporated into “A Virtual Disaster” should be noted. This episode is one of those rare times when those responsible for bringing the series to life artistically changed things up. Rather than using the artistic style used throughout the series, said individuals got to stretch their wings, utilizing a completely different artistic style. that style is used when Blades and Cody go into the virtual video game. It actually throws back to the days of hand drawn animation. That is evident from the definition of both Blades and Cody. Their color is much richer. And neither figure looks as rigid, stylistically speaking, as they do outside the game. Their look is more smooth for lack of better wording. The same can be said of their surroundings, too. Regardless of their familiarity with the series, viewers will clearly notice the difference in animation styles. It’s a nice, welcome change of pace especially for those that are more familiar with the series. And it makes for one more reason that audiences will enjoy this latest collection of episodes.

That writing and animation incorporated into Shout! Factory Kids’ new Transformers Rescue Bots collection each play their own important part in its enjoyment. For all of their importance, they are not the disc’s only positives. The work of the series’ voice cast once again makes for its own share of enjoyment once again. As already noted, Chase’s deadpan personality and Blades’ worrywart make quite the character contrast. D.C. Douglas’ and Parvesh Cheena’s handling of the two rescue bots respectively is to thank for that continued character style. The same can be said of Heatwave’s voice, Steve Blum. The actors have developed such a clear style with their characters. And it shows time and again as is evident in their dialogue within each of this collection’s episodes. Jason Marsden takes a slightly lesser role in these episodes. But even when he does get some screen time, actor Jason Marsden gets in his own laughs. By comparison, lead voice actor Elan Garfias keeps audiences engaged thanks to his work voicing Cody Burns. Cody is just as confident as ever in these episodes showing once again that one doesn’t have to be a grown up or even the tallest in order to be confident and a leader. Garias’ interpretation of Cody’s role in each script shows once again that even the smallest person can be the biggest on the inside. Yet again, whether for Garfias’ voice work or that of his cast mates, it can be argued with ease in watching these episodes that the work of the Transformers Rescue Bots cast plays just as important part in the enjoyment of these episodes as those presented in any of Shout! Factory Kids’ previous collections from the hit Discovery Family series.

The work of the voice cast in the episodes culled for Shout! Factory Kids’ new Transformers Rescue Bots collection is its own important part of the presentation’s whole. By itself, it only goes so ar in making the episodes worth the watch. The addition of the writing both on a macro and micro level adds even more enjoyment. And the rare break from the series’ standard animation in at least one episode shows the series’ potential even more. All three elements combined, they show exactly why Transformers Rescue Bots: Return of the Heroes is one more collection from Shout! Factory Kids, Discovery Family and Hasbro Studios that is an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new releases for children and families. It will be available Tuesday, May 12th in stores and online and can be pre-ordered online now direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-return-of-the-heroes at a discounted price of $13.93. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory Kids is available online at:

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