Time Life’s Robin Williams Profile Is A “Genius” Tribute To A Legendary Entertainer

Courtesy: Time Life

Robin Williams is one of the greatest figures in the modern history of entertainment.  From his early career in the 70s in San Francisco to his later years, Williams offered smiles, laughs and even deep emotional feelings to audiences around the world.  That is why his death in 2014 is one of the greatest losses that the world has ever suffered.  Finding a way to pay tribute to such a legendary figure could not have been easy for anyone to do, but late last year, Time Life released a wonderful tribute Williams in the form of the new 22-disc collection Robin Williams: Comic Genius.  This tribute to a man who truly was a comic genius, is one that every fan of the late great entertainer will appreciate.  That is proven in part through the very content that is presented throughout the set.  It will be discussed shortly.  The program guide included with the set strengthens the foundation formed by the set’s content.  It will be discussed a little later.  The formats on which the set is available put the final touch to the set’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Robin Williams: Comic Genius.  All things considered, they make this collection a genius choice for any Robin Williams fan, regardless of which set said fans choose.

Time Life’s new Robin Williams profile, Comic Genius is a fitting tribute to the late, great entertainer.  That is proven in part through the set’s collective content.  The content featured in this expansive set includes performances from Williams’ earliest days in San Francisco, full-length episodes of his timeless sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy, appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Tonight Show and even full-length stand-up specials and far more.  Audiences get to experience Williams’ evolution as an entertainer through all of the noted content.  It is interesting to see how nervous Williams obviously was so early in his career and how confident he eventually became in watching through the set.  That is one of the ways in which the content proves so important.  On top of that, the majority of the content is full-length content.  There are some pieces that were edited, such as one of his early San Francisco shows.  It was edited in order to focus only on his set.  The same applies with some of the SNL material.  The band performances are edited out, but that is not that much of a loss.  The full-length “Weapons of Self Destruction” performance is yet another way in which the content proves so important to the set’s presentation.  Originally recorded in 2009 in the nation’s capitol, the special finds Williams at the top of his game, sharing nonstop jokes about politics, the nation’s social state at the time and various other items.  His pacing throughout the course of the roughly 90-minute presentation is solid from start to finish, as are the transitions from one subject to the next.  It should be noted here that the noted special is not family friendly (nor are many of his appearances).  Interestingly enough, that in itself is key to discuss in examining the set’s overall content.  That is because while there is a lot of explicit content presented throughout the set, there is also some more family friendly material (I.E. the Mork & Mindy episodes).  Simply put, that contrast of his more explicit material and more family friendly content, alongside the overall profile of his personal and professional growth, makes this overall presentation one that is an expansive, in-depth presentation of who Robin Williams was.  It creates a whole new appreciation for all that he did over the course of his career to entertain the masses.  This shows overall why the content presented throughout this set is so important to the set’s presentation.  It thoroughly illustrates everything that made (and still makes) Williams a legend.  It is just one part of what makes this collection so enjoyable.  The program guide that comes with the set is just as important to the presentation as the primary content.

The program guides that are featured with Robin Williams: Comic Genius are important to the set’s whole in that they clearly outline the contents of each disc.  This allows audiences to know specifically what content is on which disc.  This saves plenty of time when trying to decide which disc a person wants to watch.  Many people discount this item, but in reality it is very important.  As if listing the general content is not enough, the guides also point out the original air date of each presentation within the bigger set.  This is nothing new from Time Life, and is just as welcome here as ever.  It gives the set a little more depth with that little history tidbit of sorts.  When this is considered along with the set’s general content, the whole of the items makes for plenty of enjoyment for audiences and plenty of reason to own either set.  While each element is critical in its own right to the overall presentation of Robin Williams: Comic Genius, they are just part of what makes this set so appealing.  Its availability on more than one platform adds to its presentation.

Robin Williams: Comic Genius is available on separate 12-disc and 22-disc sets.  The 12-disc set is spread across two discs while the 22-disc set is even more expansive, obviously.  Of course the 22-disc set is more expensive than the 12-disc set.  However, the extra money is money well-spent.  That is because it gives an even more thorough examination of Williams’ career on the big and small screen.  Regardless of which platform one chooses, audiences will still get plenty of entertainment and engagement from every disc and every presentation.  Audiences will see Williams’ roots, his late career and plenty in-between.  In other words, regardless of which set audiences purchase, audiences will have plenty to appreciate and enjoy, as has been evidenced here.  Simply put, regardless of which set one buys, audiences will agree that the set in general is a genius tribute to a comic genius.

Time Life’s recently released tribute to Robin Williams is a wonderful profile of one of the greatest entertainers in the modern history of entertainment. As noted in this review, that is due in part to the overall content presented throughout each of the set’s platforms.  The content shows Williams’ evolution as a performer while also showing his family friendly and more explicit side.  The program guides that compliment the content helps make choosing the content easy for audiences.  The fact that the set is available on two separate platforms – a 12-disc and 22-disc set – gives audiences options, and regardless of audiences’ choice, they will be ensured plenty of entertainment and engagement time and again.  Robin Williams: Comic Genius is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:




Website: http://timelife.com

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

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory




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