PBS’ ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Set Is The Most Beautiful Of 2018’s Family DVD & BD Box Sets

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Time is quickly ticking away for 2018.  As the hours tick by, Phil’s Picks is trying to get everything done before the old year is out and the new year is in.  Next up as this finally day of 2018 winds down is the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for families.

Just as grown-ups has plenty of options this year in regards to DVD and BD box sets, so did families in whole.  Some of this year’s top family box sets also made their way to the grown-ups box sets list, as (E.G. Milk StreetSeason One and Finding Your RootsSeason 4).  That is because they really can be just as entertaining for the whole family as for grown-ups.

The top spot in this year’s list goes to PBS’ Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood collection, It’s A Beautiful Day.  The multi-disc set offers hours of entertainment from a variety of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood series.  Considering how hard it is to find the series even on PBS stations nationwide, and the lessons that the episodes teach, this new collection hopefully will not be the only one from the series to be released.

Second Place in this year’s list belongs to Gravity FallsThe Complete Series.  While its creator openly said it was intentionally short-lived, it has made one heck of an impact on audiences, and rightfully so.  Whether one owns the collector’s edition or the standard set, which features episode-length commentaries with each episode, the series stands out.  With any luck there will be a third season one day.  One can only hope.

The third spot in this year’s list goes to RugratsSeason Three, and it is followed up by the series’ fourth season.  The land mark series’ writing was absolutely outstanding in both seasons.  One can only hope that Nickelodeon will continue giving proper releases for the rest of the series’ seasons every year as it has done up to this point.

Also featured in this year’s list are the fifth season of CBS’ timeless fish out of water sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, which was released on DVD this fall, alongside the full release of Fraggle RockThe Animated Series and the ninth season of Spongebob Squarepants.

Whereas this critic’s previous lists all featured 15 total titles, this list will only feature 10 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.


  1. Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodIt’s A Beautiful Day Collection
  2. Gravity FallsThe Complete Series
  3. RugratsSeason 3
  4. RugratsSeason 4
  5. The Beverly HillbilliesThe Complete Fifth Season
  6. Courage The Cowardly DogThe Complete Series
  7. Fraggle RockThe Complete Animated Series
  8. Milk StreetSeason One
  9. Finding Your RootsSeason Four
  10. Big Box Of Kids Favorites (Mill Creek Entertainment set)

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PBS’ New Fred Rogers Doc Is A Good Starting Point For Audiences Unfamiliar With Rogers’ Life, Career

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Almost one year from now, iconic television figure Fred Rogers will have his life story told….sort of….in a new biopic from Big Beach Films and Tristar Pictures.  The movie will star legendary screen actor Tom Hanks in Rogers’ signature red cardigan sweater and sneakers.  Of course while this seems all good and fine, everybody knows that far too often, biopics are overly embellished with some falsehoods.  Keeping that in mind, so many more accurate documentations of Rogers’ life and career have already been released that have proven far more worth audiences’ time.  One of the most recent of those more worthwhile presentations is PBS’ latest Fred Rogers doc, It’s You I Like.  Having originally aired on PBS stations nationwide March 8, the hour-long program will be released on DVD Oct. 2.  Not to be confused with Universal Pictures’ equally popular big-screen Fred Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor, this program is not the first toe be released from PBS, but is still an enjoyable look at Rogers’ life and career.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the doc.  This will be discussed shortly.  The program’s transitions, by connection, are just as important to examine as the story.  They will be discussed a little bit later.  The footage, pictures and interviews used to help tell the story round out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of It’s You I Like.  All things considered, they make It’s You I Like another welcome look at Fred Rogers’ life and career.

PBS’ latest profile of Fred Rogers, It’s You I Like, is another welcome look at the life and career of one of television’s most iconic figures.  The network’s first profile of Rogers since 2011’s Mister Rogers & Me, it is a good companion to that profile.  That is due in part to the program’s central story, which discusses what made – and makes – him so respected and beloved to this very day. It presents – as with so many other previously released docs – a man who was genuine in how he addressed tough topics, such as death, divorce and even where babies come from and who was just as genuine off camera as he was on camera.  Audiences also learn through the program that apparently, Mister Rogers had quite a sense of humor, and not in a bad way, either.  The story is told partially through interviews with celebrities, such as John Lithgow, Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman, as they discuss Mister Rogers’ influence on them as they watch vintage clips of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Veteran actor Michael Keaton, who got his start in show business on the long-running series, serves as the program’s host, and adds his own stories of life on set and of Fred Rogers, the man behind the camera.  The whole thing uses music, fittingly, as the foundation for the presentation.  The focus on music here is fitting because, as noted at one point in the program, it is noted that Rogers earned a degree in music composition in college.  Again, this is not the first time that this has been noted in a documentary on Rogers’ life and career, but maybe not everyone knew this.  To that end, it is a good addition to the program, as it explains why there is such a heavy emphasis on music throughout this story.  Considering all of this in mind, many audiences will find the story at the center of It’s You I Like familiar.  For those who might be less familiar with Rogers’ life and career, it is a good brief, but concise introduction.  To that end, this presentation will appeal, at least in terms of its story, more to audiences less familiar with Rogers’ life and career than those who have seen the other Fred Rogers docs that have been released already.  Staying on that note of the story’s familiarity, the story’s transitions are just as important to its presentation as the story itself.

The story’s transitions are of note because they are so smooth.  What is really of note is that Rogers’ beloved “picture-picture” is largely the source of those transitions.  At many points, the story will go from the final scene of one chapter to a slow zoom out of the picture frame and back in at the end of Keaton’s segments.  At other times, the transitions are more basic, going from the final moment of a given chapter to a fade or a smooth cut back to the old set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Regardless of the transitions, it can be said that each one keeps the story progressing so smoothly from one segment to the next, ensuring that viewers will never be lost.  Getting back to the doc’s story, this means that, again, audiences less familiar with Mister Rogers’ life and career are that much more apt to remain engaged and entertained throughout the program.  When the two elements are coupled, they show even more why those noted audiences will enjoy this presentation as their first exposure to the man who was more than just a television figure, but one of America’s most important figures on and off camera.  Having noted all of this, the actual material used to tell the documentary’s story rounds out the most important elements of It’s You I Like.

The material used to tell the story of It’s Your I Like is as familiar as the story itself for most audiences, and just as fresh, again, for those less familiar with his story.  Audiences are presented here with footage and pictures of Mister Rogers on the set of his show, as well as interviews with various celebrities to tell the story.  The footage includes moments, such as Rogers joking with fellow cast mates David Newell (Mr. McFeely), Francois Clemmons (Officer Clemmons) and crew members as well as footage of Rogers interviewing stars, such as Yo-Yo Ma (and his son), Wynton Marsalis and Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz) at various points throughout.  The pictures featured across the program were taken from the days when the show was still running.  There are candid pictures featuring Rogers and the show’s cast and crew, a picture of Mister Rogers with the one and only Big Bird (from Sesame Street) included in the discussion of Big Bird crossing over into the “Land of Make Believe” and even pictures of Rogers in his youth.  Between those pictures and others, audiences get a wonderfully rich picture of the show from its birth to its end.  Meanwhile the interviews with Rogers’ widow and the previously noted celebrities serve to illustrate even more the legacy and impact of the man who was Mister Rogers.  When those interviews, pictures and footage all come together to tell the story of a man who truly did like everyone, the end result is a documentary that those just starting to learn about Mister Rogers will enjoy.

PBS’ latest Fred Rogers documentary It’s You I Like is a good introduction to the life and legacy of Mister Rogers for those who might not be so familiar with Rogers’ life and career. That is due in part to a story that for other viewers, proves relatively familiar.  It touches briefly on Rogers’ accomplishments and efforts, giving a concise overview why he is still such a revered figure, even in death.  The story’s transitions ensure audiences’ engagement just as much as the story itself, as do the collective interviews, footage and pictures used to help tell the story.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered, they make It’s You I Like a doc that fans unfamiliar with Fred Rogers’ life and career will like as much as he liked everyone.  It will be available on DVD Oct. 2, and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:




Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs




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PBS’ New ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Box Set Will Make Every Day Beautiful For Every Family

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

It’s hard to believe, but this past February marked 15 years since beloved television figure Fred Rogers passed away.  When he died on February 27, 2003, the world lost a man who was more than just a TV personality.  For so many audiences the world over, he was that father figure (and in other cases even grandfather figure) that maybe was lacking in said household.  He was that reassuring voice that was needed in tough times of all kinds and just as much the caring one in the happy times.  So it goes without saying that his passing left everyone wondering if there would ever be a figure like him again or even a show such as his again.  Part of that concern was answered in September 2012 when PBS and PBS Kids debuted Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which was basically an updated, animated take on its source material from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Even with the success that the said series has continued to have now six years later, many audiences continued to wonder if said source material would ever see the light of day on home release.  PBS’ officials heard those continued calls for the series’ release, and finally, early last month, they responded with the network’s first-ever collection of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes in the form of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection.  The four-disc, 30-episode collection is not the first time that the series has ever seen a DVD release.  The Fred Rogers Company released quite a number of the series’ episodes on their own standalone DVDs in 2010.  That release format was problematic, though, and makes this collection’s episode selection all the more important.  It will be noted shortly.  The inclusion of the printed episode guide inside the case is another key element to discuss in examining this release.  The quality of the footage in its transfer to DVD rounds out this set’s most important elements.  Each element does so much to make this collection work.  All things considered, they make Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection a box set that will make every day beautiful for viewers, and hopefully just the first collection of episodes from this beloved series.

PBS’ first ever Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood DVD box set It’s A Beautiful Day Collection, is a box set that will make every day beautiful for viewers.  What’s more, it is hopefully just the first proper collection of episodes from the decades-long family friendly series.  Part of what makes this recently released collection such a positive product is its collection.  It presents 30 episodes from the series’ second run between 1979 – 2001.  “Second run” is noted as it was originally run on PBS between February 19, 1968 to February 20, 1976 before taking time off and then returning to television in 1979.  That 30 episode presentation is but a drop in the proverbial bucket for this collection, considering the series’ total episode count of 912 (including specials).  However, considering that the series’ episodes were previously released on standalone DVDs via The Fred Rogers Company (and that said approach clearly didn’t prove too successful) having even 30 episodes in one collection proves to be a successful approach for PBS.  What’s more, if PBS decides to continue releasing more sets in the same fashion over time, it will give the company something to release for years to come that will also assuredly be welcomed in every household across at least America.  As an added bonus, one of the episodes included in the mix in this debut set is none other than the series’ black and white premiere episode.  Reaching so far back and including so many other episodes shows the lengths that those behind this set’s creation went to make sure it paid proper tribute to Fred Rogers’ legacy while also making sure audiences were entertained and engaged.  To that end, this portion of the set’s presentation – its breadth of featured episodes – proves to be definitely a key piece of its whole. In direct connection, the set’s printed episode guide is just as integral to the set’s presentation.

The episode guide is printed on the inside front and back of the set’s box.  It includes a brief but concise description of each featured episode’s story.  As has been noted with other box sets from PBS (and other companies) this may seem a minor aesthetic element on the surface.  However, including even this element plays so much into the set’s overall viewing experience.  That is because it provides a starting point in deciding which episode to watch, and in turn, can and does save time on deciding which episode to watch.  This is especially important to note considering all that children go through on a daily basis.  It helps make quicker and easier, the choice of how to best approach given situations.  Kudos are in order for those behind the set’s creation for including this guide.  The only down side to the whole matter of the episode guide is that the season and episode number itself is not included.  Of course that one is just a want more than a need.  However, for those interested in the series’ history, having that included in the episode guide would have made enjoyment of the series’ history that much deeper.  That is, after all, considering that this collection focused on one part of the series’ run rather than the whole of its run.  Even with that in mind, it would be wrong to say its lack detracts any from the set’s overall presentation.  It would have just been nice to have had that included.  Keeping in mind both of the noted elements, do plenty to make this box set a welcome offering from PBS.  Both alone and collectively, they are not the set’s only key elements.  The quality of the footage in its transfer rounds out the set’s most important elements.

One need watch only a handful of the 30 episodes included in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection to notice the quality of the footage in its transfer.  It looks and sounds quite impressive from one episode to the next.  It’s obvious in taking in this set that at least some work had to have been done in terms of cleaning up the footage.  The video does retain some of that grainy look from the original episodes’ broadcasts, yet it isn’t so prominent that it takes anything away from the viewing experience.  Rather it adds a certain sense of nostalgia to that experience.  Much the same can be said of the episodes’ audio quality.  It might not seem like much on the surface, but viewers will note that they don’t have to adjust the volume at any point.  Anyone who has ever dealt with that issue will agree that it is so annoying.  To that end, it is nice to not have to deal with that issue here.  It ensures even more, viewers’ entertainment and engagement.  When it is considered along with the enjoyment brought by the episodes themselves and the episode guide to lead the way, the whole of all three elements makes Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection a welcome addition to any family’s home entertainment library.  Keeping that in mind, it easily makes a case to be considered for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS’ recently released Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood DVD box set – the network’s first true official release from the timeless series – is a collection that is sure to make any family’s day “beautiful.”  It is also a collection that definitely deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.  That is proven in part through an extensive 30 episode presentation that spans almost 40 years of the show’s run.  The quality of the footage in regards to its audio and video adds even more enjoyment to the viewing experience.  Each element is important in its own right, as has been noted here.  All things considered, it is a welcome first effort from PBS for this series, and hopefully not the only one. It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this box set is available online now along with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood activities, printables, news and more at:




Website: http://pbs.org/rogers

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




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Every Family Will Enjoy PBS Kids’ Newly Re-Issued Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Fans of PBS Kids’ hit series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood are getting a special double treat early this year. Next Tuesday, February 3rd, PBS Distribution will release the new DVD Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel. The DVD contains eight episodes, one of which is a double episode, which follows the Tiger family’s welcoming of its newest addition. Before that DVD hits store shelves and oline outlets, families can also enjoy the recently re-issued Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD Daniel Tiger’s Niehgborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood. Families that do not already own Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood have plenty of reason to add it to their personal collections. The main reason that any family will want to add it to their collection is the writing behind the episodes included on the DVD. While there are only three episodes included on this disc in comparison to the standard eight that are on the series’ other DVDs, the writing still stands out. Also worth noting of the new re-issue is its bonus jigsaw puzzle. Just as with PBS Kids’ other select re-issues, the puzzle is easily detached from the DVD’s case and its sticky backing. It is just as easily re-assembled together with a parent. And last worth noting of the DVD is its bonus material. All of the bonuses included on the DVD’s original release have been included on this re-issue. All things considered, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood proves that it is another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD collection.

The writers behind Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood have shown time and again throughout the show’s current run why it is one of the most beloved family friendly series on television today. The lessons taught throughout every episode have carried on Fred Rogers’ legacy with the utmost honor to what he created so many decades ago. The episodes contained in the episodes on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood are no different. In the first of the DVD’s episodes, sees Daniel going to get the cake for his birthday party. But when the cake gets messed up on the way back to his house, his dad helps him understand that just because something seems bad doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is. Simply put, he helps Daniel to understand that there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. Speaking of clouds, that episode’s companion, “Daniel’s Picnic” sees Daniel and his friends having to find that proverbial silver lining when their picnic is rained out and forces them to take their picnic indoors. On the surface, both episodes teach viewers that there is always some good to life’s various negatives. On a deeper level, they teach viewers to never give up even when things seem impossible to overcome. The disc’s closer “Neighbor Day” is even more proof of why the writing in these episodes is so important. The writers behind this episode crafted a story that audiences of all ages should watch. It teaches the importance and value of being a good neighbor to one another. Sadly, this is something that far too many adults today have forgotten how to do. And being that children learn more from their adult counterparts than from anyone else, it makes this lesson all the more important. The episode’s secondary lesson about simply being kind to one another is just as invaluable for viewers of all ages. It is a lesson that everybody will appreciate. Maybe if more people would take heed to the lessons raised in this episode and those in the previous pair of episodes, the world would be a better place in which to live, proving once more just why the work put in by the series’ writers is the cornerstone of the DVD’s success.

The work of the writers put in to the episodes culled for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood is undoubtedly the most important aspect of this re-issue in terms of its success and enjoyment for the whole family. While it is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the DVD’s success, the companion jigsaw puzzle that has been included with the re-issue is just as important to the whole. As with PBS Kids’ other recent re-issues from Dinosaur Train, Caillou, and Super Why, the puzzle included with this DVD is just as much a positive as the writing that went into the included episodes. The puzzle’s pieces are not so small that they could be considered choking hazards. At the same time, they are also just small enough that they will help young viewers build their problem solving skills whether assembling the puzzle themselves or with their parents. The puzzle comes fully assembled and attached to a sticky backing that is itself attached to the front of the case with rubber cement. So it is easily detached from the box in whole and from its backing just as easily. Even better is the fact that it also boasts the same artwork as that one the case’s cover. So once the puzzle is removed from the case and its backing, young viewers can assemble the puzzle right on top of the case, using the case’s artwork as a map. And as if all of that is not enough, the puzzle is the exact same height and width of the case. So the comparison of the puzzle to the cover in assembling the puzzle is made that much easier and cleaner. All of this taken into consideration, the puzzle that is included with the new re-issue of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood becomes all the more important of an addition to the whole. It still isn’t all that makes this DVD so enjoyable, either. The last factor to note in the DVD’s success is the inclusion of its original bonus material.

The writing behind the DVD’s episodes and the companion jigsaw puzzle that was included as a bonus together make Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood well worth adding to any family’s DVD library. While both elements are of their own importance to the presentation in whole, the inclusion of the DVD’s original bonus material in this re-issue is just as important. It’s important in that it means whether or not audiences already own the DVD’s previous release, no one will feel shorted by PBS and PBS Kids with this re-issue. The bonus material in question includes printable coloring sheets that feature Daniel and his friends both by themselves and together, and a pair of activities that young viewers can do together. The first of the activities teaches young people to share and take turns by making a pretend train with chairs, belts, and “tickets” made with construction paper. Parents can help children design and cut out the tickets and then set up the “train” so that the children can take turns conducting the train. The activity goes hand-in-hand with “Neighbor Day” thanks to its lessons about sharing and being kind to one another. “Feeling Faces,” the second of the disc’s activities, coincides with “Daniel’s Picnic.” It teaches the importance of healthy eating just like Daniel and his friends did in their picnic. It also serves as a wonderful way to teach young audiences about sharing their feelings. While not necessarily a direct tie to any of the DVD’s episodes, teaching young people to share how they feel is important in itself. That it helps develop communication skills, too is just as important. Together with the lesson on healthy eating it shows even more why the inclusion of this bonus feature is important, just as much as the lesson about sharing in “All Aboard.” That all of the lessons in question have been included with the multifaceted lessons shared in the DVDs included episodes strengthens the DVD even more and proving once and for all why the re-issue of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood is a welcome addition to any family’s home library.

Whether for the inclusion of the DVD’s original bonus material, its newly included jigsaw puzzle, or for the inclusion of the original DVD’s episodes, the newly re-issued Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood offers audiences of all ages plenty to enjoy. The DVD is available in stores and online now and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575206&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=Daniel+Tiger%27s+Neighborhood&parentPage=search. More information on this and other DVDs from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available online along with more episodes and games at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

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

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PBS, PBS Kids Re-Issuing Compilations From Four Family Favorite Series

PBS Kids is starting off the new year with a bang.

On Tuesday, January 13th, PBS and PBS Kids will release four new DVDs—Caillou: Caillou’s Garden Adventures, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train: Eggstravaganza, and Super Why: Jack and the Beanstalk. Each of the DVDs listed has been previously released. However, in their upcoming re-issues, each one will come with a bonus puzzle for kids to assemble.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Caillou: Caillou’s Garden Adventure teaches young viewers about the importance of nature and ecological preservation. In this DVD, Caillou learns about the value of nature and the environment as he goes on a hike with his grandfather to Blueberry Point and helps his parents plant a tree in their garden. In features six episodes at a total run time of fifty minutes.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood was the very first of the DVD releases from what is the first TV series inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The DVD features three episodes—“Daniel’s Birthday,” “Daniel’s Picnic,” and “Neighbor Day.” It runs a total of fifty minutes.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Dinosaur Train: Eggstravaganza features eight episodes from the family favorite hit series about a family of dinosaurs and the family’s many adventures. Among the eight episodes included on this disc are “The Egg Stealer?” and “Hatching Party.” In the first of that pair, Buddy and Don have a mystery to solve when they happen on a group of unhatched eggs on their beach. In “Hatching Party,” Buddy, Tiny and Mrs. Pteranodon ride the Dinosaur Train to an egg hatching party. These two episodes along with the disc’s remaining six bring its total run time to 100 minutes.


Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Super Why: Jack and the Beanstalk sees Wyatt and his friends jump into the worlds of Jack and the Beanstalk, The Princess and the Pea, The Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood. The total run time of the disc is 100 minutes.

More information on these and other titles from PBS Kids is available online at:

Website: http://pbskids.org

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

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.

Daniel Tiger’s New DVDs Are Fun Even For Adults

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids










PBS Kids released early this year the first two ever DVDs from the network’s new series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The DVDs in question, Daniel’s Big Feelings and Life’s Little Lessons, are both wonderful compilations for any parent with young children.  Parents that have seen the series on PBS Kids will recall that each episode is cut into separate shorts that coincide with one another through their specific themes.  They tie directly into one another.  The episodes collected for these DVDs are presented in exactly the same fashion on both discs.  Those charged with assembling the episodes for the DVDs are to be applauded for that effort.  Just as worthy of applause is the fact that the episodes coincide with one another thematically speaking.  This is one of many aspects the creators of this series pulled over from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood  that pays direct tribute to that landmark program.  It’s one more reason that even parents will appreciate these new DVDs especially if they grew up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  And last but most certainly not least important about the two new compilation DVDs is the lessons taught through each short.  The lessons taught through each episode are done so in the same fashion as the lessons taught in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  And they’re just as easy for young viewers to grasp.  All things considered, these two new DVDs from PBS Kids are absolutely amazing and wonderful pieces to have for any family not able to catch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

The episodes culled for Daniel’s Big Feelings and Life’s Little Lessons are the foundation for the success and enjoyment of both DVDs.  Each episode is split into a pair of shorts that coincide with one another.  And each episode in turn coincides with others that follow one specific theme.  That same presentation format is used in both of the new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.  They all run in the same format.  For instance the episodes collected for Daniel’s Big Feelings all tackle negative emotions that people feel.  Each short’s story connects to the short before it, thus making for almost two hours of kid friendly and family friendly entertainment that also includes important lessons on how to work through those negative emotions effectively.  It would have been easy to just throw together a bunch of episodes with a common theme and call it a day.  But the people charged with assembling the episodes for these DVDs didn’t do that.  They showed that they wanted the offer audiences the best possible product for parents and children alike.  That each of the shorts coincides with one another on both discs is a positive on the surface because it carries over the show just as its episodes run on television.  On a deeper level, the manner in which the episodes are presented is the same as the setup of the series that inspired this program.  That’s another positive to both of these DVDs.

Parents that were children themselves when Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was in its original run on television will recall that Mr. Rogers would take one central theme and use it throughout the course of his show each day.  During each program, he’d go to the land of make believe more than once as part of an ongoing story line.  And even the segments in his home tied in to those segments in the land of make believe.  The themes in question would actually run not just one or two episodes, but a handful of episodes.  To that extent, the creative forces behind Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood have done much the same thing with this program.  That’s evident throughout the series of shorts that make up each disc.  So both the people at PBS Kids and those behind the show have come together to pay true respect to the memory of Fred Rogers and his show in multiple ways here in such a small span of time.  That makes this more than just a bonus.  It makes it a wonderful tribute to the legacy and memory of Fred Rogers.

The manner in which the lessons on each disc are taught is itself a direct tribute to the memory and legacy of Mr. Rogers.  Just as much of a tribute is the lessons themselves.    Mr. Rogers always presented lessons to his young audiences that were both gentle and empowering in their own way. The lessons presented in both of these DVDs are presented in much the same fashion. When Daniel gets angry and jealous, his grown-up friends teach him gently how to handle those emotions. When he has to go to the doctor and is scared of going, a gentle, caring tone is used as it’s explained what the doctor does. These lessons and others taught through each of the shorts collected on the DVDs would make Mr. Rogers proud. The same can be said of everything else noted here. The lessons presented, the manner in which they are presented and the fact that the series directly pays homage to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood together make both of these DVDs a joy for audiences of all ages again and again. They can be pre-ordered now online via the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org.

More information on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available online at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv and http://pbs.org/daniel. 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 Wiggles Big Birthday Is A Fun Party For Parents And Kids

Courtesy: NCircle Entertainment

The arena of children’s entertainment is very fickle.  It seems that the networks dedicated to children’s programming have new shows every year.  Save for the likes of Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, few elements of children’s programming have had what could be considered long lasting success.  There is at least one that has.  It’s The Wiggles.

The Wiggles is one of the most beloved and successful acts in children’s entertainment.  This Aussie four piece has sold millions of albums and DVD’s worldwide.  It’s performed in dozens of nations and even impacted some of pop culture’s biggest names.  Now in celebration of all of its accomplishments, The Wiggles has released its 20th birthday celebration on DVD.

The Wiggles Big Birthday is one part concert and one part studio bits separating the live concert segments.  Those segments include Wiggly Joke Time and Wiggly Bloopers.  There are also segments featuring Dorothy the Dinosaur and Captain Feathersword.  One of those segments that kids and parents alike will enjoy sees Captain Feathersword pretending to be a ballerina.  He even has a tutu.  The DVD’s concert segments are enjoyable in their own way, too.  One individual interviewed for the DVD’s bonus documentary put it best about The Wiggles.  He notes that whether in concert or in the studio segments, The Wiggles’ members don’t talk down to their young audiences.  Rather the group as a whole comes out and entertains kids on their own level.  That some of the group’s members have backgrounds in Early Childhood Education and as pre-school teachers is a big reason why The Wiggles relate so well to kids even two decades into the group’s career.

Speaking of the bonus documentary, the bonus documentary is especially of interest to parents.  Kudos to The Wiggles and Ncircle Entertainment for nothing that as brief as it may be, there is one moment involving the death of a child that might upset younger viewers.  Other than that brief moment, the documentary is a wonderful addition to this DVD.  It gives a full in-depth history of The Wiggles’ career.  Parents will learn, for instance, that the current lineup of The Wiggles is not the original lineup.  Before the Wiggles got to where it is now, two of the group’s members were replaced for different reasons.   Parents will also discover the impact that The Wiggles have had on so many celebrities across the world of pop culture.  Combined with the family friendly concert and studio segments, The Wiggles Big Birthday is a party that kids and parents alike will love to celebrate together again and again.

The Wiggles Big Birthday is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered from Ncircle’s website directly at http://www.ncircleentertainment.com.  Parents and kids can follow The Wiggles online, too at http://www.facebook.com/thewiggles, http://www.wiggletime.com, and http://www.thewiggles.com.

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