PBS Distribution, Nelvana’s Full Series Release Of ‘The Berenstain Bears’ Is Largely A Success

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids/Nelvana

Fans of PBS Kids’ reboot of The Berenstain Bears will finally get to own the series in whole on DVD starting next week.  PBS Distribution is scheduled to release the series’ entire three-season run March 23 on a five-disc set.  The collection is largely a positive presentation thanks to its packaging, which will be discussed shortly.  While the packaging plays well into the set’s appeal, the collection is not perfect.  Its lack of any episode listing detracts from its appeal.  This will be discussed a little later.  The set’s pricing pairs with the content and packaging to make for its own appeal.  When all three items are considered together, the set in whole becomes a work that is still among the best of this year’s new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS Distribution and Nelvana’s forthcoming release of The Berenstain Bears is a presentation that families will largely welcome.  That is due in large part to the set’s packaging.  The packaging is important to note because of the space that it saves on consumers’ DVD and BD racks.  The case is the size of that which contains a single disc presentation, yet it contains five discs safely and ergonomically inside.  What’s interesting is that while the new set spreads the episodes across five discs, the series’ three standalone season sets collectively spread the series across six discs, so one can only assume that some compression or something else took place in order to eliminate one disc. Either that or it simply turned out in the end that six discs were not needed in order to contain all 40 episodes.  Each episode had two episodes, leading to the 80 stories noted on the box’s cover.  A check of the episodes against a full listing through Wikipedia reveals that all 40 episodes are in fact presented across the set’s discs.  So all in all, audiences get in this packaging, the full three season run of The Berenstain Bears in one box that is equal to that of one of the series’ three standalone sets.  In other words, audiences get the whole series in a space-saving setting.  It makes for a strong start for the presentation.

The packaging used for The Berenstain Bears: The Complete Collection is unquestionably a positive for the set’s presentation.  While the packaging is such a strong positive for the set’s presentation, the collection is not perfect.  The problem arises in the realization that there is no listing anywhere in- or outside of the box to note which episodes are on which discs.  It is a minor aesthetic issue on the surface, but on a deeper level, it means audiences will have to either take time memorizing the points at which the seasons split across the discs or they will just have to take time going through the episode listings on the discs.  The displeasure that audiences will feel at having to go through the discs is certain to detract from the enjoyment.  To the good, at least the series ran only three seasons, so audiences will not have to go through but so much content to find the episodes that they want to watch.  To that end, while the lack of an episode listing does detract from the collection’s presentation, it does not make the set a failure.  The set’s pricing works with its content and packaging to make it an overall success.

The average price point for The Berenstain Bears: The Complete Collection is $18.52 That price was obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS.  Interestingly enough, Target has the set listed twice at two completely different prices.  The listings are for the same set, not divided between the 1985 series set and 2003 series set.  Why Target would post the 2003 series set is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, both listings are well below the average price point, at $16.59 and $14.199.  Amazon and Best Buy each list the collection below the average price point, too, at $16.59 and 17.99.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS each list the set above the average at $19.99 and $24.99 respectively.  Looking at all of these prices, it goes without saying that the collection is relatively affordable for the most part.  By and large, audiences will find themselves paying less than $20 for three seasons of content presented chronologically and ergonomically in their new package.  All in all, The Berenstain Bears: The Complete Collection proves to be among the best of this year’s new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS Distribution and Nelvana’s forthcoming release of The Berenstain Bears: The Complete Series is a presentation that any family will welcome by and large.  That is due in large part to the set’s packaging.  Audiences get all three seasons (40 episodes) of the 2003 series in one normal size DVD case.  It is not some bulky box that takes up so much space.  Rather, it will replace all but one of the standalone sets that families might own.  That is because the case is, again, that normal, even containing five discs.  While the packaging does a lot to make this collection so appealing, the lack of an episode listing to help audiences save time does detract from the set’s presentation to a point.  Luckily it is not enough to make the set a failure.  Keeping that in mind, there is one more positive to note, the set’s pricing.  By and large, the collection’s pricing is relatively affordable, coming in at less than $20.  Yes, there are a couple of listings that exceed that point, but for the most part, the collection’s pricing proves positive in its own right.  When it is considered along with the set’s packaging and full series content presentation, the collection proves itself a welcome presentation in any family’s home DVD/BD library.  The Berenstain Bears: The Complete Collection is scheduled for release Tuesday.

More information on The Berenstain BearsThe Complete Collection is available along with all of the latest Berenstain Bears news at:




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Babar Update Series Compilation Is Wild Fun For Families

Courtesy: eOne/Nelvana

Courtesy: eOne/Nelvana

eOne and Nelvana recently released the first compilation of episodes from Disney Jr.’s children’s series Babar and the Adventures of BadouGone Wild is the first compilation of episodes from Disney Jr.’s continuation of the classic Babar animated series.  And as a first impression, this collection of episodes is a good first impression for those that might perhaps have not even known about this series.  The primary reason that it is such a good first impression is the writing of the included episodes.  Another reason that audiences will appreciate this new DVD is the lessons taught in each of the episodes, which ties directly in to the episodes’ writing.  And last to consider in the overall success of these episodes is their “animation” style.  All three factors put alongside one another reveal why both children and their parents will appreciate this latest incarnation of the classic Babar franchise even if they don’t get Disney Junior on their channel lineup.

The primary reason that audiences of all ages will appreciate Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild is the writing incorporated into each of the collection’s eight episodes.  Anyone that has any knowledge of the original Babar series will recall that in the original Babar series, that series’ episodes would consist mainly of stories told by Babar to his children.  They would be in reference to his own childhood.  In the case of this latest series, which originally aired in 2010 on YTV in Canada and on ABC2 in Australia, Babar is there.  But he generally takes a back seat to his 8-year old grandson Badou.  From time to time, the now much older Babar would offer some insight to Badou.  So the show’s creators made sure to not completely stray from the original source material for this series.  Older audiences will appreciate this factor.  Younger audiences will appreciate the fact that the series focuses more on younger figures whereas the younger figures in the original Babar series were merely part of recollections told by Babar.  That balance of the old and new alongside Badou’s own family friendly adventures in the kingdom of Celesteville with his friends shows just how much care the show’s writers took with the series despite its short run.  That result is eight solid episodes whose writing is reason enough by itself to check out this new DVD.

The writing by itself serves as plenty of reason for families to check out this new DVD from eOne and Nelvana.  It pays homage to the original Babar franchise while also advancing the story without losing anything in the process.  On a similar note, parents and children alike will appreciate that some of the episodes in this compilation also include invaluable life lessons.  One example of those lessons comes in the episode “Copy Cat.”  Young zebra Zawadi learns an important lesson about accepting one’s own self for who one is, rather than trying to change one’s own self just to be different from the masses.  On a similar note, “Monkey Camp” teaches young viewers about the differences between people and how those differences make everybody special in their own way.  One last example of those lessons comes in the DVD’s second episode, “Operation Secret Suitcase.”  This episode deals with a very common issue among younger viewers.  It deals with the issue of children losing friends due to moving away.  It’s definitely something to which audiences of all ages can relate.  It also teaches young viewers about jumping to conclusions without all the information on a given subject within the course of the episode.  So, that one is actually a dual hit.

The writing and the themes tied into said writing for the episodes included on this disc are both key factors to its overall enjoyment.  Together, they prove the episodes presented here to have a certain amount of heart and substance.  There is still one factor left to examine in the overall enjoyment and success of Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild.  That final factor is the show’s “animation.”  Given, each episode is computer generated rather than hand drawn.  That is the trend in the current era of animation.  In the case of this series though, the computer generated graphics actually stand out if only a little bit from all of the cookie cutter CG-based children’s shows currently filling the television spectrum.  The closest comparisons that can be made here are perhaps to the graphics used in The Garfield Show and Jungle Junction, which is another show currently on Disney Junior’s schedule .  And that is being generous.  That is not meant in a negative connotation, either.  It is simply nice to see that while this incarnation of Babar has long since ended its short run, it is one of few shows out there for kids today that has at least some individuality and originality in its “animation” style.  Together with the themes incorporated into each episode’s script and the writing itself, the show’s graphics are collectively the final piece in the overall presentation of the DVD that makes it worth a watch by viewers of any age.

Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Babar-Adventures-Badou-Gone-Wild/dp/B00K2OBZZ8/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1407546469&sr=1-2&keywords=babar+and+the+adventures+of+badou+-+gone+wild.  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.