More episodes of the PBS Kids series Alma’s Way, Let’s Go Luna, and Pinkalicious & Peterrific are now streaming through the PBS Kids Prime Video channel through Amazon.
Alma’s Way ‘Do The Waltzango,’ one of the newly added episodes of Alma’s Way features Alma and Becka teaching young viewers about compromise and working together at one point when the friends can’t agree on what kind of dance to do. In another episode, ‘Checkers Champ,’ Andre has to overcome his nerves as he takes part in a Checkers tournament. Luckily Alma is there to help Andre. ‘Chaco’s Day Out,’ yet another of the new episodes, sees Alma and Junior taking Chaco to the playground. In one more of the new episodes, ‘Steggie Rescue,’ Alma, Eddie, and Junior play a light-night game with Steggie.
Let’s Go Luna Four episodes of Let’s Go Luna are now streaming. ‘Give Me A Sign’ is one of those episodes. Andy finds a new friend and helps the boy bring out his creative side by helping him paint a new barber shop sign for his father. ‘What A T-Wreck!’ is another of the series’ newly added episodes. In the case of this story, Andy helps a paleontologist assemble a dinosaur skeleton in Argentina, but things get rocky along the way. ‘Beetlemania,’ yet another of the newly added episodes, finds Andy helping a lost pet find its owner in Tokyo, Japan. In ‘Fabuloso’s New Clothes,’ Andy accidentally destroys Senor Fabuloso’s suit and has to set thing’s right.
Pinkalicious & Peterrific While episodes of Alma’s Way and Let’s Go Luna are streaming now, the new episodes of Pinkalicious & Peterrific are scheduled to start streaming May 20. In one episode, ‘Fishtastic,’ Pinkalicious and Peter go on a fishing trip and learn a valuable lesson about being good at what they do. ‘Photographer Peter’ finds Peter becoming a bit of a shutterbug after borrowing his dad’s camera. ‘Robotta’s Singing Delivery Service’ tells a story of Pinkalicious and Peter creating their own unique delivery service when Robotta responds to a command involving singing. Captain Toothy McSquint returns in ‘Pirate Dreamboat’ as Pinkalicious and Peter find the captain’s long lost ship.
More information on all of this new content is available along with all of the latest PBS Kids news at:
Fans of the reboot of the classic television series All Creatures Great & Small have had a lot to be happy about this year in regards to the series. The series’ second season was met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike on both sides of the Atlantic. For those who don’t know, the series originally airs on the British television network Channel 5 before being imported by PBS after its European run. As Season 2 ran its course here in the U.S., the announcement came in January that the series has already been renewed for two more seasons, so lots more stories from the town of Darrowby are certain to come in the next couple of years, thankfully. While audiences await those many new stories, they can enjoy the series’ second season on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to PBS Distribution, having been released to both platforms March 8. For those who have yet to watch Season Two, it offers much to appreciate, not the least of which being its writing. That will be addressed shortly. The cast’s work is just as admirable as the writing and will be discussed a little later. The collective cinematography, make-up and costuming is also once again notable in its own right and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Season 2’s presentation. All things considered, they make the second season of the All Creatures Great & Small reboot series another presentation that the show’s fans will agree is so enjoyable.
The second season of Channel 5 and PBS’ All Creatures Great & Small reboot is another fully enjoyable presentation. It continues to make the series a rare rebooted series that is actually well worth watching. That is due in large part to the series’ writing. The writing presented in Season 2 is noteworthy because as in the series’ first season, it balances so many aspects so well. On one level, the writing shines because each episode is its own story. While there is a bit of a serial aspect here as romance starts to flourish for everyone at the veterinary office, the overall approach is anything but serial. Each episode overall is its own story. That means that audiences once again will not feel forced to binge the series and know what’s going on in one episode to the next in order to enjoy the show. What’s more, audiences do not even have to feel committed to going back to Season 1 if they have not yet seen that season in order to enjoy this season. That is because the writing does so well to catch viewers up with the first season’s events.
On another note, the writing here is impressive because the writers never let the growing romance aspect of the show overpower the bigger story. Rather they balance that respectfully into the bigger picture of each character’s continued development. Viewers will enjoy watching the continued sibling rivalry between Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) and Siegfried (Samuel West) as Tristan starts to come into his own. James (Nicholas Ralph) and Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) each develop even more in their own right. James comes into his own as he also learns to stand up to Siegfried and establish his place at the practice. Additionally, he starts maturing even more as he deals with the residents of Darrowby and their personal biases. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hall gets even more of her own time as she has to manage the practice as a sort of house mother while also finding and accepting love. On yet another angle, the dynamic between Helen (Rachel Shenton) and James even develops more in a way that will make it fully relatable to audiences. The whole story will not be given away out of respect for those who have yet to see Season, 2, but the couple does have something of a happy ending, albeit very realistic. That in itself is yet another example of the power of the season’s writing. Between all of this and the fact that audiences one again will not feel like they have to intensely devote themselves to the show, the writing clearly offers audiences plenty to appreciate. It makes for a solid foundation for the series’ second season. It is just one of the items that makes Season 2 successful. The cast’s work is of its own applause.
The cast’s work is of note in examining Season 2’s presentation because it does just as much to engage audiences as the writing. One of the most memorable moments in which this is exhibited comes late in the season as Tristan realizes that Siegfried and Mrs. Hall had lied to him about his exam grades. He sits at the table, nursing a bottle and fighting back tears as he confronts Mrs. Hall about what she knew. It would have been so easy for Woodhouse to go over the top and just milk the moment. Thankfully he did not go that route. The control that he exercised in handling the moment made it all the more powerful and engaging. On the opposite side, the varied moments when he brings out Tristan’s normally cocky attitude makes for its own share of laughs. This shows in its own right, Woodhouse’s talent and its impact on the show. On yet another note, his work opposite West is so believable. Anyone with a sibling will fully relate to the pair’s squabbling will love those moments.
In looking at Madeley’s performance, her balance of counselor, confidant, and general semi-boss standing makes her just as enjoyable to watch. She has lost nothing along the way. Those softer moments as she handles Tristan and Siegfried’s relationship and the more personal moments as she listens to broadcasts about the coming war show a wide range of emotions and talent. That she can make Mrs. Hall so believably coy as she deals with her own feelings towards her own romantic interest and her friend’s attempt to counsel her in the matter is just as enjoyable to watch. It all feels so real. There is no over the top drama even in this aspect. It does just as much as Woodhouse’s work to make the acting so rich.
The dynamic between Shenton and Ralph as Helen and James is just as enjoyable. The tension between the pair early in the season actually does well to leave audiences wonder if the couple would end up together. That is a tribute to the duo’s work interpreting the story this season. Even in the season finale, there is a discussion between the pair that leaves one wondering if the honeymoon period ended before it even began. Once again, this is the duo acting so well. It is a moment to which any ordinary person will relate because every couple goes through the discussion that Helen and James had. The total outcome will be left for audiences to learn for themselves even as audiences wait to see where Helen and James’ relationship will go in Season 3. Between this work and that of the rest of the cast examined here, it goes without saying that the cast’s work in Season 2 makes for just as much engagement and entertainment as the season’s writing. The two items together make for even more reason for audiences to take in Season 2. They are just part of what makes Season 2 enjoyable. The collective cinematography, makeup and costuming round out the season’s positives.
The cinematography featured in Season 2 is just as stunning as that in the rebooted series’ debut season. The lush, green meadows and the quaint town streets (captured in and around Yorkshire) are so stunning, especially under the bright, blue skies. The ability of those behind the cameras to just as effectively set the stage in the vet office and even in the farmers’ homes and land is just as admirable even in its minutiae. It makes the stories all the more engaging. The same can be said of the work put in to ensure the season looks time period accurate. From the vehicles to the costumes and the hair dos and more, it is clear that a lot of time and effort went into making sure as much as possible was done to make everything right and believable. So just as much credit is due to those behind the cameras in this angle as those behind the cameras and capturing the acting. When all of this is considered along with the work of the show’s writers and cast, the whole makes for even more enjoyment in the second season of All Creatures Great & Small. It makes the second season a complete success and one more of the year’s top new DVD and BLu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.
The second season of All Creatures Great & Small‘s reboot is a joy of a presentation. That is due in part to the season’s writing, which balances so many story aspects so expertly from one episode to the next. The writing once again avoids any serial aspects, which in this day and age is so welcome. It also makes the separate stories so engaging and entertaining in their own right. The cast’s work interpreting the writers’ work is just as enjoyable. The cast’s work is fully believable from one story to the next and makes the season all the more immersive. The collective cinematography, costuming and makeup make the season’s aesthetic impact just as enjoyable as the writing and acting. Each item examined here is important in its own right to the whole of the season’s presentation. All things considered, they make the season another welcome presentation for the rebooted series and another positive addition to this year’s field of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.
All Creatures Great & Small: Season 2 is available now. More information on the series and other shows from Channel 5 is available online at:
Between families and grown-ups, plenty of positive content has been released this year on DVD and Blu-ray in the form of newly released box sets. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s full series presentation of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Arrow Video’s classic creature feature collection, Cold War Creatures, and the latest collection of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood do well to support the noted statements. Between them and so many others, there is more than enough to create a list of this year’s top new DVD/BD box sets overall. Enter Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets.
As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the top 10 titles from this year as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15. There’s already some positive news about new releases coming in the new year about new box sets, but in the meantime, the titles on this list will help people pass the time. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets list.
PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD BOX SETS
1.Cold War Creatures
2. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series
3. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection
4. All Creatures Great & Small: Season 1
5. The Watch
6. How To Train Your Dragon: Ultimate Collection
7. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack
8. Jekyll & Hyde
9. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 12
10. Rugrats: The Complete Series
11. Star Trek Discovery: Season 3
12. Doom Patrol: Season 2
13. Josie & The Pussycats In Outer Space: The Complete Series
14. Human: The World Within
15. Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series
Okay that it’s for this list. There is still one more list to go for this year. It will come tomorrow in the form of the year’s top new family friendly DVDs/ Stay tuned!
Maybe it is just this critic, but it seems that increasingly the case that families are becoming increasingly segregated in their own homes. That is due to the advancement of technology and to the fact that there seems to be less programming than ever for families to watch together. Even if there is less for families to watch together, it does not mean that there is nothing out there. PBS and its home distribution arm proved that true this year with their new family DVD box sets alongside Nickelodeon, Universal, Warner Brothers and other companies.
This year actually saw a wide range of enjoyable new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for the whole family to enjoy together, not the least of which was another new collection of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes from PBS and PBS Distribution. The first time release of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory is another great new offering for the whole families that released this year. Even fans of Universal’s How To Train Your Dragon franchise got something special recently in the franchise’s “Ultimate Collection.” All three of these titles and plenty of others make up what are this year’s top new family DVD and BD box sets list from Phil’s Picks. Between these new releases, new offerings from Nickelodeon’s Loud House,Spongebob Squarepants, and The Casagrandes, another new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood collection from PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution, and so many other releases, this year showed that thankfully there is at least still some programming left for families to enjoy together.
As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the year’s Top 10 new releases in the given category and five honorable mention titles for a total of 15. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.
PHIL’S PICKS‘ 2021 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD/BD BOX SETS
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series
Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete 12th Season
Loud House: Season 3 Volume 1
Loud House: Season 3 Volume 2
The Casagrandes: Season 1
How To Train Your Dragon: The Ultimate Collection
Curious George: 5 Movie Collection
Rugrats: The Complete Series
PBS Kids’ 20 Snowy Stories
Garfield & Friends: The Grumpy Cat Collection
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series
Animaniacs Season 1
It should be added as a special note, this year marks the first time ever that Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space and Thundarr The Barbrian have ever gotten a proper, official release. There are DVD releases for those titles, but they are not official releases. They are DVD-R sets that Hannah Barbera and Amazon partnered to release, so they are not official. This year’s BD releases of the series’ are in fact the real deal. They are released through Warner Archives and are well worth the money and the watch. Speaking of the watch, that show is one of the many that made Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Grown-Up DVD/BD Box Sets list. That list will come Monday, so stay tuned!
It seems like ever year, audiences everywhere are seeing an increase in the number of classic TV shows and movies that were once popular everywhere they go. It really is a sad state of affairs. Of course that is not the only avenue in which older content is getting renewed so to speak. The originals also get new life every now and then on DVD and Blu-ray through various distributors, sometimes in better form than others and vice versa. This year saw a handful of classic TV shows and movies get some laudable re-issues and some less so.
What is most interesting about this year’s field of top new DVD and BD re-issues is the wide range of companies that released said titles. It shows that along with the likes of Shout! Factory – which has made quite the name for itself over the years in the home entertainment field – other familiar and up-and-coming names are really working to make their names known in that field, too, such as Arrow Video and Corinth Films, making for so much more variety.
From Shout! Factory’s re-issue of Explorers, to Arrow Video’s re-issue of the original Dune, to even Mill Creek Entertainment’s re-issue of the classic, short-lived animated series, The Critic, this year’s re-issues and the companies that released them offered audiences plenty of alternatives to the never-ending ocean of prequels, sequels, and reboots that filled theaters and streaming services this year. As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 titles in the given category with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15. This year’s list was not easy to compile but is complete.
Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.
PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES
Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series
The Final Countdown
The Belles of St. Trinian’s
Ken Burns’ Baseball
The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang – Live at Copacabana Beach
Motorhead: No Sleep Till Hammersmith
The Snake Girl and the Silver Haired Witch
The Transformers: The Movie
Superman: The Animated Series
The Critic: The Complete Series
Star Trek: The Original Series
Emergency: The Complete Series
It should be stressed here that in the case of Emergency and Star Trek, those two series sets are intentionally set at the bottom of this year’s list as, their positives are few. They are the least of the year’s best new re-issues. Audiences would do well to largely avoid these sets. There is a reason they are at the bottom of even the honorable mention titles. Keeping that in mind, this year’s list of top new DVD and BD re-issues is officially wrapped. There are still plenty of other lists coming, such as the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, families, and even family DVDs/BDs. Stay tuned!
This year’s new music lists are officially done for Phil’s Picks, so now it’s time to move on to the TV and movie side of things as we continue to wind doown 2021. Starting off this year’s lists on the audiosvisual side is the best of this year’s new documentaries.
All of this year’s top new documentaries come from none other than PBS, the last true bastion of worthwhile programming. They come fromsome of th network’s most beloved series, while others are standalone offerings. From bios, to science, to mother nature and wildlife, the documentaries that PBS has produced this year have proven quite exceptional. They have also proven why PBS remains such an important force in American television offerings.
As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this year’s list presents the Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mentions for a total of 15. There is nothing bad about that additional set of honorable mention titles. Each is equally deserving of its own applause. So with that in mind, it’s time to get into this year’s lit. Here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Documentaries.
PHIL’S PICKS 2021 TOP 10 NEW DOCUMENTARIES
NOVA: Saving Notre Dame
NOVA: Can We Cool The Planet
NOVA: Touching The Asteroid
NOVA: Searching For Life On Mars
American Experience: American Oz
Nature: River’s Bend
Nature: The Alps
Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page
America Experience: The Codebreaker
Nature: Pandas — Born to be Wild
NOVA: Nature’s Fear Factor
NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race
Life at the Waterhole
NOVA: Secrets in our DNA
That’s all for this list, but there is still more to come on the DVD/BD side of things before this year lets out, so stay tuned!
The second season of Channel 5’s reboot of All Creatures Great & Small will make its American premiere in January.
The second season of the rebooted series is scheduled to launch Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. EST on PBS stations nationwide. A trailer for the rebooted series’ second season is streaming below.
The Season Two trailer finds James (Nicholas Ralph) having to make an important decision. The decision in question centers on whether to stay at Siegfried’s (Samuel West) office or breaking out on his own. Along the way, James tries to help Siegfried’s brother, Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) grow into his own and even deal with Siegfried.
Also back for Season Two are Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) and Helen (Rachel Stenton). Both women play their own key role in the season’s overall story. PBS and PBS Distribution released the series’ lead season in April on DVD and Blu-ray.
More information on the series and other shows from Channel 5 is available online at:
The unofficial start of the annual holiday season is only days away. For those who don’t know, that is a reference to Halloween. As Halloween nears, many are already turning their attention to colder weather and Christmas, including officials with PBS Kids and PBS Distribution. The companies are scheduled to release two new seasonal DVD collections Oct. 19 on DVD in the form of PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids Christmas Collection. The collections, one a double-disc collection and the other a single-disc set, are successful new offerings. Their success comes in part through the episodes featured in the set. This will be examined shortly. While the featured episodes do plenty to keep viewers engaged and entertained, the sets are not perfect. Each collection suffers in the way of their packaging. This element will be examined a little later. The sets’ pricing rounds out their most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collections. All things considered, they make the collections wonderful ways for families to get into the seasonal and holiday spirit.
PBS Kids and PBS Distribution’s upcoming DVD collections, PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids Christmas Collection are mostly successful offerings from the companies. Their success is due in large part to their featured episodes. The episodes are culled from a variety of PBS Kids’ most beloved series past and present, such as Arthur, Splash & Bubbles, and Word World just to name a few. Also featured are episodes from the likes of Let’s Go Luna!, Dinosaur Train, and World World just to name a few more. For the most part, the episodes feature stories that match the collections’ titles, too. The only episode that is out of place is the Dinosaur Train episode, “Cretacious Conifers.” Featured in the 20 Snowy Stories collection, it has no snow or even ice. Yes, there is a mention of the winter solstice at points throughout, but it also focuses heavily on more of a Christmas theme as the story progresses. To that end, it seems more of a fit on the Christmas Collection set. While the Ready Jet Go! episodes featured in the 20 Snowy Stories collection are a little bit of a stretch – they feature Jet and his friends bringing ice back from outer space to beat the summer heat in two separate ways and for two separate reasons – they do at least fit a little bit.
In the case of the Christmas Collection, its episodes are more uniformly in line with its title. One of the most notable of its episodes is “Luna’s Christmas Around the World.” After getting stuck in Antarctica thanks to the captain of the ship on which they are riding, Andy, Carmen and Leo lean from the members of the Circo Fabuloso how Christmas is celebrated in different regions of the world. By the episode’s end, the kids learn the most important lesson of all about Christmas as they finally get the boat working again and leave Antarctica.
WordWorld’s episode, “The Christmas Star” is another of the most notable of the Christmas Collection episodes. The title sounds like something that might present a religious theme, but that could not be farther from the truth. Rather, in this case, Duck is on a search for the Christmas star because it belongs on top of the Christmas tree that he and his friends have put up. Duck wants to use the star as his present to his friends. Of course it has a happy ending that also ties in a basic spelling lesson.
Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas has already been released on a standalone Wild Kratts DVD. That aside, it is still welcome here. In this extended episode, it’s up to Chris, Martin and their friends to save a group of animal babies from Zach Varmitech after he kidnaps the cute, cuddly creatures for use as ornaments on his own metal Christmas tree. As with every other episode in which the guys face off against Zach, they come out on top and get the animals back to the wild and living free. How it happens will be left for audiences to discover for themselves if they have not yet seen this special episode. Between this episode, the others examined here and the rest of those in this set and in 20 Snowy Stories, the episodes in whole make for more than enough reason to add these collections to one’s home library. This is the case even though at least one episode is a bit out of place in its collection.
While the episodes featured in these collections form a strong foundation for the sets, the collections are not necessarily perfect. The lack of an episode guide anywhere in the packaging detracts from the presentations to a point. The episode guides are obviously there when audiences put the sets’ discs into their DVD and/or Blu-ray players, but they are not printed anywhere within the packaging. As a result, audiences are forced to figure out and essentially memorize which episodes are aligned with which discs. Yes, this is an aesthetic issue, but it would certainly help the presentation because it would save audiences time and effort in trying to decide which episode(s) they want to watch. Instead of the episodes, the packaging lists the episodes’ sponsors inside the case. That could have been done on the back of each set’s case. This is not enough to make the presentations failures, but certainly would have benefited the sets’ presentations.
Keeping in mind that the lack of episode guides in the set is not enough to completely ruin them, there is one more positive to address. It comes in the form of the collections’ pricing. The average price point for PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories is $7.95. Rounded up, it is a mere $8.00. That price is obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store. Books-A-Million and PBS are the only retailers that exceed that price point, while the majority of the others list the double-disc collection at either $6.95 or $6.99. Best Buy lists the collection at $7.99, which while a few cents over the average, is still right in line with the average price point. Considering the amount of content featured across the set and the representation of the PBS Kids shows, that affordable price point definitely proves positive and money well-spent.
The average price point for PBS Kids: Christmas Collection is $11.33. That price was reached by averaging prices at the noted retailers. Amazon’s listing of $29.99 is either an anomaly or just outright incorrect, but for the most part, it is listed between $6.69 and $9.99, with a middle ground of $7.99, listed through Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Books-A-Million and PBS each list the single-disc set at $9.99. Walmart and Target each have the least expensive listing, at $6.69. Yet again, these prices are mostly such that they will not break anyone’s budget. Knowing how much content even this set features, that knowledge makes purchasing the set even more encouraging, too. Keeping in mind the affordability noted in each set along with the content featured in each collection, those elements make the sets well worth owning and successes in their own right. That is even with the issue of the lack of episode guides in mind. One becomes one more of this year’s top new family DVDs and BDs while the other more than earns its spot among the year’s top new family DVD and BD box sets.
PBS Kids and PBS Distribution’s forthcoming seasonal/holiday DVD sets, 20 Snowy Stories and Christmas Collection are successful new offerings from the companies. Their success comes in large part through their featured episodes. The episodes largely follow the theme of each set’s title. They also teach important lessons within the stories. That education and entertainment that they offer is sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained. While the episodes are the key point of the collections, the lack of any episode guide in either set detracts from the sets’ presentation to a point. It is not enough to make the sets failures, but still does hurt them to a point. Keeping in mind the breadth and depth of the content featured in each set, the sets’ pricing proves positive, too. That is because their pricing proves so affordable for the most part. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the collections. All things considered, they make each set successful by themselves and collectively.
PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids: Christmas Collection are scheduled for release Oct. 19. More information on these and other titles from PBS Kids is available online at:
PBS Kids is doing its part to honor its female viewers with a new DVD. The DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures, was released Sept. 7 through PBS Distribution. The episodes featured in this collection –15 in all as the DVD’s title notes – are the main strength for the presentation. While the episodes are important in their own right, the very fact that they are centered on just female audiences detracts notably from the DVD’s presentation. It will be discussed a little later. For those audiences willing to overlook this shortcoming, the DVD’s pricing proves to be its own positive. When it is considered along with the episodes featured herein, the DVD proves far from perfect, but still entertaining enough.
PBS Kids’ recently released compilation DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures is an intriguing offering from the network. The DVD’s primary strength comes in its featured episodes. The episodes lift from the majority of PBS Kids’ series. There are some omissions, though (E.g. Odd Squad, Wild Kratts, Curious George, etc.) but by and large, the episodes pull from a respectable amount of the networks’ shows. Arthur is represented through the episode, “Muffy’s New Best Friend.” The story here finds Muffy and Francine learning a valuable lesson about friendship even when two people have differing opinions on things, and that those differences can actually help friendships grow. It is a familiar topic that will appeal not only to young females, but to audiences in general. This leads to the aforementioned discussion on the DVD’s one main shortcoming, which will be addressed shortly. Molly of Denali’s episode, “Stand Back Up” finds Molly learning a valuable lesson about pushing on through failings in any situation in life when she learns how to ski. Once again, here is a show that yes, is centered on a female character, but with a lesson that applies to girls and boys, men and women alike. Again, it leans toward the DVD’s noted concern. On yet another note, Let Go Luna!’s episode, “Aren’t We A Pair” centers on Carmen and her Egyptian friend Leyla and their search for their pets. The friendship element is there, but as with so many episodes of the family favorite series, the episode is more about promoting multiculturalism, which is wonderful in its own right. The thing is that the series focuses not just on a girl, but a group of friends (two boys and a girl, plus Luna, who is female). The story is a great way to teach and learn about culture in Egypt. Again, it will appeal just as much to boys as it will girls. It is one more way to show the importance of the DVD’s episodes to the disc’s presentation. That is done as it pulls from yet another of so many PBS Kids series. On the other hand it is yet another example of how problematic the DVD is in the bigger picture.
While the episodes featured in this disc make for plenty of appeal, the very fact that they will appeal to boys and girls alike as well as men and women alike, it makes the very presentation format extremely problematic. As noted, the stories and lessons that are presented in the majority of this DVD’s featured episodes will appeal to and connect with boys as well as girls. Add in that the fact that many of the shows from which the episodes are pulled are examples of PBS and PBS Kids’ long-running tradition of trying to normalize equality among genders, sexes, races, and ethnicities and it just makes the whole presentation seem like a knee-jerk reaction from someone or some people at PBS and PBS Kids. Given again, a show, such as Molly of Denali is centered on a young girl, but the stories and lessons involve her as well as her friends, who are male and female. Even a “newer” series, such as Elinor Wonders Why is centered not on just its titular character, but on her and her friends, who are male and female alike. Once again, the diversity is evident in the episodes and their lessons. That has been a trademark of PBS Kids shows for such a long time. It just leads one to wonder why someone would even take the time to try and release a collection of episodes that it claims are “Girl Power” adventures. The very approach is counter to everything for which PBS Kids has come to be known. It is really disconcerting. Even with the concern raised by the DVD’s very presentation, there is at least one more positive to examine, and that is its pricing.
The average price point for 15 Girl Power Adventures is $8.22. That price was obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS. The DVD was not listed through Books-A-Million at the time of the DVD’s review. An average price point of less than $10 for a DVD that for the most part will appeal to boys just as much as girls and that pulls from so many of PBS Kids’ shows new and old alike is not bad at all. Adding to the appeal is that for the most part, the separate listings are below that price point, save for PBS’ own listing of $9.99 and (surprisingly) that of Walmart, at $12.37. Target actually has the least expensive listing this time out at only $4.99. Amazon and Barnes & Noble Booksellers each list the DVD at $6.99 while Best Buy is not the best buy at $7.99. So in looking at these prices, the overall pricing really is not bad. It will not break any viewer’s budget. So taking that into account with the DVD’s content, the whole makes for at least some appeal even despite the incongruous nature of the content with the DVD’s title. Keeping this in mind, the DVD is problematic. There is no denying this matter. At the same time, it is not a complete failure.
PBS Kids/PBS Distribution’s recently released DVD, 15 Girl Power Adventures is hardly the best presentation that the company and its home distribution arm have ever released. At the same time it is not the worst, either. The DVD succeeds largely because of its episodes and their stories. The episodes pull from a healthy cross section of PBS Kids’ shows. The stories and their lessons will connect to boys just as much as girls because despite the DVD’s title, they are not centered just on females and will relate not only to girls, either. This leads to the DVD’s one major shortcoming, its titling. The DVD’s title markets the presentation as being “girl power,” but as noted the episodes are largely a continued display of PBS Kids’ successful efforts to normalize equality among genders, sexes, races, and ethnicities without being preachy. Keeping that in mind, there really was no reason for any branch of PBS to present such a DVD since it has always treated males and females, blacks, whites, and otherwise equally. While this is clearly problematic, it is not enough to make the DVD a total failure. The DVD’s overall pricing proves positive, considering the amount of content presented therein. The pricing will, for the most part, not break any viewer’s budget. That selling point (no pun intended) along with the content is just enough to save the DVD. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation. All things considered, they make the DVD problematic but not a total failure.
15 Girl Power Adventures is available now. More information on this and other titles from PBS Kids is available along with all of the network’s latest news at:
When the concept of mass transportation was first thought of in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the belief was that it would help reduce human created pollution. As time has gone on, those views have increasingly changed, obviously. They proved to be almost as problematic in terms of pollution as personal transportation. Coal-burning steam engines that put so much smoke and other chemicals into the air have given way to much cleaner rail transport. Many buses nationwide have switched over from gasoline and diesel to much cleaner power sources, too. While those measures have done and are doing their part to reduce mankind’s impact on the naturally occurring process that is climate change, there is still much more to do even on their end. While those mass transportation means continue to evolve and change for the better, one means of mass transportation that is sadly only now beginning to evolve is air transportation. Jets and planes put pollution into the air every day, but thankfully, there is a growing number of companies out there whose work aims to eventually make mass air transportation cleaner. Their work is the focus of another recently aired episode of PBS’ long-running science-based series, NOVA. Having originally aired May 26 on PBS stations nationwide, it was released Aug. 3 on DVD, and is also streaming online now, too. The noted “race” to develop “clean” air transportation is at the center of this episode. It is quite interesting and will be discussed shortly. The visual aids that are used to help tell the story add their own interest to the presentation and will be discussed a little later. Considering all of that content, the DVD’s pricing rounds out its most important elements. IT will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make this episode a presentation that (pardon the awful pun) is a high-flying success.
NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is another successful offering from PBS’ long-running, science-based series. It is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Its success comes in large part through its central story, that of the efforts underway to evolve mass air transportation in regards to its energy source and impact on climate change. This revelation leads to the story’s most important aspect. While the impact of air travel’s pollution on climate change serves as the basis for the bigger discussion, it remains just that. So while this is hardly the first time in recent years that PBS programming has focused on climate change and humans’ impact thereon, it does not just preach about it nonstop. Rather the story naturally grows from that topic to the innovations that are happening as a result of the efforts to make air travel cleaner. At no point does the program ever try to lie to audiences, either. It is pointed out multiple times throughout the almost hour-long program that the efforts to make air travel cleaner are in their infancy and that there is still a very long way to go. To that end, that realistic view makes things interesting in itself. The various ways in which the different startups and established companies are trying to use clean energy to power planes and jets is just as interesting to learn about. It seems, in watching the whole, that the most feasible energy source at this point would be hydrogen. That is just this critic’s own interpretation. That is especially considering the note of how many pounds of batteries would be needed to replace approximately 40,000 pounds of fuel in a full-size jetliner in order for it to maintain its range. On another hand though, the thought of batteries being recharged in-flight by the same propellers that they are powering is interesting in its own right. Of course, that would seemingly only be feasible in small, one and two seat planes, but is still a potential upgrade that could work in that avenue. That so many efforts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint of air transportation companies is just as interesting to learn about as the efforts being made to simply pull carbon from the atmosphere in another of PBS’ climate-related NOVA episodes. It is just one part of what makes this episode interesting. The visual aids that are used add their own interest to the episode’s presentation.
The visual aids in question are actual footage of the prototype planes and “helicopters” that are being developed by the noted startups. This may seem minor on the surface. However, being that there are so many visual learners out there and that television is, after all, a visual medium, actually getting to put a picture with the discussed concepts serves very well to keep viewers engaged and entertained. What’s more, actually seeing the concept vehicles at work (both in reality and in concept videos) enhances the viewing experience even more. One cannot help but wonder if a “helicopter” powered by as many as six propellers is really as efficient as a combustion-powered chopper (which uses only two rotors). That such a clean-energy vehicle would need that much power shows that there certainly is a long way for clean energy air power to go before it is perfect, but at least the effort is being made. On another note, watching another clean-energy air vehicle actually taking off and landing around the Hawaiian islands shows that some progress is happening. Again, these visualizations may not seem like much on the surface, but when viewers actually see them as they take in the story, they will ensure those viewers’ engagement and entertainment that much more. That ensured engagement and entertainment will also ensure that viewers will better understand and appreciate the efforts taking place and why they are taking place. Keeping all of that in mind, the overall content featured in this DVD does plenty to prove the appeal of the episode and DVD. It is still just part of what makes the DVD and episode appealing. The DVD’s pricing, again considering the content, proves important in its own right.
The average price point for NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is $21.49. That price was reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store. While the average price point is a little bit high, some of the separate listings are more appealing by comparison. Case in point is Amazon’s listing of $16.79, the leas expensive of the listings. The only listings that exceed the noted average come from PBS, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-a-Million, at $24.99 each. Best Buy offers the DVD at just under $20 at a price of $17.99 while Walmart’s listing is slightly more expensive at $19.17. Given, with shipping, each listing’s price does go up, but again by comparison to the three listings that exceed the average, those lower listings are still relatively affordable. Considering again, the overall content featured in this episode of NOVA and its ability to ensure viewers’ engagement and entertainment, those less expensive listings are still money well spent. To that end, the pricing and overall content featured in this episode of NOVA makes the episode in whole a fully successful presentation.
PBS and PBS Distribution’s presentation of NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is a successful new offering from the company and its home distribution arm. That is proven in part through the episode’s central story. The story in question follows the efforts underway to progress air travel from a hugely polluting means of mass transportation to something much cleaner. The visuals that are used throughout the episode add their own appeal to the whole. That is because they make the episode more interesting for viewers. That added interest ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment in its own right. To that end, the pricing for the episode’s home DVD release proves mostly positive in its own right. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make the episode and its DVD presentation a presentation that passes…with flying colors. Yes, that awful pun was intended, too.
NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race is available now.
More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at: