‘Wild Kratts’ Second DVD Of 2018 Is “Twice As Nice” As The Year’s First Offering

Courtesy: PBSPBS Kids/Public Media Distribution

Over the course of the past six years, brother Chris and Martin Kratt have taken families around the world and taught fun and unforgettable lessons in biology, ecology, zoology and more through their hit animated series Wild Kratts.  The series has become one of PBS Kids’ biggest hit series since its debut, running now five seasons and a sixth very likely to be announced soon.  It has also led to the release of now 17 DVDs featuring the adventures of Chris, Martin and their friends Aviva (Athena Krakanis – Manifest, The Expanse, Low Winter Sun), Koki (Heather Bambrick – The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Doozers, Atomic Puppet) and Jimmy Z (Jonathan Malen – The Mist, Mean Girls, Charlie Bartlett).  From North America’s desert southwest to the depths of the Atlantic to the frozen far reaches of the Arctic and Antarctic and beyond, the Wild Kratts gang has time and again given audiences unforgettable adventures and invaluable lessons in every episode.  Now thanks to Public Media Distribution, two more of those episodes are available in the latest Wild Kratts DVD, Adventures on the African Savannah.  As that title notes, this time the brothers Kratt and company are in Africa.  The two adventures featured in the 55-minute DVD are enjoyable in themselves.  The lessons connected to the stories are also enjoyable for the whole family.  Considering that content, the DVD’s relatively affordable average price point proves to be money well spent.  When it is considered alongside said content, all three elements make Wild Kratts: Adventures on the African Savannah yet another enjoyable addition to any family’s DVD library.

Adventures on the African Savannah, the second of Public Media Distribution’s Wild Kratts DVD releases so far this year – the first, Madagascar Madness, was released April 10 – is another successful and enjoyable presentation from PMD and PBS Kids.  It is a collection that despite featuring only two episodes, every family will find welcome in their DVD library.  That is actually due in part to the stories themselves.  This time out, Martin and Chris (and their friends) take on a game of tag in the first episode, “The Food Chain Game.”  Of course, this is no ordinary game of tag.  This game involves Chris and Martin racing to the top of the Savannah’s food web by touching and turning into various different animals that roam the savannah.  They start at the bottom and work their way up, all the while learning about each creature’s strengths and weaknesses.  By the time it’s all said and done, Aviva has crafted a giant food web from Chris and Martin’s friendly competition that plays directly into the lessons, which will be discussed shortly.  In the second of the brothers’ adventures, Chris and Martin face off in another competition.  This time it’s a test to see which is the dominant animal – a rhino or an elephant.  However, at least one person wants to ruin the fun.  That person is the Kratt gang’s longtime foe Zack Varmitech (Zachary Bennett – Designated Survivor, Total Drama All Stars, Ranger Rob).  Zach, who is jealous of Aviva’s accomplishments uses his mini-bots to disrupt Chris and Martin’s suits so that they can’t finish their competition.  In an added effort to ruin the group’s fun, his bots also disrupt the Tortuga’s systems, trapping Aviva, Jimmy and Koki inside…at least temporarily.  Obviously the story has a happy ending with Zack being defeated once again.  How that happens won’t be given away here, but it will leave viewers laughing once again.  Of course, this story offers its own subtle biology lesson that adds to the story’s enjoyment.  Said lesson will be discussed along with the biology lesson included in the DVD’s lead story.  Keeping in mind the enjoyment offered through the stories themselves, it creates a solid foundation for the DVD’s presentation.  That foundation gives audiences plenty of reason in itself to add this DVD to their DVD libraries.  The noted lessons tied into the DVD’s presentation give families even more reason to add the DVD to their Wild Kratts collections.

The basic biology lessons incorporated into each story are easily accessible for viewers of all ages.  The lesson incorporated into the lead story is straight forward.  It teaches the interconnection of different organisms within a given food chain.  It’s just one example, but shows in a simple fashion, the depth and diversity that is possible in any given food chain.  At the same time, viewers also learn some interesting facts about the given organisms and animals featured within the given food chain.  What’s really interesting to note here is that the writers don’t try to hide the educational content here, unlike in other episodes in which said content is smartly woven into the story.  It’s right out front.  Yet somehow even with the content being right out there, the writers have still managed to keep the episode interesting both for grown-ups and children alike.  The writing staff is to be highly commended for that.  The lesson is a little bit more subtle in the second story.  It basically highlights the adaptations that make different animals fitted for various climates and territories.  For instance, the walrus is more fitted for cold climes while certain reptiles are definitely not suited for the savannah.  The strengths and weaknesses of the rhino and elephant are both pointed out in the long run, too.  It’s just interesting to see so much incorporated into one story and done so smoothly in the process.  It doesn’t make the educational content so outright, balancing very well with the story itself.    When this is considered along with the balance of educational and entertaining content in the DVD’s lead story, it makes the educational content that much more valuable to the DVD’s presentation.  While the stories and lessons are both key to the DVD’s whole, they are not its only important elements.  The DVD’s rather affordable average price point makes it that much more welcome in any family’s home DVD library.

The average price point of Adventures on the African Savannah is $5.19, not counting taxes.  Adding tax, that price probably rises to almost $6.00 if not barely more than that. Considering the amount of entertainment and education that this DVD offers, even with just two episodes (at 55 minutes), that honestly is a rather affordable price.  It’s money well spent to entertain and educate children while also bringing the whole family together in the process.  That is something of which this country needs more – family togetherness.  That’s especially the case considering how television is in itself ripping families apart more and more because of content aimed at specific audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point is the proverbial cherry on top for its  presentation.  It is not a bad price to pay, even with tax, for that togetherness, education and entertainment.  To that end, this second Wild Kratts DVD offering this year is another welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts DVD collection.

Public Media Distribution’s second Wild Kratts DVD of the year, Adventures on the African Savannah, only boats two episodes from the hit animated series, but despite that, those two episodes offer audiences of all ages plenty to appreciate.  That is evidenced in part through the stories that make up the body of the DVD.  The lessons tied into the stories are expertly balanced in their presentation.  That balance shows the amount of time and thought put into each story’s writing overall.  The writers, again, are to be commended for such attention to detail.  The DVD’s rather affordable price point makes that content extra valuable and the DVD that much more worth the purchase in turn.  Keeping all of this in mind, all three elements join to make this DVD a presentation that will lead the whole family to want to join the Kratt brothers on their African Savannah adventures again and again.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on the DVD is available online along with lots of printables, activities and more now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

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‘Ready Jet Go!”s Debut DVD Is A Great Early Halloween Treat For The Whole Family

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The dog days of summer are officially here, and while its unbearably hot out there right now, it won’t be long now before fall sets in.  With the return of fall also comes the annual return of the official start of the holiday season, Halloween.  Many people refuse to accept that Halloween opens the holiday season, but it does.  In anticipation of Halloween’s return, PBS Distribution is getting families everywhere in the holiday spirit a little early with the upcoming release of Ready jet Go!’s debut DVD, Ready Jet Go!: Jet’s First Halloween.  Set for release August 28, this single disc episode collection is another fun Halloween offering for the whole family.  That is due in no small part to the stories featured in the collection.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lessons tied into the stories also play collectively into the DVD’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Ready Jet Go!: Jet’s First Halloween.  All things considered, they make this DVD a presentation that is a great early Halloween treat for the whole family.

PBS Distribution’s debut Ready Jet Go! DVD Jet’s First Halloween is a great early Halloween treat for the whole family.  That is due in no small part to the stories that make up the DVD’s main body.  The story of Jet’s first Halloween is the collection’s central story.  This story follows Jet and his parents as they celebrate Halloween for the very first time on Earth.  From learning about carving jack-o-lanterns to dressing up and crafting a haunted house, Jet and his family have lots of fun in their first holiday experience.  This is all despite Mitchell’s efforts to figure out what the Propulsion family is really up to.  There’s even a “witch” riding a broom in front of the red “harvest” moon as an added treat for Jet and his friends.  If that’s not enough family friendly fun, audiences also get to see Jet and his friends try to dig to the center of the Earth in ‘Digging Earth.’  The group even uses Sydney’s favorite comic book character, Commander Cressida as motivation.  Viewers of all ages will enjoy watching to see how deep the kids can go.  ‘Mindy’s Mystery,’ which is in fact the parent episode to ‘Digging Earth’ – both episodes are from the series’ debut season along with ‘Jet’s First Halloween’ – follows Jet and his friends as they try to figure out what sweet aroma is keeping Mindy awake at night.  The answer is surprising to say the least.  Mitchell also has his own problem as he’s trying to figure out what bright light is keeping him awake.  Given, the latter pair of episodes is not Halloween-themed, but are still enjoyable in their own right, and in turn, add to the DVD’s overall presentation.  They also present lessons that add their own enjoyment to the DVD’s presentation, too.

The lessons tied into the DVD’s stories are so enjoyable in part because of how subtly they are written into the stories.  It’s obvious to older audiences that they are there.  However, their addition to the stories is just subtle enough that younger viewers won’t even know they’re being educated while also being entertained.  Case in point, the lesson in the DVD’s title episode on why the moon turns red.  Viewers will be interested to learn about how the sun’s light is dispersed, leading to the red coloring. What’s more, learning about the moon’s rotation in relation to that of the Earth after the fact helps deepen that understanding even more.  The geology lesson connected to ‘Digging Earth’ and the dual astronomy/botany lesson tied into ‘Mindy’s Mystery’ show the reach of the show’s educational content. This is another positive to note. Simply put, the lessons are so well balanced with the stories themselves that audiences get plenty of education and entertainment all at the same time.  Interestingly enough, some of the lessons, even parents might not know.  To that end, it adds to the importance of the lessons since parents might get educated just as easily as children.  Keeping this in mind, this DVD offers plenty for audiences to appreciate in terms of the content.  They are not the only positives to note in examining the DVD’s whole  Its average price point is just as notable.

The average price point of Ready Jet Go!: Jet’s First Halloween is only $5.98.  That price was reached by averaging the DVD’s price from America’s four biggest retailers – Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Wal-Mart – and PBS’ own online store.  Adding taxes (and not counting shipping), that still puts the DVD’s average price at just over $6.00  Considering the amount of entertaining and educational content presented throughout the DVD’s 55-minute run time, that is not a bad price at all.  Considering that this content is family friendly – meaning parents would be safe leaving kids to watch it themselves or parents could watch with their kids – it suffices to say that this is roughly $6.00 well-spent.  Keeping all of this in mind, Ready Jet Go!: Jet’s First Halloween proves to be a great early Halloween treat for the whole family from PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s debut DVD from its hit animated series Ready Jet Go!: Jet’s First Halloween is a great early Halloween treat for the whole family.  That is due, as noted, in part to the family friendly stories featured in each episode.  The stories will have the whole family laughing and fully engaged from start to end.  The lessons included as part of each story do just as much as the stories themselves to keep viewers engaged.  The DVD’s price rounds out its most important element.  Each element noted here is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make the DVD – again – a great early Halloween treat for the whole family.  It will be available August 28 in stores and online.  It can be pre-ordered online via PBS’ online store.  More information on the DVD is available online along with printables, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/readyjetgo

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

 

 

 

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PBS Distribution’s New ‘Arthur’ DVD Is A Welcome “Present” In Any Family’s Home DVD Library

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

Later next month, PBS Distribution is bringing fans of PBS Kids’ hit series Arthur a special new present in the form of the series’ new DVD, Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday.  The DVD’s release will come nearly a year after the special first aired on PBS Kids—Aug. 2, 2017.  Why PBS would wait this long to release the DVD is anyone’s guess.  That aside, it proves to be a presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the DVD’s main feature and its companion story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus companion episode included in the DVD adds its own touch to the DVD’s presentation.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way, as will be discussed here.  All things considered, they make Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday a new Arthur DVD that was well worth the wait.

PBS Distribution’s new forthcoming Arthur DVD, D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is a DVD that was well worth the year-plus wait.  That is proven in part to the story at the center of center of the DVD’s main feature.  The story takes a page from the famed children’s book Where The Wild Things Are.  In the case of this story, it’s D.W.’s birthday, but Arthur doesn’t want to get pulled into the annual celebration.  That’s because every year, Arthur has to do everything that D.W. wants.  So he gets her a card, not realizing it’s for a boy, and then goes to a show at the planetarium with his classmates as an excuse to avoid her birthday party.  However, while he’s there, the Earth goes through a wormhole, aging everyone except for Arthur’s class by four years.  Of course, the whole thing is a dream sequence, just like D.W.’s trip to Ukubonga, where Arthur’s friends happen to look just like the creatures from the aforementioned book.  Both brother and sister learn their own valuable lesson in the process, obviously.  What’s really interesting to note, in a deeper examination, is that considering this story, one could even argue that the classic Jimmy Stewart classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life was a partial influence, considering the whole thing happens as a result of two dream sequences – the realization of what life would be like, etc.  Keeping in mind the dual influences in this story, and the story that results from those influences, what audiences get here is a story that will entertain audiences of all ages and also ensure said viewers’ engagement.  Sure, it’s not fully original, but there is enough originality here that it makes the story stand easily on its own merits.  To that end, the story at the center of the DVD’s main feature is reason enough in itself for this DVD to be in any family’s home DVD library.  It builds a strong foundation for the DVD’s presentation.  The companion episode Arthur’s Birthday strengthens that foundation even more.

The companion episode included in D.W. and the Beastly Birthday, Arthur’s Birthday strengthens the DVD’s presentation even more as it presents its own birthday-themed story that boasts its own identity separate from that of the DVD’s main feature.  Taken from very first season of Arthur, this story sees Arthur having to navigate some difficult waters when it turns out that Muffy is having her birthday party on the same days as his.  The problem comes when Muffy announces that anyone who doesn’t come to her party isn’t her friend anymore.  Obviously the whole thing has a happy ending after a compromise is made.  That lesson about compromise is in itself key to the episode’s whole from which the whole family will benefit in taking in.  Add in the fact that this episode comes from the series’ debut season and that not even one season of the hit series has been released to DVD or even Blu-ray in whole to this day from PBS Distribution, and the episode proves even more ,a present in itself for audiences. Maybe PBS’ people will read this and take this to heart.  A lot of people would like to see this series start getting proper full season releases from PBS Distribution.  That aside, just having this episode included as a thematically complimenting piece is a bonus.  Having a piece of the series’ origins adds to its positive.  Having noted all of this, the bonus birthday episode is still not the last of the DVD’s positives.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday sits at $6.24.  That price was obtained using the DVD’s listing at PBS’ online store and online listings from Target, Best Buy and Amazon.  It didn’t seem to be listed at Wal-Mart’s online site.  Even with this in mind, a 70-minute presentation between the two features at $6.24 is not a bad price at all.  It’s actually quite affordable.  And considering that 70-minute run time, it’s a price that will more than pay for itself as families will enjoy the DVD time and again whether together or if younger viewers watch by themselves.  To that end, the DVD’s average price point proves truly critical in its own right to the DVD’s whole.  When this is considered along with the content in the features and the features themselves, what audiences get here is a DVD that, again will is a welcome present in any family’s home DVD library whether on birthdays or other days.

PBS Kids’ new Arhur DVD, D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is a welcome present for any family whether on a birthday or other day of the year.  That is due in part to the DVD’s main feature, which entertains audiences while presenting some valuable life lessons.  Much the same can be said of the DVD’s companion Season One episode, Arthur’s Birthday.  That episode is also a welcome look back at the history of Arthur since the series still has yet to get a proper full-season release from PBS Distribution.  The DVD’s fully affordable average price point proves to be another positive to the DVD.  Each element is key in its own way to the whole of this DVD.  All things considered, they make Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday a welcome present for the whole family whether on a birthday or any other day.  It will be available August 14.  more information on this DVD is available online now along with plenty of games, printables, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

 

 

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Viewers Of All Ages Will Enjoy “Diving” Into PBS Kids’ Debut ‘Nature Cat’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids’ animated series Nature Cat is one of the network’s newest shows with now just two seasons under its belt.  The series’ second season officially wraps in just two weeks on July 16 with the show’s new “movie” The Return of Bad Dog Bart.  In the short time that the series has been on the air, it has also quickly become quite popular among audiences.  It’s become so popular, in fact, that early last month (June 5 to be exact), it saw the release of its debut DVD, Onward & Pondward.  The DVD’s title is a toss of the hat to Nature Cat’s catch phrase — “Onward and yonward!” – and also hints at the DVD’s central theme, that of all things water.  That theme and the connection of said theme to the DVD’s seven (technically six episodes, as the final episode is a two-part episode) forms the foundation of the DVD’s presentation.  The lessons tied into the stories are collectively just as important to discuss as the stories, and will be discussed a little later.  The disc’s pricing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays into this debut DVD offering from Nature Cat in its own way.  All things considered, they make Onward & Pondward a fully successful first effort and hopefully just the series’ first collection.

Onward & Pondward, the debut DVD offering from PBS Kids’ hit animated series Nature Cat is a fully successful first collection of episodes from said show.  Hopefully it is just the series’ first episode compilation, too.  The stories featured in this collection are, collectively, a big part of the DVD’s success.  By and large, the episodes – all of which are lifted from the series’ first season — follow the DVD’s water-themed title with each tale taking Nature Cat and his friends Hal the dog, Squeaks the mouse and Daisy the bunny on new, unique adventures each time.  “Welcome to Vernal Pond’ takes Nature Cat and company to a pond that appears every spring and is gone by fall.  In that span of time, dozens of creatures use the seasonal pond to spawn, including salamanders, toads and even fairy shrimp of all things.  “Puddle Pool Party” takes the group to a special pool party, only to find out that it can only happen under a certain circumstance – a circumstance that leads to an easily accessible lesson about the water cycle, which will be discussed later.  “Stream and Shout” takes Nature Cat and his friends on a journey to find where streams start and end (making for another easily accessible lesson) while “Swamp Thing” is a fun story that families will enjoy especially on Halloween while also learning yet another key lesson.  “There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills” finds the group panning for gold in a stream (again, the water link is there, although it’s slightly lesser than the other episodes).  “Earth Day Today” links the water theme as the group tries to retrieve a water bottle floating in a river.  Again, it is a loose connection, but a connection nonetheless.  That episode’s companion, “Earth Day Every Day” doesn’t touch on the water theme, but being that it is part of the overall Earth Day episode, it gets the pass.  Keeping that in mind, it’s good to see here that the episodes in general follow that noted central theme while also making their lessons just as original and accessible.  It creates a solid foundation for the DVD’s presentation.  The lessons tied into the stories strengthen that foundation even more.

As noted already, the stories included in this DVD present lessons that are both accessible for young viewers and are original from one to the next.  The term “original” means here that they don’t repeat from one episode to the next.  Case in point, the lesson presented in the DVD’s opening episode, “Welcome To Vernal Pond.”  This episode is essentially a story that teaches a basic biology lesson about ecosystems.  The very use of the seasonal pond in itself explains that ecosystems can exist seasonally.  On the slightly deeper level, it teaches about the animals that live within the given ecosystem.  In the case of the vernal pond, the seasonal pond was used by toads, ducks, salamanders and even fairy shrimp.  The shrimp themselves are good to note in that most adults (this critic included) probably have never heard of them.  Apparently they do in fact live in vernal ponds, and are even eaten by birds (in this case, likely ducks).  So to that end, including these tiny creatures might catch older viewers’ interest just as much as younger viewers and could, in turn, lead to family research.  In other words, it could be a catalyst for family learning and by connection, family togetherness.  Considering this, having such a seemingly simple lesson that clearly has a farther reach shows quite clearly the importance of the stories’ lessons.  It is just one way in which the lessons prove so important.  “Puddle Pool Party” presents an accessible lesson about the water cycle through the use of Squeaks’ attempt to have a pool party.  When it’s found that the puddle she saw was gone, this leads to the discussion about evaporation and condensation, and how the two are key parts of that cycle.  It’s a great and easily accessible lesson that is sure to stick with the series’ young viewers thanks to fun and easy way in which it is explained.  The geology lesson presented in “There’s Gold In Them Thar Hills” – one has got to love how the show’s writers used that old-time phrase for the episode’s title – centers on Squeaks’ discovery of gold in a stream.  This leads everyone to return to the stream to pan for even more gold.  At first, they find what’s known as “fool’s gold,” and determine it to be so because of certain classifications.  Those classifications are in fact the lesson.  They tell the difference between real and false gold.  Of course, it leads to the fun story that finds Nature Cat having to get the gold back from Ronald in the process.  Yes, it has a happy ending.  But again, the originality and accessibility of the lesson presented here shows yet again the importance of the stories’ lessons.  The lesson about waterways presented in “Stream & Shout,” the lesson centered on swamp life in “Swamp Thing” and the equally key lesson about ecology in the two-part Earth Day episode each show in their own ways, too, the importance of the stories’ lesson.  They cannot be ignored in discussing that importance.  When they are considered along with the lessons more directly noted here, the whole of the lessons proves without doubt the importance overall of the lessons tied into each episode’s story.  When the stories and lessons are joined together, they make for plenty of reason for elementary educators and families alike to own this DVD.  Of course they still are not the DVD’s only positives.  Its relatively affordable average price point also proves to be a positive.

Using the nation’s four major retailers – Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Amazon – alongside PBS’ own pricing, the average price point of Nature Cat: Onward & Pondward proves to be approximately $9.70.  That makes the unit price approximately $1.39 per episode.  Given, that’s a little more expensive than the cost of PBS Kids’ recently released Dinosaur Train DVD, Meeting New Friends, but is still relatively affordable at under $10 overall.  The noted unit price for one episode is less than the cost of a single-night DVD rental from Redbox, by comparison.  That shows how affordable this DVD is in the bigger picture.  As if that isn’t enough positive, buying this DVD also supports PBS.  That is more than enough reason for any family that values education and entertainment to own this DVD.  When all of this is considered along with the lessons, which are clearly valuable for a young person’s education (and entertainment), and the entertaining stories themselves, the whole of the elements makes Onward & Pondward a DVD into which any family will want to dive.  Yes, that terrible pun was fully intended.

Onward & Pondward is a wonderful first home offering from PBS Kids’ animated series Nature Cat.  It is an offering that audiences familiar and not so familiar with the show will all enjoy.  That is proven in part through seven stories that stand out from one another in their originality and that entertain audiences of all ages in the process.  The lessons tied into the episodes are just as engaging as the fun, family-friendly stories.  They strengthen the foundation of the DVD’s presentation even more.  The DVD’s relatively affordable average price point puts the finishing touch to the collection.  Given, even when tax is added, the price point does top $10, but only barely.  To that point, seven episodes at only $1.39 per episode is affordable.  This cannot be denied.  When this is considered along with the entertainment and education offered through the disc’s 88-minute run time, one can’t deny that this first home Nature Cat release is a successful debut DVD from the series.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on Onward & Pondward is available online now along with plenty of Nature Cat activities, games, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

 

 

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Writing, Pricing Make PBS’ New “Dinosaur Train” DVD Another Success From The Hit Series

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS/Public Media Distribution

All aboard! The dinosaur train is off on more adventures in a brand new Dinosaur Train DVD, Meeting New Friends.  Released June 12, this latest collection of episodes from the family favorite PBS Kids series is another fun set for audiences of all ages.  That is proven in part through the collection’s featured stories.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lessons that are taught through the stories are also important to discuss by connection.  They will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s relatively affordable average price point rounds out the DVD’s most important elements.  It will be discussed a little later, too.  Each element is important in its own right, as will be pointed out here.  All things considered, they make Dinosaur Train: Meeting New Friends another wonderful, welcome ride on the Dinosaur Train for the whole family.

PBS Kids’ new Dinosaur Train DVD Meeting New Friends is another fun, welcome ride back in time that is sure to entertain and engage the whole family.  That is proven in part through the stories presented throughout this set.  All eight episodes follow the set’s central theme of making friends while continuing to introduce new species of prehistoric creatures.  The Pteranodon kids and their parents befriend a turtle and his friend Tommy, a prehistoric rodent who were washed onto the Pteranodon family’s home after a hurricane in “Rafting the Cretacious.”  It’s through this episode that young viewers are taught about hurricanes and animal dispersal as well as about certain creatures.  It’s fitting that this episode is included in this set, considering that the set has been released during hurricane season.  It’s a good starting point for discussions on said weather systems.  “Beating The Heat” presents its own story, which sees the Pteranodon kids learn about Stegosaurus’ plates.  Not to give anything away, but it turns out they actually have more than one use.  This is something that even adults will appreciate learning.  “Tiny and the Crocodile” introduces another prehistoric creature, this time a dangerous pre-historic crocodile.  These are just a few examples of why the stories included in this set are so important.  Between these stories and others not directly noted here, it becomes clear in watching this DVD that the stories themselves offer plenty for audiences of all ages to appreciate.  They are original and they follow one central theme (I.E. maintaining a certain continuity).  As much as this does to make the DVD’s viewing experience a pleasure, it is only part of what makes the DVD so positive.  The lessons tied into the stories are just as important to the DVD’s presentation as the episodes’ stories.

The lessons tied into the stories are so important to discuss because they don’t stick to just science.  Given, the science lessons are there.  That should not be mistaken.  However, they are not the only lessons presented in these episodes.  “Tiny and the Crocodile” teaches young viewers an important lesson about confronting things that scare you, and does so without going over the top in doing so at the same time.  It presents this lesson by having Tiny go to meet a giant crocodilian named Deanna Dinosuchas, who is the natural predator of Pteranodons.  Deanna is definitely an imposing creature, but Tiny doesn’t let that get to her, and ends up, of course, making a new friend in an unlikely creature.  That in itself leads to an even deeper lesson about never knowing what one can accomplish unless one tries.  To that end, these collective lessons in themselves go a long way toward showing why the lessons are so important.  “Double-Crested Trouble” teaches another important non-science lesson in the form of the importance of teamwork.  This lesson is taught as two Dilophosaurus brothers exhibit quite the sibling rivalry, to which the Pteranodon kids have to react before things get out of hand.  Obviously it ends well.  That’s to be expected.  The important matter is that this lesson would once continue the series’ ongoing tradition of adding non-science lessons into the standard science lessons. To a certain point, “Tiny’s Tiny Friend” also continues that tradition by promoting the lesson of compromise.  This argued lessons rises when a Cimolestes names Cindy (it looks kind of like a possum crossed with a ferret) takes Tiny’s spot on a tree.  Rather than just get mad, Tiny and her siblings work to find Cindy her own spot in the tree.  Of course, they succeed, too, and in the process, make another new friend in Cindy. It’s just one more way in which the lessons tied into these episodes prove to be so important to the DVD’s presentation overall.  When they are joined by the standard scientific lessons included in each episode, the whole of the lessons presents just as much for viewers to appreciate as the stories themselves.  Keeping this in mind, the stories in these episodes and their related lessons are both critical to the DVD’s whole, but are still not the only key elements to consider in what makes the DVD a success.  Its average price point plays into its success, too.

Using the country’s five biggest retailers – Target, Best Buy, Wal-mart, Amazon and PBS’ store – the average price point of this single-disc collection proves to be more than a little affordable.  Between the five outlets, that noted price sits at $8.21.  It is being listed least expensive – no surprise – at PBS’ online store – and a little more surprisingly – via Target.  Of course, this average price point is reached without adding in tax, shipping and handling.  It is just the base price.  Either way, the average price point of less than $10 for eight episodes is affordable for any viewer.  Simply put, at $8.21, that makes the unit price just over $1 per episode.  Again, this will appeal to any family because it is so budget friendly.  When it is considered along with the original stories and the mix of lessons tied into the stories, the whole of these elements goes a long way toward making DinosaurTrain: Meeting New Friends another new welcome DVD from the hit PBS Kids series.

PBS Kids’ new Dinosaur Train DVD, Meeting New Friends, is hardly the first collection of episodes to be released on DVD from the hit series.  At the same time, it is just as enjoyable and impressive as its predecessors.  That is proven in part through the eight original stories that make up the body of the DVD.  The lessons that are tied into the stories add even more depth and enjoyment to the DVD’s presentation.  When the set’s affordable average price point of less than $10 is considered along with the stories and lessons, the whole of the elements, all three elements prove to give audiences of all ages more than enough reason to add this DVD to their home video libraries.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other Dinosaur Train DVDs is available online now along with printables, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtain

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

 

 

 

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Listeners Of All Ages Will Enjoy “Diving Into” ‘Splash And Bubbles” Season 1 Soundtrack

Courtesy: Varese Sarabande/Music Film Recordings/The Jim Henson Company/PBS/PBS Kids/Herschend Studios

Fourteen years ago, one of the worst moves that could have ever happened to the film and television worlds became a reality when the family of Jim Henson sold the rights to the Muppets and so many other related properties to Disney.  The result of that sale has proven to be anything but successful with a handful of Muppet movies that have flopped as well as an equally unsuccessful TV series on ABC.  The irony here is that allegedly Jim Henson wanted to sell to Disney way back in 1990, even farther back in time.  Even Disney’s recent attempt to reboot Muppet Babies has proven to be anything but enjoyable.  One can’t help but wonder how Henson would feel today if he were around and had sold to Disney all those years ago.  For all the damage that Disney has done to Jim Henson’s legacy and that of his creations, it luckily didn’t get full control of everything that The Jim Henson Company does.  That is evidenced in the form of the PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train, Sid The Science Kid and its newest creation, Splash and Bubbles.  The latter of that group debuted on PBS Kids only two years ago and has already gone on to become one of the network’s top 5 most popular series, even finally seeing its first DVD release last week.  The relatively young series even received its own soundtrack accompaniment as the month of June opened thanks to Music Film Recordings, Varese Sarabande, The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios.  The 22-song record is the first of its kind for any PBS Kids series.  Keeping that in mind, it shows that the network’s other shows could easily compete with Disney’s TV show soundtracks.  This is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes also support that statement and will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing supports that statement just as much as the lyrical themes and musical arrangements.  Each element is pivotal in its own right in proving the viability of soundtracks from PBS Kids’ shows.  All things considered, they make Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One a strong first ever effort in what could be a bright musical future for PBS and PBS Kids.

Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One is an intriguing new offering for fans of the family favorite PBS Kids series.  That is especially the case considering that its release early this month marked the first time that any PBS Kids series has seen a soundtrack accompaniment to the show released.  Considering that this is the first time that such a recording has been released, it is a strong first effort that will entertain the whole family.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements within each of its 22 songs.  The arrangements, from start to end, are fun, old school r&b and doo-wop style works.  That is evident right from the compilation’s opener, the series’ title song.  The fund definitely doesn’t end there.  Case in point ‘I Never Knew About You,’ with its bass-driven arrangement.  It conjures thoughts of some of the great songs included in the Blues Brothers movies, especially considering the inclusion of the keyboards and horns.  To that end, this song’s arrangement is just as certain as any other to entertain listeners of all ages.  ‘Hangin’ With Friends’ meanwhile conjures thoughts of Jackson 5, K.C. and the Sunshine Band among others.  As if that isn’t enough, ‘Living It Up’ instantly conjures thoughts of Tina Turner while ‘One Small Ripple’ leads to thoughts of Diana Ross and the Supremes with its gentle, flowing arrangement and harmonies.  One could even reach even farther back with ‘Only in the Ocean’ and compare its arrangement to the likes of The Trammps’ ‘Disco Inferno’ and Rose Royce’s ‘Car Wash.’  That’s the case even despite the fact that this song is only one-minute, 41-seconds long.  Stylistically speaking, there’s no denying the comparisons.  Between these comparisons, the others noted here and so many others that could be made throughout the record – including comparisons to works from Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic and so many others – the clear old school r&b style sounds exhibited throughout this record are sure to entertain adults just as much as their younger counterparts, if not more so.  To that end, one must admit that the record’s collective arrangements are critical in their own right to its presentation.  While they obviously play a key part in the album’s whole, they are not – again, collectively – its only important element.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as important to note here as the record’s arrangements.

The lyrical themes expressed throughout Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the Reef Songs From Season One present their own share of variance, just as with the record’s arrangements.  ‘My Best Friend Ever’ and ‘Hangin’ With Friends’ obviously present the theme of friendship.  ‘I Never Knew About You’ promotes diversity and taking the time to learn about others (I.E. tolerance).  In a time when it seems that xenophobia and racism have so overtly returned to the fore of society, such a theme is not just welcome, but needed as a reminder for children and adults alike.  On a much lighter note, ‘I Don’t Know What I’m Doing,’ – in its own way – seems to promote taking life as it comes and not being so serious about every little thing.  It’s not saying to be carefree about everything, but to not be so serious about everything because being a little bit looser makes life better.  While there are plenty of life lessons presented in the featured songs, there is also an emphasis on caring for the environment in the form of ‘Reeftown Rangers’ and ‘Keep It Clean.’  There are even biology lessons of sorts in the forms of ‘So Many Kinds of Fish,’ ‘Catch a Current,’ ‘The Changing Tide’ and ‘Seasonal Pond.’  Simply put, the lyrical themes featured throughout the record offer just as much to appreciate as the album’s musical arrangements thanks to their own variance.  This makes the album even more welcome in both the home and the classroom.  The compilation’s sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation, proving once more what makes this first-time effort a welcome recording from the involved parties.

Considering that Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One spans 22 songs and 27 minutes, plenty of thought had to have been put into its sequencing.  This is the case even despite the fact that the songs are not very long.  The longest of the featured songs – the southern gospel-tinged ‘Dark in the Deep’ – clocks in at only one minute, 42 seconds and the shortest – ‘Only in the Ocean’ – at 33 seconds.  By and large, the record keeps the energy flowing from one song to the next, slowing things down only three times – early in its run in ‘One Small Ripple,’ later in ‘And So We Celebrate (Coral Day)’ and in the album’s closer ‘Seasonal Pond.’  Other than those three moments, the record keeps things moving fluidly from one song to the next with plenty of mid-tempo and up-tempo arrangements.  It also works hard to keep the lyrical topics varied, so as to ensure even more, listeners’ engagement.  Keeping this in mind, the stability offered through the record’s arrangements does just as much to make this record a welcome companion to its TV series as its arrangements themselves and the album’s lyrical themes.  When all three elements are jointly considered, they make this compilation a fun, welcome accompaniment to its broadcast companion.

Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One is an enjoyable accompaniment to its broadcast counterpart that is just as certain to entertain grown-ups as it is children.  That is proven in part through musical arrangements that are deeply rooted in the old Motown sounds of the 60s and 70s.  Its lyrical themes present just enough variance – from friendship to environmental concern to general biology – to keep young listeners engaged and entertained.  The sequencing of those themes and arrangements shows that plenty of time and thought was put into keeping listeners engaged and entertained in this aspect, too.  When that thought is taken into consideration along with the thought put into the arrangements and lyrical themes, the whole of these elements makes the album in whole an enjoyable companion to the Splash and Bubbles series.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Splash and Bubbles is available online along with plenty of games, activities, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/splashandbubbles

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

 

 

 

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PBS Distribution Bringing Arthur Fans A New “Present” This Summer

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is bringing home another Arthur special this summer.

ArthurD.W. and the Beastly Birthday is scheduled to be released on DVD August 14.  Its upcoming home release will come almost a year after it originally premiered on PBS — August 2, 2017.

The half-hour special takes a page from the beloved book Where The Wild Things Are with a bit of an updated take on that story.  In the case of this story, D.W. “runs away” to the island of Ukubonga when her 5th birthday doesn’t go exactly as she planned.  of course, she doesn’t actually run away.  Meanwhile, Arthur learns his own important lesson when he skips D.W.’s birthday to go to the planetarium with his friends instead.

As an added bonus, D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is complimented by the bonus episode ‘Arthur’s Birthday.’  As the title implies, it centers on Arthur’s birthday.  There’s just one problem.  Muffy Crosswire is having her birthday on the same day as Arthur.  She tells everyone that if they don’t come to her party, they won’t be her friend.  Both Arthur and Muffy learn some valuable lessons here, too.

Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday‘s total run time is 70 minutes on one disc.  It will retail for MSRP of $6.99, and can be pre-ordered at that price via PBS’ online store.  More information on this new forthcoming DVD is available along with plenty of games, activities, printables and more at:

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

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