‘Xavier Riddle And The Secret Museum’ Makes Its DVD Debut This Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids’ new hit animated series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum will get its first DVD release this month.

Xavier Riddle and the Secret MuseumMeet Xavier is scheduled for release March 17.  The episode features three episodes from the series, which teaches young viewers about history and some of the most well-known figures from history.

The DVD’s title episode Xavier and his friends meet famed scientist Marie Curie.  Curie reminds Brad that he should never five up on his dreams.  “I Am George Washington,” another of the DVD’s episodes, teaches young viewers about the importance of taking care of Earth.  “I Am Charles Dickens” finds Yadina learning that using one’s own imagination is just as enjoyable as toys in entertaining one’s self.

Xavier Riddle and the Secret MuseumMeet Xavier will retail for MSRP of $9.99.  More information on Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is available online along with lots of games, activities, printables and more at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/xavier

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

 

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Every Family Will Welcome The Berenstain Bears’ Second Season Set Into Their Own Houses

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

The Berenstain Bears have, for decades, entertained and educated adults and children of all ages.  Between the countless books that have been released, the short-lived animated series from 1985 (which is available now in full on DVD) and the 2003 series, which ran for three seasons, families across the nation (and world) have come to love Papa, Mama, Brother and Sister, their stories and life lessons.  This spring, that enjoyment will continue when PBS Distribution releases the third collection of episodes from the 2003 series on DVD.  The two-disc set is scheduled for release May 19.  While audience await the arrival of that collection, they have the second collection, released Jan. 28, to enjoy.  The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 2 is a wonderful collection that every family will enjoy partly because of its featured stories, which will be discussed shortly.  The lessons tied to the stories add even more to the set’s enjoyment and will be discussed a little later.  Keeping in mind the value of the set’s collective primary and secondary content, the whole of The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 2 boasts an average price point, that is notable in its own right.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the double-disc set.  All things considered, they make the collection a presentation that is one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 2 is a wonderful presentation that families everywhere will welcome in their own houses.  That is due in part to the stories that are featured in this set.  Approximately 26 stories make up the body of the two-disc collection.  Those stories are in fact the whole of the series’ second season.  They are presented in the exact same chronological order in which they originally aired, too, from July 14, 2003 and July 30, 2003.  Keeping this in mind, it is a bit of a headscratcher as to why this collection wasn’t just called “Season Two” instead of “Volume Two.”  Using the title “Volume Two” becomes somewhat misleading, considering that said term “volume” is typically used for compilation sets rather than full season sets.  The same approach was used in the series’ debut “volume,” which was released Sept. 17.  The stories themselves find the Bear family – Papa, Mama, Sister and Brother – dealing with a variety of very real life situations, making them relatable to audiences of all ages.  The story at the center of “Too Much Pressure,” for instance, finds the Bear family trying to figure out its overly-crowded weekly schedule.  What family out there doesn’t deal with that issue?  Exactly.  The season’s opener, ‘The Excuse Note’ is something that, again, audiences of all ages can appreciate because we have all been there.  Sister tries to lie to get out of gym class because she doesn’t enjoy it.  This is also a plot element that has been used multiple times before and since this episode’s airing.  We’ve all tried to figure out ways out of things we don’t want to do, which is ties to the story’s lesson.  This will be addressed a little later.  Getting back on topic, “The Perfect Fishing Spot” finds Papa and Sister heading out to get the perfect fish for a special dinner.  This leads to another key lesson that is featured within the season.  Between these and so many other stories featured in the second season of The Berenstain Bears, the stories that make up the series’ second season give audiences more than enough reason to bring this set home.

The stories that make up the body of The Berenstain Bears’ second season go a long way toward making this collection worth owning for any family.  They are just one key aspect of the set that makes its presentation so appealing.  The lessons that are tied into each story are themselves critical to the set’s presentation, too.  As noted already, Papa learns his own valuable lesson in “The Perfect Fishing Spot” He learns that the biggest prize isn’t the best and that he needs to make sure he keeps his focus when he says he is doing something for someone else.  This is something with which we all deal with all the time.  We start out wanting to do something nice for someone else, but somewhere along the line, we end up losing that focus and start focusing on what we want.  That is what happens here with Papa.  He admits in the end that is what has happened as he tries to get the biggest fish possible for the grandparents’ special dinner.  He admits he started trying to find the perfect fishing spot (and fish) more for himself than for them.  It takes Sister reminding Papa for him to realize what he was doing.  The lesson that Papa learns is not the only one involving priorities.  He also learns what happens when he puts winning over friendship in “The Prize Pumpkin.”  That lesson is one to which audiences of all ages can relate.

Papa isn’t the only member of the Bear family to learn some valuable lessons this season.  Brother and Sister learn a lesson about friendship in “Ferdy Factual.”  The duo leans that some people deal with their feelings in different ways and don’t always mean to act rude to others.  It’s just that they struggle to come to terms with their discomfort in certain situations.  Dealing with that issue is just a matter of being nice to those people and maybe they will open up and be nicer.  The cubs also learn in this season, the invaluable lesson that helping others can actually help one feel very good inside.  That lesson comes in two different episodes – “Lend A Helping Hand” and “Nothing To Do.”  The whole family leans an equally invaluable lesson in “Too Much Pressure” about the importance of setting limits and priorities in life, not just in terms of setting weekly schedules, in “Too Much Pressure.”  It’s yet another key lesson that will always be timely and relatable.  Considering the importance of that lesson, those featured in the other noted episodes and in the rest of the season’s episodes, it becomes clear why the lessons featured in this season are just as important to its presentation as the stories to which they are tied.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear that the primary and secondary content featured in this collection does a lot to make the set well worth owning.  It also makes the set’s average price point money well spent.

The average price point for The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 2 is $11.65.  That price is reached by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  None of the set’s price even reaches $15, and the least expensive of the listings is at Target — $8.69 – while the most expensive of the listings is at Books-A-Million and at PBS’ store, at $14.99.   Walmart’s listing of $8.77 makes a good middle ground.  The $9.99 listing at Amazon and Best Buy are easy on the bank account, too.  Even if audiences choose PBS’ store or Barnes & Noble Booksellers, they still won’t break the bank.  That is the most important thing to consider here.  Regardless of which route audiences go, the price is anything but prohibitive.  It is a price that is accessible for every consumer.  Keeping this in mind, the affordable price point of this set and its primary and secondary content makes this second season set from The Berenstain Bears another welcome addition to any home.

PBS Distribution’s latest Berenstain Bears season collection is a presentation that every family will happily welcome in their own houses.  That is due to the set’s stories and their related lessons, which are all timeless in their own right.  The set’s affordable average price point makes that set that much more appealing.  Neither the set’s average price point, nor its singular prices are price prohibitive.  The most expensive listing from the major retailers is $14.99, which is relatively affordable for anyone.  Keeping all of this in mind, The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume Two is a presentation that deserves to be in any family’s house.  More information on this DVD, PBS distribution’s upcoming release of Tree House Tales Volume Three and all of the latest Berenstain Bears news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.berenstainbears.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

 

 

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Amazon Prime Video Channel Streaming New Collection Of ‘Dinosaur Train’ Episodes; ‘Molly Of Denali,’ ‘Arthur’ Episodes Coming

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/Amazon

PBS Kids is streaming more episodes of Dinosaur Train on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Dinosaur TrainVolume 10 started streaming Friday. The five-episode collection features the episodes ‘The Tiny-Saur Train/How Many Horns,’ ‘Don’s Hole-iday’/’We’re Not All Dinosaurs,’ ‘Gilbert The Conductor’/A Clubhouse of Their Own,’ ‘Mom Was A Kid Once (Parts 1 & 2)’ and ‘A Brand New Species (Parts 1 & 2).’

This latest collection of episodes takes the Pteranodon kids off to China for one episode.  In yet another episode, the kids meet a new friend who happens to be a small mammal named Adele Alphadon.  ‘A Treehouse of their Own’ finds the Pteranodon kids wanting a place of their own to hang out that is separate from that of the neighbors.  The kids eventually find the right materials to build their treehouse, thanks to help from their mom.

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS/Amazon

The Dinosaur Train episodes that are streaming now via the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel will help audiences pass the time until the premiere of Molly of Denali Volume Four and the new Arthur special, ‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur.’  The prior is scheduled to start streaming Jan. 17 and will feature five episodes from the fledgling series while the latter is scheduled to start streaming Jan. 21.

Molly of Denali Volume Four will feature the episodes ‘Northern Lights/Fiddlesticks,’ ‘Mollyball/Visit Qyah,’ ‘The Night Manager/Not So Permafrost,’ ‘Tooth or Consequences’/Qyah Spy’ and ‘Ice Scuplture/Tale of the Totem.’

‘Northern Lights’ presents Molly working to introduce her friend Trini to the famed Northern Lights after Trini confesses she has never seen them in person.  Molly and her friends make up their own game called ‘Mollyball’ in the aptly-named episode after wet cements ruins plans by Molly and her friends to play a game of basketball.

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS/Amazon

In Arthur‘s new movie ‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur,’ Arthur learns an important lesson about family and about music, culture and history when he and his family take a trip to visit his Great-Grand Uncle Theo.  Theo is celebrating his 85th birthday, and as the family celebrates, Arthur leans that life in the country is dramatically different from life in the city.

‘The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur’ runs one hour.

More information on these collections and the latest news from PBS Kids is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org

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

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New ‘Berenstain Bears’ Collection

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution will release a new collection of episodes from The Berenstain Bears animated series later this month.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume Two is scheduled for release Jan. 28 on DVD. The two-disc collection features 26 episodes from the series that teach lots of family values.  One episodes features Sister being picked to represent her school in a jump rope contest.  Papa’s friendship with his longtime friend Farmer Ben is tested when a pumpkin growing contest is announced.

In one of the set’s non-contest episodes, Brother teams up with Freddy to create a flying device for their fifth grade science contest.  The episode teaches lessons about teamwork and communication, just come of the lessons featured throughout the course of the collection.

The Berenstain BearsTree House Tales Volume Two runs a total of 340 minutes (just over five hours).  It will retail for MSRP of $14.99.  It can be ordered online through PBS’ online store.

More information on this and other Berenstain Bears collections is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.berenstainbears.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phi’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Arthur’ Leads 2019’s Top New Family DVDs/BDs With Its New Celebration Of Diversity

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Entertaining children and keeping them  entertained is not an easy task.  Every parent out there can attest to this statement, including this critic.  Thankfully, new DVDs and Blu-rays are released annually that go a long way toward keeping children entertained while also bringing families together.  This year saw its own share of strong new DVDs and Blu-rays for families, too.  That was thanks to PBS Distribution, Shout! Factory  and even — believe it or not — Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  From Sesame Street to Wild Kratts to even Scooby Doo and more, this year’s family-friendly DVD and BD releases offered hours of entertainment.

As with every list presented so far, this year’s list features the Top 10 titles of the year, plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 new releases.  Without further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Family DVDs and BDs.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

  1. ArthurArthur Celebrates Community
  2. Ready Jet Go!One Small Step
  3. Ready Jet Go!Space Rocks
  4. Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide
  5. The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
  6. Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes
  7. Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun
  8. Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection
  9. Sesame StreetCelebrate Family
  10. Scooby Doo & The Curse of the 13th Ghost
  11. Wild KrattsCreepy Creatures
  12. Wild KrattsBriny Blue Sea
  13. Splash & BubblesPole To Pole
  14. Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big & Small
  15. Oddsockeaters

 

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PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ DVD Tuesday

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution will release another new collection of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes Tuesday.

Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes is scheduled for release Tuesday on DVD and online.  The DVD features 142 minutes of episodes that focus on making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.  World famous pianist Andre Watts joins Mister Rogers in one of those episodes, with the pair talking about practicing and learning from mistakes.

Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes will retail for MSRP of $9.99.  More information on this and other titles from PBS Distribution is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbsdistribution.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSDistribution.org

 

More information on this and other titles from the Fred Rogers Company is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://fredrogers.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FredRogersPro

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration’ Is Fun But Falls Short Of Expectations

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

One week ago today, the beloved children’s television series Sesame Street marked a very important moment in its history.  The educational series celebrated 50 years on television.  That is a long time for any series to be on television.  Few series have lasted such a long time.  The only series that has lasted longer is Jeopardy.  For those wondering, The Price is Right did not premiere until Sept. 4, 1972.  In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the show’s heads created a special episode to mark the occasion.  It has already run on HBO, and will air tonight on PBS Kids stations nationwide.  Following its airings, it will be available on DVD on Dec. 3 through an ongoing partnership between Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop.  The celebration is enjoyable in its own right and worth an occasional watch.  That is due to the collective whole of its overall content.  While the program’s overall content ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment, the way in which said content was presented sadly detracts from that enjoyment and engagement.  Luckily, the negative impact of the program’s editing and ordering is not enough to make it unwatchable.  The program’s bonus content couples with its primary content to add to its appeal.  When that collective content is considered alongside the issues raised by the program’s editing and ordering, the presentation in whole proves to be maybe not a perfect celebration of Sesame Street, but one that is worth at least an occasional watch.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s new 50th Anniversary celebration of Sesame Street is an interesting program that is worth at least an occasional watch.  That is due in part to its overall content.  The main presentation finds Elmo and his friends looking for Sesame Street’s street sign because it has gone missing on the very day that the neighborhood’s gang is to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary.  As the group searches for the sign, they also have to keep host Joseph Gordon-Levitt from knowing the sign has gone missing.  Along the way, some random segments featuring some of the shows’ most well-known and beloved musical numbers are performed by the likes of Meghan Trainor, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello and Nile Rogers.  Of course it is obvious that some of the performances in question are lip synched; specifically speaking those of Trainor and Rogers.  They come across more like music videos than actual performances, which sadly do detract somewhat from the program’s enjoyment, but not so much so that the program is unwatchable.  Elmo and company’s search eventually reaches a happy ending with a surprise.  The whole thing lasts roughly one hour.

Following the finale of the program’s main presentation, audiences are treated to a series of guest appearances from other celebrities as they introduce their favorite moments from Sesame Street’s history.  In all, there are four segments.  Each segment is accompanied by the full-length segments which each guest star discusses with members of the Sesame Street gang.  These segments, honestly, offer more in the way of engagement and entertainment than the main program in this presentation.  This is where the program takes a bit of a turn.

The overall primary content featured in the Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration offers a certain amount of entertainment for audiences.  However, the editing and arrangement of said content detracts considerably from the presentation.  It would have made more sense (at least in this critic’s own view) for the extra guest appearances and segments to have been made part of the overall celebration than their own standalone presentation.  Instead of just having random musical numbers as part of the main presentation to break up the search for the sign segments, it would have made more sense to have Elmo and company go around Sesame Street, meeting those guests, who were hanging out with the other members of the Sesame Street “gang,” during the search for the sign, have the noted guests talk about their favorite memories and transition to those segments and then go back to the search for the sign than to have the whole assembled how it was put together.  By just incorporating the random celebrities the way in which they were used in the main presentation, the main program just feels disjointed, and the celebs just seem like little more than window dressing.  All in all, the editing drastically detracts from the general effect of the program’s presentation.  While it does not make the program unwatchable, it does detract from the presentation enough, that it makes one wonder how much thought and time was put into planning and scripting this celebration.  The effect is that while it does pay tribute to Sesame Street, its history and impact, the main presentation here is worth maybe an occasional watch, but is not the truly memorable tribute that it could have been.

While the editing and scripting of Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration clearly hurts the celebration’s presentation, it does not make it completely unwatchable.  The program’s bonus content, which is brief in itself, does a little more to add to the program’s appeal.  There is a brief “Elmo’s World” segment in which Elmo talks about the different kinds of celebrations with his smart phone friend “Smartie” and an even more brief look back at Sesame Street’s half-century history.  It is essentially just a video compilation of the series’ opening segments that eventually end up making a video mosaic of the show.  Again, this is where the scripting and editing come back into play.  That video mosaic of sorts could and should have been used to open the program instead of having Cookie Monster taking a cab ride to Sesame Street as he tries to find out where Sesame Street is.  How would Cookie Monster not know how to get to Sesame Street?  That is just not believable.  Getting back on topic, the bonus content overall adds a little bit of entertainment for audiences.  When it is considered along with the program’s primary content, the end result is an overall presentation that is worth an occasional watch, but certainly is sadly not the celebration that it surely could and should have been for such an iconic series.

Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration is an intriguing offering for audiences.  Considering the rich history of Sesame Street and the impact that it has had for half a century, the “celebration” is worth an occasional watch, but sadly falls short of being the tribute that it could and should have been.  The content that makes up the body of the program’s main presentation will entertain and engage audiences, but the editing and scripting of that main presentation greatly detracts from the program’s impact.  The bonus content that comes with the program’s DVD presentation works with the program’s content in its main presentation to make the whole enjoyable, but sadly not memorable.  Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration will be available on DVD Dec. 3.  More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.