Twelve years ago, the world lost one of its most important figures when Fred Rogers passed away. Rodgers was one of those very rare figures that was the same in front of the camera as he was away from the set of his beloved series Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood. That is evident in the 2012 documentary Mr. Rodgers & Me. The same year that Mr. Rodgers & Me made its debut, The Fred Rogers Company launched the family friendly series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The CG-based series focuses on one of Mr. Rodgers’ most beloved figures and has gone on since its inception to be one of PBS’ and PBS Kids’ best series. The series has spawned no fewer than six DVDs since the series’ inception, the latest of which was released last month in the form of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel. If Mr. Rodgers were alive today, he would be just as proud of this collection of episodes as the series’ previous compilations. That is because just as with the noted collections, it carries on his legacy with pride. That is evident primarily through the work of the series’ writers. The writers have crafted a multi-part series of episodes that follows the growth of the Tiger family. It is a story to which every family will relate and that in turn that every family will appreciate and enjoy from start to finish. The separation of the story into seven episodes—one of which is a two-part episode, thus making the collection actually eight episodes—makes the DVD even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages. It is that separation that makes the story easier to follow and more enjoyable to follow, too. The coloring pages and activities included with the disc as bonus material rounds out the reasons that audiences will enjoy this disc. The bonus material in question is the same as that found on PBS Kids’ previous Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs. That means that even if a family doesn’t have the previously released DVDs, no family will feel left out at least to that extent. The combination of that positive with the DVD’s other noted elements shows clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is another must have for any family that is expecting a new member of the family.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is not the first in the show’s series of DVDs. And it likely isn’t the last. Regardless, it is another piece that any family will enjoy. Those families expecting a new member will especially enjoy it. That is primarily because of the work of the show’s writers. While the writers have tackled important issues for young viewers such as emotional development, general social skills (E.g. sharing, patience, etc.) and for much younger audiences, the importance of dental hygiene and even potty training. Now with this DVD, the show’s writers have taken on a pretty lofty topic in the upcoming expansion of Daniel’s family. Daniel learns in the episodes presented here that he’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore. It’s a topic to which so many families will happily relate. That is especially the case being that the writers made the story like something right out of any everyday family’s growth. There are no outrageous additions to the story. Though, it is shortened up somewhat. That is obviously for the sake of time. But from the announcement of his parents expecting a new addition to the family to his various emotional stages before, during, and after his sister’s birth, audiences will see just how easily the story reaches audiences. It especially makes discussions for families that are themselves expecting to expand all the easier. That the writing behind the episodes can entertain and reach such a broad spectrum of viewers shows exactly why the writing is so pivotal in to the DVD’s enjoyment. It’s just one part of the whole that makes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel a must have for any family.
The work of the writers in the episodes collected for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brothers Daniel shows by itself one obvious reason that any family will welcome this DVD just as much as its own new addition. On a related note, the fact that the story was separated out into seven stand-alone stories makes the presentation overall even better. The separation of the story into seven stand-alone episodes keeps them just long (or short) enough to keep younger viewers engaged. This is nothing new for episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Anyone familiar with the series and its DVDs will attest to that. It’s also very smart. Keeping the attention of its target viewers also means an increased chance of getting the key concepts of each episode and of the story in whole through to said viewers. Each episode runs about fifteen minutes, putting the DVD’s total run time at approximately two hours. So not only will young viewers get (and hopefully retina) the presented important life lessons in a short time, they will also be kept entertained for two hours. That is a win-win for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition. It’s yet another way that this new DVD shines and proves to be its own welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.
Both the writing that went into Big Brother Daniel’s episodes and the separation of the episodes that make up the DVD’s body are important to the enjoyment of the presentation in whole. Both elements work together to keep audiences of all ages fully engaged from beginning to end. They also work in tandem to serve as a wonderful starting point for any family that may be expecting its own new addition. As important as all of this is to the DVD’s overall presentation, there is still one more element to note that every family will appreciate about it. That final element is the disc’s collective bonus material. Yet again, PBS Kids and The Fred Rodgers Company have included the same bonus material that was included in the series’ previous DVDs. That material in question includes an activity that teaches both healthy eating and healthy expressions of feelings, another activity that teaches children to use their imaginations as they go on a make-believe train ride. There are even a number of printable coloring pages, too. And of course, there is a music video included that can be viewed without having to dig into the DVD. It can be accessed simply by playing the DVD versus having to dig into the DVD’s other bonuses which have to be accessed separately. Whether as part of the DVD itself or a separate .pdf file, the bonus material included with this DVD rounds out the elements that make it so enjoyable and a must have for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition. The bonus material may be old hat for some. But for others it could be just as new as new baby. And for those audiences, it proves to be a welcome addition to the DVD’s overall presentation. Combined with the work of the show’s writers and the separation of the story into its own stand-alone episodes, all three elements show clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of whether or not it is expecting its own new addition.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel proves in the end to have plenty of positives, as has been noted here. Whether for the writing incorporated into each episode, the separation of the story in to seven stand-alone episodes, or for the inclusion of its bonus material included in each previously released Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD, the is plenty to like about this latest DVD. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51196856&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. Families can also enjoy more episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and play Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games online at http://pbskids.org/daniel. Fans can also go there or the official Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv for all of the latest updates on the show and more. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.