PBS Distribution’s Debut ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Set Is Awesome

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The wait is officially over for the first ever collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ animated series Molly of Denali.  The two-disc collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season released Tuesday, and it largely lives up to its title.  That is proven in part through its episodes, which will be discussed shortly.  The stories that are featured in the episodes build on the appeal formed through the compilation’s featured episodes.  They will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements, considering the extensive content featured in this set.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the presentation of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures.  All things considered, they make this double-disc set a great first collection from the Peabody Award®-winning series.

PBS Kids’ first-ever collection of Molly of Denali episodes, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive DVD debut from the series.  That is due in no small part to its featured episodes.  The collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season.  That equals to 16 full-length half hour episodes, which is almost half of the body of the series’ only season so far.  Season one consists of 40 full half-hour episodes.  For the most part, the featured episodes are presented in chronological order, though there is some jumping around at points.  Ironically, being that each episode is presented in full, one can’t help but wonder why they were split up in the presentation here rather than being presented exactly as they were on television.  That aside, it is still good to see so much of the first season presented together rather than just have a jumble of shorts from the bigger overall episodes.  Hopefully audiences will not have to wait too long to complete their Season One collections, keeping all of this in mind.

While the episodes that are featured in Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures (that’s a lot of alliteration, isn’t it?) do a lot collectively to make this collection appealing, they are just a part of what makes it so appealing.  The stories that are featured within the episodes play into the collection’s appeal in their own right.  That is because they are so diverse.  Case in point is the story featured in “Book of Mammoths.”  As Molly and her dad go on a camping trip, they meet a tourist named Travis who is a conspiracy theorist of sorts.  He has read a book that has led him to believe that mammoths are still alive in Qyah.  This is a sort of spoof of all the people who think aliens have been to Earth since prehistoric times.  On a completely different note, “Name Game” and “Grandpa’s Drum” focus on the importance of accepting, appreciating, and recording cultural diversity and history.  “Qyah Spy,” yet another featured entry in this set, offers audiences yet another enjoyable story.  Molly and Tooey play spies as a mysterious stranger comes to Qyah and she thinks some of the town’s residents are being very secretive.  She thinks someone in town is up to no good, but the reality is the exact opposite.  Between these stories and so many others featured in the collection’s episodes, audiences get so much wonderful variety throughout the course of the collection’s approximately six-and-a-half hour run time.  Keeping this and the sheer volume of content in the set in mind, the set’s average price point proves to be its own positive.

The average price point of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is $12.49.  That price was reached by averaging listings at Amazon, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  It was not listed through Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ stores at the time of this review’s posting.  PBS’ listing and that of Books-A-Million are the most expensive, at $14.99 each.  Amazon and Best Buy each  list the set at $9.99, which is well below that average.  Considering again, the extensive amount of content featured in this collection, and the variety therein, a listing of roughly $10 is not bad at all.  Even $15 is not too bad though obviously lower prices are available.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS will still benefit in the end, so either way along with audiences.  To that end the set’s average and separate price listings prove their own value to this presentation just as much as the set’s content.  All things considered , PBS Distribution’s new Molly of Denali proves to in fact be awesome.

PBS Distribution’s debut Molly of Denali DVD set, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive first home release from the award-winning animated series.  That is proven in part through its extensive episode listing, which covers almost half of the series’ first (and only so far) season.  The variety presented within the episodes is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.  The set’s average price point puts the finishing touch to its appeal, coming in at less than $15.  The separate listings each are less than $20, adding even more appeal to that note.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the double-disc set.  All things considered, the collection truly lives up to its name, leaving no doubt that it is in fact awesome.

More information on Molly of Denali is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/molly

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MollyOfDenali

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 Kids’ New ‘Arthur’ Special Is An Enjoyable Way To Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids is doing its part to get families ready for Thanksgiving with a new Arthur special.  The network is scheduled to air An Arthur Thanksgiving Nov. 16 on PBS Kids.  That is a little more than two weeks from the day of this posting.  The almost hour-long holiday special is a mostly enjoyable new offering from the long-running animated series, though is not without at least one concern, which will be addressed a little later.  The concern in question is tied in to the special’s writing and the series’ as it relates to the series’ overall history.  Taking a step back, the story that is featured in the story makes for its own interest.  It will be discussed short.  The story’s pacing couples with the story to make for even more appeal.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the special.  All things considered, they make An Arthur Thanksgiving a special for while audiences will be thankful.

PBS Kids’ forthcoming Thanksgiving special An Arthur Thanksgiving is a mostly enjoyable new way for families to get into the holiday spirit.  That is due in part to its story.  The story in question is a two-pronged presentation that one side, follows Arthur’s search for his dog Pal.  Pal goes missing after Arthur puts him outside on a chain.  Pal is put out after Arthur’s dad accuses Pal of eating a plate of food that he (Arthur’s dad) prepared.  Not to give away too much here ahead of the special’s airing, the accusation stems from something that Arthur does, which results in a communication breakdown and Pal being put outside.  When Francine’s cat Nemo comes along to tease Pal, Pal gets off his leash and chases after the Nemo, leading Pal to get lost.  He tries to find his way back home and meets some new four-legged friends along the way, and shares a Thanksgiving meal with them so to speak.  In the midst of all of this, Arthur is searching for Pal while also preparing for the annual Elwood City Thanksgiving Parade.  When things go awry with the parade, the group ends up joining the search for Pal.  The search and the problems with the parade lead to a unique Thanksgiving dinner at the Read family home.  The story involving Pal and that involving Arthur’s preparation for the parade (and the problems that stem there from) are well-balanced throughout the approximately 56-minute special and is sure to entertain and engage audiences of all ages. 

For all that the story does to make the special so special, it is not without at least one fault.  That one fault comes from one specific element within the special’s story.  It involves the introduction (or rather re-introduction) of Arthur and D.W.’s aunt, Minnie.  Minnie reveals in a letter that she is coming to Elwood City for the family’s Thanksgiving.  When she does show up, she and Arthur apparently do not know one another.  This is shown as Arthur asks her who she is.  This is problematic because Minnie was involved in this special’s most recent predecessor, The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur, which aired in January of this year.  Arthur and D.W. travel to the Read family farm in Ohio in the noted special to celebrate a family member’s birthday, and Minnie shows up for that celebration, too.  Arthur and D.W. each met Minnie in that special, so to that end, having her a stranger to Arthur and D.W. in An Arthur Thanksgiving shows that someone either forgot about that special or they knew about it and it was just allowed to pass.  It is a minor issue with this element of the special’s overall story, but is still problematic in its own right.  Of course it is not such a detractor that it makes the special a failure.  On another note, Minnnie makes a revelation that means audiences may well see more from her in the series in the not too distant future.  That revelation will be left for audiences to learn for themselves.

The one plot hole that is evidenced in An Arthur Thanksgiving’s story cannot be ignored, but is not enough of an issue to make the special a failure.  The story’s pacing couples with the story itself to make it more appealing to audiences.  Considering the number of plot elements that are at work in the story and that it is a multi-faceted story, it would have been so easy for the special to get bogged down in itself.  The writers did not let that happen, luckily.  Audiences are able to follow everything happening without ever feeling left behind or even getting lost in everything.  To that end, the story will ensure even more that audiences remain engaged and entertained.  That is even with the one negative taken into account.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself another enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit as Thanksgiving nears.

PBS Kids’ new Arthur special, An Arthur Thanksgiving is, overall, an enjoyable way for families to get into the holiday spirit as they count down the days to Thanksgiving.  That is proven in part through its multi-pronged story, which finds Arthur’s family and friends coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving in quite the unexpected way.  The story does feature one plot hole that audiences cannot ignore.  Even as noticeable as it is, it is not enough to make the special a failure.  The pacing of the special’s story couples with the story itself to make the special that much more of a success.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the special.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself a presentation for which audiences will be thankful.

More information on An Arthur Thanksgiving is available along with lots of Arthur printables, activities, games and more at:

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

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.

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Kids’ animate series Molly of Denali is coming to DVD.

PBS Distribution is scheduled to release its new two-disc compilation Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures Nov. 10. The Peabody Award-winning series’ new collection with feature 32 episodes, more than three-quarters of its existing first season at an MSRP of $14.99.

Among the most notable of the collection’s featured shorts are episodes, such as “Hot Springs Eternal” (yes, a spoof of Hope Springs Eternal), “A-Maze-ing Snow,” and “First Fish.” The latter of that trio features a story of Molly going on her first fishing trip with her family. She wants to catch her first fish, but along the way, ends up catching her friend Tooey’s boot. It’s up to Molly to use her knowledge of the salmon life cycle to catch her first fish.

A-Maze-ing Snow” the roof on Molly’s school needs repairs, but the school can’t afford them. As a result, Molly comes up with the idea for a community ‘fun’-raiser with a large snow maze. Things don’t go exactly as planned, though Molly and her friends do manage to raise enough money to repair the school’s roof.

“Hot Springs Eternal follows Molly as she tried to find a hot spring that her Grandpa Nat discovered in his younger days. The pair sets off with Molly’s dad and her best friend Tooey to find the fabled hot spring. It’s up to Molly’s knowledge of the stars to help guide the group to the hot spring.

More information on Molly of Denali is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/molly

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

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 PBS Kids Prime Video Channel November Streaming Schedule

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS is adding more content to its PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The channel’s November programming schedule is headlined Nov. 17 with a new Arthur movie celebrating Thanksgiving. Arthur: An Arthur Thanksgiving finds Arthur’s family and friends from across Elwood coming together to help Arthur find his dog Pal. Meanwhile, D.W. and Aunt Minnie have to learn to come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

CYBERCHASE VOL. 12

The month’s new programming schedule opens Nov. 6 with Cyberchase Vol . 12. The hit math-based animated series’ 12th collection of episodes features five more episodes that take audiences throughout cyber space. In one of the volume’s episodes, “Missing Bats in Sensible Flats,” audiences learn about the importance of bats when Digit’s cousin Brigit is in a bind. her cactus plants are not creating any fruit because the bats that are needed to pollinate them are missing. It’s up to the CyberSquad to find out what happened to them.

“Soil Turmoil” is another of the volume’s episodes. This episode follows the CyberSquad as it works to find out what is causing problems in the soil beneath Serene Greens. the search happens after Hapo the earthworm comes to the Cybersquad for help.

“Water Woes” focuses on efforts by Buzz and Delete to give The Hacker a relaxing spa day. There is just one problem. The water supply suddenly stops flowing. This means it’s up to the CyberSquad to find out what’s happened.

NATURE CAT VOL. 10

PBS’s November calendar of kids’ programming continues Nov. 13 on its Prime Video Channel with another collection of Nature Cat episodes in Nature Cat: Volume 10.

This latest collection consists of four more episodes from the his nature/science-based series. One of the episodes featured in this collection is “Tally Ho! A Volcano/No Rest For The Squeeky.” The first short in this episode finds Nature Cat and his friends playing a game of lava for their volcanologist club. There’s just one problem: The group wants to step up its game, meaning the need to find a volcano. The second short teaches the importance of sleep for the mind and body as Squeaks tries to stay up all night doing things, such as skateboarding, yodeling, and doing karate.

“Amber Rocks/The Big Stink” is another of the four episodes featured in this collection. The episode’s first short follows Daisy as she discovers what could be amber as she is cleaning the beach. “The Big Stink” the friends find some stinky mushrooms in Ronald’s backyard, and learn about them.

XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM VOLUME 5

The fifth collection of episodes from the history-based animated series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum continues PBS Kids Prime Channel’s new content streaming on Nov. 20.

Four episodes fill out this collection.

ELINOR WONDERS WHY VOLUME 4

Elinor Wonders Why is still very much a new series for PBS Kids, but it has already turned out enough episodes for a fourth volume of episodes.

The series’ fourth volume is scheduled to start streaming Nov. 27 with four more episodes. “Water You Doing?/Thinking About Blinking” is one of the volume’s featured episodes. The first short in this episode teaches a basic lesson about engineering and problem solving when Elinor and her friends try to figure out how to cross a stream. The group ends up building a bridge made out of stones. “Thinking About Blinking” takes on the timeless topic of staring contests. Ari has won a bunch of staring contests at school in the short’s base, which leads him to be named the school’s “Blinking Champion.”

“Make Music Naturally/Light The Way” is another notable episode featured in this latest collection. The episode’s first short teaches a basic lesson about music when Elinor and her friends hear that Senior Tapir is going to have a concert. They want to take part in the concert, but don’t have any instruments. The second short teaches a basic lesson about morse code and non-verbal communication when the kids go out on a camping trip with Elinor’s dad as their chaperone. When he falls asleep, they have to figure out how to talk without waking him up, leading to the lesson.

Subscription to PBS Kids’ Prime Video Channel is $4.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. More information on PBS Kids’ Prime Video Channel programming is available along with all of PBS’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PBS

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.

Viewers Of All Ages Will Want To “Explore” PBS Distribution’s Latest ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Five seasons is a relatively long time for any television series to last.  That is how long PBS/PBS Kids’ series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has lasted since its premiere in 2012.  It just ran its fifth season in August 2019.  The program has continue Fred Rogers’ legacy, teaching young viewers lessons about topics, such as how to express their feelings, how to play well with others and appreciating the small things in the world.  Those lessons have also made their way to an expansive series of DVDs (23 single disc collections), the latest of is scheduled for release Tuesday in the form of Explore The Outdoors.  This latest offering is another enjoyable presentation for its target audiences.  That is proven in part through the set’s featured episodes.  The use of the episode separators while minor, is actually key in its own way to the viewing experience, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The lessons that are incorporated into the episodes are another important part of the presentation’s whole.  They will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Explore The Outdoors another positive addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.

Explore The Outdoors, the latest addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of DVDs from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, is another enjoyable offering for the show’s target audiences.  That is proven in part through the collection’s featured episodes.  Six episodes are featured in this latest collection.  The majority of the episodes do well in sticking to the DVD’s central theme of exploring the outdoors.  The only exceptions to that rule come in the form of ‘Daniel Plays in A Gentle Way’ and ‘Daniel’s Toy.’  The episodes feature stories that do find Daniel and his friends outside, but are more about playing together outdoors than actually exploring the outdoors.  So they are a bit of a stretch, but do at least feature stories that take Daniel and company outdoors.  The other four featured episodes are more in line with the DVD’s theme.  From exploring the outdoors and appreciating all that nature has to offer in the title episode and in its companion, “Daniel’s Nature Walk,” to learning about lizards in another, to being active outdoors, playing with a kite in “Daniel Feels Two Feelings,” the DVD’s episodes largely stay true to its theme.

While not presented chronologically, the episodes present a snapshot of the series, as they are lifted from the program’s second, third and fourth seasons.  That in itself proves to be a positive for audiences.  That is because again, the episodes serve that latent function of showing various examples of the show’s writing over the course of its run.  To that extent, whether intended or not, the episodes play an even larger part in the DVD’s presentation.  When considered with the fact that the episodes do largely follow the DVD’s central title theme, they show even more why they are critical in their own right to the DVD’s presentation.  They are just one of the DVD’s key elements, to note.  The mid-show spacers that are featured with the episodes play their own important part to its whole.

The mid-show separators that are featured with Explore The Outdoors might not seem all that important to the DVD’s presentation on the surface.  However, their addition actually adds to the viewing experience.  Their inclusion with the episodes actually make it feel that much more like audiences are watching the episodes on TV rather than on DVD.  Keeping in mind that counterparts to the series, such as Let’s Go Luna, Curious George, and Arthur all have mid-show separators, but do not include them in the shows’ DVD releases makes for a clearer picture.  It’s an aesthetic element, but an element nonetheless that plays into the set’s presentation, and its inclusion here adds its own share of value to the DVD’s presentation, too.  It is not the last of the DVD’s most important elements, either.  The lessons that are tied into the featured episodes are key, too.

The lessons that are incorporated into the DVD’s featured episodes are important to note in that they will prove familiar to any of the series’ longtime viewers.  “Daniel Feels Two Feelings” presents audiences with yet another lesson about handling our feelings.  That is nothing new to the series, but still as welcome as ever.  “Daniel’s Toy” teaches young viewers that not everybody likes the same things, and that we should not degrade others just because they like different things.  That is a lesson that sadly adults need to learn over again.  The lesson about appreciating the importance of playing quietly and safely that is incorporated into “Daniel Plays In A Gentle Way” is reminiscent of the lesson in another story in while Daniel wanted to play loud, but his friend O The Owl wanted to play quietly.  Again, it is a lesson that deserves reminding.  The other three episodes featured in this DVD all present lessons about the wonder of nature, which will resonate with any child, and hopefully get said children outside and active.  All things considered, each lesson presents its own value and will certainly serve as a solid starting point for discussion between parents and their children about the noted topics.  When this is considered along with the importance of the DVD’s aesthetics and its episodes, the whole of the DVD becomes a presentation that is just as welcome in any family’s home DVD library as its predecessors.

PBS Distribution’s latest addition to its ongoing series of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs, Explore The Outdoors is another successful entry in that series.  It is a presentation that ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment just as much as those DVDs.  That is due in part to its featured episodes, which largely follow the DVD’s title theme.  The mid-show separators that come with the episodes add their own depth to the set’s presentation.  The same can be said of the lessons that are incorporated into the episodes.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the DVD another successful offering that will be welcome in any family’s home library.

More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs is available online now along with activities, games, printouts and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

 

 

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 sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ DVD This Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution will release a new collection of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes on DVD this fall.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Explore The Outdoors is scheduled for release Sept. 22.  The single-disc collection features six episodes of the beloved series, all of which center on the topic of going outside and appreciating all that the outdoors has to offer.

One of the most notable of the disc’s episodes — “Daniel Explores Nature” — finds Daniel and his parents spending the day outdoors.  Daniel discovers a bird, and in turn learn how birds build their nests.  The bird’s next falls out of the tree, so it’s up to Daniel and his parents to get the nest back in the tree.

“Daniel’s Nature Walk” is another episode featured in the DVD.  This episode’s story follows O the Owl and his uncle X The Owl as the duo goes for a nature walk in the forest.  Along the way, the pair sees all kinds of creatures, such as frogs and worms, and even gets to see a rainbow.

“Daniel Plays in a Gentle Way,” yet another of the DVD’s stories, reminds young viewers about the importance of being careful even when playing.  That lesson is taught as some of Daniel’s friends want to play fast, even though he wants to play slow and safe.

Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodExplore The Outdoors will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  Pre-orders are open now.

More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs is available online now along with activities, games, printouts and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

 

 

 

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

‘Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection’ Is A Nearly Complete Success

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Friendship is one of the most important things that people can have in life.  Without friendships we as a species likely would have little chance of survival.  Friendships give us the experiences in life that help us become who we are.  They help keep us going in our highest and lowest points.  That is why they are central to almost every television show and movie ever created.  Early this month, PBS Distribution released a new collection of episodes from PBS/PBS Kids’ hit long-running series Arthur that focuses on the matter of friendship in the form of The Ultimate Friendship Collection.  While not perfect, the three-disc collection is largely a success.  That is due in part to its featured episodes.  They will be discussed shortly.  The episodes tie in to the set’s one negative, its lack of an episode guide.  This will be discussed a little later.  The stories that are featured within the stories add to the set’s appeal and couples with the episodes themselves to give audiences even more to appreciate even despite the concern raised by the lack of an episode guide.  Keeping all of this in mind, the set is one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS Distribution’s new Arthur box set is easily one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.  That is due in part to the set’s episodes.  The episodes in question take audiences from Season One all the way to Season 21.  It’s not a full series set, considering the series is in its 23rd season (with at least two more seasons already planned), but is still a deeply rich presentation in its own right.  It features specific episodes that focus on different issues of friendship.  There is the matter of teamwork, that of treating others as equals, and even not letting power go to one’s head among much more.  This will all be discussed in more depth later in the discussion on the stories featured in the episodes. Making the matter of the episods even better is that the set runs almost chronologically.  It starts in Season One with the episode “Poor Muffy” and runs all the way to Season 21’s episode, “Muffy Misses Out.”  Now that is not to say that every episode centers on Muffy.  The episodes feature stories that focus on her, Francine, George, Arthur, Buster and the rest of Arthur’s friends (including the Tough Customers) throughout.  Keeping all of this in mind, the episodes that are featured in this in-depth collection form a strong foundation for the set.

While the episodes that are featured in Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection go a long way toward making the set an impressive presentation, the lack of an episode guide to accompany them detracts somewhat from the set’s presentation.  Yes, there are 48 episodes here, and that is a lot.  That is understandable.  Even with that in mind, those responsible for the collection’s assembly could have just as easily printed the corresponding episode titles and disc numbers inside the case, as many companies do with their box sets.  Another option would have been to print a booklet of sorts that outlines the episodes and their corresponding discs.  The added material might have meant the possibility of the set’s average price point of $16.07 (determined by averaging prices at PBS’ online store, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – It was not listed through Target and Books-a-Million ) slightly higher, but still would not have made that price a budget breaker.  Yes, it is more of an aesthetic element, but the less time that audiences have to spend trying to decide which disc to watch, the more the enjoyment grows.  But in the case of this set, the episode titles are only available when each disc is played.  There is not even an episode summary.  To that end, this aspect does hurt the set’s presentation.  Luckily, the issues raised by the lack of an episode guide do not do enough damage to make the set a failure.  It is just something that hopefully will be taken into account with the next Arthur box set (or box set from any PBS Kids series).

Putting aside the concerns raised by the lack of any kind of episode guide here, there is still one more element to examine in PBS Distribution’s new Arthur DVD box set.  That element in question is the stories contained within the featured episodes.  As already noted, the episodes all follow the theme of friendship in one way or another, and rarely repeat their themes.  This adds even more appeal to the set.  One of the stories that audiences are sure to appreciate comes in the Season Seven episode “Prunella Sees the Light.”  This episode finds Prunella and her blind friend Marina butting heads after Prunella visits Marina’s house one day.  Prunella brings to light once too often, the fact that Marina is blind.  The problem is that Prunella thinks in her own mind that she is helping Marina.  Marina on the other hand, points out to Prunella that she does not need to be reminded that she is blind and that she is offended when she is treated as anything other than a person.  This is a time honored theme for children’s series (and even to an extent, for grown-up shows).  Saved By The Bell did this many years ago when Zack befriended a young woman in a wheelchair.  Other series have taken similar approaches.  It is a lesson that sadly even now in the 21st century, still bears repeating for audiences of all ages.  Making the episode even more enjoyable for audiences is the blatant spoof of the Harry Potter franchise, of which both young women are part.

“Buster and the Daredevils” (from Season 2) is another key example of what makes the set’s featured stories so important to this set.  It’s another story that focuses on a character other than Arthur, yet is so enjoyable in its own right.  It shows that while Arthur is the series’ title character, some of the best episodes are the ones that do not center on him.  Buster learns in this episode that real friends are those people who like you for you.  Real friends are not people who make you do embarrassing things in order to be accepted.  He learns this after he tries to make friends with one member of The Tough Customers and his own friend because he thinks at first that they are cool.  This is just one of those difficult lessons that everyone learns as part of their development.  It makes this story timeless in its own right.

In yet another important addition to the set, George (another of Arthur’s friends) has to learn the important lesson that it is okay to say no to people.  This happens as Buster keeps asking for everything that George has.  Buster essentially is taking advantage of George and his kindness.  It takes George losing his pencil, his jacket, and even a dessert at lunch one day for him to finally reach his breaking point.  What’s important to note here is that while George does in fact blow his top at one point, he is much calmer in handling Buster.  How he addresses the situation with Buster will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  It’s important because it shows it is possible for people to deal with conflict peacefully.  This is just one more of so many ways in which this box set proves such a success.  When all of the set’s stories are considered along with the episodes themselves, they make the set well worth watching.  Again, that is despite the one minor issue of the set’s missing episode guide.  Keeping all of this in mind, Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection proves to be a nearly complete success.

PBS Distribution’s new Arthur DVD box set The Complete Friendship is an impressive presentation that even despite its one negative, is still an enjoyable set.  The success comes mainly from the set’s featured episodes.  The episodes take audiences from Season One to 21.  Not every single episode from the series is featured here (especially considering that the series is in its 23rd season).  Even despite that, the episodes certainly present a rich picture of the series’ beginnings and evolution while also featuring stories that maintain the set’s central theme of friendship.  For all that the episodes do positively for this set, the lack of any episode guide detracts from the set at least to a point.  It does not make the set a failure, but certainly would have added even more to the set’s appeal regardless.  The stories entertain and educate audiences of all ages from one to the next, putting the finishing touch to the set’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection a nearly complete success.

More information on the new DVD set is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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.

Rena Strober’s New Compilation Is A Fitting Tribute To The Work Of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Sesame Street has, for more than half a century, educated and entertained audiences of all ages through its songs, skits and animated segments.  Over the course of its more than 50 years on the air, the series has garnered recognition from around the world and produced any number of VHS, DVD and CD releases.  Broadway actress Rena Strober – who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor Moon, Liv and Maddie, and Penn Zero: Part Time Hero — will release her own tribute to the music of the beloved series with her new compilation album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss on Friday.  The 14-song compilation record is a welcome addition to any family’s music library.  That is due in part to its featured songs.  This will be explained shortly.  The songs’ arrangements add their own positive touch to the compilation.  They will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make this compilation that will appeal to Sesame Street fans of any age.

Rena Strober’s new compilation of Sesame Street songs is a presentation that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.  Its appeal is due in part to its featured songs.  As the compilation’s subtitle states, many of the songs featured here aired during Sesame Street’s earliest years on television.  Written and composed by the team of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, the songs featured here were largely featured in the long-running series’ debut season, which aired in 1971.  While the compilation reaches all the way back to the series’ first season, it also reaches all the way up to its 22nd season, which aired in 1989.  Among the most notable of the featured songs are the timeliness tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Imagination.’  Also known by the title ‘It’s Not Easy (Being Green),’ that song in question is arguably the most timeless of the series’ songs.  Sung originally by Kermit The Frog, it addresses the feelings that a person has in recognizing he or she is not the same as others.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ sung by Ernie, is a touching lullaby that will put a smile on any listener’s face.  It celebrates the fascination with exploring new places and the appreciation of being at home.  Other songs, such as ‘High, Middle, Low,’ ‘Imagination,’ and ‘Sing’ all over their own entertainment.  Given, the compilation largely focuses on Sesame Street’s earliest years, but even with that in mind, it still does its own positive job of profiling the state of the series’ music at that point.  To that end, it is still a positive in its own right to this compilation.  The arrangements of the compilation’s timeless tunes add even more enjoyment to its presentation.

Strober’s take of ‘Being Green’ is a prime example the importance of the songs’ arrangements.  Strober stays true to the song’s source material here, but at the same time she also gives the song its own unique touch.  Her vocal delivery style here brings out her Broadway training while flautist Shane Kirsch adds another layer to the song.  The addition of the strings to the song’s arrangement enriches the composition even more.  The subtlety in each musician’s performance takes the original song and makes it an even more deeply emotional work that listeners will love just as much as the original if not more.  It is just one way in which the compilation’s arrangements prove so important to its presentation.  ‘Believe in Yourself’ is another example of what makes the arrangements stand out.

‘Believe in Yourself’ has been performed multiple times throughout the history of Sesame Street.  It was first sung by the series’ character Molly (played by Charlotte Rae).  Since then, it went on to become a favorite of the show, performed by the likes of Diana Ross, Ray Charles and even Justin Timberlake throughout the years.  Each rendition was unique in its own way, needless to say.  Strober’s rendition presents its own unique presentation, too.  That theatrical approach for which she is known for using is just as evident here as anywhere else in the album.  At the same time, it is so easy to imagine her singing this song on the show today.  The addition of the backing vocals from DOTZ singers Gavin Stevens and Coco Jernigan, and the banjo and violin lines adds even more enjoyment to the arrangement.  It gives the song a whole new life and identity that makes the album overall that much more enjoyment for listeners.  It is just one more way in which the arrangements prove pivotal to the record.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ is one more example of the importance of the arrangements featured in this recording.

Strober’s take on the timeless tune that is ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon’ is even more moving than the original.  Pat Coil’s performance on the song’s keyboard intro sets the tone right from its outset.  That, together with Strober’s simple, minimalist vocal delivery adds even more depth.  Giovanna Clayton’s performance on the cello is so gentle in its own right, too.  When that gentle, subtle addition is joined with the keyboards and Strober’s vocal delivery the whole of the song becomes this compilation’s brightest point.  It stays true to its source material and builds so much on that material at the same time.  It is certain to become even more a favorite among audiences in this presentation.  When it is considered along with the other arrangements noted here and the rest of the compilation’s arrangements, the end result is a record whose arrangements make it just as much as for the songs themselves and the history that they represent.  It is just one more way in which the compilation proves worth hearing.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Rena Strober’s new compilation starts off lightly with the bouncy, mid-tempo take of ‘Somebody Come And Play.’  From there, the record pulls back in ‘Sing,’ but then immediately picks right back up in ‘Imagine That.’  The rises and falls continue on from there in the next trio of songs, too – ‘Being Green,’ ‘I’m Pretty/I’m An Aardvark,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon.’  The rises and falls continue moderately from there on right to the compilation’s finale.’  The effect is that the album’s overall energy is balanced smoothly from one to the next.  Those transitions and balanced energy are primarily aesthetic elements, but they work so well here.  When it is considered along with the record’s overall content, the compilation in whole proves a fitting tribute to the work of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, while also proving to be a collection of songs that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.

Rena Strober’s new family music album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is an enjoyable new offering from the veteran actress.  It is a work that shows even more the breadth of Strober’s own talents while also serving as a strong tribute to two of the greatest musical figures from the history of Sesame Street.  At the same time, it is just as much a wonderful celebration of the musical history of the series.  This is all due in pat to the record’s featured songs.  The songs’ arrangements add their own unique touch to the record.  The same can be said of the compilation’s sequencing.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make it a work that the most devoted Sesame Street fans will appreciate.  Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is scheduled for release Friday through Knighthawk Digital Entertainment Group.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://renastrober.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/renastrober

 

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, Specs For New ‘Arthur’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution will release a new collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Arthur next month.

ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection is scheduled for release Aug. 11.  The collection is composed of 48 episodes spread across three discs at a total run time of 10 hours.

This new collection of episodes reaches as far back as Arthur‘s very first season with the episode “Team Trouble.”  This episode finds Arthur, his best fried Buster and their friend Francine tapped to work together on a project about ancient Rome.  The trio agrees to create a comic book about ancient Rome, but that idea ends up causing its own issues among the trio.  The story has a happy ending that will put a smile on any viewer’s face.  It is just one of the most notable additions to the collection.  “D.W., Bossy Boots” is another notable addition to the set.

“D.W., Bossy Boots” is featured in the 10th season of Arthur.  This story centers on Arthur’s little sister D.W.  D.W. learns an invaluable lesson about friendship and being bossy after a series of actions leads her friends to shy away from her.  From D.W. blowing out the candles on her friend’s birthday cake before her to being reminded about pushing others out of the way in gymnastics to taking the noted friend’s present, she does a lot to push people away.  It is not until she has a dream that she realizes the error of her ways.  This is just another notable addition to ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection.  “Arthur’s Faraway Friend” is one more of the collection’s standout stories.

“Arthur’s Faraway Friend” is featured in the second season of the long-running series.  It teaches a key lesson about letting go when Buster reveals to Arthur that he is going to visit his father temporarily.  That means having to fly to another city.  Even though he knows Buster’s absence is only going to be temporary, Arthur still has a hard time coming to terms with the separation from his best friend.  That is until he receives a package from Buster.  Arthur then reminds himself that he hopes Buster has fun and that Buster’s visit with his dad is only temporary.

ArthurThe Ultimate Friendship Collection will retail for MSRP of $19.99.  Pre-orders are open now.

More information on the new DVD set is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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.

‘The Berenstain Bears: Bear Family Vacation’ Will Improve Any Family’s Vacation, Staycation

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

The COVID-19 pandemic has done a lot of damage to the world this year.  One of the most notable impacts that it has had is that is has forced many families to cancel their summer travel plans, forcing them to make new plans for staycations instead.  In an attempt to help families make the best of those new plans, PBS Distribution has released a new collection of episodes from The Berenstain Bears’ 2003 series into a DVD titled Bear Family Vacation.  This six-episode collection of episodes will help any family make the most of its time at home.  That is due in part to the episodes themselves.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lessons that are tied into the episodes add to the DVD’s appeal.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make the DVD a fun way for any family to enjoy its own home vacation.

PBS Distribution and PBS Kids’ new Berenstain Bears compilation DVD Bear Family Vacation is a presentation that any family will enjoy as they work their way through their staycations.  That is due in part to the DVD’s featured episodes.  Pulled largely from the second of the series’ three seasons (four of the six featured episodes are from Season Two, while the other two episodes are from Season One and Season three), the episodes largely follow the theme of the DVD’s title.  The only episode that is not vacation themed in the purist sense is its final episode, “Bear Family Get-Together.”  That episode presents a story about a family reunion of Mama Bear’s family members.  Every other episode follows the title’s theme directly.  From going to a theme park to staying at a seaside cabin to taking a road trip, the stories in these featured episodes take viewers on trips that they themselves would have otherwise taken if not for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  To that end, watching the episodes is kind of living vicariously through the Bear family since so many families are unable to go on any kind of major vacation due to everything happening around the world.  That one aspect alone makes the DVD well worth watching, and is just one of the reasons that audiences will appreciate the DVD.  The lessons that are tied into each episode’s story add to the DVD’s appeal.

Audiences of all ages will appreciate the lessons that are featured within each episode’s story.  Case in point is the lesson at the heart of the DVD’s opening episode, “Too Much Vacation.”  This episode teaches the lesson that sometimes, we have to just make the best of a bad situation and that sometimes things are not going to go exactly as expected and/or planned.  Papa Bear learns this lesson as the family’s “best vacation ever” becomes anything but due to mother nature and other factors.  Whether it be because of the COVID-19 impact or just in general, this is a lesson that will resonate with grown-ups just as much as it will younger viewers.  What’s more, it will resonate so widely because it is a lesson that applies not just to vacations, but to life in general.  “By The Sea” is another example of the importance of the lessons featured in the DVD’s featured episodes.  This lesson reminds viewers that more often than not, trying to rush things is not good thinking.  That is because more often than not, rushing things can and does lead to negative impacts on the things that we do daily.  While “Bear Family Get-Together” is not a vacation story in the purest sense of the DVD’s title, its lesson is another important topic that is timeless in its own right.  It teaches a lesson about inclusivity and promotes diversity among people.  It does this on a micro scale so to speak here, but the bigger picture is that it works on a macro scale, too.  Considering where the nation stands today, it is a lesson that is not only welcome but needed just as much as ever.  What’s more, it is a lesson that, again, will connect with grown-ups just as much as it will children.  It can serve as a starting point for parents and educators alike to discuss the very noted topic.  It goes without saying that this is a discussion that is needed now more than ever in America.  Keeping all of these lessons in mind along with those in the DVD’s other three episodes, the whole of the DVD’s discussion points makes for just as much appeal for viewers as the stories themselves.  Together with the stories, the DVD’s overall content gives audiences plenty to appreciate here.  Considering how much there is to appreciate in the DVD’s content, audiences will agree that the DVD’s average price point is just as appealing as that content.

The average price point of The Berenstain Bears: Bear Family Vacation is $6.42.  That price was obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  This price is actually an interesting point.  Three of the listings – at Amazon, Target and Best Buy – were for $5.99.  Another three – PBS’ online store, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – listed the DVD at $6.99.  Walmart meanwhile listed the DVD at $6.00.  It is rare to have such an even split of prices.  That aside, that each of the separate listings is below the $10 mark means that this is a relatively affordable presentation for any family.  It will not break any family’s budget.  What’s more, a portion of sales from six of the seven retailers (save for PBS) will go to PBS.  Sales from PBS’ own store will go direct to the company, so families will be supporting PBS no matter which retailer they choose.  At the same time, they will be doing so through a DVD that will entertain and engage viewers of all ages.  Keeping all of this in mind, The Berenstain Bears: Bear Family Vacation proves to be its own mental and emotional vacation for families as they take on their own staycations.

PBS Distribution and PBS Kids’ new Berenstain Bears DVD Bear Family Vacation is an enjoyable mental and emotional vacation for every family.  That is due in part to its six featured episodes, most of which follow the DVD’s central vacation theme.  The lessons that are incorporated into each episode’s story adds even more appeal to the DVD.  Its relatively affordable average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted element is important to the whole of this DVD.  All things considered, they make the DVD one more of the year’s top new family DVDs and Blu-rays.

More information on The Berenstain BearsBear Family Vacation is available along with all of the latest Berenstain Bears news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.berenstainbears.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/berenstainbears

Twitterhttp://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 Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.