PBS Distribution Releasing Another New Kate & Mim-Mim DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Disney Junior’s hit series Kate & Mim-Mim will get its second home release of the year next month.

PBS Distribution will release Kate & Mim-Mim: Balloon Buddies on Tuesday, May 24th.  The DVD, which will feature three more episodes from the hit Disney Junior series, will be available in stores and online.  In the first of the disc’s featured episodes—the disc’s title episode—Kate wants to make a balloon buddy for Mim-Mim.  This is tied in to a big balloon parade in Mimiloo.  When Kate goes to Mimiloo she and her friends find a balloon tree, but all of the tree’s balloons are deflated.  So they have to figure out how to re-inflate them for the parade.

“Cloud Castle” is the disc’s second episode.  Kate’s head is in the clouds both figuratively and literally in this episode.  As she cloud gazes with her parents, Kate tells them that one of the clouds looks like Mim-Mim to her.  But her dad doesn’t see it.  Meanwhile when Kate goes to Mimiloo, she, Mim-Mim, and their friends pull clouds from the sky to make their own bouncy castle.  But their fun is short-lived  as the castle starts to float away

“Clean Sweep” rounds out this collection.  This episode is all about the importance of keeping things clean.  Kate is trying to clean up her room.  But it feels to her like it is taking forever to get it done.  Over in Mimiloo Kate and her friends want to have a picnic.  But their picnic basket is lost in a pile of Tack’s inventions.  Tack tries to clean up his mess, but he takes the quick way, which doesn’t end so well for him.  So unless they can get everything cleaned up it looks like the picnic might get canceled.

Kate & Mim-Mim: Balloon Buddies will be available in stores Tuesday, May 24th.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=93347026&cp=&sr=1&kw=kate++mim-mim&origkw=kate+%26amp%3B+Mim-Mim&parentPage=search.  More information on Kate & Mim-Mim is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.kateandmimmim.com

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

 

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant Will Be A Giant Hit With Dinosaur Lovers Of All Ages

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

A few years ago, a farmer in Argentina was hunting for one of his sheep when he stumbled upon one of quite the surprising find. What the farmer found was the tip of a giant fossil bone sticking out of the ground. It was just the first of what became a massive excavation that unearthed some 200 other bones. The bones in question belonged to a group of plant-eating dinosaurs, or herbivores, that had previously been unknown. Now thanks to PBS and PBS Distribution audiences will get to learn about the find and the dinosaurs, which have yet to be named in a special new episode of its hit wildlife series Nature titled Raising The Giant Dinosaur.  The program is presented in partnership with BBC Earth.  It will be available Tuesday, April 26th.  This latest episode of Nature is a wonderful watch for audiences of all ages and interests, in both the living room and the classroom.  The central reason for this is the story at the center of the episode.  It presents the story of the dinosaur’s discovery and the process undertaken to remove its bones and reconstruct its skeleton so as to better visualize just how enormous it was.  The special effects that are used to help resurrect the creature so to speak are just as notable in the program’s overall presentation.  Audiences actually get to see the titanosaur come to life one element after another before their eyes as well as see how the dinosaur’s bones (and possibly those of other titanosurs) got to their final resting place.  Simply put, the CG is used in the utmost moderation here.  Because of this it actually adds to the program’s positives.  It is not the program’s last notable element either.  Its collective editing and pacing rounds out its presentation.  Together with the program’s central story and its minimalist use of computer graphics all three elements come together to make NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant another impressive episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series.  They also combine to once more show why PBS remains today the very last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant is yet another impressive episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series.  Yes, one would think that being about a dinosaur discovery this episode would be better suited as an episode of NOVA.  But it technically is about an animal, thus making it a fit albeit an intriguing one, for this series.  That is evident in part due to its story.  The story follows researchers’ efforts to uncover the skeleton of what is now known to be the biggest dinosaur species ever discovered to date.  Along the way host and narrator Sir David Attenborough reveals that the remains found were not just of one of the species but of at least seven separate dinosaurs, all of that same species.  He also takes viewers to a massive breeding ground for the dinosaurs, even showing respect for the creatures as he replaces a piece of egg shell that he discusses with one of the researchers studying the new species of titanosaur.  There is even a discussion during the course of the story’s presentation on how the bones ended up where they did.  It is presented in fully scientific fashion eventually coming to one final conclusion that will leave viewers just as surprised as the very revelation of the dinosaur’s size.  There is much more that could be discussed in terms of what makes the program’s story so interesting.  Viewers will be left to discover all of that remaining material for themselves when they order the DVD from PBS’ online store.  Of course it is just one part of the program that makes it well worth the watch. The program’s use of CG is just as important to note as its central story.

The story at the center of NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant is an important part of the program’s whole.  However it isn’t the only important part of the program’s presentation.  The elements used to tell the story are just as important as the story itself.  In the case of this episode the CG elements that are used are the most notable.  The CG is used very minimally throughout the course of the episode’s roughly hour-long run time.  It is used to illustrate the theories of how the dinosaurs’ bones reached their final resting place and the sheer immensity of their nesting grounds, and most importantly to bring the dinosaur to life beyond just its skeleton.  As Attenborough discusses each aspect of the dinosaur’s makeup, a different part of it is revealed.  It starts with the dinosaur’s skeleton.  From there, Attenborough discusses the connection between the its size and its ability to pump enough blood throughout its body.  So its circulatory system is then added to the dinosaur’s skeleton.  Eventually audiences get to see the dinosaur in its full glory even to the point of seeing it with its skin, completely in tact.  Simply put those behind this episode of Nature kept its CG limited to only the important parts of the program whereas it would have been so easy to go full-on CG.  So it is nice to see that they didn’t.  That extreme moderation, when set alongside the episode’s central story, double the reason for educators and audiences in general to see this episode of Nature.  Even with the importance displayed by each element they still are not the episode’s only important elements.  The program’s collective pacing and editing combine to present the last of the program’s most important elements.

The story at the heart of Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant and its minimalist use of CG are both key elements in the program’s overall presentation.  While both elements are undeniably important to its presentation they are not its only important elements.  Its collective pacing and editing are just as important to the program as its story and special effects.  The program’s pacing is so important to note because the program covers so much ground (or uncovers in this case.  And, yes that bad pun as fully intended).  From figuring out how the dinosaur and its fellow titanosaurs ended up at their final resting place, to figuring out how the bones go together to figuring out the dinosaur’s diet and more there is a lot that is presented over the course of the program’s near hour-long presentation.  Thankfully the program offers just enough time to each element of the story; so much so that viewers will never feel lost.  In regards to the program’s editing, it is obvious that Attenborough covered a number of topics in each area of the program’s presentation both figuratively and literally.  Over the course of the program, it is clear in his attire that he didn’t just visit the place and record one little part.  He did a lot in terms of narration and more.  The end result, thanks to those that assembled the final product, is a presentation that moves seamlessly and fluidly from beginning to end even as each different topic is tackled.  The fashion in which the shots of Attenborough next to the dinosaur’s skeleton were edited together is just as impressive.  They fully capture the creature’s size versus that of humans.  Although, in comparison to the likes of say the diplodocus, which lived in the end of the Jurassic era, there might be some discussion there.  The largest ever found Diplodocus, which is a sauropod, just like the unnamed titanosaur was found to be roughly 171 feet long (longer than a football field) and a little more than 26 feet high.  The titanosaur found in 2014 however, was about 130 feet long and 66 feet tall.  Though, it did weigh quite a bit more—77 metric tons—than the noted biggest diplodocus ever found.  Even with this in mind, it could be argued that this titanosaur was the biggest dinosaur on earth at the time of its existence (the Cretaceous Period) but not of all time.  But that is a discussion for another time.  Getting back on the subject, just seeing its size, thanks to the work of those that edited the final project, serves to drive home just how massive the unnamed dinosaur was.  It’s just one of so many in ways in which the editing behind this episode of Nature proves to be such an enjoyable watch.  Together with the program’s pacing, its story, and its minimal use of special effects (which far too few shows across the board do) it rounds out the program’s noted positives and shows one last time just what makes it a program that is sure to impress dinosaur lovers of all ages and types.

Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant is a program that will impress dinosaur lovers of all ages and types.  The central story presented in this episode is one that uncovers an introduces one of the biggest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.  And it does so in a fashion that is accessible to a wide range of viewers thanks to its topic and the approach to said topic.  The program’s minimal use of CGin comparison to the over-the-top amount used by certain other networks (which will remain unnamed here)—is just as important to the presentation.  That is because it shows the ability of those behind the program to tell an enthralling story without having to overdo it so to speak.  The collective pacing and editing incorporated into the program rounds out its positives.  Even with so much material to discuss, the pacing never leaves viewers feeling lost.  The editing does much the same.  It seamlessly ties everything together and solidifies the program’s place as one of this year’s top new documentaries.  That is the case even with the discussions that may well be raised in comparing the newly found titanosaur to other sauropods.  Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant will be available Tuesday, April 26th and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=88167686&cp=&kw=nature+raising+the+dinosaur+giant&origkw=nature+raising+the+dinosaur+giant&sr=1.  More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBSNature

 

 

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PBS Distribution Releasing New Peg + Cat DVD

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

PBS and PBS Distribution will release the latest collection of Peg + Cat episodes this week.

Peg + Cat: Super Peg and Cat Guy will be released Tuesday, April 5th in stores and online.  The collection which features four more episodes from the hit elementary math-based series, will be available exclusively on DVD.  The episodes featured in this eighth collection include: “The Arch Villain Problem,” “The Straight and Narrow Problem,” “The Flat Woman Problem,” and “The Race Car Problem.”

The Arch Villain Problem”:  In this episode, Peg and Cat have to face off against The Arch Villain.  The Arch Villain has come to Mathropolis.  He is wreaking havoc on the city by turning everything into arches.  So it’s up to Super Peg and Cat Guy to stop him.

The Straight and Narrow Problem”: Super Peg and Cat Guy are still hot on the trail of The Arch Villain in this episode.  This time the Arch Villain has gone from turning everything into arches to using straight and narrow shapes instead.  Only Super Peg and Cat Guy can stop his evil deeds once again.

The Flat Woman Problem”: Super Peg and Cat Guy have two new villains on their hands in this episode.  This time instead of The Arch Villain, they have to deal with Triangulo and Flat Woman.  The diabolical duo has teamed up to triangulate and flatten the city and only Super Peg and Cat Guy can stop them.

The Race Car Problem”: Peg and Cat’s race car is pitiful compared to the cars that they have to pass in order to win the big race.

Peg + Cat: Super Peg and Cat Guy will be available April 5th in stores and online.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP Of $6.99.  It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=91837426&cp=&sr=1&kw=peg++cat&origkw=Peg+%2B+Cat&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other Peg + Cat DVDs is available online now along with more activities, games, and more at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/peg

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

 

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Audiences Will “Find” Plenty To Like About Finding Your Roots’ Third Season

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Later this month PBS and PBS Distribution will release the third complete season of PBS’ hit hybrid series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  The latest installment of this series, it boasts plenty of positives that are not weighed down even with its one lone con—its lack of an episode guide.  That will be discussed later.  In regards to its pros the central pro is its list of celebrities featured throughout this season make up just one of the set’s pros.  The list of celebrities featured in Season Three spans the entertainment universe.  This will be discussed shortly.  The history presented behind each celebrity is the finishing touch to this season.  Together with the season’s featured episodes, these two pros cannot be outweighed by the set’s one lone con.  Keeping that in mind Season Three in whole still proves to be just as welcome in any home setting as any classroom setting.  It could be argued that despite financial support from a certain genealogy website the program refuses itself to be come just a glorified advertisement for said website (unlike a certain other similar program on another network).  But that goes without saying.   Keeping all of this in mind, the third season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Lous Gates, Jr. serves to prove once again why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

The third season of PBS’ Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is another impressive and enjoyable installment of the hybrid history/genealogy-based series.  Compared to its counterpart over on TLC (and other potential counterparts) the series continues to stand out proudly.  The central reason for this is again its featured guests.  Yet again the series featured guests from across the entertainment universe.  That broad list of guests includes: Sean Combs and LL Cool J (both music stars), entrepreneur Richard Branson, actors Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Maya Rudolph, and Juliana Margulies (actors), Soledad O’Brien and Bill O’Reily (news personalities), John McCain and Gloria Steinem (politicians), Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Maher (entertainers), Norman Lear (author/writer), activist Shonda Rimes, and so many others.  There are even famed architects interviewed for this season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr..  Simply put, once again this standout series has once again covered as much ground as possible in its guest list.  This is nothing new for the series, either this far into its run.  It shows a valid attempt to spread the wealth so to speak as much as possible and hot have any bias towards one group or another regardless of profession, gender, or ethnic background.  It’s nice to consider and just one part of what makes this season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. On a related note, the reactions of some of Gates’ guests are just as important to this season as their inclusion.

The guests that are featured in this season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. are important in their own right to the season’s overall presentation.  The reactions on the part of Gates’ guests are just as important as the guests themselves appearing on the show.  Those that watch through the season’s ten episodes will notice that some of Gates’ guests are truly moved and curious about their roots more so than others.  Rappers LL Cool J and Sean Combs are just two of those that are most visibly interested and moved in their interviews.  Just watching their facial gestures and listening to their reactions, it’s clear that they had a genuine appreciation for Gates’ work and that of those with whom he worked.  Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich and author Azar Nafisi are also visibly intrigued and moved by the revelation of their families’ histories as were Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow.  That isn’t to say that any of the season’s featured celebrities were not appreciative of the research done to reveal their histories.  But some guests’ reactions were more visible than others.  On the surface this doesn’t seem overly important.  But on another level, that visible reaction helps establish a connection for viewers.  That is because in most cases, the guests’ roots are quite humble, just like those of most viewers more than likely.  Considering this, the reactions of Gates’ guests are, while minor on the surface, just as important as the guests themselves.  The guests featured in Season Three and their interaction with Gates both do plenty to make it enjoyable for audiences.  As important as they are to this season there is one factor tied in to both that takes away at least a certain amount from the season’s presentation.  That factor is the season’s lack of an episode guide.

The latest season of PBS’ Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives audiences plenty of reason to watch through all ten of its episodes.  That is visible through its once again vast array of guests and their equally vast reactions to the revelation of their families’ histories.  While both of these elements are plenty of reason in themselves to watch this season of Finding Your Roots they also tie in to the season’s one con.  That con is the season’s lack of an episode guide.  Unlike certain other imitator shows out there that try to copy this show’s format, this series doesn’t just focus on one guest per episode.  It focuses on anywhere from two to three per episode.  So having an episode guide of any sort would have been very good here considering this.  Season One came with an episode guide printed on the back of its case.  This critic will admit to not knowing if Season Two came with an episode guide of any sort.  Even having the comparison between just the two seasons, it can be said that having the episode guide included in the standalone set is a clear positive.  Without that guide, audiences are left to try and memorize which guests (episodes) appear on which of the set’s three discs.  On the surface this might seem minor.  But it does save time for audiences regardless of whether or not audiences already saw the episodes in their original broadcasts.  Keeping this in mind, the lack of an episode guide in this season does prove problematic in its own right.  Luckily though, it isn’t enough of a con that it ruins this season’s overall presentation.  The history behind the guests’ families couples with the guests and their reactions to more than make up for the lack of an episode guide this season.

The third season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. offers audiences plenty of viewing pleasure through its featured guests and their reactions to the revelations of their families’ histories.  They more than make up for the set’s one clear con, its lack of an episode guide.  They are not the set’s only pros.  The family histories that are put on display are just as important to the season’s presentation as the guests and their reactions to their family histories.  The family histories of Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly, and Soledad O’Brien are clear examples of that importance.  Audiences learn through their family histories that apparently despite being white, Irish immigrants did not exactly receive what would be considered a warm welcome.  Rather many were treated as second class citizens.    This is so interesting because the Irish that settled in the U.S. came here to escape things like the Irish Potato Famine as well as religious persecution and other issues.  Even the view of the Irish for the jobs that they took was anything but positive.  It shows blacks and Asians weren’t the only groups that were discriminated against in America’s youth.  Viewers will be just as interested to learn in celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich’s interview the trials faced by her family during World War II as a result of Italy’s role in the conflict.  It’s interesting to learn that even innocent Italians who did not support Mussolini suffered just because they were Italian.  Even more interesting is that they suffered not at the hands of the dictator but at the hands of other Europeans that fought him and his forces.  It is no wonder that Bastianich is so moved in her interview especially considering what she did and didn’t already know about her family’s history.  As if that isn’t enough, audiences also learn that LL Cool J’s love of boxing actually has roots in his family history in his interview.  He apparently didn’t even know that himself until his interview, either.  And Senator John McCain learns that he isn’t the only member of his family that had ever been a POW.  And actress Juliana Margulies’ interview revealing her father’s role in Alka-Seltzer’s famous “Plop, plop-Fizz, fizz” campaign is sure to generate its own share of discussion.  Gates says that her father is responsible for the jingle.  However that has been debated by some groups.  There are those that allege not he but Tom Dawes, of The Cyrkle, was the man responsible for the jingle, and that Margulies’ father was an executive at the agency that came up with the jingle.  It would definitely be interesting to learn who in fact was truly behind that jingle whether it was her father or Mr. Dawes.  Again regardless of who really was responsible, this point of Margulies’ interview makes her family history just as interesting to discover as that of any of the season’s other featured guests.  All things considered the histories that are revealed throughout Season Three make for their own share of interest in this season.  Together with the season’s spread of guests and their reactions to their respective family histories all three elements give audiences plenty to appreciate about the season’s presentation even with the season’s lack of an episode guide.  That lack does take away at least a little bit from the season’s presentation.  But with everything else that goes into the season it isn’t enough to ruin the season’s presentation.  All things considered Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Season 3 proves in the end to be yet another installment of PBS’ hit hybrid history/genealogy-based series that will be just as welcome in home setting as in classroom settings.

The third season of PBS’ Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is yet another welcome addition to PBS’ hit history/genealogy-based series.  The central reason for this is the season’s vast spread of guests.  The featured guests come from a wide variety of professional and ethnic backgrounds.  And they are relatively well-balanced in regards to the ratio of male to female.  Their family histories and reactions to said histories add even more interest to each episode.  Even the lack of an episode guide this season isn’t enough to detract from those pros.  Because it isn’t, the end result of the season’s presentation is a ten-episode run that proves to be just as welcome in the living room as it is in the classroom.  It will be available Tuesday, April 12th and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85849896&cp=&sr=1&kw=finding+your+roots+season+3&origkw=Finding+Your+Roots+Season+3&parentPage=search.  More information on this and the first two seasons of Finding Your Roots is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HenryLouisGates

 

 

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 Releasing New Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Daniel Tiger is coming to DVD again.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release the new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD Daniel Goes Camping this Tuesday, April 5th.  The DVD will feature three more episodes from the hit family friendly series.  Those episodes are: “Backyard Camping,” “Daniel’s Sleepover,” and the extended, “Nighttime in the Neighborhood.”  The DVD’s total run time is only forty minutes, putting each of the episodes at roughly ten minutes.

 

“Backyard Camping” follows Daniel and O The Owl as they go camping in Daniel’s backyard.  O the Owl isn’t entirely certain about going camping because it’s a new, unfamiliar setting.  But in looking around the yard, O realizes that camping in Daniel’s backyard isn’t so scary.  Rather, he finds out that backyard camping can be fun.

 

“Daniel’s Sleepover” sees Daniel and his parents go to Prince Daniel’s castle for a family sleepover.  Daniel learns that Prince Wednesday and his family do things a little bit different than him and his family in getting ready for bed.  Daniel also finds things that at first are scary but later prove to be anything but scary.

 

“Nighttime in the Neighborhood” presents Daniel’s neighborhood at night as Daniel and his friends are headed to a pajama party at the library.  Daniel and his friends talk and learn about ho tings look different at night from daytime and why there’s nothing to be afraid of  in noting those differences.

 

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Goes Camping will be available Tuesday, April 5th.  It will retail for MSRP of $9.99.  It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=90114526&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD is available along with games, activities, and more at:

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebook: http://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.

PBS’ Nature Shines Again With Moose–Life Of A Twig Eater

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

PBS and PBS Distribution are set to release another new episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature today.  NatureMooseLife of a Twig Eater will be released today on DVD.  The latest addition to the series’ list of episodes to be released to DVD so far this year, it is another wonderful presentation showing why Nature is the top wildlife program on television today and why PBS is, once again, the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.  This is exhibited in a number of ways in this episode, not the least of which being the episode’s central story.  The story follows a group of moose in Canada and the U.S. in order to find out what might be causing the recent sharp decline in moose populations in North America .  The journey, presented firsthand by cinematographer and narrator Hugo Kitching, takes viewers along with him in Canada and with researchers in Minnesota as they follow two distinct groups of moose in their efforts to get answers.  Kitching’s narration plays its own important part in the whole of this episode, too.  It’s rare to note a narrator’s role in such a program.  But in the case of this episode, the narration is hugely important to its presentation.  Last but hardly least of note is the episode’s stunning cinematography.  Each element plays its own important part in the whole of the episodes.  Altogether they make NatureMooseLife of a Twig Eater one of 2016’s top new documentaries.

Nature: MooseLife of a Twig Eater is one more clear candidate for any critic’s list of 2016’s top new documentaries.  It is also more proof as to why Nature is television’s leading wildlife series and why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  This is proven in large part by the program’s central story.  The story in question sees narrator and cinematographer Hugo Kitching following a moose and her calves in the wilds of Canada while another group of researchers follows another group of moose in Minnesota .  The story is one that for the most part is easy to take in.  There is no footage of animals mating or even animals killing one another.  That sounds minor.  But the reality is audiences see a lot of that even in any number of Nature episodes.  Luckily, again, there is none of that here  At the very worst audiences see the end result of wolves attacking one of the calves that Kitching is following.  And at another point, audiences see the Minnesota researchers having to put down a moose that has been ravaged by brain worm.  Those two moments are as difficult to see as is that of the cow (female moose are in fact called cows, believe it or not) chasing her own young out of the proverbial nest upon becoming pregnant with her next calf, only in another way.  The whole point of the story is to follow the lives of the moose in question and see if they survive the cold winter season and the first year of the calves lives.  That is all because of the rapidly declining moose population in both regions, which as viewers learn is not because of human interference but because of environmental factors.  That is one of the most intriguing pieces of information that is revealed in the program’s central story.  Instead of pointing the finger at humans, it points it squarely at extraneous, environmental causes.  That information and everything else that is shared as Kitching and the others follow their respective moose makes the program’s story one that will keep any biologist, nature lover and fan of Nature engaged in this story from beginning to end.  It is just one part of what makes this episode of Nature so enthralling.  The narration on the part of Kitching is just as important to the episode as its central story.

The central story presented in Nature: MooseLife of a Twig Eater is in its own right an important part of the program.  That is due to the unbiased information delivered over the course of its roughly hour-long run time.  That information is just one part of what makes this episode of Nature so engaging.  The narration on the part of Hugo Kitching is just as important to the program as the story and its content.  Narration usually is not something that most people would factor into a presentation such as this.  But the reality of the matter is that Kitching’s narration is in fact quite important.  That is because unlike with so many other wildlife programs and even other episodes of Nature, Kitching’s narration is so accessible even for the most casual viewer.  He speaks to viewers in a casual, conversational tone that even the most casual viewer can understand and that will in turn keep viewers just as engaged.  In the same vein, there’s no sense of pretense in his voice.  It makes his narration even more engaging, proving even more why it is such an important part of the program’s presentation.  Together with the unbiased, straight forward presentation the commentary adds another layer of enjoyment to the episode and in turn even more reason that this episode stands out so much among this year’s crop of documentaries so far.  It is not the last way in which the documentary proves itself such a standout presentation either.  The program’s cinematography is just as important as its narration and its central story.

The story that lies at the center of Nature: MooseLife of a Twig Eater and the program’s narration are both key to the episode’s overall presentation.  The story is unbiased all the way around.  There is no preachiness about human impact on the moose population.  Rather it comes across from a fully observational, unobtrusive fashion that aims to keep up with the moose in Canada and in Minnesota .  It even points out directly that the moose populations are being affected by parasites more than anything else.  Narrator/cinematographer Hugo Kitching plays his own important part in the program thanks to his unassuming, easily accessible narration.  He doesn’t come across as one of those uber-academic types at any point in his narration.  Rather he speaks in a fully simple, conversational tone that even casual audiences will enjoy and appreciate.  Even with its importance it is not the last element worth noting in this episode of Nature.  The episode’s cinematography rounds out its presentation.  And to say that its cinematography stands out is being humble.  There are stunning aerial shots of the Canadian wilderness in which Kitching is following the moose that will leave viewers breathless.  Those shots include wide shots of the region’s valleys, snow-capped mountains, and rivers captured by the program’s camera crew.  Kitching’s ground shots of the region’s forests are just as powerful.  This applies both in the winter season and spring.  The contrast of the bright, white snow to the deep hue of the evergreens and blue skies overhead in winter is something to truly behold.  In the same vein, the lush greenery of the area during spring and summer is just as rich.  Kitching is to be highly commended for his ability to so beautifully capture the beauty and majesty of the area over the course of his year there as are his fellow cinematographers.  These are just some of the examples of what makes the program’s cinematography stand out.  There are also incredible go-pro shots from Kitching as he tracks the moose that provide their own interest. The third person footage captured in Minnesota as the is just as impressive.  All in all, the camera work presented over the course of this episode of Nature proves just as invaluable to its presentation as Kitching’s simplistic narration and the episode’s fully engaging story.  When all three elements are set together they show once and for all why Nature: MooseLife of a Twig Eater is yet another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit wildlife series.  In turn it shows why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

PBS released recently released what was at the time its best episode of Nature so far this year when it released Nature: Natural Born HustlersNature’s Best Con Artists.  That episode of Nature was released just earlier this month.  Now another outstanding episode has been released in the form of Nature: MooseLife of a Twig Eater.  This episode is a great follow-up to that episode.  Between its wholly engaging story, its easily accessible narration and its breathtaking cinematography it boasts so many positives.  Even within each noted element there are plenty of smaller positives that could be noted.  And audiences will see it all for themselves when they order this episode of PBS’ hit wildlife-based series on DVD.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=87689536&cp=&kw=nature+moose++life+of+a+twig+eater&origkw=Nature%3A+Moose+%C3%82%C2%96+Life+of+a+Twig+Eater+&sr=1.  Audiences can view a trailer for this episode online now via PBS’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlQbZni5Mww.

 

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

 

More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBSNature

 

 

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PBS Delves Into The Life, Death of The Iceman Again In New Episode Of NOVA

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS DIstribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS DIstribution

PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA is going back in time once again this spring in another new episode of NOVA.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release NOVA: Iceman Reborn on Tuesday, May 10th. The program, which originally aired February 17th, 2016, will be released exclusively on DVD. This episode of NOVA follows researchers as they uncover new information not only on the man, who they suspect had been murdered more than five thousand years ago, but also on the dawn of civilization in Europe. Otzi, as researchers had come to call the mummified man, was originally discovered in 1991. Now thanks to technology audiences will also get to see what Otzi might have actually looked like during his life. One of the most intriguing details discovered about Otzi is that he was covered in tattoos. More specifically, he had more than sixty tattoos. Considering his age that makes them the oldest known tattoos in history. Even more interesting is that the markings might not have been for artistic purposes but for medicinal and therapeutic purposes according to research. Viewers discover the methods used to create the tattoos, which are in themselves just as eye-opening.

Also revealed is that Otzi also had potentially medicinal fungi with him when he was discovered. It would make the materials found with the mummy also the oldest known in history. That in itself reveals even more not just about the iceman but about life in the region at the time in which he lived. It also reveals quite a bit not just about Otzi but about his ancestors, too. While all of this and more is revealed about Otzi and others in the region at the time, there is still much more that likely will never be solved regardless of how much research is conducted. However research will continue. And potentially more will be revealed over time as a result. In the meantime viewers can discover for themselves all of the revelations about Otzi the ice man when PBS and PBS Distribution release NOVA: Iceman Reborn this spring.

NOVA: Iceman Reborn will be available Tuesday, May 10th. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $24.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=88167706&cp=&kw=nova+iceman+reborn&origkw=NOVA+Iceman+Reborn&sr=1. While there audiences can also view a trailer for this episode of NOVA. The trailer can also be viewed online via PBS’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVGQzHuivjA. More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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.