LPS: Making Friends Is A “Little” Collection That Boasts Big Fun For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

The Littlest Pet Shop is officially open for business once again.  That is because Shout! Factory Kids has released yet another new compilation of episodes from the family favorite animated series.  Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends was released in stores and online earlier this month.  And there is plenty for parents and children alike to appreciate about this latest collection beginning with its episodes.  They are collectively just one of the collection’s important elements.  The writing behind each episode is just as important as the episodes.  Last but not least of note within these episodes are the musical numbers presented throughout.  Each element proves important in its own right to the whole of Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends.  Altogether they make this latest collection of episodes another little collection that once again boasts lots of big fun for the whole family.

Shout! Factory Kids’ new Littlest Pet Shop DVD Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends is another little collection that once again boasts lots of big fun for the whole family.  This is due at least in part to the episodes that make up the body of the collection. This new DVD, the series’ tenth, features five more (technically four since one of the episodes is a two-part episode) episodes loaded with fun for the whole family.  What especially makes the episodes themselves so important to the collection is that each one follows the same underlying theme of making friends.  That theme is presented in different ways from one episode to the next and will be discussed shortly.  That is tied into the episodes’ writing.  The continuous theme presented throughout these episodes is just one part of what makes the episodes important to note in this collection.  Audiences will be just as happy to note in this collection that all five (or four, whichever side of that argument one chooses) episodes come from the same season—Season 3.  Adding to that all they are presented in chronologic order for all intents and purposes.  Obviously not every episode from Season 3 is here.  But in examining the order of the episodes presented on the disc, they are presented in the same order as they appeared in their original broadcast.  All that was missing was the episodes in between.  Though, many of those other episodes have already been presented in previous LPS collections.  One can only hope that eventually after the series’ full four seasons have been presented in its standalone sets, the whole of Season 3 (and the series’ other three seasons) will see a proper complete release for true fans of the series.  That is a discussion for another time.  Getting back on track, the episodes presented in LPS: Making Friends prove in the end to be hugely important to the set’s presentation.  They are collectively not the set’s only important element.  The actual writing within the episodes is just as important to note as the episodes themselves.

The episodes that are presented in Shout! Factory Kids’ new LPS collection are in their own right hugely important to the set’s presentation.  One reason for that is that all of the set’s featured episodes follow one continuous theme.  The theme in question is indeed that of making friends.  Adding to that is the fact that the episodes each come from the same season.  As if that isn’t enough, the episodes are also presented in an order that is at least partially chronological.  Given, it’s not entirely chronological since the episodes that separate them aren’t there.  But in general, they are presented in the same order in which they appeared in their original broadcast.  All things considered here, the episodes prove hugely important to this latest LPS collection. Of course the episodes would be nothing without their writing.  The writing is what connects the friendship theme from one episode to the next.  At the same time, the stories presented from one episode to the next stand on their own merits.  In the set’s opener “Sleeper,” Blythe’s furry friends meet a new raccoon friend named Mr. Von Fuzzlebutt.  Yes, that’s really his name.  Everybody really likes him, especially one specific member of the group.  The thing is that this new friend is nocturnal.  So he spends much of his time at LPS sleeping.  This leaves Sunil and Vinnie to have to make it appear that MR. Von Fuzzlebutt is awake when he’s not.  The result is a story that has been done so many times before in so many different TV shows and movies.  One of the most notable of those others is the famed 80s buddy comedy Weekend at Bernie’s.  Keeping that in mind, the story at the center of this episode is one that will definitely entertain today’s parents (many of whom grew up in the 80s) just as much as their children.  The story behind this episode is just one example of what makes the writing within LPS: Making Friends so important to the set’s presentation.  The story behind “Why Can’t We Be Friends” is another example of the importance of the episodes’ writing.

“Sleeper” is a key example of what makes the writing behind this set’s episodes so important.  It is just one key example of what makes the writing so important, too.  The work behind “Why Can’t We Be Friends” is another example of what makes the writing so important.  Yet again here is that theme of friendship.  At the same time, the story stands on its own merits.  In the case of this episode the LPS pets meet a friendly spider named Webber.  Only not everybody is a fan of Webber at first.  Sunil, as it turns out, is deathly scared of Webber because of his own fear of spiders.  This is funny in itself considering that Sunil is a mongoose, who is much bigger than Webber.  It’s like the stereotype of an elephant being afraid of a mouse.  Of course over time Sunil learns those all-too-important lessons about stereotypes and pre-judging others.  Thanks to that lesson Sunil and Webber become friends in the end.  That story and lesson make this episode stand out clearly from the set’s other episodes even as it carries the set’s underlying, connective theme.  It is hardly the last episode that can be cited in proving the importance of the episodes’ writing, too.  The set’s two-part closer “It’s The Pet Fest!” is one more prime example of what makes the writing in these episodes so important to its presentation.

The writing within “Sleeper” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends” clearly shows why the writing in this set’s episodes is so important.  The stories stand out from one another but the underlying theme of friendship is clear and present.  It is just presented in different fashion within each episode.  That is a great thing, too.  They are not the only episodes to show the importance of the set’s writing.  The set’s two-part closer “It’s The Pet Fest” shows that importance just as much as “Sleeper” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends.”  This episode sees Blythe organizing a fundraising concert for a good animal cause.  There’s just one problem.  She didn’t file for the necessary permits in time.  As a result she has to make friends with her mortal enemies, the Biskit Twins for help.  It is yet another familiar plot element that has been used in so many movies and television shows before as is the case of a young person arranging a benefit concert.  Even though they are not exactly new plot elements, the show’s writers still manage to successfully keep both lot elements fresh and entertaining in this episode.  They do so by not only having Blythe bring in a band that is world-famous in the LPS universe, but also by having the LPS pets put on their own concert, too.  In the end Blythe and the Biskit twins do end up working and existing together.  And the benefit proves to be a huge success.  Blythe even gets a big new honor as a result while the Biskit twins are left literally high and dry to wrap up the episode on a high note.  Again, the episode presents that underlying, recurring theme of friendship yet still holds its own against its counterparts here.  That being the case, the episode’s story and its theme come together to show just as much here the importance of the episodes’ writing as “Sleeper” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends.”  “Room Enough” shows that importance, too.  Together with the set’s other noted episodes it shows even more the importance of the writing within these episodes.  All in all, the writing within every one of these episodes shows with full clarity the importance of the writing within the episodes.  They show why the writing is just as important to the set’s presentation as the episodes themselves.  The episodes and their writing are together not the set’s only important elements.  The musical numbers that have been incorporated into the episodes are important to the set’s presentation, too believe it or not.

The episodes that are featured in Shout! Factory Kids’ new LPS collection are undeniably important to the set’s presentation.  The same can be said of the writing within each of the featured episodes.  As important as both elements prove to be to the set’s overall presentation they are not its only important elements.  The musical numbers that are incorporated into these episodes are—believe it or not—just as important to the set as the writing and the episodes themselves.  The musical numbers are so important because of how rare they are in the grand scheme of the series’ four-season run.  It is obvious in the case of the numbers featured here that they musical numbers were intentionally incorporated into the episodes.  They were actually intentional parts of the story rather than just random mini-numbers thrown in for the sake of it.  They actually added to each story.  There’s a full-on pop punk piece in the set’s closer, and a more “poppy” number in “Room Enough” that will have viewers tapping their toes just as much.  For the rockers out there, the writers even incorporated a solid rock tune into “Sleeper’s” story.  In a weird way, it sort of conjures thoughts of certain musical numbers presented in Disney’s Phineas and Ferb.  Coincidence or not the similarity is there.  And it is fun regardless.  It is just as fun as those numbers and the others presented in this set, too.  Keeping that in mind, it should be clear just why the musical numbers incorporated in this set’s featured episodes are just as important to note as the episodes’ stories and the episodes themselves.  Each element is important in its own right.  That is obvious.  All things considered though, they make this DVD in whole yet another little collection that boasts once again lots of big fun for the whole family.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

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Shout! Factory Kids, Hasbro Studios Partner For Ninth New Pound Puppies DVD

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Ace, Cookie, Niblet, and the rest of the Pound Puppies return next month with another new collection of episodes.

Shout! Factory Kids will release its latest collection of Pound Puppies episodes next month.  Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups will be released Tuesday, April 12th.  It will be available in stores and online exclusively on DVD.  The series’ ninth collection of episodes, it features five more episodes from the animated series.  This time out, Rebound becomes an internet sensation when a video of him goes viral in “The Accidental Pup Star.”  Rebound’s fame leads McLeash to plan use his fame for his own gain.  So it’s up to the Pound Puppies to keep that from happening.  In “It’s Elementary My Dear Pup” the Pound Puppies and the Super Secret Pup Club have quite a mission on their hands…er…paws when a young boy named Chucky (Danny Cooksey – Salute Your Shorts, Tiny Toon Adventures, Diff’rent Strokes) is accused of vandalizing his school.  The episode is lifted from Season Three.  Also featured in this collection is another Season Three episode, “Hot Dawg!”  this episode introduces a casanova Chihuahua named Antonio (Carols Alazraqui—The Fairly Oddparents, Family Guy, Phineas and Ferb) who has quite the effect on both humans and canines alike.  The Pound Puppies are no exception as Cookie and Strudel fall for him and start fighting, forgetting along the way about placing their latest pup, Pupster.  So it’s up to Lucky to deal with the frustrating four-legged friend since Shelter 17 is his last hope to be adopted.  It’s just one more of the adventures featured in this collection.  There are two other episodes for families to enjoy together included in the collection’s single-disc presentation.  The complete episode listing for the collection is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 Pound Puppies: The Accidental Pup Star
2 Pound Puppies: It’s Elementary My Dear Pup Club
3 Pound Puppies: Hot Dawg!
4 Pound Puppies: The Watchdogs
5 Pound Puppies: Back In Action

 

Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, April 12th.  It will retail for MSRP of $12.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $11.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/pound-puppies-showstopping-pups.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

To keep up with the latest 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.

Nickelodeon, Shout! Factory Finishing Off Another Classic Nicktoon Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon established a partnership only a few years ago that has seen some of the network’s greatest classic series, called Nicktoons, get full, proper releases. Almost all of those classic Nicktoons has seen releases in separate seasons and complete series box sets. Now what is one of the last of those series sets will be released next month in the form of CatDog: The Complete Series.

CatDog: The Complete Series will be released on DVD Tuesday, October 14th. The series’ complete four-season, sixty-eight episode run will be released in one complete multi-disc set. It will retail for MSRP of $29.93. After this release, the only full series sets that are left to be released under the companies’ current partnership are The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series and Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Audiences can keep up with the latest on all of these releases online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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.

The Rescue Bots Are Back On The Job With Another Fun DVD For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Kids

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Kids

The latest compilation of episodes from Hasbro Studios’ Transformers Rescue Bots is another great collection for any fan of this kid friendly series.  The compilation, which was released last Tuesday, September 2nd, is especially well-timed considering the proximity of its release to Halloween.  That is primarily because of the five episodes featured in the disc.  The episodes presented on this disc offer their own not so scary stories that are still a good fit for any child’s Halloween party.  For those that might be new to this series (like this critic), said audiences will also appreciate the series’ animation.  Being another product of Hasbro studios, it should come as no surprise that the series’ animation plays a role in its enjoyment, too.  And last but not least of all worth noting in the overall presentation is the series’ list of voice talents.  The actors charged with putting a voice to the series’ characters are largely well-known figures.  They are figures that have quite the resume when it comes to animated programs, children’s programs, and sci-fi shows, too.  Some have experience in all three realms, making their acting all the more believable and in turn enjoyable.  The combination of those experienced voice talents and the series’ animation and writing makes Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue just as enjoyable for those that are new to this series as those that are more familiar with the show.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue is the fifth compilation of episodes from the Hub network’s hit children’s series.  The compilation was released just last week in stores.  Its timing could not have been better taking into account its episodes and the fact that Halloween is a little more than a month away.  The episodes collected for this compilation each present their own not so scary but still entertaining story for kids at their Halloween parties this year.  The DVD opens with a mystery that sees everyone in Griffin Rock suddenly disappearing after a horde of robotic bugs infests the town.  It’s up to Cody, his friends, and the Rescue Bots to solve the mystery.  The second episode sees some “ghosts” suddenly appearing.  It turns out though, that things aren’t always what they appear to be when Cody and the Rescue Bots investigate the “hauntings.”  There’s even a little twist that parents and kids alike will like, regardless of whether or not they are believers.  “Spellbound” is the third episode chosen for the DVD.  One could argue that this episode lifts lightly from Stephen King’s novel Cell as cell phones are being used to take over the minds of the Griffin Rock’s citizens.  This is an especially enjoyable episode not only for this reason, but for its emphasis on caring for the environment.  “Blame The Gremlins” is another great addition that parents and children will appreciate as it offers its own frightful fun.  When Cody’s big brother Kade (voiced by Jason Marsden) starts having nightmares about gremlins, those nightmares become reality and invade Griffin Rock.  Parents that are familiar with Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone series will appreciate the subtle homage to the episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” in this episode.  One could even argue that there’s a subtle reference to a certain gremlin from Warner Brothers’ beloved Looney Tunes franchise.  “Feed The Beast” closes out the DVD with a little tale of Griffin Rock’s own version of the legendary Sasquatch.  As with the discs other episodes, it offers its own frightful fun for younger viewers.  All of the episodes together will keep young viewers fully engaged from start to finish.

Of the stories included on this disc are not enough enjoyment by themselves, audiences that might be new to Transformers Rescue Bots will appreciate the fact that the episodes are kid friendly.  They don’t have the level of violence and deep, thought provoking material that makes up the original Transformers franchise or any of its offshoots over the years.  It makes for a fun and safe way to ease younger viewers into the Transformers universe.  It could be argued that to that extent, it actually takes a page from the likes of Tiny Toon Adventures, The Flintstone Kids, Taz-Mania and others that came from that era.  That’s because while many critics came down hard on the series, the reality was that they were in fact a way to slowly and gently bring younger viewers into the likes of Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, ScoobyDoo and other classic franchises.  To that extent, the very concept of this franchise makes the writing all the more valuable and enjoyable to the overall presentation that is this latest compilation.

The writing that went into the episodes on this DVD makes them (and the franchise in whole) a joy for both children and adults.  Its mix of family friendly stories and its more grown-up pop culture references will make watching them as a family a fun time.  And especially today, families need as much time as possible together.  It’s not all that makes this collection enjoyable, either.  The series’ animation also makes the episodes presented here fun, too.  Audiences that are familiar with Hasbro Studios’ properties will find it no surprise that this series’ animation bears a somewhat similar animation style to that of both Pound Puppies and Littlest Pet Shop.  It is safe to suffice that the same individuals charged with crafting the artwork for those series were also behind Transformers Rescue Bots, too simply by watching these episodes.  Even with its similarities to those series, it does bear its own identity apart from them.  The differences lie mainly in little things like the contours of the characters and the backgrounds and even the coloring. Other than that, this series’ animation lies in the same category as those others from Hasbro Studios already noted. Even as similar as its animation is to those series, it still is nice to see animation today that can look so much like it was hand drawn instead of all of the cookie cutter CGI shows out there for younger audiences today. It’s just one more part of what makes this new DVD so welcome in any family’s DVD library.

The animation in Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue and the writing in its episodes together make this latest collection of episodes welcome in any family’s DVD library. The last factor to note that makes it such a welcome addition to any family’s library is the series’ list of voice actors. Those behind the characters in this series are no strangers to voicing animated characters. The cast includes Jason Marsden, Kath Soucie, Levar Burton, Mauriche LaMarche, Tim Curry, Diamond White and so many others. While their episodes are not included in this DVD, Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman The Animated Series) and Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) even offer their talents in a couple of episodes, too. Having such a who’s who of actors lending their talents to this series is a tribute to its popularity and the popularity of the Transformers franchise in whole. Jason Marsden is known for his work on Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Odd Parents and as the voice of Nermal in Cartoon Network’s The Garfield Show. He has worked on a number of other series and movies, too. These are just a couple examples of his body of work. Kath Soucie and Levar Burton both worked together on Captain Planet and the Planeteers early in the 1990s. Soucie is also known as the voice of Phil and Lil DeVille in Nickelodeon’s beloved Nicktoon Rugrats. Not to omit Mauriche LeMarche or Tim Curry, the resume of these two actors could fill pages and pages. Needless to say they are quite the well trained and well-respected actors. And having them on this series’ cast is quite the statement. Newcomer Diamond White has already started building up her own resume with voice acting credits including work on Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, and Sophia the First. She also plays the role of Sophie in Nickelodeon’s teen-centric series The Haunted Hathaways. Needless to say, the cast that was tapped for the roles in Transformers Rescue Bots more than did its job with this latest collection of episodes. Their years of training and experience helped them to interpret each episode’s script and in turn make it each story all the more enjoyable. The end result is a collection of episodes that the whole family will enjoy again and again while they wait for the next collection of episodes from this surprisingly entertaining show.

The A-list voice cast tapped to voice the characters in this latest collection of episodes from Hub’s Transformers Rescue Bots goes a long way toward validating it and the series in whole. Parents will note the celebrities’ names and want to check out the actors’ work for themselves. They will also appreciate some of the subtle pop culture references thrown in for good measure in some of the episodes included on the DVD. Kids will enjoy the animation and stories in general. All things considered, there is a lot that makes Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue a hit for the whole family. So much in fact that it could potentially end up on this critic’s list of the year’s best new DVDs for children and families. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-mystery-rescue. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online now at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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.