Not Some B-Movie Ripoff, Nature: Attack Of The Killer Whales Is One Of 2015’s Best New Documentaries

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature has proven time and again throughout its thirty-plus years on television to be the best series of its kind. This is even in comparison to the wildlife series that have and still do run on the Big Four networks. Over the course of its almost thirty-three years on television Nature has taken audiences around the world multiple times, presenting to audiences some of the world’s most exotic lands and equally exotic animals to audiences of all ages. For all of the exotic animals and lands that have been presented over the years on Nature sometimes the series uses those animals and lands to tackle some tough topics, too. That is exactly what is done in its 2014 episode Invasion of the Killer Whales. Invasion of the Killer Whales was released on DVD early this year. And while the episode’s title makes it sound like some classic Roger Corman B-movie, it is anything but. Yes, that bad joke was fully intended. Invasion of the Killer Whales is a serious look at the impact of climate change and global warming on the Arctic ecosystem. It does so without being preachy, too, which is just one reason that it makes for such an interesting watch. The footage is just as important to the whole of the presentation. Audiences actually see first hand how climate change and global warming are affecting specifically the Arctic ecosystem. They are not forced to rely on hearsay. It makes even more hard-hitting and even slightly shocking what is really happening as a result of climate change and global warming. That footage expertly complements the story presented in this episode of Nature, showing even more why climate change is such an important issue and yet again why this is yet another interesting episode of Nature. Both the story presented in this episode of Nature and its footage share equal importance in its success. As important as both are to the whole of the program, its pacing is just as important as those aforementioned elements. Those behind the cameras manage to keep a solid pace, even throwing in interviews on both sides of the presented issue to keep the pacing at a rate that is just enough to not lose audiences along the way. Thanks to the attention of the program’s pacing, audiences are even more apt to remain engaged from start to finish. And in turn, they are that much more apt to fully grasp and appreciate the magnitude of the covered topic. In understanding the magnitude of the topic presented here and appreciating it, audiences will agree that once more PBS’ Nature has proven exactly why it remains today the top wildlife-based program on television today.

Invasion of the Killer Whales sounds like a title ripped from one of Roger Corman’s classic sci-fi flicks from the 1950s, right? All jokes aside, this episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature is a very serious episode. The topic tackled in this episode is the effect of climate change and global warming on the Arctic ecosystem. The program explains that because of climate change and global warming, polar bears, the region’s once top predators, are now being pushed out as their hunting grounds are disappearing more and more each year. By direct connection, killer whales are becoming increasingly dominant in the area. that is because the ice that once protected other marine life in the Arctic from the killer whales is no longer there to protect them. This means that certain animals such as narwhals are drastically decreasing because of these overall changes. It is just one example of the impact of climate change and global change globally. The information provided about these impacts is presented in a fashion that avoids being preachy, which is especially good for audiences. While it makes a clear argument about the effects of climate change even on a micro scale, it doesn’t do so in a preachy fashion. Rather it does so in a fashion typical of Nature. It just presents the animals that are common to the region. And it explains their interactions. In this case it shows the effect of an outside factor on their interactions. It’s nice to see that it took on the subject in this fashion instead of just being a full-on argumentative piece unlike so many other programs out there. It’s just one reason that audiences will appreciate this episode of Nature, too. The footage that accompanies the program adds to its interest.

The topic tackled in this episode of Nature is a hot button issue, needless to say. Luckily, the program doesn’t approach the subject in an argumentative fashion in this case. Rather it does its best to maintain at leat a semi-objective vantage point in tackling the subject matter. The program’s use of its footage helps to maintain that vantage point. It shows the killer whales entering territory that they once couldn’t enter due to the existence of that Arctic sheet ice. Audiences see their wolfpack mentality as they surround groups of narwhals and take them down almost systematically. It is shocking to a point. It is shocking because of the level of intelligence that the orcas display in this mentality. Just as interesting to note is the footage of the polar bears in question hunting unsteadily among the melting ice. It clearly shows that the polar bears’ hunting grounds are indeed disappearing. The interviews that are interspersed with all of this footage makes for even more interest as they show just how far the impacts of the changes reach. Both pros and cons are discussed in regards to the changing conditions. Those interviews coupled with the footage of the changes happening in the Arctic add another level to the program in whole. They partner with the episode’s subject matter to make this episode even harder-hitting, proving once again why Nature remains the top wildlife-based program on television today.

Both the topic covered in Nature: Attack of the Killer Whales and the footage that accompanies the topic are key elements of this episode. As important as they are to the whole of the episode, the episode’s pacing is just as pivotal to its success. Those behind the cameras keep a pace that is solid enough to keep audiences engaged from beginning to end of the roughly hour-long program. At no one point does it waste any time on one part of the topic or another. The result is that audiences will be more apt to more fully appreciate the magnitude of the subject presented here. In better appreciating and understanding the material in question, audiences will agree that Nature has once again proven why it remains over thirty years after its debut, the front-runner in the realm of televised wildlife programs. This applies regardless of whether audiences have been watching Nature throughout its run or are relatively new viewers. Audiences will also agree in considering this element in conjunction with this episode’s footage and the manner in which it approached its subject matter, that Attack of the Killer Whales is one of this year’s best new documentaries.

Nature: Attack of the Killer Whales proves itself to be one of this year’s best new documentaries. Whether for its subject matter and its approach of said material, the footage compiled for the program, or for the its pacing, there is obviously plenty to like about this episode. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51197006&cp=1378003.2831221&sr=1&origkw=nature&parentPage=family. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:

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

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

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WordWorld Birthday Party! Is Its Own Gift Throughout The Year

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids’ released the latest installment of its family friendly series WordWorld on DVD last month.  The DVD–Word World: Birthday Party!–is a great fit for any family with young readers and readers to be.  The DVD features five more episodes from the vocabulary-building-based series that the whole family is sure to enjoy.  Families will enjoy the presented episodes for more reasons than they might think. Audiences will note in watching all give episodes that they teach more than just vocabulary-building skills. The show’s writers have also incorporated some important life lessons, too.  And they aren’t done in an overly preachy manner, either.  That is just one part of what makes this collection of episodes so enjoyable. The collective run time and pacing of the episodes presented here makes the overall viewing even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages. Also worth noting of this DVD is the material included as bonus material. Included in the DVD are four printable activities for parents to enjoy with their children as well as six separate printable coloring pages featuring each of WordWorld’s inhabitants. Each element on its own plays its own part in making WordWorld: Birthday Party! enjoyable. All three elements taken into consideration together show it to be yet another enjoyable piece for audiences of all ages and one more welcome compilation for families regardless of how many or few of the series’ DVDs said families may or may not already own.

WordWorld: Birthday Party! is not the first collections of the series’ episodes released by PBS Kids and PBS Distribution. That aside, it is no less enjoyable for audiences either. This is regardless of whether or not said audiences already own any of the series’ previously released compilations, too. One reason that it is just as enjoyable as its predecessors is the work of the series’ writers. The writers continue the series’ long-running tradition of incorporating both basic word-building skills and important life lessons into each episode. The word-building skills are taught in much the same manner as in The Electric Company and even certain episodes of Sesame Street. The DVD’s opening episode “Happy Birthday Dog” teaches young viewers about some of the words associated with birthday parties including the all-important word “Cake.” At the same time, the writers include an important social lesson as both Pig and Dog are reminded about sharing the cake rather than hogging it (no pun intended) for themselves). “The Rainbow Birthday Cake” presents a subtle yet important lesson about recycling and caring for the Earth as Duck tries to get Frog’s cake to his birthday. And in the DVD’s closer “Bugs to the Rescue,” young viewers are taught a variety of words as the bugs try to save Dog. At the same time, those same viewers are also taught all too necessary problem solving skills along the way. Those looking mainly for those word-building skills will appreciate the lesson presented in “Bit By Bit.” It teaches viewers that big words aren’t so scary when learning them. It teaches young viewers that in order to handle big words, they need to just break them down and handle them “bit by bit.” And it uses the word “banana” as an example of how to do that. Simply put, it teaches young readers to work out big words by taking them one syllable at a time. It is another great tool to teach children whether they are already in school or getting ready to start for the first time. Together with the already noted other vocabulary lessons (and their companion life lessons), all of the lessons crafted by WordWorld’s writers show clearly once again why their work is central to the success and enjoyment of this latest collection of episodes.

The word-building lessons and the important everyday life lessons incorporated into each of this DVD’s episodes are central to its overall success and enjoyment. While they are the key point of focus, they compose only one part of the disc’s success. The collective run time and pacing of each episode is just as important to the whole as the lessons themselves. Each episode comes in at roughly twelve minutes. At five episodes, that comes to a total of one full hour of educational and entertaining content for young viewers. On the surface it might seem like that is pushing it a little with the viewers’ attention spans. But thankfully for the work of the writers, the pacing of each episode is just enough to keep said viewers’ attention from start to finish. Thanks to that expertly balanced pacing, not only do those roughly twelve minutes pass by with ease but young viewers will remain engaged right to each episode’s end. The resultant effect of that engagement is that those same viewers will be more apt to catch the concepts presented in each episode and more apt to retain said concepts, too. It is yet another way that WordWorld: Birthday Party! proves itself another enjoyable addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of whether or not they already own any of the series’ previously released DVDs.

The lessons presented in each episode of WordWorld presented here are themselves key to the DVD’s success and enjoyment among audiences. In the same vein, the work of the writers to provide a solid pacing in each episode will keep the show’s target audiences engaged from start to end. In doing so, said viewers won’t even realize that a full twelve minutes have passed as they laugh and learn. All of this taken into consideration, WordWorld: Birthday Party presents audiences plenty of reason to pick up this DVD. If the already noted elements aren’t enough, then perhaps the proverbial icing on the cake (bad pun fully intended) that is the disc’s bonus material will be enough. The material included on the disc as bonus material includes four printable activity pages and six printable coloring pages. The activity pages act as extensions to the presented episodes as each one teaches word-building skills in its own way. There is a connect-the-dots activity that spells out one of Dog’s favorite treats. There is also a word search that encourages young readers to finish building the words presented on the sheet. And there is even a word search and riddle game that each teach word-building skills in their own way. The printable coloring pages each feature one of the inhabitants of WordWorld. To an extent, young viewers could even use the printable activity pages as coloring pages at the same time since they are presented largely in black and white save for the word-building riddle game. Again here is one more way in which WordWorld: Birthday Party! proves itself to be yet another enjoyable collection of episodes from the family favorite PBS Kids series. By itself it offers its own share of enjoyment. When partnered with the episodes’ writing, their run times, and pacing, all three elements show clearly why every family will enjoy this latest collection of episodes just as much as any previously released WordWorld compilation disc.

WordWorld: Birthday Party! boasts plenty for audiences of all ages to enjoy. The series’ writers have crafted five more episodes that combine word-building skills with important life lessons to make each one educational and entertaining. The collective run time and pacing of each episode guarantees that viewers will remain engaged and will even potentially retain some of the presented lessons if not all of them. The bonus material included on the disc adds even more enjoyment as they allow young viewers to build their vocabulary skills while they’re not watching the DVD. They can also color their favorite WordWorld character(s). Each element on its own proves its value to the DVD in whole. Collectively, all three elements noted here make WordWorld: Birthday Party a clearly welcome addition to any family’s home DVD collection. WordWorld: Birthday Party! is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57493336&cp=&kw=wordworld+birthday+party&origkw=WordWorld+Birthday+Party!&sr=1. More information on this DVD is available online along with all of the latest WordWorld news, games, and more at:

Website: http://www.wordworld.com

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

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PBS Kids’ New Wild Kratts DVD Is A Fin-Tastic Collection

Courtyesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtyesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Kids’ will release its latest collection of episodes from its hit kid-friendly wildlife series Wild Kratts next Tuesday, April 14th. The DVD, Shark-Tastic, is a nice addition to any family’s Wild Kratts DVD collection regardless of the number of DVDs that families may or may not already own. The DVD, the series’ eighth, features four episodes for the whole family. Two of those episodes—‘Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck on Sharks” are bonus episodes. But they have actually been previously released on two other Wild Kratts collections—Lost at Sea and Predator Power. That aside, all four episodes present a similar theme tying each episode together. Keeping that in mind, the episodes featured in this latest collection make for at least one reason that families will enjoy it. The run time of each episode adds to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. Each episode runs roughly twenty-five minutes. That is just long enough for the series’ intended audiences. What’s more, it is a standard held by the show since its inception two years ago. Last to note the makes Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic worth the watch is its bonus material. PBS Distribution has included again as bonus material an extensive aquarium guide and matching game that encourages audiences to match the given animals with their correct habitats. Both bonuses have been included in previous Wild Kratts DVDs. This is of course more the case for those that are just starting their Wild Kratts DVD collection. Keeping that in consideration along with the DVD’s episode selection and the episodes’ run times, Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic still proves to be an enjoyable watch for any family even if a family already owns any of the series’ other DVDs.

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic is a fun watch for any family regardless of how many of the series’ previous DVDs a family may or may not already own. The central reason for this is the DVD’s episode selection. Included in this DVD are four episodes that take the brothers Kratt into the deep blue sea for four very different reasons. Two of the episodes in question—“Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck On Sharks”—have both already been included in previous Wild Kratts DVDs. On the surface this might not seem like much worth noting. But a deeper examination reveals much more. A deeper examination reveals that all four of the episodes featured here presents its own original story separate from any of the others. At the same time, all four episodes are tied together by one continuous theme of aquatic life. “Octopus Wildkratticus” (Season One) examines the adaptations of the octopus while the Kratt brothers try to reclaim their lost power suits. In “Tortuga Tune Up” (Season Two), Chris and Martin introduce the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the Tiger Shark to audiences while they try to help Aviva develop the Tortuga’s ability to swim underwater. “Speaking Dolpinese” (Season One) sees Chris and Martin learning to speak the language of the dolphin when they encounter a pair of young dolphins that have been separated from its pod. And in “Stuck on Sharks” (Season Two), the Kratts present a lesson on one of the ocean’s deadliest yet most misunderstood predators, the Great White Shark. The stories themselves are well worth the watch if only for their educational and entertainment content. That all four also maintain a central theme will especially ensure audiences remain engaged through all four episodes. It’s just one way in which Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves itself worth the addition to any family’s library even if said families already own the DVDs on which “Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck On Sharks” were previously released.

The episodes that make up the body of Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic by themselves make for plenty of reason for audiences to check it out. Younger viewers will be able to catch the concepts delivered by the series’ writers just as easily as older adults. This applies both with the DVD’s primary pairing of episodes and its bonus episodes, too. What’s more, all four episodes stand as their own stories yet stay connected via one continuous theme of aquatic life. That all four episodes follow that one theme yet stand out as their own works will keep viewers engaged and in turn aid in helping viewers catch the concepts handled in each episode. The easily accessible writing displayed in each of the DVD’s episodes coupled with their solid continuity is important to the overall presentation of Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic. But without a proper run time, the writing and continuity of the episodes would be moot. Each of the DVD’s episodes comes in at roughly twenty-five minutes. Being that the concepts presented in the episodes are typically aimed at older children (typically third grade and up), twenty-five minutes is just long enough. Were the episodes any longer, the show’s heads would risk losing the attention of its viewers. So keeping this in mind, it shows even more why the episodes’ run times are so important to the presentation in whole.

The combination of the writing and the run times in all four episodes combined with the episodes’ sensible run times makes the argument in favor of this DVD even stronger than if one were to use only one element or another. Together, they assure that the show’s key audiences will remain engaged and entertained from beginning to end with each episode. This is of the utmost importance to the enjoyment of this latest Wild Kratts compilation. As enjoyable as the episodes prove to be, they are just part of the reason that audiences will enjoy this DVD. The material included as bonus features makes the DVD even more enjoyable. This is especially the case for those that perhaps don’t already own the show’s previously released DVDs. The reason for this is that the bonus material included on this disc is the same material included in those noted releases. The material in question includes a printable activity that lets younger fans to match animals to their proper habitat and an extensive aquarium guide that kids can use. Now that summer is just around the corner, both the activity sheet and the aquarium guide will serve as their own positives to help keep kids learning while they’re out of school. So to that extent, both extras definitely deserve to be called bonuses at least in this case. It’s one more way that Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves itself to be another welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts collection.

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic presents plenty of reasons for the whole family to enjoy this latest collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit wildlife series. All four episodes featured in this collection follow the same aquatic theme. Two of the episodes are even pulled from previous Wild Kratts DVDs to complete the episode list. The run time of each episode comes in just under the half hour mark. That in itself is a long-held tradition by the people behind Wild Kratts. And coupled with the easily accessible marine biology lessons presented in each episode, the DVD becomes all the more entertaining for audiences of all ages. The addition of the DVD’s bonus material makes the overall presentation all the more enjoyable and successful especially with summer right around the corner. All three elements taken into consideration, Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves exactly why it is yet another welcome release from what is one of PBS Kids’ best series. Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic will be available next Tuesday, April 14th. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58235516&cp=&kw=wild+kratts+shark-tastic&origkw=Wild+Kratts+Shark-Tastic&sr=1. More information on Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic is available online along with all of the latest Wild Kratts news and games online at:

Website: http://www.krattbrothers.com
http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

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PBS Kids’ New Dinosaur Train Is A Fun-Filled “Ride” For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution just announced Wednesday that it will release another brand new collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train later this month in the form of Dinosaur Train: Explore Outdoors.  Its release on April 21st will come almost two months after the release of the series’ most recent DVD Dinosaur Train: I Love TrainsDinosaur Train: I Love Trains is in its own right another enjoyable addition to the series’ already long list of previously released DVDs and just as welcome in any family’s home DVD library.  The main reason for this is, as with any TV show or movie, its writing.  The series’ writers have crafted eight more stories that not only educate young viewers about more dinosaurs but also about some important life lessons, too.  The run time of each episode remains the same as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases.  Considering that the combination of those run times and the equally well-written episodes prove clearly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

The latest addition to PBS Kids’ already long list of Dinosaur Train DVDs, Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, is one more welcome addition to any family’s home library.  This is regardless of how often one family or another gets to see Dinosaur Train.  The central reason for its enjoyment is the strong writing exhibited in each previously released compilation from the hit series.  This is exhibited in all eight episodes that make up the DVD’s body beginning with “Junior Conductor Jamboree.”  Usually the Pteranodon kids goes to one specific time period or another and learn about one kind of dinosaur or another.  In the case of this episode, the kids ride the train from one end to the other, picking up friends along the way for one big prehistoric celebration.  The kids learn about conducting the dinosaur train and about the different time periods along the way.  This includes learning about a variety of dinosaurs that lived in each time period instead of just one.  On the surface one might think that this means presenting a rather broad swath of information for young viewers that they might not fully catch.  But credit where credit is due.  The writers actually handled this issue quite well by offering just enough information to be considered a small introduction to the given dinosaurs and their time zones.  Their handling of the information in question will in turn lead young viewers to want to learn even more about everything discussed.  The show’s writers really should be applauded for that effect.  It is their painstaking efforts to balance everything that will lead to that love of knowledge among its younger viewers (and maybe even some older viewers, too).

On another note, “Rocket Train” is another important example of why the work of the show’s writers remains so important in this compilation of episodes.  “Rocket Train” is an especially important episode for younger viewers because of the important life lesson that it presents.  The lesson that it presents is that just because something is new, shiny, and “high performance” does not necessarily mean that it is better than what’s already out there (I.E. something older).  We live today in an age when young people (children, teens, and even adults) want the next cool, shiny, “high performance” gadgets.  The thing is that just like the Rocket Train, the next new cool gadget is anything but perfect.  Smart Phones may seem cool.  But it has been pointed out that they have their own security flaws versus the simplicity and security of say a flip phone.  In the same vein, the Rocket Train ended up needing help by the older but more reliable Dinosaur Train.  Again, the connection is clear.  It is an episode that every family should see.  With any luck, maybe older audiences and younger alike will catch that lesson and take it to heart.  It would prove the writers’ efforts weren’t in vain.  Regardless it proves once again why the writing is so important to the whole of this DVD’s episode.

One more example of the importance of the writing in these episodes lies in “Troodon Train.”  This episode is a little more basic than the others that have been noted already.  It serves more as a review of sorts per se as it re-introduces the Elvis’ prehistoric dino counterpart in the form of King Cryolophosaurus.  The *ahem* king is re-introduced in this episode as the Pteranodon Family takes a trip to Troodon Town to celebrate Troodon Train Day.  The festivities are capped off by a performance by The King himself.  King Cryolophosaurus was already introduced in previous Dinosaur Train DVDs.  So having him play a part in this episode is really a way to get him fresh in young audiences’ minds.  That the writers would maintain King Cryolophosaurus as an ongoing character and include him yet again so as to basically review in a manner of speaking  is pretty smart to say the least.  So credit goes out to not only Dinosaur Train’s writers but also to those charged with assembling the episodes included in this set for including this episode if only for that purpose.

All three episodes noted here are each prime examples in their own right as to why the writing in each episode makes this compilation so enjoyable.  Of course there are five other episodes that present their own value to audiences.  Regardless of which episode(s) audiences find as their favorite(s), every viewer will agree that all eight episodes together clearly show why the writing behind these episodes makes them so enjoyable and in turn Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains in whole so enjoyable, too.  Now having noted this, the writing is not all that is worth noting in the enjoyment of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains.  The run time of each episode is just as important to the whole.  Just as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases, the episodes presented here run no more than roughly than about eight to ten minutes each.  Considering the series’ key audience, this is just long enough to keep younger viewers’ attention from beginning to end of each episode.  And because the topics and subjects handled in each episode are done so in a relatively simplistic manner, it guarantees even more that said audiences will not only enjoy each episode and remain fully engaged, but that those viewers might even actually retain at least some of the information shared in each episode, too.  So to that extent, the run time of each of the DVD’s episodes does in fact prove once again to be just as important as any other element that makes the show so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The work of the writers behind Dinosaur Train goes hand in hand with the run time of each episode included in this DVD in examining what makes it another enjoyable presentation. The relatively short run time of each episode will keep young viewers’ attention just long enough for them go grasp the equally simplistic delivery of the topics covered in each episode. While both elements are of equal importance to the whole of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, there is still one element remaining that should be noted in regards to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. The element in question is the material included with the DVD as bonus material. For the most part, the bonus material is a handful of printable coloring pages. That includes even the printable activities. The activities in question are the starting point for activities that could be done away from the TV. And at the same time, they also double as coloring pages for some younger audiences, too. The real gem of this DVD’s bonus material is its interactive CD-Rom game that allows users to play as one or two of the Pteranodon kids, paddling down a river and collecting bugs. Children can compete to see who can catch the most bugs first as they make their way down the river. It teaches both counting skills and entertains at the same time. So even in this case, the bonus material definitely lives up to its name. And together with the work of the writers, and the overall run time of each episode, all three elements come together to prove exactly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is another wonderful “ride” for any young paleontologist in training and for any family in general.

Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575196&cp=&sr=1&kw=dinosaur+train&origkw=Dinosaur+Train&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Dinosaur Train DVDs and episodes is available online along with Dinosaur Train games and activities at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain

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

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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 Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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 Kids’ New DTN DVD Is A Welcome New Addition To Any Family’s Home Library

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Twelve years ago, the world lost one of its most important figures when Fred Rogers passed away.  Rodgers was one of those very rare figures that was the same in front of the camera as he was away from the set of his beloved series Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood.  That is evident in the 2012 documentary Mr. Rodgers & Me.  The same year that Mr. Rodgers & Me made its debut, The Fred Rogers Company launched the family friendly series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The CG-based series focuses on one of Mr. Rodgers’ most beloved figures and has gone on since its inception to be one of PBS’ and PBS Kids’ best series.  The series has spawned no fewer than six DVDs since the series’ inception, the latest of which was released last month in the form of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel.  If Mr. Rodgers were alive today, he would be just as proud of this collection of episodes as the series’ previous compilations.  That is because just as with the noted collections, it carries on his legacy with pride.  That is evident primarily through the work of the series’ writers.  The writers have crafted a multi-part series of episodes that follows the growth of the Tiger family.  It is a story to which every family will relate and that in turn that every family will appreciate and enjoy from start to finish.  The separation of the story into seven episodes—one of which is a two-part episode, thus making the collection actually eight episodes—makes the DVD even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It is that separation that makes the story easier to follow and more enjoyable to follow, too.  The coloring pages and activities included with the disc as bonus material rounds out the reasons that audiences will enjoy this disc.  The bonus material in question is the same as that found on PBS Kids’ previous Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.  That means that even if a family doesn’t have the previously released DVDs, no family will feel left out at least to that extent.  The combination of that positive with the DVD’s other noted elements shows clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is another must have for any family that is expecting a new member of the family.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is not the first in the show’s series of DVDs.  And it likely isn’t the last.  Regardless, it is another piece that any family will enjoy.  Those families expecting a new member will especially enjoy it.  That is primarily because of the work of the show’s writers.  While the writers have tackled important issues for young viewers such as emotional development, general social skills (E.g. sharing, patience, etc.) and for much younger audiences, the importance of dental hygiene and even potty training.  Now with this DVD, the show’s writers have taken on a pretty lofty topic in the upcoming expansion of Daniel’s family.  Daniel learns in the episodes presented here that he’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore.  It’s a topic to which so many families will happily relate.  That is especially the case being that the writers made the story like something right out of any everyday family’s growth.  There are no outrageous additions to the story.  Though, it is shortened up somewhat.  That is obviously for the sake of time.  But from the announcement of his parents expecting a new addition to the family to his various emotional stages before, during, and after his sister’s birth, audiences will see just how easily the story reaches audiences.  It especially makes discussions for families that are themselves expecting to expand all the easier.  That the writing behind the episodes can entertain and reach such a broad spectrum of viewers shows exactly why the writing is so pivotal in to the DVD’s enjoyment.  It’s just one part of the whole that makes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel a must have for any family.

The work of the writers in the episodes collected for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brothers Daniel shows by itself one obvious reason that any family will welcome this DVD just as much as its own new addition.  On a related note, the fact that the story was separated out into seven stand-alone stories makes the presentation overall even better.  The separation of the story into seven stand-alone episodes keeps them just long (or short) enough to keep younger viewers engaged.  This is nothing new for episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Anyone familiar with the series and its DVDs will attest to that.  It’s also very smart.  Keeping the attention of its target viewers also means an increased chance of getting the key concepts of each episode and of the story in whole through to said viewers.  Each episode runs about fifteen minutes, putting the DVD’s total run time at approximately two hours.  So not only will young viewers get (and hopefully retina) the presented important life lessons in a short time, they will also be kept entertained for two hours.  That is a win-win for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition.  It’s yet another way that this new DVD shines and proves to be its own welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Both the writing that went into Big Brother Daniel’s episodes and the separation of the episodes that make up the DVD’s body are important to the enjoyment of the presentation in whole. Both elements work together to keep audiences of all ages fully engaged from beginning to end. They also work in tandem to serve as a wonderful starting point for any family that may be expecting its own new addition. As important as all of this is to the DVD’s overall presentation, there is still one more element to note that every family will appreciate about it. That final element is the disc’s collective bonus material. Yet again, PBS Kids and The Fred Rodgers Company have included the same bonus material that was included in the series’ previous DVDs. That material in question includes an activity that teaches both healthy eating and healthy expressions of feelings, another activity that teaches children to use their imaginations as they go on a make-believe train ride. There are even a number of printable coloring pages, too. And of course, there is a music video included that can be viewed without having to dig into the DVD. It can be accessed simply by playing the DVD versus having to dig into the DVD’s other bonuses which have to be accessed separately. Whether as part of the DVD itself or a separate .pdf file, the bonus material included with this DVD rounds out the elements that make it so enjoyable and a must have for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition. The bonus material may be old hat for some. But for others it could be just as new as new baby. And for those audiences, it proves to be a welcome addition to the DVD’s overall presentation. Combined with the work of the show’s writers and the separation of the story into its own stand-alone episodes, all three elements show clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of whether or not it is expecting its own new addition.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel proves in the end to have plenty of positives, as has been noted here. Whether for the writing incorporated into each episode, the separation of the story in to seven stand-alone episodes, or for the inclusion of its bonus material included in each previously released Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD, the is plenty to like about this latest DVD. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51196856&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. Families can also enjoy more episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and play Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games online at http://pbskids.org/daniel. Fans can also go there or the official Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv for all of the latest updates on the show and more. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.