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

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

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

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

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

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

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

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

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/molly

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MollyOfDenali

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

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

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

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

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

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

 

 

 

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

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

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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

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

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Websitehttp://renastrober.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/renastrober

 

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

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date, Specs For New ‘Arthur’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

 

 

 

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

PBS To Launch New Amazon Prime Video Channel Next Month

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will launch a new Prime Video channel next month.

The network is scheduled to launch its PBS Documentaries channel on Aug. 4.  The channel will featured documentaries from PBS’ series, such as FrontlineAmerican Experience and NOVA.  Audiences can view a trailer for the new channel here.

Andrea Downing, Co-President of PBS Distribution, shared her thoughts on the coming launch of the new streaming video channel in a prepared statement.

“PBS is the leader of high-quality, compelling nonfiction entertainment, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a natural addition to our current streaming offering on Prime Video Channels—PBS Masterpiece, PBS Living AND PBS Kids.,” she said.  “This channel will not only help bring engaging stories about life in all corners of our country to a new audience, it will provide needed revenues to sustain public broadcasting’s public-private partnership model for the benefit of all stations and the communities they serve,”

Documentarian Ken Burns, who most recently helmed the PBS documentary Country Music, and who has also helmed other PBS documentaries, such as JazzThe Vietnam War and Baseball said in his own comments that he was anticipating the channel’s launch,

“We had long hoped to be able to have all of our films available in one place so the public would have access to the body of work,” said Burns. “We’re thrilled that this is now possible thanks to the efforts of PBS Distribution and Amazon to launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel and also through PBS’s Passport initiative that allows viewers to support their public television stations. Both will also contribute to the larger mission of PBS.”

PBS Documentaries is expected to have almost 1,000 hours of content available for audiences upon its launch.  Burns’ documentaries will be among that content, as well as Stanley Nelson’s documentary The Black PanthersVanguard of the Revolution.

Nelson shared his pleasure at the announcement of the channel’s launch through his own comments.

“I’m thrilled to see that my work will find a new home on this channel,” said Nelson. “PBS has become a premier destination for documentary programming in the U.S. and has been hugely invested in giving films by diverse storytellers and emerging filmmakers much-needed national exposure. I’m so glad that my film on the Black Panther Party, which can inform communities in our current historical moment, will be able to reach different audiences on this new service.”

Subscription to PBS Documentaries will cost $3.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prim Video subscription.  It will only be available in the United States.

PBS Documentaries is just one of the ways in which audiences can view PBS’ documentary programs.  PBS also offers its own streaming service called Passport.  It allows people to pay a given fee to watch the network’s programs through its own website.

More information on PBS Documentaries is available along with all of PBS’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBS

 

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

‘The Berenstain Bears’ Remains As Enjoyable, Entertaining As Ever In Its Final Season

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/Nelvana

When Stan and Jan Berenstain created their beloved characters The Berenstain Bears so many years ago, odds are they had no idea that their creations would become the beloved figures that they have.  The furry family has seen its adventures beloved by families for generations in countless books.  There are even plush toys, shirts and various DVDs.  One of the latest of those DVDs is the third and final installment in the series’ Treehouse Tales collections.  The two-disc collection is in reality the last season of PBS Kids’ series, which launched in 2003 and ran for three seasons on the network.  Released May 19, approximately four months after the series’ second season was released, this 26-episode collection is another enjoyable offering from PBS Kids, PBS Distribution and Nelvana.  That is due in part to the stories featured within the episodes.  This will be addressed shortly.  The lessons that are tied into the stories are important in their own way to the whole of the set, and will be discussed a little later.  Keeping in mind the amount and type of content featured in the et, its average price point proves key in its own right.  It will also be discussed later.  All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 a wonderful way to wrap up the series’ full season sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is an enjoyable final season set from PBS Kids’ beloved animated series.  It is another presentation that audiences of all ages will enjoy and appreciate.  That is proven in part through the stories featured throughout the season.  Season 3 opens with the Bear family getting a new neighbor.  The neighbor in question, Ursus, is a very tech savvy figure.  At first Papa Bear is not fond of Ursus because he is so much different from Mr. Kodiak.  However, as Papa gets to know Ursus, the pair becomes better friends.  The story itself is unique in the bigger picture of Season 3 (and the overall series).  What’s more, it presents a familiar lesson in that unique setting, proving easily why it is just one example of the importance of the set’s stories.

That story is followed up with a story in “The Big Election.”  The story at the center of this episode finds Papa unwittingly ending up as a candidate in the Bear Country elections.  Considering that this is an election year, it’s a fitting story.  Given, it isn’t the first time that any program – animated or live action – has ever gone the political route, but it still works even in this presentation.  Audiences will especially enjoy this story because of how realistic it is, what with people lobbying for this, that and the other thing.  That the topic is presented in a way that makes it easy for younger viewers to understand the matter, too makes the story that much more engaging for everyone.  To that end, it is just one more example of the importance of the set’s stories.  It is just one more way in which the stories show their importance.  “That Stump Must Go” is one more example of why the set’s stories are key to its presentation.  This story finds Brother, Sister, and Papa having to deal with their own problems.  Sister and Brother are struggling to make a present for Papa for Father’s Day while Papa is struggling to get rid of an old tree stump.  Each interweaving story line will connect with any viewer in its own right.  Parents will laugh as Papa loses the rear bumper on the family car in his efforts to pull up the tree stump.  Children meanwhile will connect with Brother and Sister’s frustrations in their effort to make something special for Papa.  Staying on that note, adults will relate to Papa’s quandary because even adults get frustrated when they struggle to reach a goal.  It’s one more way in which the stories featured throughout this set prove so important to the overall presentation of The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3.  When these noted stories are considered along with the rest of the set’s stories, the whole of that content comes together to make the collection well worth watching if only for that aspect.  Of course, it is just one of the set’s positives.  The lessons that are tied into the set add to its appeal.

The lessons that are connected with the stories are timeless and will connect with audiences of all ages just as much as the stories themselves.  Case in point is the lesson at the center of the episode “Pet Show.”  When brother enters his grandmother’s pet parakeet in his school’s pet show, the bid doesn’t talk, but does mimic various household sounds, such as a rocking chair, a typewriter and even bells.  The lesson that Brother learns in this episode is that expecting things to work out specifically one way is not the best plan of action.  Audiences learn that by looking at things differently than how one expects can reveal something good.  In this case, Brother had to realize that his expectation of the bird talking only resulted in frustration.  When he realized what the bird actually did, his outlook changed.  So, if we look at things in life in a way other than how we expect, that can make all the difference in our daily lives, whether adult or child.  It is just one of the key lessons featured in this season’s stories.  The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback” is another key example of the importance of the collection’s lessons.

The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback,” which is a sports-themed episode, reminds audiences that while practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, it plays a key part in us getting better at what we do.  The interesting thing about this lesson is that while the story is sports-themed, this lesson applies in so many avenues, from practicing a musical instrument to practicing for a big test or whatever other scenario.  Whether it be athletes at any level of their games, musicians at any level of their respective professions or even politicians preparing for public appearances, practice is critical for everyone in so many avenues.  It’s just one more important lesson that will connect with listeners of any age.  “Go To The Movies” is yet another example of the importance of the stories’ companion lessons.

The lesson at the center of this episode is crucial especially for adults.  It teaches grown-up (and children alike) that having quality family time does not have to mean making major plans and spending lots of money.  It can be something as simple as watching home movies at home together, remembering great memories.  In an age of social media and parents constantly bragging about their families’ vacations through nearly every (if not every) social media channel, this is a lesson that really every grown-up needs.  Parents have forgotten that vacations and family time are supposed to be about family, not about bragging about that time on social media and posting pictures of their children posed.  Family time is supposed to be about family.  Keeping this in mind, this unforgettable lesson proves once more why the lessons featured in this set are so important to its presentation.  When it is considered along with the set’s other featured lessons, that whole shows without doubt why the collection’s lessons are so important to the series and not just the set.  When all of this is considered with the season’s stories, the whole of the set’s content shows without doubt the important role that it collectively plays in the set’s presentation.  Considering the depth and breadth of the overall content featured in Tree House Tales Volume 3, it makes the set’s average price point a positive in its own right.

The average price point of Tree House Tales Volume Three is $11.83.  That price is obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  The collection was not listed through Target at the time of this posting.  The least expensive listing of $8.69 is at Amazon and Walmart while the most expensive listing of $14.99 is at Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Best Buy did not have the best buy in this case, listing the set at $9.99, which along with the listings at Amazon and Walmart is still below the noted average.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the set at $13.64.  Simply put, at least half of the set’s listings are below the noted average while the other half exceeds that number.  Even in breaking that boundary, even the most expensive of the listings are still below the $20 mark, so that means that it is still relatively affordable even if not the least expensive.  Considering again the breadth and depth of the discussed content, any of the listings are money well-spent for any family.  What’s more, a portion of sales through any retailer other than PBS still goes to PBS, so audiences will still be supporting the network regardless of which retailer is chosen.  Keeping this in mind along with the importance of the content, it makes the last of the Berenstain Bears season sets a positive finish in terms of the series’ season sets.  It makes it one more of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is a positive final season presentation from the beloved animated series.  The stories in the season’s episodes are just as engaging and entertaining as those in the series’ previous seasons.  The lessons that accompany those stories are just as important to the set as the stories themselves.  Keeping in mind the positive impact of the season’s overall content, the average price point of less than $20 (and separate listings, some of which are below $10), proves just as appealing for audiences.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make this final standalone season set from the 2003 Berenstain Bears set a fitting finish for the series’ full season sets.  It is available now.

More information on this DVD set and all of the latest Berenstain Bears news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.berenstainbears.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/berenstainbears

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

 

 

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

Rena Strober Announces Release Date, Specs For Debut Family Music Album

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Famed actress Rena Strober will release her debut family music album next month.

Strober — who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor MoonLiv and Maddie, and Penn ZeroPart Time Hero and worked on a variety of Broadway stage shows — will release her new musical offering, titled Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss Aug. 28.

The 14-song record features guest performances from other famed figures, such as Jason Alexander (Seinfeldthe Hunchback of Notre DamePretty Woman), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The SunMomStargate), and Michael-Leon Wooley (The Princess and the FrogDreamgirlsPremium Rush) along with a variety of other well-known stars.

The compilation features some of the most beloved songs from Sesame Street‘s now 50-years-plus on television, including but not limited to the timeless tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Believe In Yourself.’

Raposo’s son Nick praised Strober for her work on her new record in a prepared statement, saying, “My family and I were thrilled to work with Rena Strober to bring this wonderful album to life. My father dedicated his life to respecting and nurturing all children, of every ability and heritage, everywhere.”

The release of Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is directly aligned with National Guide Dog Month, which is celebrated in September.  In celebration of the month, a portion of proceeds from the record’s sale will go to benefit Guide Dogs of America and the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation.  The agencies work to find a treatment and cure for blindness, with focus on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

The album will be available with a braille cover for audiences who are hard of sight and blind.  It can be ordered digitally and physically here.  Audiences can view a behind-the-scenes video featuring Strober talking about the album’s inspiration and creation.

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

 

Website: http://renastrober.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/renastrober

 

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

Animal Lovers, Biologists Everywhere Will Enjoy ‘NOVA: Cat And Dog Tales’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Almost 30 years ago this year, the timeless animated series Garfield & Friends presented one of its most notable shorts, “For Cats Only.”  The episode is a hilarious telling of the history of cats (and to a point dogs) on Earth.  It is a laugh riot story that while largely fictitious, apparently had some truths, according to PBS’ recently aired NOVA episode Cat and Dog Tales.  Released to DVD in May, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is its own telling of the history of dogs and cats.  That story, complete with revelations about some other items – also addressed in the noted Garfield & Friends short – makes for its own reason to watch this episode of NOVA.  It will be addressed shortly.  The program’s general presentation adds to the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  All things considered, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that will appeal to any feline fanatic and canine companion.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that pet parents and pals alike will enjoy.  That is proven in part through its central story.  The story in question tells the history of cats and dogs and how they came to become humans’ beloved companions.  Now unlike in the noted Garfield & Friends short, audiences learn here that cats did not come from another planet, but in fact from Europe and Asia while dogs descended from wolves that had existed around the world for thousands of years.  At the same time though, that noted short apparently proves right about cats being domesticated according to his real life documentary.  The documentary points out that humans did not domesticate cats, but that in fact they domesticated themselves.  The same can be said of dogs, according to this program.  It points out in its central story, that dogs (like cats) domesticated themselves over time.  How each species’ domestication happened is interesting to learn in its own right.  Another item addressed in the overall story is that of whether cats and dogs actually love us or if they love the food that we provide.  Not to give away too much, but owners of cats and dogs alike should find no surprise in either revelation here.  All things considered, the overall story of feline and canine history is certain to keep audiences wholly engaged and entertained throughout each segment of the two-part program.

As noted, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a two-part program.  This is important to note as it plays directly into the episode’s general presentation.  Rather than bundling everything together into a single, nonstop, two-hour presentation, audiences can watch each “story” in itself.  As a result, audiences won’t have to worry about feeling mentally spent.  They will then have an easier time remembering everything presented in each story.  This is something that audiences are sure to appreciate.  To that end, those responsible for making the decision to separate the segments are to be commended for that decision.  It proves to be just as positive as the program’s overall, in-depth story to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with the noted content, this element gives viewers even more to appreciate in the DVD’s overall presentation.  It is just one more aspect that audiences will appreciate about the DVD.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is $19.32.  That price is obtained by averaging price listings through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  That is a price point that will not break anyone’s budget.  The same can be said of most of the separate listings.  While PBS’ listing, and that of Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listings exceed that average, they are not by much.  Meanwhile, the listing of $24.99 at Books-a-Million once more far exceeds the average.  Amazon, Walmart and Target each have the lowest price listing at $16.99 while Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 also comes in below that average.  It is not the least expensive listing, but is still less expensive than the average, proving once again that for the most part, the price for this DVD is not prohibitive for any viewer(s).  Considering all that the DVD offers in terms of its content and how said content is presented, it makes the DVD even more affordable and worth the price – save of course for that one noted listing.  Even with the listing at Books-A-Million noted, audiences should keep in mind that regardless of the retailer from which they buy the DVD, at least a portion of the price paid will go to benefit PBS.  That is always important to note considering how little funding PBS gets from the federal government.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales proves itself to be a DVD that pet parents and pals alike will appreciate.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that animal lovers everywhere will enjoy.  That is due in part to its central story, which presents the history of cats and dogs and much more.  The manner in which the overall story is presented adds to the appeal of the DVD’s presentation.  Considering all that the noted items show in themselves and collectively, audiences will agree that the DVD’s average price point is money worth spending.  Each item noted here is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that any animal lover will enjoy.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.