Audiences Of All Ages Will Applaud Littlest Pet Shop: Paws For Applause

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest collection of Littlest Pet Shop episodes, Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause is yet another fun-filled collection for any fan of the hit Discovery Family series. The newly-released collection boats five more episodes from the family friendly series that will entertain not just the series’ target young female audiences but their parents, too. That is thanks in large part to the writing behind each of the collection’s five episodes. That is just one part of what makes this collection so enjoyable. On a related note, audiences will appreciate that at least one of the episodes included in this collection is largely a musical episode of sorts. This is different from most of the episodes features in the series’ previous DVD collections. It’s actually entertaining in its own right, too. The bonus sing-a-long that has remained commonplace among previous Littlest Pet Shop collections is present here, too. Even as short as it may be it proves to be one more part of the whole of the collection that makes it one more enjoyable set of episodes for audiences of all ages.

Littlest Pet Shop: Paw for Applause is not the first collection of episodes from the hit Discovery Family series to see the light of day. It is however, just as enjoyable as the series’ previous collections in its own right. The central way in which it proves itself to be just as enjoyable as its predecessors is the writing that went into its featured episodes. The writing presented in the featured episodes presents both heart and comic element that will put a smile on any viewer’s face. The heart is evident in the episode “Super Sunil.” This episode teaches young viewers the timeless lesson about believing themselves. It teaches viewers that they don’t have to be superheroes to do great things. It does this presenting a story that sees Sunil having to face his fears. It is not until Penny Ling develops “super suit” for Sunil and makes the pair a “super duo” that he thinks he can overcome his fears. He eventually comes to realize in the long run that he doesn’t need the super suit to overcome his fears and do great things. It’s a lesson from which audiences of all ages can take something. For all of its heart, it also presents its own share of comedy as Penny Ling comes to realize that she’s bitten off more than she can chew (no pun intended). She has to deal with Sunil’s delusions when he puts on the super suit. Given, the whole concept behind the episode is familiar as it has been used in some form or another by other animated (and live action) series any number of times in the past. But that doesn’t take away from its enjoyment here.

Staying on the element of the writing’s comic elements, older audiences will be entertained by the nonstop Alfred Hitchcock references in the collection’s closer “Back Window.” The episode’s very title is a reference to Hitchcock’s gripping 1954 thriller Rear Window in which photographer L.B. Jeff Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) discovers a crime in a building right across from his as he sits wheelchair-bound in his apartment. The story presented in “Back Window” even plays off of that story as Russell the hedgehog ends up in a body cast after being injured. Russell swears he sees Blythe’s friend Josh Sharp stealing her discarded designs and giving them to her arch enemies, the Biskit Twins. The difference here is that Russell didn’t actually see what he thought he saw (not to give away too much). That aside, there are references to The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, North By Northwest and other Hitchcock hits throughout the episode that older audiences will especially enjoy. Those combined references show the comic element clearly in this set. It’s just one example of the laughs that are offered up in the episodes featured in this collection just as “Super Sunil” is just one example of the heart presented in the episodes’ writing. The remaining three episodes—“Missing Blythe,” “Blythe’s Big Idea,” and “Some Assistance Required”—each offer their own share of heart and entertainment in their own right, too. Regardless of which episode(s) audiences choose, the writing in each of the featured episodes proves equally enjoyable both for its heart and its comic timing. It shows exactly why the writing behind Littlest Pet Shop makes it a hit for audiences of all ages. It shows even more specifically why the writing behind this set of episodes makes it one more hit for audiences of all ages, too. Of course it is hardly the only element that makes the episodes featured on Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause such a hit. At least two of the episodes featured in this collection offer up quite a bit of musical content. That is rare for this series. So it goes without saying that it makes these episodes stand out even more.

The writing that went into each of the episodes featured on Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause is key to the DVD’s enjoyment. It offers more than enough laughs and heart throughout each episode to put a smile on any viewer’s face. This includes both younger and older audiences. It’s just one way in which Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause shows itself to be another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. The inclusion of the “musical” episode “Missing Blythe” is another way that it impresses. This episode follows up on Blythe’s joining a prestigious fashion academy while her animal friends remain at the pet store, awaiting her return. Audiences get at least two full-on musical numbers in this episode–one from Blythe and the other from the animals—that is sure to have young viewers singing along happily. It may even find them dancing as they sing along, too. Speaking of singing and dancing, Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause boasts not only five fun, well-written episodes but a bonus sing-a-long, too. That is nothing new to this DVD and its predecessors each also presented their own sing-a-longs. While it is relatively short it will still have viewers singing and dancing along, rounding out the ways in which the DVD shows itself to be yet another impressive addition to Littlest Pet Shop’s already extensive series of DVDs.

The bonus sing-a-long that is included with Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause rounds out the ways in which the DVD shows itself to be one more enjoyable addition to the series’ already relatively extensive series of DVD releases. It focuses on Blythe’s “F.U.N. Song” from the disc’s opening episode “Missing Blythe.” It is in the course of this song that Blythe eventually realizes that she’s not as happy as she thought she would be. It isn’t all down as viewers that watch the episode will recall. Its catchy chorus and equally infectious harmonies are sure to have any young viewer singing and dancing along even up to Blythe’s realization that she misses her pet shop pals. Even with the song reaching that moment it still doesn’t take away from the rest of the song. Because it doesn’t, it proves once and for all why it is indeed a bonus feature and a fitting final piece to the whole of Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause. Together with the episodes’ solid, fun writing and the musical numbers incorporated into disc’s lead episode, all three elements combine to make this new DVD yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

In case it hasn’t already been made clear, Littlest Pet Shop: Paws for Applause is yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. The solid mix of heart and comic timing in each episode’s writing makes for its own share of enjoyment. The “musical” episode that opens the set is enjoyable in itself. The bonus sing-a-long included in the presentation rounds out the whole thing. All three elements taken into consideration, it becomes crystal clear why this latest collection of Littlest Pet Shop episodes is such a joy for any family to have. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-paws-for-applause. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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MPI, Cohen Media Group Making Their Name With Their Latest Uncovered Classic

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

The partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video has made the two companies leaders in re-issuing cinema classics.  Universal Studios is a close second thanks to the recent re-issues of Cape Fear, its Alfred Hitchcock Essentials collection, and it Universal Monsters collection. Now two more companies are staking their claim in the classic movie world.  Those companies are Virgil Films and Cohen Media Group.  Early in 2013, the two companies partnered for the release of what is one of the single greatest classics of all time in the Thief of Bagdad.  Now months later, they have released an even lesser known classic in Perfect Understanding.

The plot of Perfect Understanding rests in the agreement between Swanson’s Judy and Olivier’s Nicholas that could be equated to an open marriage.  Right off the top, it’s obvious just how original this is, considering social norms and values of America in the early 1930s.  The agreement between the couple is meant in order to break the trend that the couple sees among its friends.  Neither wants to end up like their friends.  Ironically enough, it is because of the agreement that the couple reaches the point of its friends.  The ensuing story is unlike anything that fans of the rom-com genre have seen since.  It’s obviously not just another typical boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end story.  It’s almost Shakespearian in a way when one really goes back through the story a couple of times and analyzes it at a much deeper level.  It should also be noted here that despite a run time of an hour and half, the story actually moves along at a relatively easy pace.  This, along with the largely original story is another positive to this unearthed gem of a classic film.

For a film of its era and its style, Perfect Understanding could very well have been much longer and less able to relate to viewers, even today.  Luckily, it didn’t do that.  And roughly eight decades after it premiered it’s still as funny today as it was in its premiere.  Taking into account the film’s age, it’s incredible that it still sounds and looks as good as it does to this day.  What audiences see and hear is largely what audiences heard when the film first premiered so long ago.  It is a true testament to those charged with restoring the film to its original glory.  And now thanks to those individuals, a whole new generation of film buffs can enjoy this rare classic.

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Rocko’s Modern Life Season Three is a riot

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

90′s Nicktoons Nostalgics, stand up and “shout”!  Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon are on the home stretch with Rocko’s Modern Life.  This classic cartoon lasted a total of four seasons during its run on Nickelodeon.  And on July 3rd, the penultimate season will hit store shelves courtesy of the good people at Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon.  Season Three is rife with all the laughs that fans had in the show’s first two seasons.  In Season Three, fans get to see Rocko investigate what he thinks is Ed Bighead’s murder.  Also series creator Joe Murray takes on the barrage of sensational talk shows that pollute the airwaves.  And Rocko has to face his nail biting problem in another episode.

In “Ed is Dead” series creator Joe Murray spoofs Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, “Rear Window.”  The episode opens with the Bigheads working in their yard one day.  Ed and Bev are arguing over how little work Ed is doing.  That night, Rocko swears he sees Bev use a trowel to kill Ed through the window of the couple’s house.  When he sees her bury something in the yard and clean the trowel afterward, Rocko’s sure Bev killed Ed.  So he goes into the Bigheads’ house to investigate what happened.  When he runs into Bev, she invites Rocko to stay for dinner.  But he freaks out and runs out of the house.  Later, when Rocko confronts Bev, she reveals that she was actually working on a sculpture of Ed, and that was what she buried.  So Rocko asks Bev where Ed is, it turns out that he was out getting a wart removed.  Though Rocko thinks that Ed was getting his tonsils taken out.  The whole thing ends full circle as audiences see the silhouettes of Ed and Bev kissing through their window.

“Ed is Dead” is just one of Season Three’s funny episodes.  Another example of what makes this season so funny is the episode, “Speaking Terms.”  Rocko and Heffer find themselves on the “Nosey” show after a big fight about Rocko’s birthday.  One could argue that this episode even went so far as to spoof the queen of daytime talk herself, Oprah Winfrey, considering the joke about Nosey’s weight issue.  The “twice told tale” format of the episode is nothing new to television.  That aside, it’s a tried and true story format.  Hearing Rocko and Heffer offer their own take on what happened regarding Rocko’s birthday is funny both times.  And of course the reaction from both the audience and Nosey to the pair being friends again after Heffer’s mother chides them for fighting offers its own share of laughs, too.  The real kicker, though, comes at the episodes end, when Filbert shows up with some aliens.  Audiences will have to see the episode to get that joke.

“Speaking Terms” has plenty of great jokes that will make audiences laugh nonstop.  It’s just one more piece of the puzzle that makes Season Three so fun.  As fun as that episode and “Ed is Dead” are, there’s at least one more episode that stands out as one of the season’s best.  That episode is “Tooth & Nail.”  “Tooth & Nail” opens as Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert are eating out at the Scratch & Sniff Restaurant.  Patrons have to order by scratching and sniffing items on the menu.  the problem is that Rocko can’t scratch the menu because his fingernails aren’t long enough.  Heffer confronts Rocko, telling him he has a nail biting problem.  Rocko denies that.  What makes this funny is that Rocko had just gotten through going after Heffer, telling him that he had an eating problem.  It’s a prime example of art imitating life.  Rocko ends up having to take a twelve step program to stop biting his nails.  However, when the “twelve steps” discover he was using them for such a simple problem, half of them leave for Vegas, telling Rocko that he only needs six steps for this problem.  The sixth and final step spoofs “A Christmas Carol.”  It’s a Ghost of Christmas Future style figure that shows Rocko what he would become if he didn’t overcome his nail biting problem.  This cures Rocko.  And just as in “A Christmas Carol”, it all turns out to be supposedly a dream.  The whole thing wraps nicely with the remaining six steps going bust in Vegas.  They end up on the curb outside a casino, with two of the “steps” arguing over whether one of them has a gambling problem.  It brings the episode full circle as it ends.

The episodes listed here are just a small sampling of what fans can expect from Rocko’s Modern Life Season Three.  However, audiences will find their own favorites on the double disc set.  And that’s what makes this show so great.  Even years after it ended its run, the episodes from this classic episode are still relevant and funny for audiences of all ages.  And now, thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon fans will get to re-live every episode from Season Three July 3rd.  

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