Every Family Will Enjoy PBS Kids’ Latest Dinosaur Train DVD

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/The Jim Henson Company

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/The Jim Henson Company

The Dinosaur Train Gang (get the joke there?) is back! Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy are headed back out on the Dinosaur Train yet again for more family friendly fun in the latest release from The Jim Henson Company and PBS Kids, Dinosaur Train: We Are A Dinosaur Family.  This latest grouping of episodes from the hit PBS Kids show is just as fun as any of the show’s previously released DVD compilations.  What sets this compilation of episodes apart from others is the constant underlying theme of family in each of the set’s eight episodes.  All the fun lessons about different dinos are there, too.  And just as with previous sets, PBS Kids and The Jim Henson Company have made sure to include Dr. Scott’s segments.  There are even printable coloring pages and interactive DVD-Rom games and more that the whole family will love.  All things considered, the episodes and the special features included in Dinosaur Train: We Are A Dinosaur Family make this another wonderful inclusion to any family’s home DVD library.

Dinosaur Train: We Are A Dinosaur Family includes eight more entertaining and educational episodes of the hit PBS Kids series that the whole family will enjoy.  All eight episodes included in this latest compilation have the underlying theme of family in each episode.  Each episode features a different family theme that parents and kids alike will enjoy and appreciate.  It all opens with the introduction of the Pteranodon kids’ grandparents in “Meet The Grandparents.”  There are also special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day themed episodes in “Flowers For Mom” and “Dad’s Day Out.”  Parents and kids will both enjoy “Date Night”, the set’s closer.  On the surface, it may not seem like it fits.  But it’s just as important to the set as any of the other episodes.  Kids sometimes think that then their parents go out on a date night or a weekend alone, that their parents don’t love them, believe it or not.  This episode serves as a great starting point to illustrate that parents just need some mom and dad time just like kids need kid time.  And even when moms and dads get their mom and dad time, it doesn’t mean they don’t love their kids.  If anything, they love them just as much, if not more.  Any parent will be able to relate to this theme.  It’s just one more example of what makes this compilation so worth adding to any family’s home DVD library.

The family-centric themes that run through all eight episodes in this set are just one reason that parents and their kids will both enjoy this latest DVD compilation.  Just as with previous Dinosaur Train compilations, this one is loaded with even more paleontology lessons.  The kids meet a burrowing dino called Oryctodromeus in “The Burrowers.”  Viewers of any age will love how the kids are first introduced to the Oryctodromeus family.  After a whole day of waiting to meet them, the kids come up with a hypothesis about the holes that they see which proves to be right in the end.  They also meet a Hadrosaurus when they go to visit their grandparents in “To Grandparents’ Nest We Go!”  They even learn about “classification” when they visit their grandparents.  This is just part of all the fun lessons that are offered throughout all eight episodes in this set.  Kids, parents, and even teachers will enjoy and appreciate all the lessons tied in to each episode just as much with each watch.  Of course, the fun in this compilation doesn’t end with the direct lessons.  There’s plenty of enjoyment thanks to Dr. Scott’s segments and the bonus activities, interactive game and printable coloring pages.

The bonus interactive game, activities, and coloring pages included in this latest compilation of Dinosaur Train episodes are all accessible when audiences pop the DVD into the DVD drive of their computer.  Parents can print out coloring pages for their kids.  The bonus interactive game will be familiar.  As with previous Dinosaur Train DVDs, kids can learn just how big the dinosaurs featured in some of the episodes here really were.  And Dr. Scott’s segments are just as much of a bonus.  While they’re included as part of the episodes on TV, kids can watch them separately yet again on this DVD.  Separating Dr. Scott’s segments from the episodes helps kids to focus better on the subject of each episode.  It serves as another positive way to teach young viewers.  Along with its companion bonus features, and the set’s episodes, it makes Dinosaur Train: We Are A Dinosaur Family one more wonderful compilation from PBS Kids and The Jim Henson Company for any family’s home DVD library.  It is available this week and can be ordered direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=23765876&cp=&kw=dinosaur+train+we+are+a+dinosaur+family&origkw=Dinosaur+Train+We+Are+A+Dinosaur+family&sr=1.  Parents and kids can get more information on Dinosaur Train, watch episodes and play even more Dinosaur Train games online at http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/.   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.

Kids, Adults Will Love To Meet The Fraggles For The First Time Again

Courtesy:  The Jim Henson Company/Vivendi Entertainment

Courtesy: The Jim Henson Company/Vivendi Entertainment

Jim Henson was one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century.  He was the brilliant mind behind the Muppets, Sesame Street, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and so many other creations.  While he was most well known for the aforementioned creations, one of his lesser known creations celebrates its 30th anniversary this month.  That creation is Fraggle Rock.  In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the beloved children’s series’ debut, The Jim Henson Company has released the entire series on single season collections and a complete thirtieth anniversary box set with the entire series.  The company has also released a special single disc collection that serves as a nice introduction to the world of the Fraggles for today’s younger audiences, while re-introducing them to the generation that grew up with these wonderful underground dwelling creatures in Fraggle Rock: Meet The Fraggles.

Fraggle Rock:  Meet The Fraggles offers six episodes of the classic children’s series on a single DVD.  It is aptly titled as it starts off from the series’ very first episode, “Beginnings.”  It is in this episode that audiences first meet Doc and his dog Sprocket, along with the Fraggles.  It’s through a hole in the wall of Doc’s residence that viewers travel into the world of the Fraggles.  Right from the very first episode, audiences are introduced to a program that is full of enjoyable musical numbers, colorful backdrops, and important life lessons.  The execution of the life lessons through the storylines does so much to make this show so timeless.  One of the best examples of this in this collection comes in the episode, “Red’s Club.”  This episode teaches an important lesson about acceptance of others.  It does this through setting things up through the storyline involving Sprocket being rejected from an elite dog club.  After having been rejected, Doc suggests that Sprocket start up his own club.  Meanwhile in the world of the Fraggles, Red is fed up with always going along with Gobo, and starts her own club.  The problem is that her club is so exclusionary that the one single member that she ends up with is a Doozer.  And the Doozer in question—Cotter Pin—ends up leaving Red’s club, too because of how exclusive it is.  Red ends up learning a very valuable lesson because of her actions.  Doc also learns a lesson in talking with Sprocket about why he couldn’t be in Sprocket’s club.  The lesson is told outright, making it easy for young audiences to understand.  This is the kind of writing existent throughout every season of this classic kids’ show.  This includes all six episodes included in this six-disc introduction to Fraggle Rock.

The writing behind Fraggle Rock is the show’s primary reason for its success.  But it isn’t the only part of its success.  As already noted, Jim Henson did during his life, things that no one else was doing.  The musical numbers which were part of his even more beloved Muppet Show 2 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for topping

Mix egg and milk. Sift dry ingredients and gradually add to milk mixture, beat until smooth.

Preheat oil in fry pan to 375 degrees F.

Pour batter into hot oil with a funnel with a ½ “ or ¾” hole. Let batter drizzle into hot oil. Spiraling to create a circle.

Cook about 1 minute, flip over, cooking both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with fruit preserves while still warm. 2 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for topping

Mix egg and milk. Sift dry ingredients and gradually add to milk mixture, beat until smooth.

Preheat oil in fry pan to 375 degrees F.

Pour batter into hot oil with a funnel with a ½ “ or ¾” hole. Let batter drizzle into hot oil. Spiraling to create a circle.

Cook about 1 minute, flip over, cooking both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with fruit preserves while still were just as integral to Fraggle Rock.  Even as old as this show is, its musical numbers will still have young viewers dancing and singing along.  It’s another of the show’s elements that sets it apart from so much of today’s children’s programming, even today. 

Fraggle Rock’s writing and musical numbers will entertain audiences of all ages.  There is still one last piece of the puzzle to this show that makes it so enjoyable for any viewer.  That piece is the simplest.  Yet it’s still one of the most important.  That final piece is the originality of using puppets.  Children’s television is at a point today at which so much programming is much the same in terms of its format.  Children are being placed in front of television sets, and for all intents and purposes left to let the television teach them.  Fraggle Rock doesn’t allow that, as audiences will see in this introductory set of episodes.  It’s not one of those shows in which the characters talk to the children.  It forces parents to sit down with their children and discuss the lessons taught through each episode.  It forces parents to be parents and spend time with their children.  This is exactly what children and parents need.  They need to spend time together and bond.  And what better way to bond than on what is an original and timeless program.  If parents and children enjoy this set, they can also pick up the complete Thirtieth Anniversary box set with the show’s entire run.  Both sets can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BCMT1RS/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p74_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0X19EM0G0KMXPWH3S33S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846 and http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BCMT4B6/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p74_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0NFWRPA7QJPVK8VF9MHY&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846.

Fans of Fraggle Rock and Jim Henson’s creations can get all the latest news from the Jim Henson Company online at http://www.henson.com and http://www.facebook.com/hensoncompany

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.com.  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.