PBS, Nickelodeon Offer Kids, Families Lots Of Worthwhile DVDs, Blu-rays In 2020

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Viacom

PBS, PBS Kids and Nickelodeon are some of the most important television networks for children today.  In an age when it seems like families are becoming increasingly segregated within their own homes thanks to technology and general television programming that is anything but family friendly, these networks continued to provide so much content to bring families together in 2020.  That content was presented not just on the small screen, but also on DVD and Blu-ray.  To that extent, even new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays deserve their own year-end best of list.  That list is what is presented here from Phil’s Picks.  This  year’s list of top new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays pulls mainly from the noted networks, and even from Warner Brothers.  Topping the list this  year is S.T.E.M. programming from Nickelodeon in the form of a new DVD from Blaze and the Monster Machines.  Also featured in this list is new content from series, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and even a certain Cartoon Network movie.

As with every other year-ender list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 New titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Children’s DVDs & Blu-rays.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW CHILDREN’S DVDS & BLU-RAYS

  1. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Knight Riders
  2. The Berenstain Bears – Bear Family Vacation
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Explore The Outdoors
  4. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 1
  5. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 2
  6. Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series
  7. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  8. Ben 10 vs. The Universe
  9. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Race for the Golden Treasure
  10. Elmo’s World – Things Elmo Loves
  11. Monster Hits – Rock & Rhyme With Elmo
  12. Paw Patrol – Dino Rescue
  13. Paw Patrol – Mighty PupsSuper Paws
  14. Paw Patrol – Jet to the Rescue
  15. Garfield World Two Movie Collection

Up next from Phil’s Picks is the year’s Top 10 new Family DVD & Blu-ray Box sets.  Stay tuned for that. 

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.  

Tex Avery Collection An Underrated Tribute To An Animation LEgend

Courtesy:  Mill Creek Entertainment

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Animator Tex Avery is one of the greatest and most respected names in the history of television.  It was Avery that was responsible for some of the most famed characters ever to grace the big and small screen.  Those characters include the likes of: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Droopy Dog, Screwy Squirrel, and so many others.  Avery’s teaming with Mel Blanc and other voice talents have made these creations as popular as they still are today.  His characters were sarcastic in personality.  They could bounce back from anything from a bomb going off in their hands to being electrocuted to being hit with mallets and more.  Since his passing, so many artists and shows have tried to emulate Avery’s style.  One of those shows is the short lived show, The Wacky World of Tex Avery.  The show’s main character, Tex, is named after Avery.  Its classic style gags, and wacky stories and characters do their best to pay homage to Avery’s memory, too.  No cartoon since his classic will ever fully live up to the bar set by Avery.  But this one does at least make an admirable effort to do so.

It’s easy to see why people might think that in purchasing or ordering this set that they would expect it to be Tex Avery’s classics.  Even though it is in fact not those classic cartoons (many have already been released on DVD and Blu-ray) this collection does deserve some respect. They deserve respect because they do attempt to pay homage to Avery’s groundbreaking animation style.  While animation has been fine tuned since Avery’s day, viewers will see that the animators behind this modern series did make the attempt to make the show’s characters and backgrounds much in the same vein as Avery.  Viewers will see this especially in the characters and backgrounds.  They were all drawn with that classic feel in mind.  When one takes into account the current state of animation and its lack thereof, it really is nice to have this series and its animation resurrected.  So much programming for young people is either live action material aimed at tweens and teens or it’s crudely drawn animation that is half drawn at best.  There are still hand drawn cartoons out there.  But there seems to be more CG based programming than actual hand drawn cartoons.  When one takes this into account, it makes these classic         

The animation style used in each episode of The Wacky World of Tex Avery is something that viewers should really take into account in viewing the first forty-episodes released so far of this series.  The animation style makes a valid attempt to pay tribute to Tex Avery’s style.  That’s not all that this series does.  Avery’s classic style physical gags are there in each episode of this new collection.  This includes the standard bouncing back from falling objects, eyes shooting from characters’ heads in excitement and so much more.  It’s all here.  As with the show’s classic style animation, these gags are rarely seen on the few real cartoons that are left on television.  The few real cartoons left on television today don’t even make the attempt to make these laugh riot gags.  The brand of comedy used by today’s “cartoons” is less physical comedy and more crude jokes.  That in itself is a real sign of how animation has gone downhill.  So keeping this in mind, too, it makes this first set of episodes in this series even more worth at least one watch. 

The animation style used in The Wacky World of Tex Avery and its old school physical gags are both factors that add at least some value to this show.  There is at least one more factor in this series that makes it worthy of some interest.  That factor is its characters.  With names like Freddy the Fly, Einstone, Power Pooch, etc. the people behind the show obviously wanted to go to as much length as possible to pay tribute to Tex Avery’s memory.  The outlandish names of the show’s characters are something that none of today’s few real cartoons has.  These outlandish names are the icing on the cake of this undervalued cartoon series.  It’s that one extra touch that makes this recently released set more enjoyable than one might have believed without having seen it.  Viewers can check it all out now. The four-disc set is available now both in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via the Mill Creek Direct website at https://www.millcreekdirect.com/wacky-world-of-tex-avery-volume-1-40-eps.html.

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 sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.