Bailey’s Latest Adventure One Fun Roundup For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Entertainment One/Engine 15 Media Group

Courtesy: Entertainment One/Engine 15 Media Group

The latest release from Engine 15 Media Group’s Adventures of Bailey series takes the beloved Golden Retriever down south to the Lone Star State in a mix of young love and literal puppy love and a madcap canine caper.  A Night in Cowtown centers on a bumbling criminal that accidentally steals an elderly woman’s dog named Felix after losing Frankie, his boss’s dog.  The theft happens as a result of a case of mistaken identity.  This leads to the intertwining stories of young love between Bailey and Trixie, and that of his teenage owner, Abbi (Christine Galyean) and Marc (Mason Dye).  The resultant hunt for Felix offers plenty of laughs and warm moments for the whole family.

The story behind this latest of Bailey’s adventures is a pretty simple one to follow.  And much like many of Engine 15 Media Group’s other releases, this story too offers some slight Christian undertones.  During one scene, audiences find Ski Bidwell (Mark Hanson) in a small church, holding Felix, and contemplating his personal future.  This is the only moment throughout the course of the movie’s near hour and a half run time in which any religious imagery is presented.  This is actually a very good thing for church groups as it keeps the story from being too preachy.  It offers the remainder of its time to plenty of moments that make it a fun, family friendly movie that is worth the occasional watch.

While A Night in Cowtown is not a major motion picture, it holds its own with Disney’s releases in its Buddies franchise.  Sure, the dog’s mouths don’t move with the Bailey movies.  But other than that, Bailey’s latest adventure has just as much heart as Disney’s Buddy movies.  Its production values, cinematography, and acting are at about the same level as the aforementioned series.  Rick Shew, Trey Bumpass, and Christine Galyean have all returned for this third installment of the series as are Kenzie Pallone and Liz Franke who just happens to be directly related to director Steve Franke.  That so much of the cast from the series’ second installment has returned for this film is largely to credit for the on screen performances.  The performances from the cast are but one part of what held this direct-to-DVD movie together.  Its cinematography was just as nice as the series’ previous installments.  David Pinkston headed up the movie’s cinematography.  He is the series third head of cinematography.  And while each movie has now had someone different heading up that department, the shooting for this movie was just as solid as that of the previous installments.  That leads to the movie’s production values.  These are just as positive as everything else that went into bringing this installment of Bailey’s adventures to life. 

Any viewer that is a fan of Disney’s Buddy movies or PBS’ classic series, Wishbone, will enjoy Adventures of Bailey: A Night in Cowtown.  It isn’t as well known as the previously mentioned movies and series.  But young viewers will enjoy this movie (and the previous adventures of Bailey) just as much as them.  Its cast does a good job in its own right.  The camera work, production, and scenery are just as good, too.  All said and done, for a straight-to-DVD feature, it’s an enjoyable feature.  It will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, May 21st.  It can be purchased online via Amazon at  The Phil’s Picks Facebook page is also giving away three copies of the movie on DVD this week for three lucky fans.  Fans need only “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and write on the page’s timeline, noting that they want to be entered in the drawing for a copy of the movie. 

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WordGirl Wins Again With More New Episodes

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

Education is at a pivotal point right now.  With schools undergoing so many changes right now, educational television is so much more important than ever before.  Thank goodness for PBS Kids.  PBS Kids has some of the most enjoyable and worthwhile educational programming around.  One of the really great programs that PBS Kids offers now is WordGirl.  WordGirl teaches kids the value of literacy all while saving her town from evil masterminds.  It’s a wonderful mix of action and learning.  And now, even more new episodes of fun and learning are coming to PBS Kids.  The first of those episodes sees WordGirl face off once again with the evil Dr. Two-Brains and Ms. Question.

The first of the upcoming new WordGirl episodes, “Seize The Cheese”, is a great episode not only because WordGirl faces off once more against her nemesis Dr. Two-Brains, but also because of its emphasis on getting kids physically active.  As this episode opens, everybody is outside savoring the cool Fall weather.  That is everybody except Becky Botsford (A.K.A. WordGirl).  Becky is indoors playing video games.  So her dad confiscates her video game controller and makes her go outside.  Meanwhile, Dr. Two-Brains’ henchmen have broken him out of jail.  Since they did, he agrees to take them apple picking in return.  To his henchmen, apple picking is the best way to savor the weather.

When Dr. Two-Brains tastes the combination of cheese and apples at the orchard, Dr. Two-Brains uses his “Cheese Seizer” to seize all of the nearby cheese.  So Captain Huggyface, WordGirl’s trusted sidekick follows the trail of cheese by himself since Becky is busy with her parents.  In the process, Captain Huggyface gets himself captured, leaving WordGirl to have to search for him herself.  Luckily, Captain Huggyface manages to escape and grab the “Cheese Seizer” to capture Dr. Two-Brains and his henchmen just before WordGirl gets there.

Having saved the day, Episode 501 moves to the equally famed vocab game show, “May I Have a Word?”  In today’s episode, the contestants have to define the word “apprehend.”  Phil gets the definition right and wins a Captain tangent pirate costume.

Getting back to WordGirl, the second half of Episode 501 sees WordGirl have to face off against Ms. Question once again after defeating what she thinks is all of Toby’s robots.  While she’s busy with the robots on one side of town, Ms. Question is robbing a bank on the other side of town.  When the narrator forgets Ms. Question’s name, she is puzzled at how to become better known.  So she comes up with a plan to become a more infamous super villain.  She takes one of the robots that WordGirl hadn’t finished off in her previous battle, and uses it to block the bridge that everybody is using to go to the beach.  She tells WordGirl that she’ll ask everybody a riddle.  And those who answer her riddles will get to cross the bridge.  Anyone who doesn’t will be stranded.  WordGirl challenges Ms. Question to a riddle contest.  Ms. Uses the Riddle of the Sphinx to try and beat WordGirl.  Thanks to T.J. though, WordGirl defeats Ms. Question and allows everybody to go to the beach.

After this episode ends, audiences are treated to the final segment of “May I Have A Word?”  As the show closes, Phil, having won the first segment, must now identify the right picture that defines the word, “Apprehend.”  He picks the right picture, and in turn, wins a Captain Tangent pirate ship to go with his Captain Tangent pirate costume.  And to close out the show, Captain Huggyface offers one last vocabulary word in “anxious.”  He defines it, giving kids one more vocabulary word.

WordGirl airs on PBS Kids nationwide.  Each PBS affiliate airs the show at a different time.  So parents and kids should check their own local listings to see when this new episode will air.

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