Here’s To Hoping We’ll See More Rugrats Sooner Rather Than Later

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount










Re-issues.  Most people in this day and age don’t give them the attention or credit that they deserve.  Yet in an age in which prequels, sequels and reboots dominate theaters and in which reboots are beginning to develop a noticeable presence on television, re-issues are becoming critical entertainment outlets.  Whether on DVD or Blu-ray, re-issues are playing increasingly vital for those looking for an alternatives to all of the unoriginal prequels, sequels, reboots (and even overly embellished bioflicks) that are churned out on the big screen and small screen.

Because re-issues are so important for audiences looking for an alternative to the general lack of substantial new or creative material on television and in theaters, it is just as fitting that they receive their own year-ender list.  That being the case, that is exactly what is being presented here, the top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues of 2017.  Included in this year’s list are re-issues of United Artists’ 1960 romantic dramedy The Apartment courtesy of Arrow Films, MGM’s 1951 sci-fi/horror classic The Man From Planet X, and even re-issues of some classic TV series including the first two seasons of Nickelodeon’s timeless animated series  Rugrats.  Those two sets, previously released via Amazon (along with the series’ other eight seasons) take the top two spots on this list.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 titles as well as five additional titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.


  1. RugratsSeason 1
  2. RugratsSeason 2
  3. The Old Dark House
  4. The Man From Planet X
  5. Terror In A Texas Town
  6. Misery
  7. The Apartment
  8. Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
  9. The Yogi Bear ShowThe Complete Series
  10. Spongebob SquarepantsThe First 100 Episodes
  11. Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego? — The Complete Series
  12. The Love Of A Woman
  13. The Big Knife
  14. Car Wash
  15. Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie

That’s it for this list, but not for the DVD and Blu-ray titles.  There are still lists for the year’s top new family DVDs/BDs, grown-up DVDs/BDs, Children’s DVDs/BDs and maybe even the year’s top new independent movies and theatrical releases.  Time will tell if I have time to get to them.  Either way, there’s still more to come, so stay tuned!

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Cookie Jar, Mill Creek Give Families More Fun In new Box Set

Courtesy:  Mill Creek Entertainment/Cookie Jar Entertainment

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment/Cookie Jar Entertainment

Mill Creek Entertainment and Cookie Jar (formerly DIC Entertainment) have released yet another enjoyable kid and family friendly cartoon collection with the new TV Toons To Go! box set.  The ten-disc set culls over one hundred total episodes from some of the two companies’ best cartoons, dating all the way back to the 1980’s.  So both kids and their parents will enjoy this set. 

The TV Toons To Go! box set kicks off with a pair of discs featuring episodes from the kid favorites, Busytown Mysteries and the Busy World of Richard Scarry.  Richard Scarry’s books have taught millions of children the world over educational and life lessons for ages.  Now in this cartoon, those same stories are entertaining a whole new generation as they jump off the page and onto the small screen.  First time viewers will enjoy the show for its kid friendly nature and for those same lessons, its vibrant colors, and characters.  Parents of those first time viewers will appreciate these episodes as they will create a sense of nostalgia, taking them back to when they first read the books.  The animation style, with its vibrant colors will also appeal to parents, considering how much of today’s “animation” are increasingly computer generated and less hand drawn.  The hand drawn animation style gives this modern classic its own identity and will continue to do so as long as animation heads seemingly farther away from its roots.  It’s one more piece of the puzzle that will help to create a different but related sense of nostalgia among older audiences.  Parents will especially appreciate these two discs as those who weren’t able to get their hands on last year’s release of The Busy World of Richard ScarryThe Complete 65 Episode Series.  That set was also released by Mill Creek Entertainment and Cookie Jar.

While parents and kids will both enjoy the Busytown discs included in the new TV Toons To Go! box set, parents will especially enjoy the inclusion of the classic cartoon, Heathcliff in this set.  While it isn’t the entire series, or even the four-disc set released by Shout! Factory, but this single disc does quite the job for fans as it presents eleven episodes from this classic 80’s cartoon.  Sure it’s not the entire series.  But it still makes for a solid re-introduction for older audiences and an equally solid first time introduction for newer viewers.  As with the previously noted Busytown discs, parents will get a total sense of nostalgia from this show if only for its hand drawn animation.  It alone was a huge part of the show’s identity.  Though the episodic writing was just as solid.  Whether for Heathcliff’s adventures or those of Riff-Raff and his feline friends, the writing behind the included episodes will keep audiences engaged throughout each adventure.

The primary episodes included in this multi-disc set will entertain both kids and kids at heart for hours on end.  Whether it be episodes of classics such as Heathcliff, C.O.P.S., The Littles, or Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego? Parents have plenty to introduce their kids to for the first time.  And for younger audiences, Mill Creek Entertainment and Cookie Jar have also included episodes of newer toons, too.  To sweeten the deal, the partnership between the pairing also has led to the inclusion of many more modern toons as bonuses on a handful of the set’s discs.  As an example, the set’s first two discs include a bonus episode of Wimzie’s House and Simon in the Land of Chalk respectively.  The set’s fourth disc also presents a bonus episode of Postcards from Buster.  It makes for a nice lead in to the set’s eighth disc, which already contains ten more episodes from the PBS Kids’ “mini-series”/spinoff.  And that disc itself includes a pair of episode of the more modern kids cartoon, Nanoboy as its bonus feature. 

The bonus episodes included in this set do their own part in making the overall viewing experience more enjoyable.  There is at least one more factor that makes this set enjoyable for both parents and kids.  That factor is the set’s packaging.  All ten discs in this set are contained snugly into their own soft inserts within a small easy to carry canteen shaped case.  The case has string attachments that can be tied to anything to keep it safe, too.  It’s a very ergonomically sound packaging idea.  What’s more the inserts that hold the discs are double sided.  Only one side of each is used, thus leaving the opposite side open for other cartoon releases from Mill Creek Entertainment if desired.  Again, it makes for one more positive to the overall presentation from Mill Creek Entertainment and Cookie Jar that parents and kids will enjoy with every watch.  It’s available now in stores and online. 

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Cookie Jar Cartoon Collection A Great “Treat” For Any Kids’ Halloween Party

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Halloween is officially just over a week away.  That means lots of parents and kids are getting geared up to go trick or treating.  Just as many might be looking to host their own kid friendly Halloween parties.  What kid friendly Halloween party is complete without something safe for the kids to watch?  Thanks to Cookie Jar TV and Mill Creek Entertainment, parents have yet another option for their kids.  That option comes in the form of the new Halloween Cartoon Collection courtesy of Cookie Jar and Mill Creek Entertainment.  This single disc compilation of Cookie Jar cartoons offers episodes from some of its most beloved cartoons that are a perfect fit for this time of year.

The compilation kicks off with a trio of episodes from The Busy World of Richard Scarry.  In “The New Neighbors”, the kids meet a pair of new neighbors who happen to be twins.  So the kids think that there’s only one, and she is appearing everyone at once with magic.  And it just so happens that the twins are dressed like witches.  So the kids instantly think that something’s afoot.  But soon they learn a valuable lesson about jumping to conclusions and judging people.  This episode alone is a triple hit for audiences of all ages.  Not only does it boast a Halloween theme, but it’s family friendly, and it teaches some very valuable lessons in the process.

That opening episode of The Busy World of Richard Scarry is great for the whole family.  It’s just one part of what makes this compilation great for everyone.  Older audiences are offered not only entertainment but also education with a Halloween themed episode of the classic 90’s Fox Kids cartoon, Where On Earth is Carmen San Diego?  Audiences learn in the episode, “Trick or Treat” the real origins of Halloween.  According to the mini-history lesson taught here, today’s Halloween traditions go all the way back to the Celtic people.  They would actually wear masks and costumes to scare away evil spirits.  And they actually worshipped a god named Samhain.  There’s even a little tidbit about the origins of the jack-o-lantern.  And as always, Carmen ends up getting away in the end, even playing a trick on Zack and Ivy.

Cookie Jar Halloween Cartoon Collection offers audiences lots of great classic cartoons.  Most come from the 1990’s.  There’s even one from the 80’s in The Littles.  For those who want something a little more modern, young audiences are offered a pair of episodes from Cartoon Network’s hit show, Johnny Test.  In the first of the pair, Johnny and his sisters have to help their agent friends develop a machine so that they can win a trip to Fiji.  His sisters create a helmet that lets the wearer bring inanimate objects to life.  When it turns out that they can’t get the helmet off of Johnny, all kinds of havoc ensues.  Audiences can find out for themselves what happens when they pick up this DVD. 

The second episode from Johnny Test is more of a generic holiday episode.  But it’s still entertaining in its own right.  It’s one more of the enjoyable episodes culled for this compilation for audiences.  There are also episodes of other Cookie Jar Cartoons including: Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Mona The Vampire, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Sabrina The Animated Series, Mummies Alive, and Bump In The Night.  Every one of these shows offers something enjoyable for the whole family for those Halloween parties.  It’s available now in stores and online.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page,  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at