Courtesy: PBSPBS Kids/Public Media Distribution
Over the course of the past six years, brother Chris and Martin Kratt have taken families around the world and taught fun and unforgettable lessons in biology, ecology, zoology and more through their hit animated series Wild Kratts. The series has become one of PBS Kids’ biggest hit series since its debut, running now five seasons and a sixth very likely to be announced soon. It has also led to the release of now 17 DVDs featuring the adventures of Chris, Martin and their friends Aviva (Athena Krakanis – Manifest, The Expanse, Low Winter Sun), Koki (Heather Bambrick – The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Doozers, Atomic Puppet) and Jimmy Z (Jonathan Malen – The Mist, Mean Girls, Charlie Bartlett). From North America’s desert southwest to the depths of the Atlantic to the frozen far reaches of the Arctic and Antarctic and beyond, the Wild Kratts gang has time and again given audiences unforgettable adventures and invaluable lessons in every episode. Now thanks to Public Media Distribution, two more of those episodes are available in the latest Wild Kratts DVD, Adventures on the African Savannah. As that title notes, this time the brothers Kratt and company are in Africa. The two adventures featured in the 55-minute DVD are enjoyable in themselves. The lessons connected to the stories are also enjoyable for the whole family. Considering that content, the DVD’s relatively affordable average price point proves to be money well spent. When it is considered alongside said content, all three elements make Wild Kratts: Adventures on the African Savannah yet another enjoyable addition to any family’s DVD library.
Adventures on the African Savannah, the second of Public Media Distribution’s Wild Kratts DVD releases so far this year – the first, Madagascar Madness, was released April 10 – is another successful and enjoyable presentation from PMD and PBS Kids. It is a collection that despite featuring only two episodes, every family will find welcome in their DVD library. That is actually due in part to the stories themselves. This time out, Martin and Chris (and their friends) take on a game of tag in the first episode, “The Food Chain Game.” Of course, this is no ordinary game of tag. This game involves Chris and Martin racing to the top of the Savannah’s food web by touching and turning into various different animals that roam the savannah. They start at the bottom and work their way up, all the while learning about each creature’s strengths and weaknesses. By the time it’s all said and done, Aviva has crafted a giant food web from Chris and Martin’s friendly competition that plays directly into the lessons, which will be discussed shortly. In the second of the brothers’ adventures, Chris and Martin face off in another competition. This time it’s a test to see which is the dominant animal – a rhino or an elephant. However, at least one person wants to ruin the fun. That person is the Kratt gang’s longtime foe Zack Varmitech (Zachary Bennett – Designated Survivor, Total Drama All Stars, Ranger Rob). Zach, who is jealous of Aviva’s accomplishments uses his mini-bots to disrupt Chris and Martin’s suits so that they can’t finish their competition. In an added effort to ruin the group’s fun, his bots also disrupt the Tortuga’s systems, trapping Aviva, Jimmy and Koki inside…at least temporarily. Obviously the story has a happy ending with Zack being defeated once again. How that happens won’t be given away here, but it will leave viewers laughing once again. Of course, this story offers its own subtle biology lesson that adds to the story’s enjoyment. Said lesson will be discussed along with the biology lesson included in the DVD’s lead story. Keeping in mind the enjoyment offered through the stories themselves, it creates a solid foundation for the DVD’s presentation. That foundation gives audiences plenty of reason in itself to add this DVD to their DVD libraries. The noted lessons tied into the DVD’s presentation give families even more reason to add the DVD to their Wild Kratts collections.
The basic biology lessons incorporated into each story are easily accessible for viewers of all ages. The lesson incorporated into the lead story is straight forward. It teaches the interconnection of different organisms within a given food chain. It’s just one example, but shows in a simple fashion, the depth and diversity that is possible in any given food chain. At the same time, viewers also learn some interesting facts about the given organisms and animals featured within the given food chain. What’s really interesting to note here is that the writers don’t try to hide the educational content here, unlike in other episodes in which said content is smartly woven into the story. It’s right out front. Yet somehow even with the content being right out there, the writers have still managed to keep the episode interesting both for grown-ups and children alike. The writing staff is to be highly commended for that. The lesson is a little bit more subtle in the second story. It basically highlights the adaptations that make different animals fitted for various climates and territories. For instance, the walrus is more fitted for cold climes while certain reptiles are definitely not suited for the savannah. The strengths and weaknesses of the rhino and elephant are both pointed out in the long run, too. It’s just interesting to see so much incorporated into one story and done so smoothly in the process. It doesn’t make the educational content so outright, balancing very well with the story itself. When this is considered along with the balance of educational and entertaining content in the DVD’s lead story, it makes the educational content that much more valuable to the DVD’s presentation. While the stories and lessons are both key to the DVD’s whole, they are not its only important elements. The DVD’s rather affordable average price point makes it that much more welcome in any family’s home DVD library.
The average price point of Adventures on the African Savannah is $5.19, not counting taxes. Adding tax, that price probably rises to almost $6.00 if not barely more than that. Considering the amount of entertainment and education that this DVD offers, even with just two episodes (at 55 minutes), that honestly is a rather affordable price. It’s money well spent to entertain and educate children while also bringing the whole family together in the process. That is something of which this country needs more – family togetherness. That’s especially the case considering how television is in itself ripping families apart more and more because of content aimed at specific audiences. Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point is the proverbial cherry on top for its presentation. It is not a bad price to pay, even with tax, for that togetherness, education and entertainment. To that end, this second Wild Kratts DVD offering this year is another welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts DVD collection.
Public Media Distribution’s second Wild Kratts DVD of the year, Adventures on the African Savannah, only boats two episodes from the hit animated series, but despite that, those two episodes offer audiences of all ages plenty to appreciate. That is evidenced in part through the stories that make up the body of the DVD. The lessons tied into the stories are expertly balanced in their presentation. That balance shows the amount of time and thought put into each story’s writing overall. The writers, again, are to be commended for such attention to detail. The DVD’s rather affordable price point makes that content extra valuable and the DVD that much more worth the purchase in turn. Keeping all of this in mind, all three elements join to make this DVD a presentation that will lead the whole family to want to join the Kratt brothers on their African Savannah adventures again and again. It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store. More information on the DVD is available online along with lots of printables, activities and more now at:
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