Friday, January 23, 2015

PBS KIDS PREMIERES Special Downton Abbey-Inspired Episode of Arthur on 1/26, with DVD to Follow on 1/27 (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Join Arthur and his friends for a drama-filled adventure airing January 26 on PBS KIDS,
and available on DVD January 27th
"Ever wonder what secrets and stories your family history holds?  This is the question posed to everyone’s favorite aardvark and his friends in “Fountain Abbey,” an all-new, Downton Abbey-inspired episode of ARTHURpremiering January 26 on PBS KIDS (check local listings).“Fountain Abbey” will also be available on DVD January 27 through PBS Distribution. 

In the drama-filled “Fountain Abbey,” Muffy finds herself absolutely devastated when she learns her great-great grandmother, Mary Alice, wasn’t royalty at all.  She was a common maid – oh, the indignity!  
However, through reading Mary Alice's diary, Muffy is transported back in time to the famous English estate where her ancestor worked. There she discovers the surprising story behind her humble roots.
"An abbey in jeopardy, a lady's maid causing trouble, and the Dowager Countess unimpressed by all. Sound familiar? We hope ‘Fountain Abbey’ will be a show the whole family can enjoy together!" says Carol Greenwald, senior executive producer of ARTHUR.
“PBS is committed to engaging families with content that is educational and entertaining and this new episode of ARTHUR is no exception. ’Fountain Abbey’ promises to delight not only children, but an entire generation of ARTHUR fans that grew up with the series and can appreciate the humor and fun of the DOWNTON ABBEY-inspired references,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS.
The “Fountain Abbey” story is paired with “Arthur Calls It,” a story in which Arthur must deal with peer pressure from his classmates, causing him to doubt his decision to call his best buddy Buster “out” during a baseball game. Is that a foul play, or should Arthur stick to what he believes is right?
The week of ARTHUR continues with funny storylines about everyday life and tongue-in-cheek homages to The Wizard of Oz and The Tell-Tale Heart. In each episode, the characters learn valuable lessons about honesty, empathy, and determination.
Produced by WGBH, the Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS series ARTHUR explores childhood challenges with heart and humor, while teaching problem-solving and pro-social skills. On the ARTHUR website, kids, parents, caregivers, and teachers can access a variety of fun and educational gameslesson plans, and activities. Families can also keep up with Arthur and his friends on the new ARTHUR Family Health Website  a resource that helps caregivers and children build and maintain healthy living habits."
More about the upcoming DVD release on 1/27, following the television premiere of "Fountain Abbey":

“Arthur: Fountain Abbey” DVD, available January 27, includes the following four stories:
Fountain Abbey” – Muffy’s devastated when she learns her great, great grandmother Mary Alice wasn’t royalty, but a common maid. The indignity! However, Mary Alice’s old diary reveals a more interesting story.
Arthur Calls It” – Pressure from his classmates has Arthur doubting his decision to call Buster out during a baseball game. Will he succumb to peer pressure, or stick with what he believes is right?
Whip. Mix. Blend.” – When Rattles’s mom starts dating Archie Vanderloo, Rattles finds himself spending lots of time with Archie’s kids. The problem is, Rattles doesn’t have anything in common with these twins! Can this blended family learn to get along?
Staycation” – Arthur offers to babysit so that his parents can enjoy some peace and quiet in the backyard. What could go wrong? With D.W. on the loose…just about everything!
DVD Special Features: Printable coloring pages and activities.
DVD Information
Title: “Arthur: Fountain Abbey”
Run Time: Approx. 56 minutes
SRP: $6.99
My Thoughts:
Even if I hadn't been sent a screener copy to preview the "Fountain Abbey" episode and other full-length episodes that make up this DVD, I would definitely have been tuning to PBS Kids on 1/26th to watch with my girls, who, like their mom, are big Arthur fans.  I grew up watching Arthur and having books about Arthur, D.W., Mary Alice and other popular characters read to me. Now, I get to watch Arthur with my girls and see them get excited about all the fun and imaginative adventures Arthur and his friends go on.  What I love best about Arthur is that each and every episode will have your laughing and smiling.  And, what is better than hearing young children giggle as they get jokes told by the characters, or watch silly things happen on the screen.  
Being a "Downton Abbey" fan (thanks, Mom!), I couldn't wait to see how the folks at PBS would use this show to inspire a fun episode for kids.  I have to say that after watching this upcoming episode on PBS Kids, I love how they incorporated Downton Abbey references, which adults and fans of the show will pick up on, while also entertaining the younger audience.  This is one episode you do not want to miss -- even if you are not a fan of Downton Abbey.
Disclosure: I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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