Hats off to you, Arthur!

arthur, arthur the aardvarkArthur is the second longest running animated series, just behind the Simpsons.  I had recently re-watched a few episodes of this show. No wonder PBS chose to renew another season.  What contributes to the success of the show?

Unlike other T.V. shows or cartoons, Arthur touches on some pretty heavy stuff.  For example, the death of a family member, a family member with a disease (like Alzheimer’s), diversity, sibling relationships, exercising to be healthy, growing up with divorced parents, and fitting in at school, to name a few. Not your average every day cartoon, is it?

This show appeals not only to children, but adults as well.  Watching this show allows people to relate it to their own life. Perhaps one of the most important aspect of the show is that the characters in the show take initiative in social situations, which encourages viewers to do the same.  Executive Producer Jacqui Deegan said: “We’re hoping to empower our young viewers to go after their goals and dreams — whether that means becoming a wheelchair basketball champion or expressing yourself through writing, drawing or making movies.”

Another reason Arthur may appeal to adults is because of its satirical parodies of pop culture. For example, the rivalry between the Elwood City Grebes, Arthur’s hometown baseball team, and the Crown City Kings, is a clear allusion to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.  Also parodies of popular adult T.V. shows and movies, such as Indiana Jones, Antiques Roadshow, and Jeopardy, can help adults to relate.

Celebrity guests also make occasional appearances on the show.  Whether it’s Lance Armstrong showing us how to be determined in facing challenges, or Koko Taylor teaching us how to sing the blues, these individuals act as role models and serve to improve an already good show.

Parents: let me tell you, this show is quality! Do you enjoy it? What are some of your kids other favorite shows? Feel free to leave a comment below.

2012 Monster Jam World Finals

Dennis Anderson, grave digger truckSo maybe you’re like me and loved to play with those little trucks and cars when you were little.  Each car and truck had its own unique design.  But of course, my brothers and I fought over the cars, because we each wanted to have the fastest car or the biggest truck.  Sometimes we even had to put the cars and trucks away, they caused such an uproar.

If you were a fan of cars and trucks when you were little, or are just now starting, it’s never too late to relive your childhood fantasy.  You can now watch trucks come alive with Monster Jam 2012! (Talk about your toy trucks and cars on steroids!)  These powerhouse vehicles keep gettin’ bigger and badder every year.  Just ask Dennis Anderson, the driver of Grave Digger:

Monster Jam: What are your expectations for the 2012 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals? 

Dennis Anderson: I go into every Monster Jam World Finals with the mentality to bring home the trophy, but I will be happy if one of us Andersons brought home the hardware! We are also expecting the biggest and baddest encore ever in the history of Monster Jam. 

Monster Jam: What are some of the most memorable Grave Digger moments in the last 30 years? 

Dennis Anderson: All of my Monster Jam World Finals wins, Adam Anderson taking over my seat in Grave Digger when I was injured, Adam coming back to the Grave Digger team and driving The Legend and last but not least Ryan Anderson introducing Son-uva Digger with his awesome back flip at the 2011 Monster Jam World Finals. 

Monster Jam: What is so special about the Monster Jam World Finals?

Dennis Anderson: There is something there for every Monster Jam fan… The Young Guns Shootout – a true battle of up and coming superstars to the sport, will go head to head in an exclusive Racing battle during the Friday night Double Down! The Young Guns Shootout will feature eight drivers who have two years or less experience driving in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, and will make for an exciting addition to an already eventful night for sure. 

Monster Jam: In your eyes over the last 30 years how has the sport of Monster Jam changed? 

Dennis Anderson: Monster Jam is very competitive.  Monster trucks have become more durable and every driver has top notch equipment.  Every team runs their equipment so hard and the obstacles and jumps keep getting bigger and bigger.  The biggest change for me at least is that the new generations of drivers are just running harder and harder and keep raising the bar which ultimately makes Monster Jam so much better for the fans. 

Sounds awesome, right? This event is happening March 23-24 at Sam Boyd Stadium, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Stay tuned for the competition-I may even tune in myself!


Barney: “I Love You” Never Gets Old

What’s not to love about the over-sized, oversensitive, lovable, cuddly purple dinosaur? I remember when Barney first came onto the screen, singing his famous, “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family!” song.  Every time I listen to it, it still makes me smile. No wonder this show is still on PBS and has been running strong since 1992.  Although Barney has been criticized in the past, Yale researchers Dorothy and Jerome Singer have discovered that the shows contain a great deal of age-appropriate material, and have called the program a “model of what preschool television should be.”

In every show, Barney starts out as a stuffed toy, but then comes to life. He teaches kids important lessons about manners, counting, numbers, letters, and imagination.  Barney’s friends often visit the show and tell stories to the children or take them on adventures.  Other friends that appear on the show include B.J. and Baby Bop.  Baby Bop constantly loses her blankie, but Barney always helps her find it.  Barney also has a bag of goodies in every episode, which is known as the Barney Bag.

In every episode, Barney loves and wants everyone to have a good time.  If you are craving even more Barney interaction, click here for a fun website where you can play some pretty spectacular games.  If your child is into Barney, be sure to check out our selection of Barney toys. We have plush dolls, DVDs, party supplies, and more.  In the words of Barney himself, “What a super-deeeee-duper idea!”