DVD Review And Giveaway – Young Hercules: The Complete Series

July 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

The product featured in this post was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

Young Hercules: The Complete Series
Young Hercules, The Complete Series

  • Release Date: June 23, 2015
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • Genre: Live action-adventure
  • Rating: Not
  • Run Time: 1,100 minutes
  • Discs: 6
  • SMRP: $29.99

As I See It:

In high school, I loved English II for its mythology. It really inspired me to cut class and go instead to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. I even bought myself a souvenir, Hamilton’s Mythology in paperback. It was my favorite reading because stories threw new lights on the inexplicable. It was man’s attempt to explain why. Science must scoff at its tellings.

Greek gods and heroes specially fascinated me although and I elected Latin II. Its stories especially Hercules were heavy to translate. Oh, had there been an easier way! Well, over a half century later, and I have found one. I can watch Young Hercules: The Complete Series. the 1998-1999 spin-off prequel to TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Ryan Gosling then 17, successfully replaces the original pilot’s Ian Bolan and makes the role his own.

Even though writing is only superficially true to mythology, Young Hercules shines in his strength, courage, and ingenuity. He is at Cheiron the Centaur’s Academy to train in martial arts. Zeus’s protectorship, Hera’s revenging torments, gods taking sides, complications with Strife and Discord, and friendships with Jason and Iolaus make every one of the 24 minute episodes good family viewing with important life lessons about honesty, mistakes, bullies and more.

Years as an English teacher makes me appreciate the wit in many of these 50 titles:

  • The Treasure of Zeus, Pt. 1
  • The Treasure of Zeus–Between Friends, Pt. 2
  • The Treasure of Zeus–What a Crockery, Pt. 3
  • Teacher’s Pests
  • Girl Trouble
  • Amazon Grace
  • Battle Lines, Pt. 1 & 2
  • Hind Sight
  • Iolaus Goes Stag
  • Cold Feet
  • In Your Dreams
  • Down And Out In Academy Hills
  • Keeping Up With The Jasons
  • Cyrano de Hercules
  • Forgery
  • The Lure Of The Lyre
  • Fame
  • Lyre, Liar
  • A Lady In Hades
  • Herc And Seek
  • Ares On Trial
  • No Way Out
  • Inn Trouble
  • A Serpent’s Tooth
  • The Mysteries Of Life
  • The Head That Wears The Crown
  • Parents’ Day
  • Winner Take All
  • Dad Always Liked Me Best
  • Mila
  • Mommy Dearests
  • Under Siege
  • Home For The Holidays
  • Con Ares
  • Herc’s Nemesis
  • Get Jason
  • The Prize
  • My Fair Lilith
  • Me, Myself And Eye
  • Golden Bow
  • Sisters
  • Cram-Ped
  • The Beasts Beneath
  • The Skeptic
  • Adventures In The Forbidden Zone
  • Life For A Life
  • Apollo
  • Ill Wind
  • Valley Of The Shadow

Bonus Featurette

  • Writing The Legend of Young Hercules

Studio Press Release:

This prequel series to the smash hit Hercules: The Legendary Journeys explores the dawn of an ancient age of light and darkness as the half-god, half-man Hercules (Ryan Gosling, The Notebook) — along with his friends, Prince Jason (Chris Conrad, Mortal Kombat Annihilation) and Iolaus (Dean O’Gorman, The Hobbit Trilogy) — struggles to find his place in the world and learns what it means to be a hero.

My Opinion Only:

Filming is striking with special effects before their time for television. The series is appropriate viewing for audiences of all ages and without adult content. Its hero is smart and good-natured–something that more heroes should be. He is also a positive role model in a world without enough of them. Two thumbs up for Young Hercules.

WIN IT!

One (1) winner will receive their own copy of Young Hercules: The Complete Series.

HOW TO ENTER.

Enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below. The winner will be selected by the Giveaway Tools widget. If you’ve entered any of my giveaways before then you know that you must complete the mandatory required entry, and that only comments containing all of the requested information will be eligible for entry. No PO Boxes. Here And There is not responsible for prize delivery. Good luck to everyone!

Dragons: Race to the Edge (Pt. 4 of 4)

June 28, 2015 at 10:51 am

My trip was provided for me as part of Dragons: Race to the Edge blogger event. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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Dragons:  Race to the Edge is an epic coming of age adventure with incredible effects and subtle humor. I along with the rest of its fans who have viewed the first 13 episodes are craving more.  Glad the the animation studio promises another 13 soon then possibly another 26 more.   In the meantime, for mobile, educational, fun when Vikings, 3D, and the scientific method blend in unique science, chemistry, farming, and stable gaming quests visit www.schoolofdragons.com/how-to-train-your-dragon/mobile.  Tweens through young and young at heart adults,

Key features include:

  • Immersive How to Train Your Dragon world
  • Exclusive content in expansion packs
  • Cross-platform, social gameplay
  • Robust science education integration into game
  • Extensive customization and socializing options
  • Experience thrilling dragon-racing competition
  • Hours of entertaining, mission-based gameplay

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Or for preschool learning, please visit  jumpstart.com.  Its fun, educational games, learning activities, worksheets, and crafts prepare little ones for kindergarten and beyond school days. Where else can one find anything FREE (expansion packs are strictly optional).

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Want still more????  With state of art technology, child play gets  better and better.  DragonsDreamWorks has released a readily available FREE Toothless fix. What a thrill! Using the DREAMWORK COLOR app makes it happen. Watching this mischievous character fly off the page in 4D with there free Augmented Reality app makes him interactive virtual reality. The only thing missing is his signature purr when he is being petted. Publisher’s Description:

From DreamWorks Animation S.K.G.: DreamWorks COLOR is about encouraging fans of all ages to reimagine DreamWorks Animation characters and worlds. Print out coloring pages then color, capture and see them jump off the page in 3D! You can even build your own worlds where you can play and interact with your creations! With the DreamWorks COLOR selfie feature, go ahead and take a photo with your characters in 3D! IMPORTANT: Print out free coloring pages from http://www.dreamworkscolor.com or print directly from within the app. This app offers enhanced experience using printed DreamWorks COLOR pages. This app doesn’t work on iPod, iPhone 3G and 3GS. Camera is required on your device to capture your drawings and for selfie mode.

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The franchise Dragons is a lot more things than just movies, television series, and merchandise.  May it and its parent DreamWorks Animation grow and prosper.  No strong brutal violence, pervasive language, strong sexual content, and/or drug material  wanted here.  G is the best.  Press Day at DreamWorks Flower Street has been a thrill for me.  Behind the scenes moments made it so. Thanks Dream Labs for allowing me to do a voice over. Thanks for my and Toothless’s ride into virtual reality over Berk soaring over rocks, coasting along the water, diving in the air.   They supplied  adrenaline rushes far better than any from  a roller coaster.

Be sure to catch Dragons: Race To The Edge on Netflix!

Dragons: Race to the Edge (Pt. 3 of 4)

June 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

My trip was provided for me as part of Dragons: Race to the Edge blogger event. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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Once upon a time, long ago TV viewers had little need for parental controls. You see families did most things like dinnertime, television, puzzles, and boardgames together. The days of white knights on fiery steads are long gone. Out with the old. Now in– witty heroes on dragons something family–grownups, teens, tweens, and children–can enjoy together anytime, anywhere since DreamWorks and Netflix are partnering Dragons: Race to the Edge.  Executive producer Doug Sloan says, “… the jokes are funny enough, and the storytelling grand enough, and the adventures are amazing enough for all ages.”

Here’s the episode guide:

  • Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Parts 1 & 2
  • Imperfect Harmony
  • When Darkness Falls
  • Big Man on Berk
  • Gone Gustav Gone
  • Reign of Fireworms
  • Crushing It
  • Quake, Rattle and Roll
  • Have Dragon, Will Travel, Parts 1 & 2
  • The Next Big Sting
  • Total Nightmare

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Premiering today is one epic adventure featuring old dragons and new dragons as they travel from Berk across the archipelago helped by the mysterious ancient Dragon Eye artifact and establish a new outpost at Dragon’s Edge. Executive producer Art Brown promises, “The Dragon Eye has never been seen before, and its secrets show Hiccup that there is more out there in the world. The experiences he has in this series shape him into becoming a leader and ultimately chief.”

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Enjoy riders Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Tuffnutthe and theirs adorable Night Fury Toothless, feisty Deadly Nadder Stormily, Monstrous Nightmare Hookfang, sweet Gronckle Meatlug, and two-headed Hideous Zippleback Barf and Belch rides. Thrill to their discoveries as they enter dragons Night Terrors, Death Song, Snow Wraith, Catastrophe Quaken, and Razorwhip’s lairs.

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Dragons: Race to the Edge is a cinematographic coup. You can get some idea of things from the A Dragons: Race to the Edge Interactive Map. But to truly appreciate you need to watch it. Its technological filming advances make glaciers, tidal waves, rainstorms, ocean look as if they were drawn for the movies. Visual special effects like dragon scales, liquid amber and fire are superb.  Just check out Snow Wraith.

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This woman’s opinion:
Too many of us forget that especially in a complex busy world, everyone needs positive influences. In today’s society, peer influences and communication media too often replace good common sense guidance and parenting. Franchises like Dragon can help send positive messages. Who can resist a hero like teen Hiccup? He’s shy, witty, compassionate; he is also intelligent, talented, well-spoken. What a positive role model! What a positive leader! And, to quote the Bonnie Tyler song, “I need a hero.” Don’t we all?  The parent and teacher in me thoroughly recommends Dragons:  Race to the Edge for all audiences, young and old.

Here’s a clip called Who Is That.

Be sure to catch Dragons: Race To The Edge on Netflix!

Wordless Wednesday * My dragon game is on fire! Catch the new season of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge, premiering June 26th on Netflix! #DreamWorksDragons

June 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

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Dragons: Race to the Edge (#1 series of 4)

June 22, 2015 at 11:05 pm

My trip was provided for me as part of Dragons: Race to the Edge blogger event. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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Those who know me know how much I love to travel, see new things, visit natural and man made wonders, and enjoy. So is it any wonder when DreamWorks invited me as one of a group of bloggers from across the U. S. to its half million square foot Glendale campus built in 1997 last week that I accepted? This was the invite of a lifetime, a visit behind closed doors where no on grounds public tours whatsoever are permitted.

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Lucky me got to see this powerhouse’s headquarters, homey Tuscan style architecture, walking paths, landscaped lagoon, water fountains, koi ponds, flowers, fauna, and insignia topiary in a visit behind closed doors. I saw; I learned; I even played as I previewed high quality good TV best defined by what it is NOT meaning violence, profanity, sex, and substance abuse. Rather it is positive messages, common sense concerns, and good construction, and high production values with the x-factor that makes its animation entertainingly special.

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I have been a big dragon fan since I saw DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon Spectacular On Tour LIVE. The entire franchise–the Cresseda Cowell book, two movies, four short films, two television series, even its gaming– is quality entertainment. Thank you, DreamWorks Animation, for making a groundbreaking multiyear deal that bridge the gaps and sate audience appetites for MORE Hiccup and Toothless until How to Train Your Dragon 3 is released in 2018.

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Treated to a private screening of the first “Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Parts 1 & 2″ episodes, I am hooked solid and eagerly await more. Director Elaine Bogan and executive producers Ari Brown and Douglas Sloan’s serialized rather than stand alone TV-PG series has everything–great voice talent, dazzling animation, and quality writing. I thoroughly recommend this for everyone, grownups, teens, tweens, and kids. Its epic coming of age adventures, incredible effects, and subtle humor outshine the rest of today’s current children and teen programming.

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Official Summary:
Hiccup and Toothless lead the Dragon Riders as they soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye — an ancient artifact filled with secrets that will lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered dragons. But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragon hunters, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dragon Eye.

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Now let me tell you a little more:

In a Dragon’s edge Island outpost far from Berk, it is a new world for Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), faithful dragon friend Toothless, Astrid (America Ferrara), and the rest of the crew. Familiar characters like comic Gothi and baddie Dagur the Deranged add to the telling of their search for undiscovered dragons. Ghostly ships, icy islands, and Dragon-Eye game-changer finds like Snow Wraith, Death Song, Cavern Crasher, Catastrophic Quake, and Night Terror are eye poppers, creatively rich in sight and story.

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DreamWorks Animation Studios once recognized primarily for its 31 animated features including 2014 Best Animated Film of the Year How to Train Your Dragon 2, is breaking ground in television programming. Its unprecedented strategic partnership with Netflix means viewers can watch TV shows anytime, anywhere. How about joining me binge watching a five hour dragonthon June 26 (all this first season’s thirteen episodes will be running continuously online). Now that is a really big premiere. New franchise Race to the Edge is a propulsive prequel that fills in the events between past TV shows and HTTYD2.

Here’s the official trailer.

Be sure to catch Dragons: Race To The Edge on Netflix!

Wordless Wednesday * Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

June 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

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Wordless Wednesday * Roadside America’s Twist of the Mist

June 10, 2015 at 9:14 am

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