Film Festivals | Movie Reviews | Submit a Title | Jurors | About Us | Contact Us | Home
KIDS FIRST! Home

The Newsstand - What's Hot!

KIDS FIRST! Home
 
 

Go to the KIDS FIRST!®Home Page

The Newsstand -What's Hot

Subscribe!

Subscribe to our monthly E-Zine to stay up to date on KIDS FIRST! initiatives. - FREE -

Your e-mail address:



(privacy)

KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002

June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002

 


 

2001

2000

1999

1998

1998


1997


1997


June 22, 2002



"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in." — Graham Greene

Dear Friends,

Happy Solstice weekend. I hope your summer is as delicious as a snow cone! In Santa Fe, we are celebrating two rain-filled evenings, hoping that the rain will squelch the fires that are raging in the forests around us in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Thanks to Wal-Mart for their huge donation to people in Colorado who were evacuated from their homes and for phone cards for the fire fighters so they could call home.

We are surging ahead with our plans for our Fall Tour of our KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival. Below is the schedule of cities and dates. We are seeking donated office space to coordinate our NYC Festivals. If you have space available, please let us know.

KIDS FIRST! FILM, VIDEO AND DVD FESTIVAL FALL TOUR

October 5: Warner Quad, Ridgewood, NJ
October 12: Mamaroneck Playhouse, Mamaroneck, NY
October 19: Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington, NY
October 26: Chelsea Cinemas, New York, NY
November 2 - 9: Cinema Café, Santa Fe, NM
December 7 - 14: Camera 3: San Jose, CA
December 26-29: Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA
tba: Tampa:

Please, if you have time that would allow you to volunteer for our NY area Festivals, please let us know. We need people to help assemble goodie bags, to staff information tables at the events, to help disseminate flyers in each of these neighborhoods, and for adults who are interested in training to become Facilitators for our Junior Film Critics Club.

We are planning a training workshop in late August for our Junior Film Critics Club Facilitators and are seeking teachers, librarians, early child development specialists, and interested parents to participate. The workshop takes one day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is a minimal fee of $59 which covers all your materials. For more information,or call 505.989.8076.

PRODUCERS: June 30 is the deadline for submissions for our next round of KIDS FIRST! evaluations, and for consideration in the Fall Festival Tour. To submit a title, visit our website, http:///www.kidsfirstinternet.org or call our office for an application form (505.989.8076).


We love hearing from you so please, keep us informed about what you are up to. We'll include as much information in our e-zine about your products and programming as we have room for.

Much love,

Ranny Levy
Founder, KIDS FIRST!

****** New Endorsements
******
Due to the extreme time demands of our spring Festivals, we fell a little behind in keeping you up to date on new endorsements. Thus, this list is a little longer than usual. Enjoy.

CD-ROMs

** MIA'S MATH ADVENTURE: JUST IN TIME! Features a story, a quest, and an exploration as well as educational activities. Includes over a dozen characters rendered in feature-film-quality 3D animation and scenery seen from the perspective of a mouse. Adult Juror Comments: Good animation and state-of-the-art graphics. Unique and creative game. Challenging and stimulating. Installation and use fairly straightforward, Player's Guide extremely helpful. Conveys the message that young children can be heroes and help people. Kid Juror Comments: Girls responded better to the mouse character than boys did. All of them thought it was going to be easier to do than it was but quickly warmed up to the challenge. All wanted more time to play. "Sometimes we had to click on things a bunch of times." CD-Rom. WIN/MAC; $19.95; Age: 6-10. KUTOKA INTERACTIVE. 1-931102-77-5.

VIDEOS AND DVDS FOR INFANTS

*** BABY GENIUS ANIMAL ADVENTURES .An adventure through the San Diego Wild Animal Park shows babies and toddlers interacting with animals from around the globe. Soundtrack features classical music selections. Adult Juror Comments: Simple content, soothing tone. Bright, interesting footage of animals and kids at the zoo. Uses random animated characters to help focus attention on screen. Unhurried pace and no voice-overs encourage caregivers to talk and explain. Kid Juror Comments: Remained attentive for short periods, pointing, gurgling and smiling. Liked the music and made animal sounds. Some liked seeing the babies more than the animals, shouting "BABY!" whenever they saw one. Older kids enjoyed watching the animals' behaviors. Video. 40 min.; $12.99; Age: 0-3. GENIUS PRODUCTS.

** BRAINY BABY ABCS Upper and lower case letters are introduced with colorful animation and live video with entertaining music and fun narration. Features an original ABC sing-along song as well as the classic Alphabet Song. Adult Juror Comments: Entertaining introduction to the alphabet. Vibrant colors, clear audio, cute music. Slow and repetitious format is entirely suitable for this age. Packed with lots of information; segmented viewing is necessary for assimilation. "Wonderful learning tool." Kid Juror Comments: Those just learning the alphabet were highly connected and interactive - no disruptions. "Don't talk, we have to sing the ABC song." "I like working on the ABCs." "It's fun to yell the letters when they show them." "It showed sounds I don't remember." Video. 45 min.; $15.95; Age: 1-3. THE BRAINY BABY COMPANY. 1-931959-04-8.

Ages 2-5


*** CAILLOU: I WANT TO GROW UP! Being little is fun, but sometimes Caillou wants to be bigger, too! He learns what grownups do when he meets a mail carrier, garbage collector and police officer. Adult Juror Comments: Wonderful story uses real kids, puppets and animation. Very high quality production promotes a sense of responsibility. Packed with positive behaviors. Multi-cultural, gender-neutral and intergenerational. Allows a soundboard for greater discussion. Kid Juror Comments: Identified strongly with Caillou and his pre-schooler frustrations. "I like Caillou. He's a big boy like us." "It makes me think about how long it takes to grow up." "How did Caillou learn to be big?" They were intrigued about jobs. "How do people work?" Video. 40 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-5. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** CHERUB WINGS: AND IT WAS SO! From asteroids in outer space to the marvels of a baby's first word, this program highlights the infinite and awesome power of God and shows children how they can benefit from His daily presence in their lives. Adult Juror Comments: Attractive graphics, adorable characters and catchy songs introduce children to the Christian concept of God. Lively animation interspersed with clips of live footage. One sequence compares the power of God to electric power in the house. "Heartwarming." Kid Juror Comments: They loved it, including an infant and a nine-year-old. "I like it. It's a good one. I think everyone will like this." "The babies were cute!" "God loves us a lot." "What happens when you die?" "How do they get baby angels?" "I like Jesus." Video. 25 min.; $9.98; Age: 2-5. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

** CHILD SMART: YOUR TINY MAESTRO Introduces young viewers to the music of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven through a cast of playful puppets and live action peers. Intended to encourage a child's early interest in listening to and creating music. Adult Juror Comments: Ambitious blend of cute puppet characters, everyday objects, music and musical instruments. Great soundtrack and lots of diversity. Short, segmented pace is sometimes hard to follow. "Enjoyable both as background music and as interactive viewing." Kid Juror Comments: Responded with excitement to the introduction of instruments and animals. Some danced, clapped, stomped, pointed and laughed. Others were frustrated by nursery rhymes that are cut short. Viewing in segments worked best for all ages. Video. 30 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-5. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** CHILD SMART: YOUR TINY ARTIST Introduces young viewers to colors, painting, shapes and forms of art. By using playful puppets and simple stories, the program is designed to stimulate an early interest in drawing, painting and sculpting. Adult Juror Comments: Engaging mix of appealing music, high quality puppetry and live animal footage. Appropriate, varied content. New twist on familiar songs. Uses kid-friendly language. Lots of opportunities for adults to interact and build on. Kid Juror Comments: Little ones smiled and stared at the puppets, older ones sang along with familiar songs and joined in making pig and horse sounds. Two-year-olds seemed to enjoy it the most, asking to try some art projects. Even babies watched intermittently. Video. 30 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-5. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** SESAME STREET: FOLLOW THAT BIRD! The first-ever theatrical movie from Sesame Street is now available on DVD. Features an all-star cast including Chevy Chase, Sandra Bernhard and John Candy. Adult Juror Comments: Sweet story with amusing cameos and intercutting between story lines. Strong family and self-discovery theme. Clear pictures and good sound. "I was uncomfortable with how adoption issues are glossed over. Big Bird runs away from his new home." Kid Juror Comments: Most kids enjoyed it. "I like to keep watching the movie and keep watching it because I like it." "Is Big Bird going to walk home without a grown-up? How will he cross the street?" "It said to be nice to others so they will be nice to you." DVD. 93 min.; $19.98; Age: 2-7. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** THOMAS & FRIENDS: MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY & OTHER THOMAS ADVENTURES For Thomas and his friends, doing good deeds means that you are a "Really Useful Engine." Features six adventures, including the time Gordon and Thomas built a new playground and the time when James learned that making someone happy cheered him up. Adult Juror Comments: Exciting and fun. Engaging, expressive characters and charming sets. Good continuity in content and style; narration consistent with images. Shows appropriate and acceptable responses to social interactions. Kids can solve problems along with the trains. Kid Juror Comments: Were happy to watch Thomas and his friends. "I like watching all the trains." "The trains wanted to make each other happy.The trains acted like people and showed their feelings." "Sometimes the trains
sounded like trains and sometimes like people." Video. 35 min.; $12.98; Age: 2-6. ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT. 0-7640-0506-5.

** THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE & FRIENDS: RACES, RESCUES & RUNAWAYS All new stories featuring some of the best races, rescues and runaways with Thomas and his friends. Life on the Island of Sodor is never boring, and when the engines are in trouble they rely on their friends to come to the rescue. Adult Juror Comments: Fast-paced, high action. Colorful animation and good sound. Danger scenes are convincing - and scary. Helpfulness and loyalty are the main theme of the stories. Some characters show poor behavior such as backbiting and sarcasm. Kid Juror Comments: Instead of being scared, they loved the thrills. "It was fun to watch and had lots of action." "It showed the trains helping each other when they had problems." "There was a sing-along at the end that we all loved and sang and danced to." Video. 35 min.; $12.98; Age: 2-6. ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT. 0-7640-0504-9.
** THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE & FRIENDS: CRANKY BUGS AND OTHER THOMAS STORIES Thomas, Gordon and Sir Topham Hatt and their friends have eight exciting adventures on the Island of Sodor. Thomas and Percy rescue Cranky the Crane after a storm, celebrate Lady Hatt's birthday, and learn that going backwards can be useful. Adult Juror Comments: Delightful. Engaging animation and calm narration. Positive social interactions; characters are respectful of differences in each other. Feelings are expressed clearly. "An excellent teaching and learning model." Kid Juror Comments: Well received. "We liked seeing how trains do different jobs and how fast they go." "The trains were sometimes not very nice to each other, but then they were sorry and behaved nicer." "I know how trains hitch together." " I know where trains sleep." Video. 37 min.; $12.98; Age: 2-6. ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT. 0-7640-0503-0.


*** VEGGIE TALES: LARRYBOY AND THE ANGRY EYEBROWS When Larry receives word that super-villain Awful Alvin has unleashed a plague of angry eyebrows on Bumblyburg, he is transformed into the crime-fighting crusader Larryboy, who shows the town how letting go of anger is the way to win. Adult Juror Comments: Fast and bright. Lots of action, jokes, and exaggerated characters. Creative, innovative and intelligent script tackles the subject of anger in terms children understand. Helps children learn a religious-based moral message without shouting. Empowering. Kid Juror Comments: Fascinated and attentive. "It was so much fun to watch. I was never bored, like I am with some videos." "I want to watch it again right now. I want to see all those Angry Eyebrows again. It's so funny." "Being angry is not nice, let it go and be happy." Video. 30 min.; $19.99; Age: 5-8. BIG IDEA PRODUCTIONS, INC.

AGES 5-8


** LORD'S PRAYER, THE (ANIMATED STORIES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT).After Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven, His disciples find their faith greatly tested when Peter is arrested and cast into a Roman prison. Believers gather together to follow the example that Jesus taught. Adult Juror Comments: Pleasant and appropriate. Rich colors, pleasing drawings, realistic settings and good action. Makes the concept of faith clear to
young viewers. A very good tool to show children how to pray. Christian content, good for Sunday schools. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed watching and were very receptive to the message of prayer. "It was cool." "I like praying movies." ""We learned how the Romans treated people." "It showed how people looked and acted at the time." "They needed to remember that God is in control." Video. 30 min.; $24.95; Age: 5-10. NESTFAMILY. 1-56473-166-9.

** STRANGER IN THE WOODS Two snowdrifts introduce their forest friends and tell the story of how animals reacted to a snowman who appeared after a winter storm. Live video blends with still photography from the children's book of the same title, and original music. Adult Juror Comments: Exceptional footage of nature in its natural state. Peaceful tone and upbeat, humorous style. Breathtaking scenery, crisp close-ins of wildlife that seemed to know their lines. Reveals nature in a way that very few children get to experience. Kid Juror Comments: Engrossed and amused them. "The real-life animals with the music and the funny parts where the animals are making noises were really good." "Even though snow was talking to animals, we got it." "It is one of the most beautiful videos we have ever seen." Video. 23 min.; $14.95; Age: 5-9. CARL R. SAMS II PHOTOGRAPHY. 0-9671748-1-3.

AGES 8-12

** GO FOR IT!: CHEERLEADERS VS COMPUTER WIZARDS (GO FOR IT! TV).Actual kids from different schools compete athletically and educationally, and two hip-hop bands perform. The round-robin tournament progresses through thirteen episodes. Adult Juror Comments: Fast and hip. Kids' game show is sandwiched between hip-hop acts by mature performers. Motivational messages and good sportsmanship throughout. Lots of diversity; kids are regular kids. Adults felt the kids dressed and danced too suggestively. Kid Juror Comments: Connected with it. "We wish we could go on the show." "I liked the flashing lights, the action and the motion-effect with the camera." "It was cool." "We didn't like the musical groups." "The music was today's music." "Fantastic color." Video. min.; $0; Age: 8-12. MANDALAY SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT. AGES 14-18

** O. HENRY'S THE GIFT OF THE MAGI O. Henry's timeless story of unselfish love is told to the granddaughter of the now-grown protagonist Della, blending new narration with the actual words from the short story. It's a tale about a young couple who have too little money for Christmas. Adult Juror Comments: Well crafted literary piece. Good lighting, sets and period music. Respectful of young viewers, high level vocabulary. Flash-back scenes were confusing to those unfamiliar with the story. Shows respect and sacrifice. Appeals to literature students most. Kid Juror Comments: Appreciated the surprise ending and other literary elements. Best received in the classroom context. "Believable representation of the times." "I liked the twist at the end." Video. 20 min.; $24.95; Age: 14-18. MONTEREY HOME VIDEO. 1-56994-188-2.


MEDIA NEWS *****************************
**********************************************
George Lucas on NPR's Morning Edition

On the May 15 broadcast of Morning Edition, Alex Chadwick talked to George Lucas about The George Lucas Educational Foundation and how it uses Web technology and online film segments to shine the spotlight on innovative teaching and learning in K-12 public schools. Lucas discusses the challenges associated with replicating successful models in public education and touches on how project-based curriculum and social and emotional learning are essential pieces to reinvigorating education.
http://search1.npr.org/opt/collections/torched/me/data_me/seg_143381.htm


Parent and Family News *****************************
*********************************************************

**** Rollin' Down the River

Each year Classroom Connect hosts two quests where an expedition leader, science writer, producer, anthropologist, videographer, editor, photographer, new media specialist, local guides, and $100,000 worth of video equipment go to the far reaches of the globe. The best part is that thousands of students can go along via the Internet. Participating students help set the team's course and make decisions via online polls and e-mail. They also have an opportunity to send questions to some of the world's best scientists. When talking about the quests, Candyce Schmidt, a technology teacher at Meadowood Education Center in Baltimore, Maryland, said, "I can't tell you a thing I don't like about it. You could teach an entire curriculum -- math, science, social studies, English and writing -- and make use of technology." http://glef.org/amazonquest.html

**** 'THE FIRST OF MAY' ON HBO

The award-winning family film, THE FIRST OF MAY, has just started its run on the 'HBO Family' cable channel, and will debut nationwide on the parent network, HBO, starting July 1st. The film, starring JULIE HARRIS, DAN BYRD, MICKEY ROONEY, CHARLES NELSON REILLY, and the baseball legend JOE DiMAGGIO, was created and filmed totally in Central Florida.

It's hard enough to get an independent film made, but the makers of THE FIRST OF MAY have hit a home run by getting multiple showings on HBO. The film was the directing debut of Paul Sirmons, a native Floridian and Orlando resident, from a screenplay by Gary Rogers, of DeLand, Fl. Sirmons and Rogers produced the film together, based on the teen novel "Golden Days" by Stetson University professor Gail Radley.

The 35mm feature film was shot in conjunction with Ralph Clemente's film program at Valencia Community College, with the support of Ross Cibella's Century III Post Production facility at Universal Studios Florida. Almost half the film features the magnificent Clyde Beatty - Cole Bros. Circus that is headquartered in DeLand.

The story follows two lost souls -- a 12-year-old foster child and an old lady in a retirement home -- who run away together in search of the family neither ever had. Their adventure lands them jobs with a three-ring circus, where they ultimately discover the true meaning of family.

The film's star, Julie Harris, recently received a Lifetime Tony Award -- her sixth Tony award -- for her renowned career on the stage.

The film won top awards at seven film festivals. We haven't seen it but if the reports are accurate, it's worth watching. Here are the times for 'THE FIRST OF MAY' HBO Family and HBO broadcasts:

June 2002 -- on "HBO Family" at

HBO Family (East Coast): HBO Family (West Coast)
6/8 -- 8:45 PM 6/8 -- 11:45 AM
6/12 -- 7:00 PM 6/12 -- 10:00 PM
6/20 -- 11:30 PM 6/21 -- 2:30 AM
6/24 -- 3:00 PM 6/24 -- 6:00 PM
6/25 -- 1:25 AM 6/25 -- 4:25 AM

July 2002 -- on HBO at the following times:

HBO (East Coast) HBO (West Coast)
7/1 -- 6:30 AM 7/1 -- 9:30 AM
7/14 -- 6:00 AM 7/14 -- 9:00 AM
7/26 -- 8:00 AM 7/26 -- 11:00 AM
7/30 -- 6:15 AM 7/30 -- 9:15 AM


*** Teaching in the Digital Age
Recommended materials from the George Lucas Educational Fdn.
School Leadership (60 minutes) - $10
Emotional Intelligence (75 minutes) - $12
Teacher Preparation (75 minutes) - $15
Project-Based Learning and Assessment (120 minutes) - $15
available at http://glef.org/products.html or call 1.888.GLEF.ORG (1.888.453.3674).


*** The Digital Media Academy

This series of week-long technology-immersion courses on topics including Web design, digital video, 3-D modeling, desktop publishing, and animation will be held at Stanford University in June, July, and August 2002. The courses are designed for K-20 educators, adult learners, and high school and college students. http://www.DigitalMediaAcademy.org/


**** Producer
News ****

Venture Grants: Supporting nonprofits and educational institutions for work engaging children in hands-on programs in three areas: (a) understanding cultures through their own heritage, learning about other peoples, and preserving cultural diversity; (b) learning and using geographic concepts and skills; and (c) building the skills to make tough environmental decisions based on scientific knowledge, a geographic perspective, and a commitment to conservation. Grants from $50,000 to $200,000 are available.Contact: Venture Grants, NGS Education Foundation, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Deadline: September 9, 2002.


Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member ***
********************************************************************

If you've found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider becoming a member of KIDS FIRST! Members help underwrite the various projects of this organization and are a critical component of our success.

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media's relies on the generous support of its members and donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An independent producer membership is $200 - $10,000 / year. For more information, visit our website (http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org) or contact our office for an application form, 505.989.8076.

***********************************
Resouces ***********************

******* KIDS FIRST! Book ***
Our book, A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, featuring reviews of more than 1800 KIDS FIRST! endorsed videos, DVDs, TV shows, and CD-ROMs is available now. To order your copy, call our office, 505-989-8076 or send your request, to [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. You can view sample pages of our book at http: //www.pgpress.com/Book_Excerpts/kidvid/

*** A Parent's Guide to Home schooling by Tamra Orr ***
By Parent's Guide Press - Coming this summer. "Homeschooling is a big family decision. If you want solid support, information, and imaginative help. I suggest that you carry Tamra Orr's book under your arm or sit with the family around the kitchen table and simply read it out loud." -Mothering Magazine

*** Child Abuse on the Internet - Ending the Silence***

Child pornography and the sexual abuse of children through misuse of the media and the Internet are complex yet closely related issues. Not only do they necessitate complex solutions, they also demand a social response from all sectors of society. Co-published by BERGHAHN BOOKS and UNESCO PUBLISHING. ISBN 92-3-103728-5 For more information, contact Solange Belin, UNESCO Publishing [email protected]

**** thanks *********************

Thanks to our KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 Sponsors: Edwards Theatres, LA Parent Magazine, Orange County Parenting, Parenthood.com, Parents Guide Press, Walt Disney Home Entertainment, PAX-30, Paramount Home Entertainment, The El Capitan Theatre, Rhino Home Video, Artmatten Productions, Devine Entertainment, Embassy Suites, KidsEdge.com, Productions La Fete and to supporters: Anchor Bay Enterprises, Backyard Enterprises, Big Idea Productions, Child Magazine, Children's Media Project, Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment, Noggin, Nomadic Pictures, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video.

EVENTS and NEWS ***************
***************************************

July 8th – 12th at Wheelock College. Media Education in a Violent Society: Summer Institute for Educators, Parents, and Human Service Providers. For more information, visit: http://www.wheelock.edu/sum/sumhome.htm or contact Natalie Levine at [email protected]

July 27 - Aug. 2 New York City and the mountain campus in Boone, North Carolina, will offer two sessions in Media Literacy by the graduate program at Appalachian State University. For more information, visit http://www.ci.appstate.edu/programs/edmedia/medialit for more details.

July 15-18, Ithaca, NY: Project Look Sharp is announcing its annual Summer Media Literacy Institute for K-12 educators July 15-18 and August 12-15. For information, contact Eileen Jacobs at Project Look Sharp: [email protected] 607-274-3471 http://www.ithaca.edu/looksharp

KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival Fall Tour:
October 5: Warner Quad, Ridgewood, NJ
October 12: Mamaroneck Playhouse, Mamaroneck, NY
October 19: Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington, NY
October 26: Chelsea Cinemas, New York, NY
November 2 - 9: Cinema Café, Santa Fe, NM
December 26-29: Santa Barbara International Film Festival presents the KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival, Santa Barbara, CA

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]

 

KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002

June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002

 


 

2001

2000

1999

1998

1998


1997


1997

Subscribe to KIDS FIRST! free monthly e-zine for news and specials: