to the KIDS FIRST!® Home
Pollock, Newsletter Editor
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Anything truly good is going to be partly experimental. -Richard Kazarian
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
October 3, 2006 Issue #10
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
1. Letters from the Editor and President
2. Web Store Features
4. Ann's Avenue Alerts
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. KIDS FIRST!®
Best Awards Nominees - Student Producers by Christine L.
11. Crafts and Activities: KIDS
FIRST!® Best Awards by Dr. Toy and Colored Worms
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is
granted with complete attribution.
Female Role in Film - Geena Davis, See Jane, Reel Grrls
and Heroic Girlz
Classroom Clips and Give Me a Little Sign - Interview with
Maya & Miguel creator, Deborah Forte
the Famous Do Children's Films - Interviews with Daniel
Roebuck and Jim Hanks
KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®
an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store
Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national,
not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Because we
believe that media profoundly affect children, our mission
is to 1) teach children critical viewing skills and 2) to
increase the visibility and availability of quality children's
2006 Jan 3 / Jan
18 / Feb 7 / Feb
21 / Mar 14/ Mar
28 / Apr 4 / Apr
25 / May 2/ May
16/ June 6 /June
July 4 / July
18 / Aug 1 / Aug
15 / Sept 5 /
Links to newsletters from 2005 or earlier
may be found at the bottom of this page
Welcome to KIDS FIRST!® NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's
Media unless otherwise noted.
As the season changes, things are changing for us, too. We have
a treat for you this month. Thanks to Netman, we now offer video
clips for many of our titles, and more are coming in every day.
Producers, please send us your clips. This complimentary service
provides consumers with a glimpse of what we have to offer, and
publicizes your films. Please feel free to contact
us if you have any questions. Parents and educators, feel free
to check out the clips on our website.
Or you might want to check out the trailers from the films mentioned
in our main article.
As always, I
welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed;
notices of media awards, publications, and products; or suggestions
for articles. . . Please drop me a line.
Whew, but this
is a busy time of year. We just finished our lineup for our fourth
quarter festivals and, of the 80 titles that have been accepted,
almost half (39 of them), are independent films. Thirteen of those
are student films. Go indies! I have to say that this quarter's
submissions were better than ever, and I'm just thrilled with the
quality of this work. Click
here for the complete list, or scroll down to the very end of
the newsletter. And don't forget to check our online booking page,
find out what's playing at a venue near you.
that KIDS FIRST! Best Day comes to LA next week featuring a sneak
peek of Flicka, a new feature film from 20th Century Fox.
We extend a special invitation
to all our readers in the LA area to attend our KIDS FIRST!
Best Day at the Los Angeles
International Children's Film Festival. A selection of preschool
films play at 11:30, followed at 1:00 p.m. with Me, Eloise and
our KIDS FIRST! Awards Ceremony at 2:30 followed by Flicka.
This truly is a day for kids, with goodie bags and the opportunity
to meet special guests such as Keke Palmer,
the star of Akeelah and the Bee; Mary Matilyn Mouser,
the voice of Eloise, Maya & Miguel, and a newcomer - Tiny from
Little Robots. Of course, Ann and I will be there, and we
look forward to meeting our LA - based families who attend as well
as the many filmmakers who'll be there.
Be sure to check
out the other events happening at the festival, which kicks off
at 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 6, with the FREE 20th Anniversary Screening
of the classic coming-of-age film Stand By Me. The 1986 film,
directed by Rob Reiner, is the story of a group of boys who experience
an unforgettable summer as they move towards adolescence. Based
on a story by Stephen King, the film stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix,
Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman and Kiefer Sutherland. Rob Reiner
will introduce the film and answer questions following the screening.
This event is free to the public, with first-come, first-served
seating in the 600-seat Bing Theatre. Arrive early! For
more information, visit the Los Angeles International Children's
Film Festival's webpage.
Much love and to all my fellow Librans, Happy Birthday!
and President, KIDS FIRST!®
JUROR TRAINING PROGRAM
about what kids watch? Want to do something about it? Become a KIDS
FIRST!® juror. It's easy. Take our online training. It will
take you about four hours to complete, and we will provide you with
your own personal trainer. The $40 fee is 100% reimbursable once
you evaluate six titles for KIDS FIRST!® . You may keep any
movie you approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians,
parents, and daycare providers to build their own quality media
library while helping evaluate movies for others. To register or
get more information, please visit
our KIDS FIRST!® juror's page.
FIRST!® WEB STORE FEATURES
Clubhouse Friends. Bumblz and Slomo want to build a clubhouse,
but encounter obstacles along the way. Can their new friends, Fuzzette,
Corky and Spinny help them out? See the Bumblz Gang use friendship,
cooperation and the power of the imagination to overcome the odds!
DVD. 20 min.; $8.79; Ages: 2-5. Bumblz Media
Tunes: Songs in the Key of Bee. This lively music compilation
features original songs from the children's animated series, Bumblz.
High production values and a variety of musical styles and themes
result in a rare Music CD that both children and parents can enjoy
together! Audio; $7.99; Age: 2-5. Bumblz Media.
Rangers: The Great Race. Excellent for home or preschool road
safety awareness. Bright colors and cute characters are very appealing. Contains lots of poignant safety facts including details such as
why trucks can't slow down as fast as cars can. DVD. 24 min.; $10.39;
Age: 5-8. Educational Adventures.
AdventurePatrol: Totally Rocks. A wild, weekend long adventure
in the red rock mountains of Utah. Zeke, the host, invites kids
to accompany him as he learns how to mountain bike, rock climb,
and watches pros at these extreme sports while exploring Native
American art and dance. DVD. 35 min.; $11.98; Ages: 5-12; Big Bright
Sign Language for PK. One of Ranny's picks! Includes: Signing
Time! Volumes 4, 5, & 6 DVD. 90 min.; $39.99; Ages: 2-5. Coalition
for Quality Children's Media.
AVENUE ALERTS by Ann Church
FIRST!® and Texas Girls' State Fair at the Texas State Fair,
Dallas, Texas, September 29 through October 22
29th through October 22nd this year, KIDS FIRST!® is proud to partner
with The Women's Museum
to bring a continuous stream of quality media that focuses on the
interests and achievements of adolescent girls. This year, The Women's
Museum is introducing Texas Girls' State Fair at the Texas State
Fair in Dallas and over 200,000 girls, schoolmates and families
will visit the Museum during this time.
Every day during
the State Fair, great titles such as Me, Eloise, Angelina
Ballerina, Heroic Girlz, Pollyworld, Akeelah
and the Bee and an all new, never seen before episode from Cyberchase,
Designing Mr. Perfect, starring Danica Keller, offer the
chance for girls to see themselves just as successful as any of
the great women that line the halls of the museum. Please click
here for daily schedule
of Texas Girls' State Fair is to honor, recognize and showcase the
achievements and interests of Texas adolescent girls. During the
Texas Girls' State Fair, the 70,000 square foot Museum will be transformed
into a lively, colorful, and exuberant venue for science and math
projects, music, live performances, film, fashion and design that
show what girls are doing, thinking about, and achieving today. All events at the Museum are free of charge, with admission to the
KIDS FIRST!® continues to offer programming to communities across the United
States. From prestigious film festivals and top rated children's
museums to your local library or community organization, you can
be part of the KIDS FIRST!® mission to make quality children's media
available to everyone. Contact Ann
Church at KIDS FIRST!® to get started in your community.
FROM KIDS FIRST!® FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2006
For a complete list of all Festival titles currently
being shown, visit
to School in India, Pt 2. L. 32 min. A celebration of what school
can be, viewed through the eyes of children who go to school under
different circumstances. Highlights India's extreme landscape, also
the indomitable spirits of children to conquer there landscapes
and go to school. Includes four mini films, each 8 minutes in length.
Going to School in a Tribe - The children of the Saura tribe go
to school in their village on the hills. They learn to count with
sticks and use an abacus made of mud. Going to School on a Boat-
Veera Veni, Durga Devi and Dana Laxmi live on a boat in coastal
Andhra Pradesh. It's their home, their family lives on it. It's
where they cook, eat and sleep. Going to School in the Lake- Zahida
lives on an island in the middle of a lake and her school is also
in the middle of a lake, in a small village. Everyday Zahida goes
to school with her sister Masarat in a Shikara. Going to School
on the Streets - Street children living in a shelter in Old Delhi
and go to school from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. After school Ramesh goes
to a newspaper meeting, where they make newspaper with articles
to make street children aware of their rights. Going to School in
a Monastery- Lobzang Namgal lives in a monastery in Ladakh, that's
where he stays and that's his school too. At school they learn Buddha's
teachings along with other subjects and play, too. Ages 5-10. Going
to School Fund.
The Square Pumpkin. L. 45 min. In a world where the only good
pumpkins are round pumpkins, Spookley The Square Pumpkin is shunned
by the other pumpkins until a mighty storm threatens to destroy
the entire patch. As the storm rages Spookley realizes it's find
to be round while the weather is fair, but there are times it's
better to be a square! Ages 4-8. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.
Wind in the Willows - The Complete First Season.
L. 260 min. Kenneth Grahame's classic adventures continue as Toad,
Mole, Rat, and Badger do their best to maintain the simple pleasures
of life, even as the pesky weasels lurk nearby. Filled with music
and song -- and plenty of tea and jam -- our gentlemanly quartet
always finds a way to traverse life's ups and downs with aplomb.
Peter Sallis (Wallace) plays the voice of Ratty. Ages 5-12. A&E
Home Video, C/O New Video Group.
The: Mission to Mars. L. 100. The main episode takes the Backyardigans
to outer space and an underground Martian city. Includes four episodes. Also features the voice of Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys
as Mommy Martian. Alicia Keys also sings one song titled "Boinga"
on the main episode. Ages 2-5. Paramount Home Entertainment.
the Explorer: Doras World Adventures. L. 100 min. Pull
out your passport and grab your backpack as you join Dora and friends
on their first-ever worldwide adventure. This adventure follows
Dora and Swiper as they travel to China, France, Tanzania and Russia
in search of friendship bracelets in order to save Friendship Day,
the worldwide celebration of friendship and peace. Ages 2-5. Paramount
of a Spider. L. 8 min. This is the diary of a spider who's a lot like you! He
goes to school, but he also spins sticky webs and takes wind-catching
lessons. From the creators of the best-selling Diary of a Worm,
this portrait of an upside-down web world will have kids wishing
they could be spiders too! Directed by Gene Deitch, and narrated
by Angus T. Jones, with music by Zdenek Zdenek. Based on the book
by Doreen Cronin. Ages 3-8. Weston Woods Series.
AND RENEWING MEMBERS
Please welcome these new or renewing members
and visit their web sites.
Magic of Martial Arts. This DVD mixes music, comedy and magic
tricks with interactive self-defense instruction. The award-winning
live-action production keeps kids safe by encouraging non-violent
problem-solving, walking away from trouble, controlling anger and
feeling like a winner inside. Kids learn how to use karate...and
when NOT to use it.
Family Entertainment. NEST Family Entertainment is a leading
producer and distributor of award-winning, animated films, interactive
DVDs, audio collections, and Resource & Activity books. Used
by countless families and in more than 100,000 churches, schools,
and libraries, the NEST Complete Learning System uses media as a
positive resource to help teach children in a way that is both entertaining
and life-changing. For more than 15 years, NEST Family Entertainment
has received numerous awards and recognition for its children's
educational and Bible videos, including the prestigious Dove Seal
Wee World. Enchant your children and enrich their lives by using
our content-rich, interactive films specifically designed to help
them learn about exotic world cultures through artwork, language,
colorful dress, traditional foods, music, dance, games, and so much
more! Their mission is to end racism, ignorance, and fear of others.
They want to help each child cultivate a deep respect and appreciation
for cultures different than their own. They will celebrate diversity.
Entertainment Corp specializes in creating quality childrens
entertainment brands and unique music programs for mass and specialty
Girls Media Inc. Reel Girls Media mission statement: Fostering
a deeper understanding of the world and the human spirit through
television and new media.
in Ties. a division of Kristin Harris Design, Inc. Turtles in
Ties produces animated bilingual media for preschool children. Their
focus is creating media that respects the innate intelligence of
young children and tickles their fancy."Bees Buzz & Lions
Roar/Las abejas zumban y los leones rugen" is the first in
the A World of Animal for You series and features over 50
animals from all over the world. The content is available in either
English or Spanish. They believe that exposure to a second language
at a young age helps children's cognitive development.
Little Hands Productions. Signing Time is a sign language video
series for hearing infants and children that teaches them basic
American Sign Language (ASL) in a fun and memorable way. Big kids
and grown-ups love it, too!
WonderVisions.com has been producing programs for 25 years, adult
& children programs."The Friendly Gray Whales" won
a silver apple-for junior high students."Alaska's Coolest
Birds" - a submission to KIDS FIRST! is a collaboration with
wildlifeHD.com, who has
produced several award winning children's programs.
This KIDS FIRST!® endorsed, animated action/adventure series focused
on kid safety, is set to premiere on PBS member stations in major
markets this month, coinciding with National Fire Safety month. Danger Rangers is produced by Educational Adventures.
and Nickelodeon Agreement
Nickelodeon and Activision Value Publishing, Inc. have entered into
a distribution agreement, under which Activision will be the exclusive
distributor of three new Nick Jr. PC CD-ROM titles, Dora The Explorer,
The Backyardigans and Go, Diego, Go! The three titles will be released
in later this month.
Rental's, Inc. Enters Agreement with PorchLight Entertainment
PorchLight's family and kid's movies and TV programs, as well as
some content from its non-fiction and music division, will be offered
via ReelTime Rental's online broadband network, on a non-exclusive
basis. A number of the kid's properties initially offered on ReelTimeTV.net
will make their way to ReelTime Kids when the online kid's channel
is launched in 2007. ReelTime launched www.reeltime.com
the second week of September.
A big congratulations to all the independent producers whose titles
were accepted for the KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival Fourth
Veggie Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler - Big Idea,
Little Blue: Live the Dream - Bob Svihovec
Bumblz: The Pirate's Treasure - Bumblz Media
Magic Cellar - Chocolate Moose Media, Inc.
The Happy Cricket - Clever Image Studios
The Ordinary Boy - David Ariniello
Up in the Attic: The Search for Snow - David Zaremba
Worst Day Ever - Keenan Quick-Jones
Groms: Surf - El Porto Productions
BJ Teddy Bear's Club and Bible Stories, Vol 1 & 2 - First Look
Emmanuel's Gift - First Look Studioes
Loopy Sloop - Flexitoon
Going to School in India, Pt. 2 - Going to School Fund
Gidgie and Philly - Katie Marin
Art Chins - Children's Media Project/Listen Up
Cultivate - Perpich Center for Art Education/Listen Up
Face - Perpich Center for Art Education/Listen Up
A Girl Like Me - Reel Works Teen Filmmaking/Listen Up
Help Me Please - Youth Sounds/Listen Up
Inner City Blues - Ghetto Film School/Listen Up
Mother Superior - Spy Hop Productions/Listen Up
No Education No Life - Wide Angle Community Media/Listen Up
Pencilmation = Light House/Listen Up
Skin - TRUCE/Listen Up
What if - TRUCE/Listen Up
Mr. Christmas - Luminous Films
Families of Canada - Master Communications
The Cat's Tale - Melee
Chanuka at Bubbe's - Monterey Media
Nobelity - Monterey Media
Little Heroes (Giborim Ktanim) - NOA - International Film Marketing
My Backyard Was A Mountain - Palmavejo Films
Mr. Marty Show - Rhythm and Rhyme Tyme
Bally Vaughan Story - Sara Pocock
A Gift from Santa - Suzanne Hensler
Hermie & Friends: Stanley the Stinkbug - Tommy Nelson Inc.
Firefighter Frank - Toon Studios
AND PARENTING NEWS
Street Adresses Adoption
Original episodes are set to air on PBS Kids, November 6 and November
7 (check your local listings) to coincide with the launch of National
Adoption Month. The Sesame Street family will get a new addition
when Gina, the resident veterinarian becomes a single mother when
she adopts a baby boy, Marco, from Guatemala. The original episodes
help explain what it means to adopt a baby and how it impacts not
just the parent or parents, but those closest to them.
Launches Internet Safety Campaign
Dedicated to informing parents and educators, the guides lay out
how MySpace works, answers questions about social networks and the
internet in general and underlines both the company's safety practices
and the challenges and information for kid/student safety on the
Internet The Parents' Guide is available for download from MySpace
in the Tips for Parents
section, and will be distributed to public school administrators.
KIDS FIRST!® Best Awards Nominees - Student
Producers by Christine L. Pollock
few years ago my film-buff friend raved about a particular title. When I asked what was so good about the film, he answered, "They
had a huge budget
that led to the question, does a film
need a large budget to make it enjoyable for public viewing? The
young students who are nominees for KIDS FIRST!® Best Awards found
that budget doesn't limit creativity or audience enthusiasm.
Rutland, creator of Past Whispers, encourages new producers with
the following suggestions: A good thing to do is stick to topics
you are familiar with and passionate about. Surround yourself with
people or friends that can help in the process. Educating yourself
and exposing yourself to as much film and animation as possible
is also a good start. If you are strongly influenced by Miyazaki
for example, then learn from the best, and watch his films. As with
any artist you can learn many techniques by studying their work.
what he preaches. Past
Whispers follows the adventures of three siblings who open a
portal into a world of magical skies and menacing landscapes. The
film was based on Rutlands own childhood experiences with
his brother and sister. Although the film took four and a half years
to make, he "wouldn't have done anything differently."
Rutland stresses that the film you create needs to mean something
to you or it will drive you nuts. The story is also
extremely important. Past Whispers is a hit among kids perhaps because
they enjoy going on the imaginative journey, too. The children bring
their own stories to the film.
eight-year-old creator of Toys:
the Homemakers Tale (see trailer on our site), asserts
that the story is definitely the most important part of a film.
In his eight-minute video, the Homemaker family, a set a plastic
toys, does not fit in with the other toys in Toy Town. They are
forced to leave but return to confront the problems they faced.
Gundling began to play with stop-motion animation when a friend
him a toy Gumby for his birthday. He was fascinated with movement.
While reading The Ultimate Lego Book, a treasure he found in the
school library, Gundling decided to create a film starring little
Lego people. Precision and patience are key when making animated
film. Gundling feels that his films have an edge over films by other
children his age because he takes the time to make it smooth. According
to Gundling, Lots of kids my age do crazy performing in front
of a camera. If they do animation, it is choppy, not lots of shots.
I do ten pictures for every second. It took him 8 months to
make Toys: A Homemakers Tale. However, it was worth the effort.
Peter won the Chicago Classroom Television Outstanding Chicago Production
award at the Future Filmmakers Festival, was invited to meet Mr.
Spielberg at the Gala, and is now a KIDS FIRST!® Best Award
and Rutland are proud to be nominees, but being part of the KIDS FIRST!® team is even more than that, Rutland discloses. Its
about what KIDS FIRST!® is doing with and for kids. It gets kids
together and exposes them to new films and producers. Parents can
be confident in the content -- that it will build imagination, understanding
of the world, and friendships. As kids get older, perhaps they,
too, will be inspired to create media with quality content.
Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy
www.drtoy.com Smart Play /Smart
KIDS FIRST!® Best Awards. Hard to believe another year has passed and it's
awards time again. KIDS FIRST!® offers so many titles addressing
challenging issues--keeping our minds, body and spirit intact and
healthy can be a challenge. Thank goodness we have the great resources
available at KIDS FIRST!® and from videos of all kinds that support
health and well being, learning and creating, drama and entertainment
and much more.
- Colored Worms - Great Play Dough Recipe
started his animation, he used clay "worms." This is a
great recipe for play dough, which can get children's imaginations
c. flour, 2 tablespoons oil, 4 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 c, water,
1 c. salt, food coloring
go to craft
FIRST!® Film and Video Festival Schedule
Join us as we travel around the country with film festivals. Find
out when we will be in a town near you. For details read
October 12. CA. The Animation Guild is holding a forum for members to hear about
their research and hear perspectives from panelists in animation.
Boston, MA. 5th Annual Summit of the Coalition
for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Consuming Kids: Marketing
in Schools and Beyond. The summit will "bring together
distinguished scholars, activists, parents, and educators to discuss
how marketing undermines childrens health and well-being and
what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus
on marketing in schools."
Seneca Falls, NY. Heroic
Girlz is playing at the Annual Meeting of the
Friends of the Women's Rights Convention National Park.
2006. Lake Lily Park, 701 Lake Lily Drive Maitland, FL. . Take a
Day to Play and enjoy carnival rides and games, Nickelodeon
character visits, and live childrens music. Hot Peas n
Butter and Justin Roberts, both of whom are featured on the NOGGINs
Jacks Big Music Show, will join local favorites on stage for
a six-hour concert. Admission to the concert is FREE, and tickets
for the carnival can be purchased at the event. For more information,
call the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando at 407-645-0923
or visit www.orlandofamilyfestival.org
Canada's National Media Education Week. The first of its kind in
Canada, this week will highlight the importance of media literacy
and Web literacy as key learning areas in the information age. Read
Through the combined efforts of Corporations for Character, KIDS FIRST!® , and your generous donation, we can fulfill our mission
to provide positive, encouraging movies into each of more than one
million children's hospital beds. This effort will provide entertainment
for children while they are confined in a hospital. To support KIDS FIRST!® Cares, click
here. All credit card transactions are secure.
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. The Coalition for Quality
Children's Media 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. To join, go to: http://www.kidsfirst.org
or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!®.
OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members
by clicking here: http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/whomem.htm.
IF YOU FIND THIS NEWSLETTER USEFUL . . . FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS AND
newsletter may be reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media, http://www.kidsfirst.org
CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!®
KIDS FIRST!® is the not-for-profit Coalition for Quality Children's
Media's initiative that evaluates and rates children's media - videotapes,
CD-ROMs and television - using a highly acclaimed method that has
been praised by parents and educators alike. It utilizes professionally
designed criteria and evaluation tools and engages a volunteer jury
comprising child development professionals, teachers and parents
nationwide and children of diverse geographic, socioeconomic and
ethnic backgrounds. KIDS FIRST!® endorsed titles appeal to people
around the world and include many programs on topics important to
children's development. KIDS FIRST!® -endorsed titles are available
on CQCM's award-winning Internet site, in the KIDS FIRST!® Film
and Video Festival and in reviews we provide to more than 75 publications.
evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs
and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines,
visit our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org,
call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.