Up to date information about children’s entertainment - film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Submit to KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Now Through May 27

January 13th, 2016

SUBMIT_NOW.jpgWe are accepting submissions for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival now through May 27. If you have a great film for kids and families that you wish to get played at venues all across the country, this is your opportunity to submit it. We have more than 50 venue affiliates who use the programming we select for their you and family programs. Each KIDS FIRST! venue partner offers their own awards and prizes. So, there are a plethora of potential awards awaiting you. Just think, for one entry fee, you have 50 venues looking at your submission. That makes the fee dirt cheap!

Accepted feature films will get a First Look opportunity for distribution by Engine 15 Media Group and Soundview Media Partners. We are looking for indie and student productions, short, features and documentaries. We have special categories for Faith Based programs, Spanish language programs, environmental programs and episodic titles.

To enter, go here.

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/

More Holiday DVD Recommendations from Granny Ranny

December 2nd, 2015

holiday_gift_guide.jpgIn case missed our holiday gift guide we posted Thanksgiving week, here’s a link for it. It’s a great list of DVDs, videogames, EBooks and theatrical releases that are perfect for your holiday gift giving. And, here are a few more…

TheSnowmanDoubld.jpgThe Snowman & The Snowman and the Snowdog Double Feature (ages 2-18)
Description: Enjoy twice the magical enchantment in this double feature of The Snowman and The Snowman & the Snowdog!
One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see.  Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf.  Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! Then, embark on a new adventure in the charming sequel!  When a young boy and his mother move to a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - a snowman-making kit! Later that day the boy builds a Snowman and with the little spare snow leftover, a Snowdog. That night they come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. MSRP: $14.99

Naya.jpgNaya’s Arctic Adventures: Meet Naya (ages 2-6)
Description: Meet Naya!  Join Naya and her friends as they embrace numerous quests in the Arctic.  One might think that a young girl would get bored living in the Arctic but not Naya! Every day is an adventure with her and her friends.  Each story starts with the sea washing ashore an item and then throughout the story, Naya and friends learn the purpose of the item.  Your little one is sure to enjoy these heart-warming adventures that teach children fundamental human values all while enjoying a good laugh! MSRP: $9.99.

Gumby.Artic.jpgThe Gumby Show: Gumby’s Arctic Antics (ages 4-18)
Description: Gumby and Pokey, television’s legendary clay characters, live one great fantasy after another in a timeless world of magic and wonder.  Join this duo as they dive into one book after another in this assortment of 50’s, 60’s and 80’s episodes!  First, Santa gets sick right before Christmas.  Will Christmas be ruined or can a wicked witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone?  Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to wreck all the toys in the toyshop but luckily Gumby is there at the right time.  Both children and adults will enjoy these classic stop motion adventures with Gumby and Pokey and friends. MSRP: $9.99

MiketheKnight.jpgMike the Knight: Mike’s Bravest Mission (ages 2-8)
Description: For many years, generations of the best and bravest knights have attempted to solve the legendary “Knight’s Puzzle” and now it is Mike’s turn!
However, Mike’s mission heads in an unexpected direction when his arch rival, Edward, steals the puzzle.  With the safety of the kingdom in his hands, Mike sets off on a brave journey. Join Mike on a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat adventure to retrieve the stolen Puzzle and protect the Kingdom of Glendragon! MSRP: $9.99

Sid.jpgObserve & Explore with Sid the Science Kid (ages 3-7)
Description: Sid the Science KidTM is an inquisitive little boy who uses comedy to tackle
questions kids have about basic scientific principles.  Why do things work the way they do? He tries to answer each question and solve problems with the help of Teacher Susie, Sid’s family as well as his classmates, May, Gerald and Gabriela.  In this second volume, Sid and his friends learn all about the five senses, brushing your teeth, eating healthy, keeping germs away, exercising and more!  So come on scientists, let’s observe and explore with Sid the Science Kid! MSRP: $14.99

Doozers.Ginger_1.jpgDoozers: Giant Gingerbread House (ages 2-7)
Description: Welcome to Doozer Creek where the Doozers live!  They’re green.  They’re cute.  They’re three inches tall and they’re full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm! The Pod Squad want to build a Doozer-sized Gingerbread House that will take some clever construction to create.  Will they be able to DO it?  Find out and then enjoy 8 more family fun-tastic adventures! MSRP: $9.99

ABCMonsters.EFGH.jpgABC Monsters: Starring EFGH (ages 2-6)
Description: Meet the ABC Monsters!  They are big, hairy and not very scary.  On this DVD, embark on adventures to find the letters E, F, G, and H!  First, join the brainy gang as there’s an eagle exhibition taking place at the Alphabet Gardens!  However, disaster strikes when Emma the eagle escapes and flies into Capital Town!  Alice, Brian, and Cherry Berry must set out to find the eagle but after assembling the alphabet they soon release that E-Monster is missing too!  Can they find Emma the eagle and E-monster before the sun sets?  Continue the fun and join Alice, Brian, and Cherry Berry as they look for F-Monster, G-Monster, and H-Monster in the next three episodes! MSRP: $9.99

ThomasEdison.2D.jpgThomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting (ages 5-11)
Description: Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison had a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a nearly-completed robot to guide and inspire future generation of young scientists.
The secret lab, Edison’s virtual alter ego, and his prototype robot remained hidden until a 12-year-old prodigy cracked the secret coded message that Edison left behind.  This young genius named Angie and her science club friends move into the lab and the fun begins!  Each episode covers fun scientific topics from dinosaur fossils to minerals to gravity and so much more!  Join Angie, JD, Kent and Nicky as they work with the robot, Von Bolt, and Thomas Edison’s virtual alter ego in this wacky world of scientific discovery! MSRP: $9.99

Halloween Titles for Young Ones

October 27th, 2015

Halloween.jpgWith Halloween right around the corner, we want to share with you some of our favorite DVDs that you can share with your family. This collection is from N Circle Entertainment and the DVDs can be found online or in most stores that carry DVDs.

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Room on the Broom

From the creators of the Academy Award nominee The Gruffalo, comes Room on the Broom. Also Academy Award nominated, this magical tale is based on the best-selling children’s book written by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Axel Scheffler. A kind witch invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, to the frustration of her cat. This timeless tale of friendship and family features the voices of Gillian Anderson and Simon Pegg.

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Pocoyo: Boo

Join Pocoyo and his friends on seven playful Halloween adventures! Learn about honesty, imagination and more with Pocoyo and the gang. Whether it’s playing a new game called Boo!, enjoying a monster mash party, or pretending to be Godzilla and King Kong, every day is fun & engaging with Pocoyo and his friends! Features Stephen Fry as the narrator.

SidSpookyHalloween.SM.jpg

Sid’s Spooky Halloween

Join Sid and his friends as they discover how bats catch mosquitoes, why spiders are expert engineer web builders and how skeletons make up the foundation of our bodies. The kids dress up to celebrate Halloween at school, and Teacher Susie leads them in a special Halloween parade song to show off their costumes! With Sid the Science Kid, Halloween can be spooky and scientific!

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The Cat in the Hat: Tricks and Treats

A new spooky adventure this DVD brings, with The Cat, Nick and Sally, Fish and the Things. Meet the eeriest critters you’ve ever seen, arrived just in time for Halloween! There’s be lots of tricks, and of course lots of treats, to share with the animal friends you will meet! There’s a coconut crab, spider monkeys and bats, and plenty more fun with The Cat in the Hat!

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Pajanimals: Spooky Costumes

After going to a Halloween party, Cowbella reveals that she is nervous about trick or treating because she doesn’t like all the scary vampires and zombies she saw there. The Pajanimals travel to Storybook Land, where Edwin explains that there’s nothing to be scared of. Those vampires and werewolves are just costumes that the big kids wear to have fun, just like her pretty princess costume! Then enjoy four more adventures with The Pajanimals!

ChicasHalloween.SM.jpg

The Chica Show: Chica’s Halloween Adventure

Join Chica, everyone’s favorite chicken, as she gets ready for some fun adventures while working “The Costume Coop”. It’s Chica’s favorite time of the year – but her indecision on what costume to wear stops her from enjoying all the fun. Will she be able to make a decision and stick with it? Then enjoy five more adventures with Chica and her friends! Features the voice of Mario Lopez as Chica’s friend Stitches.

Call for Film Critics in Select Cities, Deadline September 30

September 2nd, 2015

KFFC.BootCamp.2015.jpgIf you have a child between the age of 8 and 17 who is interested in joining our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team, please have them enter our national search. Visit our application site, read the instructions and send in your application along with your child’s written and videotaped review of a film, rated G, PG or PG-13, that has been released in the last 6 months.

Our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Local Search continues this month. Our deadline to apply for this fall is September 30. We are looking for kids ages 8 to 17 in the cities listed below. We will be accepting no more than 10 new reporters during this application process and you will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. There is no charge to participate in this program but there is a $25 fee for the training program and you are expected to provide your own equipment (camera, tripod, microphone, computer) as well as transportation to events.

Cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Santa Fe, Vancouver, Nashville, Honolulu, Miami and Washington DC.

Here’s your chance to…

  • Watch and review the latest films!
  • Meet and interview celebrities!
  • Report from the red carpet and premieres!
  • Talk on our weekly radio show about films you have seen and interview celebrities.

For more info, go to: http://2013critic.kidsfirst.org/

Or, call our office. 505.989.8076.

Check out some of our reviews, interviews and our Brooklyn Boot Camp below.

Last Week to Enter XPRIZE Competition for “Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions”

August 20th, 2015

MilesfromTomorrow_1.jpgHurry! Only one week left to submit an entry for the Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions, a nationwide program based on the hit animated series that invites kids ages 3 to 8 and their families to develop their own “out-of-this-world” creations within three themed categories – technology, vehicles and planets. After completing the design, take a picture of it and upload it to the Miles From Tomorrowland website.

All the entries will have a chance to win incredible prizes, such as a 3D printer from 3D Systems and the Grand Prize of a VIP trip to Cape Canaveral to experience the past, present and future of space exploration firsthand, including a behind-the-scenes tour of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and have lunch with an astronaut; a tour of Moon Express (one of the teams competing for the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE); and a chance to see a SpaceX rocket launch from a VIP vantage point. More info here: http://partners.disney.com/space-missions/submissions. This is a blastastic opportunity to do some fun, creative activities with your kids while teaching them about space at the same time. Submission deadline is Aug 31.

Check out our interviews by KIDS FIRST! Reporter Tre’ana H. with some of the key players from this project with Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bob Weiss (CEO of XPrize), Adrien Grenier, Ginger Zee (GMA Weather Anchor) and Yvonne Cagle (NASA Astronaut).

Film Critics Boot Camps: Martha’s Vinyard, DC, Brooklyn, Seattle and Santa Fe

March 27th, 2015

KFFC.BootCamp.2015.jpgDo You …Love, really love films? Love talking about the latest films?Envision yourself talking on the Red Carpet?

Come Spend a Week this summer

Watching the latest films.
Learning to write film reviews.
Learning to talk about films on camera.
Meeting guest film critics, producers and actors.
Learning interview techniques.
Improving your on-camera skills.
Being coached by seasoned professionals.

Parents …

Kids love movies. 
It’s part of their socializing experience. 
They love being on-camera and are comfortable there. 
At the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp we put what kids love to good use and make learning fun!

During this one-week day-camp, now in its third year, your child will learn to…

View and review - watch films and write about them.
Discuss and debate - live and on-camera. 
Look critically at different elements that make a film a film from directing and acting to cinematography, writing and art direction. 

Remember parents…
Your kids are not just “talking about film” they are learning life skills that will truly last a lifetime.

2015 Dates & Locations

All camps are one week day camps that meet Monday through Friday. Parents are invited to join the camp on the afternoon of the last day to observe our mock “Red Carpet” event.

June 15 - 19
Registration Deadline: May 15
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
Santa Fe Community College,
Continuing Education Department
Santa Fe, NM 87508

July 27-31
Registration Deadline: June 27
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. daily
Martha’s Vineyard Film Center
79 Beach Rd.
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

August 3 - 7
Registration Deadline: July 2
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
HITN
63 Flushing Avenue
Building 292, Suite 211
Brooklyn, NY 11205

August 10-14
Registration Deadline: 30 days prior to first day
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
Discovery Communications
(DCI World Headquarters)
One Discovery Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910

For more details, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2015.BootCamp.html

ALL CAMPS HAVE LIMITED ENROLLMENT AND WILL BE FILLED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

Subscribe to our KIDS FIRST! YouTube Channel and Get Our Reviews When They Come Out

January 12th, 2015

YoutubeHeader.jpgDo you enjoy watching our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics video reviews of all the latest films, DVDs and other media? To receive our most current reviews the day they come out all you have to do is subscribe to our KIDS FIRST! YouTube Channel.

Yup, it’s as easy as that.  Click here to subscribe.

We have more than 1100 video reviews up now and add new ones almost daily. All the latest feature films rated G, PG and PG-13 are reviewed by our team of youth reporters and posted for you to watch.

So, whenever you’re trying to decide what movie to take your kids to, or even go to yourself, check out what our critics say before you spend your hard earned money on that pricey ticket!

Feel free to share with your friends, repost on your blog or social media and give us feedback. We are always trying to improve so, if you’ve got a suggestion on how to do that, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

PBS Kids Offers LOTS of Halloween Themed Programs for Your Little Ones

October 20th, 2014

Halloween.jpgIt’s that time of year when our thoughts run to the dark side and scary movies take over for October viewing. But preschoolers can be left behind because - well, we don’t really want to frighten them too much, right? Leave it to PBS Kids to come up with an assortment of shows from some of their most watched series that will fit the bill for your younger and easily frightened viewers. Here’s a few. Note the air dates after each title but check your local listings to find out exactly when it’s airing in your marker.

CURIOUS GEORGE: A Halloween Boo Fest (airs October 27 and 31)
It’s George’s first Halloween in the country, and Bill tells him and Allie about the Legend of No Noggin – a spooky tale about a hat-kicking scarecrow who haunts the countryside on Halloween.  But is the legend really real? George and Allie are determined to find out by taking a picture of No Noggin in hat-kicking action.  But first, George needs to figure out what he’s going to be for Halloween so he can win the costume contest at the town Boo Festival.  Will George’s quest for the perfect costume interfere with his quest for the truth? Only the curious will find out!

DINOSAUR TRAIN
(307) One Big Frog/Caving with Vlad - NEW! (premieres October 27, repeats October 29 and 31)
The Pteranodon kids are playing a game called “I’m the Biggest,” which raises the question: how big is the biggest frog? Dad takes the kids on the Dinosaur Train to find the biggest frog ever, the legendary Beelzebufo. Once off the train, they have to take a river raft to find this illusive creature, but find him they do. The kids are surprised that Benny Beelzebufo isn’t nearly as large (or mean) as they’d imagined, but he is definitely the biggest frog they’ve ever seen! Benny teaches the kids about his “sit-still-and-wait” hunting style and shows off his large, floating leaf “home.”

The Pteranodon family rides the “Night Train” all the way back to the Jurassic Period to visit their nocturnal friend, Vlad Volaticotherium, who tells them that he wants to take them caving!  Buddy, Tiny, Shiny and Don don’t even know what caving is, but they are soon having a great time seeing all the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that have formed inside the cave.  They also learn that it can be a lot of fun to hear your voice echo down the cave’s long caverns!

(116) Night Train/Fossil Fred (airs October 28 and 30)
(211) Haunted Roundhouse/Big Pond Pumpkin Patch (airs October 24, 26, 29 and 31)

SUPER WHY!
(135) The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween (airs October 27 and 31)

THOMAS & FRIENDS
(1008) Tricks and Tales (airs October 16, 18 and 27)
(1007) Spooky Charms (airs October 20, 28 and 31)

THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!
(141) Trick or Treat (airs October 15, 27 and 31)

WILD KRATTS
(208) Secrets of the Spider’s Web (airs October 30)
(136) A Bat in the Brownies (airs October 31)
(134) Little Howler (airs October 31)

MARTHA SPEAKS
(307) Deadline Doggie/It’s the Giant Pumpkin, Martha (airs October 30)
(308) TD’s Magic/Scaredy Cat (airs October 31)

WORDGIRL
(505) Scary with a Side of Butter / Talent Show Tobey (airs October 23)
(126) A Kooky Spooky Halloween / Sheep’s Halloween Costume (airs October 24)
(209) Tobey’s Tricks and Treats / Escape Wham (airs October 30)
(212) Who Wants Candy? / Chuck’s Brother (airs October 31)

CAILLOU
(426) Fall Is in the Air (airs October 20 and 31)
(410) After Dark! (airs October 21)

ARTHUR
(1107) Hic or Treat/Mr. Alwaysright (airs October 31)
(1405) Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny/Pet Projects (airs October 31)

DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD
(128) Katerina’s Costume/Dress up Day (airs October 31)
CURIOUS GEORGE
(313) Night of the Weiner Dog/Animal Trackers (airs October 30)

Grandparents Day! Free Subscription to Grand Magazine

September 6th, 2014

GRAND_20140910_hires_cover.jpgAttention all Grandparents!  Did you know, September 7th is National Grandparents Day?  It’s a day of recognition for the huge contribution grandparents make to the family and society. We urge you to celebrate the experience with KIDS FIRST! & GRAND Magazine.  GRAND is the magazine just for grandparents, with information and inspiration we need to get the most from this important life stage.

GRAND is a digital magazine…a real and “green” magazine delivered by email, and it’s absolutely free for you!  To mark their 10th Anniversary, GRAND is giving all KIDS FIRST!  supporters free subscriptions.  Really.  No credit card…no billing. Free!

Click Here to receive 12 bi-monthly issues packed with news you can use.  Be among the first to get the 10th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September featuring National Geographic marine explorer, Dr. Sylvia Earle.
Know someone else who loves being a GRANDparent?  Forward this now and let them in on the fun.

Deadline Extended for Endorsement and Film Festival Enries to July 15

June 25th, 2014

We have extended You have til July 15 to submit your films, DVDs, audio recordings, apps, TV shows and e-books for a KIDS FIRST! endorsement or for consideration in our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Don’t delay, do it today. The sooner you get it to us, the quicker you get your endorsement.

KIDS FIRST! has been supporting quality children’s media for 23 years and is the most highly respected media endorsement program in the country. Unlike an awards program which limits the number of winners, every title that meets our criteria and is approved by our kids’ juries receives an endorsement. Our base-line criteria includes:

NO gratuitous violence or abuse
NO inappropriate sexual behavior
NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
NO condescension toward children
NO replicable unsafe behavior

KIDS FIRST! Endorsed Titles Receive

  • The right to use the KIDS FIRST! endorsement seal and rating on all promotional and packaging materials..
  • A unique title landing page on the KIDS FIRST! website featuring reviews by our jurors, your trailer or sample clip, cover art and link to your website to purchase.
  • Consideration for a KIDS FIRST! Best Award
  • Coverage on the KIDS FIRST! Radio Show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions (100,000 lilsteners)
  • Promoted in KIDS FIRST! News (45,000 readers/mo)
  • Promoted on KIDS FIRST! Social media (450,000 reach)

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/

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