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

Archive for July, 2008

Superstar Athlete Vince Carter Stars in Sesame Street’s Count on Sports

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Sesame Street invites toddlers and preschoolers to get their thinking game on in Sesame Street: Count On Sports, arriving on DVD July 22nd from Genius Products and Sesame Workshop. Integrating essential concepts into each of the memorable sports segments, this math-tastic presentation is full of numbers, shapes and spatial relations such as short/tall, over/under and forward/backward. With Ernie reporting from ESSN – Ernie’s Sports Show News (a parody of ESPN’s “Sport’s Center”) – tiny tikes won’t miss a moment of the DVD’s amazing athletic adventures such as The Count racing in the Transylvania 300; Prairie Dawn flipping for Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes; Grover shooting hoops with New Jersey Nets basketball star Vince Carter and Elmo serving up a game of imaginary tennis with champion Venus Williams. Includes 

New York Jets players Ben Graham, Laveranues Coles, Chad Pennington, and coach Eric Mangini telling Sesame Street’s Elmo about the importance of practice while teaching him a few things about football.

The Big Green – with LeBron James

Sunday, July 13th, 2008
NBA star LeBron James teams with Nickelodeon’s The Big Green Help campaign this summer in a new online mini-game, LeBron James: Worldwide Big Green Bike-a-thon! The game asks players to help the bike-riding James (an avatar version of him at any rate) deliver green tips around the world to earn points and make their way to the next level. Available at http://www.biggreenhelp.com/ , the game will also be featured in public service announcements airing on the network this summer.
The Big Green Help is a reality television series, which airs on Nickelodeon. The program shows how kids can find a way to take care of the Earth and make it a better place to live on.

The show premieres on Nickelodeon on April 22, 2008, on the same day as Earth Day. The show focuses on how the world can be a better place to live on by recycling and reusing recyclables. Kids can get information about the show and/or sign up to participate at the show’s website. In addition, Kids can upload and send in their videos on how to help the environment.

Stated at the 2008 Kids’ Choice Awards, Cameron Diaz wants the kids to make the world a better place to live on. Diaz informs the kids that they will change the future of the Earth, so it can be a better place to live on. Diaz is taken part of helping the environment to make it a better place for the kids to live on.

Some sample issues are:
Big Green Help Theme #1: Grow It Green

What Your Family Can Do:

Make friends with your environment by spending time outside with your child. Help her take photos of the things you each find interesting, and then look at the pictures together and discuss them.

What to Say to Kids:

What kinds of animals do you think could live in these places? What kinds of plants?

It’s a good idea to keep these outside places clean so they will be safe and comfortable for plants and animals to live and grow.

What Your Family Can Do:

Visit an aquarium, wildlife preserve, or zoo in your area and make a point of checking out the environmentally themed exhibits with your child.

What to Say to Kids:

The people who take care of wild animals have to know everything about what they need in order to live. What kinds of things do you think different animals need?

Why do people care about making sure places like forests or ponds stay clean?

What Your Family Can Do:

Take a walk around the neighborhood with your child and collect fallen leaves and flowers that you can identify when you get home with the use of field guides or online resources. (Remind your child not to touch plants without your or another adult’s permission.)

What to Say to Kids:

Do you think these plants (or flowers or trees) were planted by people or grew wild?

Plants and trees in the neighborhood are pretty, and some can be shady in summer. Which ones do you think are pretty? Do you think any birds, animals, or bugs eat the plants and leaves? Do you think any of them might be used for a home?

What Your Family Can Do:

Does your child have a favorite vegetable or flower? Create a special garden patch either outside or on a windowsill where you can plan a small garden for your child to tend. This is an opportunity to talk about the needs of growing plants and observe the growing process.

What to Say to Kids:

We care for our flower garden just like we try to care for the world around us, everywhere.

You water your plants because they must have water in order to live and grow. What do we drink?

What Your Family Can Do:

As a family you can find Earth Day activities to participate in, such as park clean-ups and tree and flower bulb plantings.

What to Say to Kids:

We’re helping keep the park clean so everyone can enjoy it.

We’re planting bulbs so in the spring there will be flowers growing here.

Ask kids how they think planting a tree helps the earth. Preschoolers can come up with their own answers, and you can suggest others, such as: trees are homes for birds and other animals; trees give us shade in the summer; people use trees to make things like paper, so it’s good to plant new trees to replace the ones we use.

If Your Child Asks: Why are we helping to clean the park?

You Can Answer: We’re helping keep the park clean so everyone can enjoy it.

If Your Child Asks: Why is it good to plant trees and other things?

You Can Answer: Trees are homes for birds and other animals, and trees give us shade. Flowers and plants are pretty and help keep the air clean.

For more ideas, go to http://www.nickjr.com/parenting/parenting_features/big-green-help/big-green-talk/earth-day-family-guide.jhtml

VeggieTales: Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry’s Big River Rescue Coming July 12

Thursday, July 10th, 2008
Similar to the characters in the book, “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, Veggie Tales brings you meet Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry – two friends homesteading along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.  Tom and Huck look forward to owning their own land, building a home and opening Huck’s Jerkyland and Tom’s Tax Preparation. But everything changes when they meet a mysterious stranger who is on the run and trying to find his mama. Will Huck and Tom risk losing all they’ve worked for in order to help someone they hardly know? Find out in this exciting river rescue that reminds kids of the importance of helping others.

Great Kids Titles Releasing in July on DVD

Monday, July 7th, 2008
Releasing July 1 is “Dear America: The Royal Diaries” from Genius Products, produced by Scholastic. Her’s a tale that revolves around the tru life stories of three real princesses – Cleopatra, Isabel and Elizabeth I. Have you ever wondered what life is like for a real, live princess? This film gives you some insight into the adventures, struggles and responsibilities of being part of a royal family while still being true to yourself. For late elementary and middle schoolers.
Lionsgate and Hit Entertainment will release Fireman Sam: To the Rescue on DVD July 1, 2008. The title includes five episodes of the series. The Fireman Sam series made it original launch in the UK, and subsequently premiere in the US on PBS Kids Sprout in fall 2006, where the series continues to air daily.
More meddling kids coming our way this summer as Warner Home Video lets go of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! Volume 2, on DVD July 8, 2008. The release features 4×22 episodes of the TV series Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue, which airs on Kids’ WB on the CW.
Allumination Releases Bamboo Bears: Forest Adventure on July 8 with stories about three friends who are on a mission to save the planet, one endangered species at a time. For preschoolers.
Meet Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry – two friends homesteading along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River whose names are reminscent of two young boys from literature that you may be familiar with. Tom & Huck look forward to owning their own land, building a home and opening Huck’s Jerkey Land and Tom’s Tax Service. But everything changes when they meet a mysterious stranger who is on the run and trying to find his mama. From Veggie Tales on July 15, perfect for early elementary students. Veggie Tales: Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry’s Big River from Genius Products.
July 22 offers up ESSN – Ernie’s Sports Show News! All your favorite Sesame Street friends are at the top of their game. Join The Count as he plays golf and races a car in the Transylvania 300. Watch Prairie Dawn as she shows off her soccer skills and then joins Dominique Dawes for a little gymnastics. Then, don’t miss Grover and Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets explaining “short” and “tall.” And who but Elmo could beat Venus Williams at a game of imaginary tennis? For preschoolers from Genius Products.
The end of July brings Berenstain Bears: Family and Friendship from Sony. Take a trip deep into bear country to discover where bad dreams come from and how giving is the other end of receiving. Share the cool lessons learned from new neighbors, and why growing up should take it’s own sweet time. Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister invite you to share the bonds of family and friendship in these lively everyday adventures with the Berenstain Bears. Perfect for preschoolers.

“Buddha Wild Monk in a Hut” Playing at the Santa Fe Film Center July 6, 8 and 10

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

This stunning film, an official KIDS FIRST! Film Festival selection will be playing at the Santa Fe Film Center (Santa Fe, NM) beginning the Fourth of July weekend. Directed and Narrated by Anna Wilding who commented, “My film is a joyous and an apolitical film. However, I hope that with the film screening now, people will gain a greater insight and understanding into the lives of monks throughout Asia and the rest of the world, many of whom are going through a difficult and turbulent time right now.”

Ms Wilding cited Sri Lanka, Tibet and Myanmar as regions where there has been much recent civil unrest and injustice to Buddhist monks — places where “there could be peace.” Ms Wilding added that what is also of import, but a matter that does not appear to be discussed or bought up in negotiations, is the history of Buddhism and its various branches and how they were formed within countries. Ms Wilding says that perhaps it is now time for the Buddhist monastic community to pull together and support each other as one, and also look at issues within their own communities.

Anna Wilding spoke on an industry panel at the American Pavillion in Cannes 2008 on the topic “Can you be green and proper in show business.” While there she also met with monks direct from Myanmar who were holding press junkets. Ms Wilding’s film features monks from Thailand and Sri Lanka.

“Buddha Wild Monk in a Hut” was shot partly in New Zealand on a remote monastery and produced by Carpe Diem Films LLC. Wilding worked with Emmy Award winning composer Charles David Denler on the music. The “inspiring and fascinating” film was selected into the Kids FIRST Film Festival, selected for the International Festival of Films on Tribal Art and Cultures held in India-IFFTAC, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Screening Series, the Calgary Buddhist film series and cinemas in Los Angeles and New Zealand.

“Buddha Wild” has been called “beautiful” by Moving Pictures Magazine 2008, and “a must see film” by Splash Magazine 2008. It garnered critics pick in LA Weekly Magazine 2007, and Union Jack Newspapers said, “Anna Wilding Captures Our attention.” Moonrise Movies Magazine in Canada said it was “delightfully sweet and accurate.”

Ms Wilding combined with Rialto Cinemas Australia to give the proceeds from the first public rough cut screenings to the Tsunami Relief Appeal in Thailand. The film has been welcomed at temples in the USA and elsewhere. The film is in early limited release stages.
“Unpretentious,” providing an “affectionate glimpse” and a well-judged mixture of “seriousness and humor” into the cultural and monastic lives of missionary monks, the film explores the tenets of Buddhism, celibacy, politics, the role of women in Asian society and the day-to-day lives of Theravadin monks.

“Buddha Wild” has the tag line “Wild to be one with Nature.” Ms. Wilding’s career spans over a decade in Hollywood, UK and Australia as writer, actress, producer and director. In 2007 Ms Wilding was thanked through her lawyers in New York for her humanitarian work on all three Lord of the Rings movies by Mark Ordesky, former CEO of New Line. http://www.buddhawild.com/ and http://www.amazon.com/ Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzF9ZcV6ccc

To Book Anna Wilding as speaker go to http://www.buddhawild.com/

Nick News Celebrates Military Families July 4th Weekend

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Nickelodeon celebrates military families July 4th weekend with the debut of the Nick News with Linda Ellerbee special episode, Coming Home: When Parents Return from War, Sunday, July 6 at 9 pm. The episode features kids whose parents have been deployed and discuss what life might be like when the return, will kids expectations meet with the reality of a mom and/or dad’s return home. Additionally, the show also features kids who have lost a parent in war.

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