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

Two Great DVDs About Animals - Runaway Ralph and Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Runaway Ralph, based on the classic books, couldn’t be cuter. This version, releases by New Video hits the shelves this week and is a sure winner with your school-aged kids. I know my grandson loves this.

Runaway Ralph. Ralph and his motorcycle have entertained kids for decades, and this video delivers something your entire family can enjoy together. Ralph, a young mouse, decides that he’s going to run away from the hotel his family lives in so he sets out on his toy motorcycle and ends out in a camp where he meets Garf. Things aren’t so great when a mean cat appears in the picture. As Garf and Ralph bond and try to deal with the cat they learn about teamwork, friendship and also come to realize that home might not be such a bad place after all. Our youth viewers loved this “because the mouse thought he could do anything then he saw a car and fell on his motorcycle and was almost eaten by a cat.” They thought the mouse and cat looked fake but they still liked the story. They loved Ralph who they thought was tricky. Starring young Fred Savage, Summer Phoenix, Sara Gilbert, Kellie Martin, Mark Hamill and Nichelle Nichols, “Runaway Ralph” is a delight for all ages. DVD. 60 min.;  Ages 5-8. New Video Group.

Also coming out this week is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. This film reaches into the deepest sentiment of your heart. The American remake of “Hachiko Monogatari” (1987) tells a story inspired by the true story Hachiko, an Akita dog who lived from 1923-1935. The tale is simple, demonstrating love in its many forms. We see the love between a long term marriage, love between a daughter and father, love between master and dog, love between dog and daughter and ultimately, the love between dog and town. Be prepared with some tissues because this is a true tear-jerker. Cate (Joan Allen) and Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) connect with viewers in their realistic portrayal of marriage. Cate isn’t happy when Parker brings a stray dog home one day, and Parker attempts to find the Akita a new home out of respect for Cate. Because of their love for each other, they find a solution for the dog dilemma, which turns into a blessing in the long run. This is not Hollywood fiction, it is based on a true story that resonates on a different level. It is an extremely well-produced story with brilliant cinematography that will touch every dog-lover’s soul. One of our student viewers commented, “It you didn’t like “Marley and Me,” you might find this too sad. My favorite part was when the person said Hachi would never learn to play catch with anyone, and the man taught him how to play catch. DVD. 93 min.; Ages 12-18. Sony Pictures.
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