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

Archive for the 'Events' Category


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

PBS KIDS will feature the broadcast premiere of the original Curious George movie, which will air as part of the CURIOUS GEORGE Holiday Spectacular on Wednesday, November 23. A three-movie on-air event that is sure to be a new family tradition, the Holiday Spectacular kicks off with Curious George, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore and Dick Van Dyke, as well as the music of Jack Johnson, followed by Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey and Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas. Encore presentations of the Holiday Spectacular will air on PBS KIDS throughout Thanksgiving weekend (check local listings).
“We’re excited to extend the fun and engagement of CURIOUS GEORGE, the #1 preschool series in the U.S.*, into this special holiday movie event,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS. “George has a natural curiosity and eagerness to learn, making him an ideal trusted guide for our young viewers. We hope that the CURIOUS GEORGE Holiday Spectacular will take families on even more adventures with their favorite monkey, fostering excitement in exploring the world around them.” CURIOUS GEORGE Holiday Spectacular Program Descriptions
Curious George Curious George follows everyone’s favorite spunky monkey as he sets off on a series of (mis)adventures. In the film, after the Man with the Yellow Hat accidentally brings back George from a business trip to Africa, the unlikely twosome embarks on a fun-filled journey through the big city, and ultimately finds their way to a lasting friendship. Featuring gorgeous and old-fashioned two-dimensional animation that echoes the simple colors and shapes of the books by Margret and H. A. Rey, Curious George includes voice talents Will Ferrell (as the Man with the Yellow Hat), Drew Barrymore, and Dick Van Dyke, as well as all-original music from Jack Johnson.Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey
In Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, the fun-filled sequel to the hit animated movie, Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat set out on a madcap cross-country adventure to reunite Kayla, a homesick elephant, with her family. This unlikely trio faces all types of comic calamities and colorful characters and in the end learns that with family, friends and determination you can achieve anything. Curious George 2 features the voices of Tim Curry, Matt Lauer, Jamie Kennedy and Jerry Lewis.

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
In A Very Monkey Christmas, Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There’s only one dilemma – neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present! In the end, both gift-giving predicaments are simply and beautifully resolved, revealing the true spirit of the holiday season.

Tips for Creating Family Traditions

PBS encourages families to take part in traditions new and old. PBS Parents provides additional ideas to create meaningful traditions for the family such as:
1) Write an annual letter to your child. The holidays are an appropriate time to mark your child’s growth with a special message that will be cherished for a lifetime. Seal letters and store them in a keepsake box until they are old enough to read and enjoy them.
2) Do a Secret Santa gift exchange for charity. Turn the tables this year. Instead of buying a present, make a donation or spend time volunteering for a charity of the giftee’s choice.
3) Make a family walk an annual event. Walking is a great way to spend time with each other, and work off those extra gingerbread cookies! Set aside time — even if it’s 30 minutes — to get outside and stretch your legs with the family.
4) Leave a legacy that lasts (and helps the environment). Each New Year’s Day, plant a tree in honor of your child(ren). Hold a special ceremony in which everyone in the family plays a part in planting that year’s tree, and take lots of pictures, both when the tree is planted and over the years as it grows.
5) Take part in a community service project as a family. Designate a day that will be devoted to serving others in your community.
6) Select a recipe and make it a tradition to make it together as a family, giving each family member a task in preparing it. In honor of the CURIOUS GEORGE Holiday Spectacular, make monkey bread or a banana dessert.
More details and ideas can be found on PBS Parents.

FOODPLAY at Whole Foods, Santa Fe, April 23rd

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Foodplay.jpgWe wanted to remind you that this Saturday, April 23rd, my friend Barbara Storper’s company Foodplay Productions will be presenting a free performance of FOODPLAY for kids and families at 2pm at the Whole Foods Market in Santa Fe (corner of St. Francis Drive and Cordova Street). Their motto: Turning Kids on to Healthy Habits!
Please see invite here: http://www.foodplay.com/downloads/pdf/WholeFoodsFlyer.pdf
Note: Seats are extremely limited, please get to the show early!   
Hope to see you there!

PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest Names 12 National Winners

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Twelve children have been selected as winners of the national PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, an initiative designed to promote the advancement of reading skills by encouraging children to develop original stories and illustrations.  The winning entries (first, second and third place from grades K-3)  for the national-local Contest were chosen from over 25,000 submissions from across the country by a panel of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and content experts including Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-sitters Club® series; R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps® series; Marc Brown, creator of Arthur; Tony DiTerlizzi, creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles; and Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company, among others.  A complete list of the honorary judges can be viewed here .
The winning stories can be found on the Contest website, located on ReadyToLearnReading.org, along with audio recordings of beloved PBS KIDS GO! characters from MARTHA SPEAKS, WORD GIRL, and THE ELECTRIC COMPANY reading the winning entries aloud.  The website also features interactive writing activities as well as a special message from singer-songwriter and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks about the influence of writing in her life.
The national winners include:
1st – Best Friends in Space, by Brooks Daniel/WHUT – Howard University, Washington, DC
2nd – Betsy’s Blue Feet, by Briar Ainscough/New Hampshire Public TV
3rd – The Ladybug Doesn’t Find Her Spots, by Farah Isabella Novoa/KCTS, Seattle, WA
First Grade
1st – Naughty Gnomes, by Meriah Nicole Fearon/WTVP 47, Peoria, IL
2nd – How to Get Rid of the Shy Bugs, by André F. Gomes Lopez/WXEL – West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, FL
3rd – My Next-Door Neighbors, by Evan Kerr/HoustonPBS, TX
Second Grade
1st – The Forgotten Shadows, by Michaela Stell/WHUT – Howard University, Washington, DC
2nd – My Angel Wings, by Filumena Muro/Milwaukee Public Television
3rd – The Cat Who Went to Israel by Mistake, by Jordan Sara Barbour/Vermont Public Television
Third Grade
1st – The Secret Ingredient, by Tatiana Ortiz/KEDT, Corpus Cristi, TX
2nd – DESK: A Totally True Tale of Terror, by Ethan Hansen/Milwaukee Public Television
3rd – The Adventures of Sniffy, Pete and Drono, by Quinn Kribell/South Dakota Public Broadcasting
“We are proud that through our partnership with PBS KIDS GO! and PBS stations around the country, we are able to celebrate the success of all of the Contest winners and participants as they explore the importance of literacy and creativity,” said WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell.
The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is a part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative which uses the power of public media to build the reading skills of children ages two to eight, with an emphasis on children from low-income families.  The effort is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS and The Ready To Learn Partnership. 

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue – Advance Screenings August 21 & 22

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

For a list of venues and dates, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/filmfestival/TinkerBellScreening.htm

ARRIVE EARLY. Theatre is overbooked to ensure capacity. Seating is on a first com, first seated basis.

PRINT OUT THE TICKET. No one will be admitted without a ticket or after the screening begins.



The Secret of Moonacre – One Day Theatrical Screenings, Thurs. Aug 12

Monday, August 9th, 2010

One of the official KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Search titles, The Secret of Moonacre, will screen in up to 150 theaters nationwide this Thursday, August 12. A list of theaters can be found here: http://www.screenvision.com/s/showing/SecretOfMoonacre/

SYNOPSIS: After being orphaned, young Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards must leave her luxurious home and live with her eccentric uncle Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd) at the mysterious Moonacre Manor. There, she discovers a magical moonlit world torn apart by an ancient feud and inhabited by outlandish characters and mythical beasts. Now, Maria must unearth the secrets of her past in order to fulfill her destiny… all before the 5000th moon rises and Moonacre Manor disappears into the sea forever.

Length: 103 minutes; Recommended for Ages: 8-12; Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, Natascha Mcelhone, Juliet Stevenson, and Dakota Blue Richards

For more details and a discussion guide, go here.

Win a visit to the set of The Help – a new DreamWorks’ film shooting this summer

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Would you like to visit the set of the upcoming film THE HELP, and meet the all star cast?
Here’s your chance!
Enter the contest, hosted by iVillage, and encourage others to do the same. We hope to see you on set! T

o Enter: http://the-help-ivillage-community.fotobabble.com/  

For Official Rules: http://www.ivillage.com/official-rules-help/1-a-218422  

ABOUT THE PROJECT: The Help has captivated readers and become one of the most talked-about books in years is coming to the big screen. DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media and Touchstone Pictures are excited to share Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling debut novel with you.  Published over a year ago, and propelled by passionate word of mouth, The Help spent the summer of 2009 circulating on everyone’s “Summer Must Read” lists. It continues to sit on The New York Times’ best-sellers list, where it has remained for 60 straight weeks. DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider and Holly Bario were early fans of the book and jumped on board after the project was acquired by 1492 Pictures. Participant Media recently joined the film and we all couldn’t be more thrilled to bring The Help to life on the big screen, especially for the book’s enthusiastic fan base. 

SYNOPSIS: The Help is a provocative and inspiring look at what happens when a southern town’s unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three courageous women who strike up an unlikely friendship. Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, the film features Skeeter, a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives—and a small Mississippi town—upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up—to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories—and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges—but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly—and unwillingly—caught up in the changing times. 

ABOUT THE CAST: Headlining the cast are newcomer Emma Stone (from last year’s breakout hit “Zombieland”) as Skeeter and two-time Tony® winner and recent Oscar® nominee Viola Davis (“Eat Pray Love”) as Aibileen. Joining them is Bryce Dallas Howard (“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) as Hilly, the Junior League President whose obsession with maintaining the social status quo pushes everyone to their breaking point. Octavia Spencer is headstrong Minnie, Aibileen’s hot-tempered best friend, whose blatant honesty is always getting her in trouble. Jessica Chastain is Celia, the outcast from the wrong side of the tracks who marries a man above her “station” and whose desperation to fit in with polite society hides a painful secret.  Tate Taylor, a childhood friend of the author’s, is directing the film from a script he wrote. Brunson Green is producing along with 1492’s Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan. The film’s executive producers are Tate Taylor, Mark Radcliffe, Dean Jones, Nate Berkus, Jennifer Blum, Jeff Skoll and Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei.  

Filming begins this summer in Greenwood, Mississippi, and will be released in theaters in 2011 and YOU have the chance to visit the set of the movie and meet the all star cast! We’d love for you to enter the contest, hosted by iVillage, and encourage your readers to do the same. We hope to see you on set!

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