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The Newsstand - KIDS FIRST!® News 2006


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The Newsstand

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
What its children become, that will the community become.
--Suzanne La Follette

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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
August 1, 2006 Issue #8
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher

1. Letters from the Editor and President
2. Web Store Features
4. New Endorsements
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. Why the Famous Do Children's Films by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: from Dr. Toy and
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.

Beau Bridges, Actor and Father

Purgatory House- an interview with actress/producer Cindy Baer

Music in Your Movies


New: KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®

Become an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store

The 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 programs.

CQCM Newsletter Archive
2006 Jan 3 / Jan 18 / Feb 7 / Feb 21 / Mar 14/ Mar 28 / Apr 4 / Apr 25 / May 2/ May 16/ June 6 /June 27
July 4 / July 18
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.

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting up with other people who have a passion for children and quality film. This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Roebuck and Jim Hanks (see pictured on left with his wife). Both of these talented actors use their talent promoting decent film families can enjoy. In my article below, Roebuck and Hanks tell us what they look for in a script, and why are they are willing to act in independent films in spite of their celebrity status.

As I was working on this magazine, my children were watching a film we received last year (NAME OF FILM?) while judging the NAPPA awards. The film was all about bugs and slimy creatures. There is a terrific activity demonstrated in the film that I and sharing down below in the craft and activity section. Please let me know what to think of it.

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.

Christine Pollock, Editor

Dear Readers,

I promised in our last newsletter to tell you more about upcoming new releases that we learned about at the VSDA conference. Here are a few highlights:

First Look Media is releasing "Emmanuel's Gift," narrated by Oprah Winfrey. If you are born disabled in Ghana, West Africa, you are likely to be poisoned, or left to die by your family; and if you are not poisoned or left for dead, you're likely to be hidden away in a room; and if you're not hidden, you are destined to spend your lifetime begging on the streets. Of the twenty million people in Ghana, two million are disabled. This is the story of one disabled man whose mission - and purpose - is to change all that forever. We're looking forward to adding this to our Q4 festivals. Also from First Look is "BJ's Teddy Bear Club and Bible Stories."

GT Media, a Gaiam Company, is re-releasing their children's storybook collection in Spanish. Titles included are: "Pocahontas the Legend," "Jungle Book," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "Cinderella," "Aladdin," "Greatest Heroes & Legends of the Bible," and many more. For more information, go to

Questar has two important titles they're releasing for which Chairman, Albert J. Nader, is personally committed. They are "Kids in Danger: Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Help" and "Teens in Trouble: Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Help."

Tot-s-Doodle-Do is releasing three new titles just in time for back-to-school: "School," "Animals," and "Transportation." Each 30 minute program focuses on a particular theme involving things children see and know from every day life and engages them in a variety of activities that encourages fine and gross motor skills, communication and cognitive skills.

Humongous Entertainment, one of the leading interactive media producers, is bringing out a new Backyard Baseball 2007 featuring National League MVP Albert Puljos and other MLB superstars as kids. The fifth version of this best selling kid’s baseball video game, BB 2007 offers spectacular new graphics and environments, interactive backgrounds, older characters, and realistic gameplay. It's out to our jurors right now. We'll report back to you about it soon.

Until then, enjoy your summer.

Much love,

Ranny Levy
Founder and President, KIDS FIRST!®


Concerned 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.



Round the Campfire. Superior recording of a lovely voice with a lot of range. Folk songs have lots of heritage, texture and history. Imminently listen-able and sing-along-able. Perfect for music programs in Scouts, schools or churches or family singing in the car. Audio. 30 min.; $12.79; Age: 6-18. KT Music Productions, Inc.



The Big Space Shuttle. Explores the behind-the-scenes action at the space shuttle program, including the astronaut training, the crew roles, shuttle maintenance and orbital gravity experiments. DVD. 65 min.; $11.96; Age: 6-10. Little Mammoth Media.



Danger Rangers, Mission 547 The Safety Rules. Introducing The Danger Rangers brought to you by an Emmy & Oscar winning creative team headed by Howard Kazanjian (Star Wars). Empowering safety information is taught to children as they are entertained by the lovable animal superheroes' adventures, comedy and songs. DVD. 28 min.; $10.39; Age: 3-9. Educational Adventures.



Stories for Boys. Join the wild and funny adventures of Raven, the most powerful, and one might add, trickiest troublemaker of First Nations Folklore. You can also join Michael Michael Motorcycle and his young friends, Billy & Johnny, as he transforms their family garage into a dirtbike supershop' and takes them on the ride of their dreams. Raven Tales Productions and Monterey Media. DVD. 54 min.; $22.04; Age: 5-12.



Get Fit! Elementary Kids! Introduces the whole family to yoga. Kids stretch and strengthen their growing bodies, sharpen their minds and improve their balance and coordination. These are healthy habits with life long benefits. Master Eastwest, a playful martial artist, teaches kids the ethics of how to use karate and when not to use it. DVD. 90 min.; $28.70; Age: 3-8. Wai Lana Productions and Magic of Martial Arts Productions.



Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman. The first DVD in the Choose Your Own Adventure series, The Abominable Snowman follows three siblings on a quest to rescue their Uncle in the Himalayan region of Nepal. The DVD prompts the child on-screen every 3-7 minutes to make choices about which path to follow. DVD. 80 min.; $15.98; Age: 6-12. Lean Forward Media.



More New Endorsements can be found at

*** = Titles receiving the highest scores are given a three-star rating.
** = Titles that meet or exceed the criteria receive a two-star rating.
* = Titles that meet the baseline criteria but require some extra consideration on the part of the viewer receive a one-star rating.

Video/DVD-Ages 2-5

** Clifford: Growing up With Clifford. In these eight big episodes, Clifford the Big Red Dog learns what getting bigger is all about. Life lessons are more fun when you learn them with Clifford. Join these great-for-the-whole-family adventures, as Clifford and his friends get bigger and braver, learn about new grown-up responsibilities, and fantasize about being big red fire dogs. You'll learn that growing up with friends around definitely makes getting bigger better. Episodes Include: "Blanket Blues," "Dog for a Day," "Food for Thought," "Nothing to Fur but Fur Itself," "When I Grow Up," "Another Fine Mess," "Fishing Lessons," "Vaz Goes Down the Tubes." Adult Juror Comments: Kid Juror Comments: DVD. 90 min.; $13.49; Age: 2-5. LIONSGATE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT.

Video/DVD-Ages 5-10

** Shirley Temple: Captain January. An irrepressible orphan, Star (Shirley Temple), loves her somewhat unusual life in the loving care of the wonderful old keeper of a lighthouse (Guy Kibbee), until a mean truant officer (Sara Haden) begins a relentless campaign to have Star sent to a boarding school far away. Adult Juror Comments: Offers lessons on values, family interactions and problem-solving. The social generalizations lack cultural or gender sensitivity, and the characters' argumentative and name-calling would be considered inappropriate by today's kids' media standards. Great classic piece that deserves a look. Kid Juror Comments: Most kids thought the sea captain "baby" scene was funny. Younger ones found the story too complex to follow. Everyone was wowed by Shirley Temple. They had never seen her before. DVD. 78 min.; $14.98; Age: 5-10. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT.


For a complete list of all Festival titles currently being shown, visit our website.

Max & Ruby: Afternoons with Max & Ruby. L. 98 min.
Join Max & Ruby for afternoons of fun and adventure! Includes two bonus episodes with three mini-episodes in each: "Ruby's Hiccups, The Big Picture, Ruby's Stage Show" and "Ruby's Piano Practice, Max's Bath, Max's Bedtime." Age: 2-5. Paramount Home Entertainment.



Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Jay Jay's Sensational Mystery. L. 70 min.
Follows the exciting adventures of a perky and curious six-year-old jet plane, Jay Jay, and his airplane friends. They live and play at Tarrytown Airport, a place where imagination takes flight! Each Jay Jay episode includes valuable life lessons for young children. They learn important lessons about cooperation, teamwork, responsibility and science and nature. Age: 2-6. Paramount Home Entertainment.




The Wiggles: Wiggledancing (Live in the USA). L. 50 min.
Each year, The Wiggles perform to sold-out crowds on their USA tour, with shows in Los Angeles, New York and cities in between! Now, bring the magic of the live show to your living room with Wiggle Dancing, filmed in High Definition at Connecticut's Chevrolet Theater! Age: 2-5. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.


Dora the Explorer: We're a Team. L. 99 min.
Focuses on teamwork and sports. The first main episode taking Dora and friends through an obstacle course and in the second we join Dora and Boots for a baseball game. Includes the premiere episode of "We're A Team," the episode, "Baseball Boots" and two bonus episodes. Age: 2-5. Paramount Home Entertainment.




Berenstain Bears: Discover School. L. 89 min.
With the help of teachers, friends, Ma, Pa and Grandma, Sister and Brother are learning that school is an exciting discovery! While attending gym or an art class, working on a class project, doing math homework or playing in school sports, Sister and Brother are finding it rewarding to see their hard work pay off and fun to participate in school. Age: 2-5. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.



Alice in Wonderland
. L. 192 min.
One of the greatest childhood fantasies ever is captured in Irwin Allen's colorful, all-star production adapted from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Steve Allen wrote the jolly, witty songs and more than a dozen Hollywood stars join in the wondrous fun. Age: 5-12. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


Please welcome these new or renewing members and visit their web sites.

CleverShow Corporation produces entertaining educational music based CDs and DVDs that promote English Language Learning for children primarily from 3 to 8 but also applicable to older ages - including young adults. Our products are branded under the Jazzles, JazzleVision and JazzleOke brands and sell domestically and
internationally. Our latest product, Jazzles Clever Cartoons, is to be aired nationally across China to develop children's English Language skills.

Meet the Orchestra First Instruments is a new children's educational series. Each episode of Tot-a-Doodle-Do! focuses on a theme and contains six elements not currently found in one 30-minute children's program. Follow-along with us as we entertain and guide your child to use the skills they need in their everyday life such as proper manners, how to prepare nutritious snacks, use their imagination and get their daily exercise through singing and dancing. Geared to children age 3-7.

The OrganWise Guys, Inc.

TOON Studios. The animators and artists of our company have graciously donated their time to produce a series of hand drawn animated cartoons to keep children safe. This series deals with subjects such as fire safety, internet safety, abduction, obesity, childhood allergies and much more. The cast of animated characters are adorable. All films are designed for Pre-School through grade 5.


Classic Scholastic DVD Debuts August 29
One of the most exciting and memorable stories in the history of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center is that of Philippe Petit, a French man who walked a tightrope between the massive monuments in 1974. The amazing story of his daring feat is the title tale on a brand-new release: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers…and More Inspiring Tales. Narrated by recent Oscar® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, the magnificent collection of award-winning adaptations will be available Aofugust 29 from the Scholastic Video Collection.


Animated Programming Online for Kids
The broadband content service ReelTime Rentals is launching an online service specifically for children, delivering live-action and animated programming and targeting kids of all ages, from preschoolers to teens.

Confronting Childhood Obesity and "Advergames"
The Kaiser Family Foundation's report did not pass judgment on such online "advergames." But at a forum Wednesday, it did lead to a confrontation on the food industry's role in childhood obesity

Why the Famous Do Children's Films by Christine L. Pollock

Fame sells. It's a fact that can't be disputed. But when the famous are in demand for big budget films, how do you get them interested in independent film? What do they look for in film for their family, and what does it take to have a celebrity become interested in your script? According to Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Agent Cody Banks, Malcolm in the Middle, Who Stole Santa's Sack and more) and Jim Hanks (Polar Express, Purgatory House, Toy Story Racer, and much more), it might be easier than you think.

Both actors agree the magic is in the script. According to Hanks, "A good story is going to attract talent. If you get the right people interested in the project, producers are more likely to invest in a higher budget." When it comes to film for children, both Hanks and Roebuck find that a good moral message entices them. Hanks was attracted to Purgatory House because he liked what he read. He was intrigued by the story and the fact it was written by a 14-year-old girl. As Hanks humorously puts it, "I'm always attracted to the story first and the fact that I've been hired second." Hanks is also a firm believer that a children's film must also entertain the parents. "Otherwise, who's going to take the kids to the theater?" He asks.

Roebuck's inspiration for acting in children's film comes from his own two children, Buster (8) and Grace (10). He is dismayed with the messages promoted by most visual media; messages that promote sexuality, violence, and an idea that "self preservation is more important than self-sacrifice." Roebuck enjoys his job as an actor because he can do something to provide quality media for the children. Currently, he is working with Jay Leno and Andy Griffith as voices for a film which will debut later this year. Tentatively titled Who Stole Santa's Sack, this animated film defies modern trends by promoting a message of taking care of each other against the odds. The musical animated tale follows the exciting journey of a young orphan girl, Sophiana, and her unlikely band of adventurers as they help recover Santa's magical sack. Throughout her pursuit for the elusive sack, Sophiana teams up with a feisty elf, an ambitious young reindeer, and a fox and polar bear duo. In the tradition of The Wizard of Oz, the young heroine and her allies each discover their potential for compassion, loyalty and the importance of never losing hope. Look for this film in theaters during the 2006 holiday season.

Just as we at KIDS FIRST!® work with producers to provide high quality film for children, Roebuck encourages viewers and producers to go a step further and create a demand for these films. As he puts it, "If people don't support film with traditional values, they could easily become obsolete." Hanks, the father of a 15-year-old son, summarizes his thoughts with the statement that he appreciates organizations such as KIDS FIRST!®, because, "It's certainly nice to have folks like yourself holding the industry accountable for producing material suitable for kids."


Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy Smart Play /Smart Toys (

Summer Heat - During the summer it is important to find time for balance in outdoor and active play and indoors resting and cooling off. This is a good time to have enjoyable entertainment that allows the child to relax, laugh or watch a drama. Summertime heat is a great time to take to enjoy videos, music, books and creative activities. A fun KIDS FIRST!® title for learning about insects is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Activity - Bug Picnic

Materials: an old white pillowcase wound or similar material, peanut butter, jelly, bread crumbs, magnifying glass, books on bugs

For instructions, go to craft page.

KIDS 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 here.

Other Events:

August 15, 2006. Deadline. Call for Submissions: Current TV, in partnership with the Third Millennium Foundation, launches Seeds of Tolerance initiative encouraging viewers to submit short videos that tell a story of tolerance. The grand prize is $100,000. Guest judges for the summer-long contest are Paul Haggis, Edward Norton, Melissa Etheridge and Margaret Cho, plus others. Submissions can be accepted at Current's web site at

September 11 & 12, 2006. Orlando, FL. Gina D's Reading Across America Program. Four Special School Performances at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Reserve Your Seats Now! $5 per child/person. Call Diana at 407-260-2773 for more information.

September 27-October 1, 2006 The Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton, Tucson, AZ. The 28th National Media Market. The National Media Market presents an exceptional opportunity for media professionals who purchase for public libraries, universities, media/technology centers and educational broadcasting to screen the newest and best quality motion media from 55 prominent producers and distributors. Professional Development sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions further enhance the Market experience.

October 27-28 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 children’s health and well-being and what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus on marketing in schools."

November 19-24 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 More.


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.

For Homeschoolers
The Old Schoolhouse is the must have magazine for homeschoolers and right now they are offering a deal that is hard to pass up. With your 2- year subscription you will get approximately $300 in FREE homeschool materials - 19 complete gifts - and FREE shipping. Click here or call TOS at 1-888-718-HOME. The Old Schoolhouse is the magazine for homeschoolers. Please call today as gift inventory is limited to the first 5000 new subscribers.

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: or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!®.

VISIT OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members by clicking here:


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This newsletter may be reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media,

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.

CQCM evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines, visit our website at, call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

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