to the KIDS FIRST!® Home
Pollock, Newsletter Editor
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
By making it common for our youngest children to see
everywhere a balance of active and complex male and female
characters, girls and boys will grow up to empathize with
and care more about each others' stories. - Geena Davis
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
September 19, 2006 Issue #9b
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. The Female Role in Film by Christine
11. Crafts and Activities: History
Through Media by Dr. Toy and Characters in Costume
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is
granted with complete attribution.
Classroom Clips and Give Me a Little Sign - Interview with
Maya & Miguel creator, Deborah Forte
the Famous Do Children's Films - Interviews with Daniel
Roebuck and Jim Hanks
KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®
an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store
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
2006 Jan 3 / Jan
18 / Feb 7 / Feb
21 / Mar 14/ Mar
28 / Apr 4 / Apr
25 / May 2/ May
16/ June 6 /June
July 4 / July
18 / Aug 1 / Aug
15 / Sept 5
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.
I have a confession
to make. For this issue we planned on highlighting girls' role in
media. As a mother of three boys, I am constantly aware of the negative
portrayal of males in media, and I thought I would have a hard time
seeing the female's side. However, when I started reading the reports,
I understood how important it was to address this issue. It's not
about feminism. It's not about man-power. It's about equality and
abolishing stereotypes. I encourage all you producers to not only
read the article below, but to also check out the links and see
what you can do in your productions to balance human portrayal in
young children's film. Parents and educators, I challenge you to
develop an awareness of this issue and take the steps to combat
it. I know we will start seeing things differently in our household.
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.
As I mentioned
last week, the Coalition bestows its coveted KIDS FIRST!® Best
Awards to films that excel in their categoy, as well as five Best
of the Fest Awards to honor the top five films played during the
past year's festivals. You may find a revised list of nominees on
our press page, with some minor corrections to the previously
Again, I want to invite all our readers in the LA area to the KIDS
FIRST!® Best Day at the Los
Angeles International Children's Film Festival. Beginning at
11:30 a.m. we will screen some of our favorite pre-school titles
including Curious George; Roberto: The Insect Architect;
Things That Make Me Laugh, and Peep and the Big Wide World.
At 1:00 p.m., we're showing the new animated film, Me, Eloise,
starring Lynn Redgrave, Tim Curry, and Mary
Matilyn Mouser. Mary Matilyn Mouser will introduce the
film and talk with the kids afterward. The KIDS FIRST!® Awards
Ceremony will take place at 2:30 followed by a special screening
of the new film, Flicka.
Stay tuned for more details on this event, which will have a host
of presenters, costumed characters, and goodie bags for the kids
in the audience.
of you who are nowhere close to LA, please be sure to visit our
venue screenings page
to check on screenings in your area. You can also catch up on events
at our online press page.
and President, KIDS FIRST!®
KIDS FIRST!® JUROR
to our new graduate, Renee Sanchez!
"I'm the department coordinator of the Ector County Library.
I thought it would be great to learn a little more about the KIDS
FIRST!® organization and found out the benefits of being a KIDS
FIRST!® Juror. I feel it would be a great asset for the Ector
County Library and the children we serve. Thank you for giving me
JUROR TRAINING PROGRAM
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.
KIDS FIRST!® WEB STORE FEATURES
and Parent Nursery: Ages and Stages Playtime. Sections for both
parents and babies make this a valuable DVD for new parents. Stimulating
images and music keep infants entertained, and up-to-date advice
is given for parents who wish to maximize the potential in their
baby's early development. DVD. 100 min. ; $11.96; Age: Adult. Brightening
Baby Can Talk: First Signs. DVD. A series of videos that bridges
the gap between the time a baby can communicate with his or her
hands and the time a baby can speak. By giving parents and babies
the ability to communicate without words, these videos reduce frustration
and encourage rewarding interactions. DVD. 45 min. ; $15.96; Age:
infant -- 3. Baby Hands Productions.
Pro: Let's Play Ball. Features real-life sports imagery, inspiring
classical music and supportive voice-overs to create an engaging
introduction to active play. DVD. 35 min. ; $11.96; Age: 1-4. Babypro,
Come to Life for PK. Includes: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and
Lots More Learning Fun; Good Night, Gorilla, And More Bedtime
Stories; Harry the Dirty Dog, and More Terrific Tales;
and Red Riding Hood, And More James Marshall Fairy Tale Favorites. DVD. 230 min. ; $38.27; Age: 2-5. Coalition for Quality Children's
Fit! for Preschoolers! Yoga Kids; Finger Plays with "Miss
Lori," Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe. DVD. 86 min. ; $28.75; Ages:
2-5. Coalition for Quality Children's Media.
Best Music for PK. Includes: Wai Lana's Little Yogis Daydream;
Secret Door; and Animal Groove. CD-Audio. 170 min. ;
$28.79 Age: 2-5. Coalition for Quality Children's Media.
Language for PK. Includes: Signing Time! Volumes 4, 5, &
6. DVD. 90 min. ; $39.99; Age: 2-5. Coalition for Quality Children's
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.
* Once Upon
a Toon. Blends cartooning, storytelling, animation, and a lovable
cast of characters to teach children about life, drawing, and their
world. Adult Juror Comments: Cute and goofy, fun format. It has
difficulty finding its
audience. At first glance, it's geared to preschoolers because of
the tone of the host and the animated story. On closer look, it's
better suited for older kids. It uses puns which are definitely
too advanced a concept for pre-K. The
character, Zip, is a stuffed bear with one eye, a zipper - definitely
weird and is sort of scary for little ones. Neither the animated
story nor the live action monologue are suitable for pre-K's. The
problem is that older kids will see the
presentation as suitable for younger ones. Kid Juror Comments: Kids
had mixed responses, and their participation was limited. Their
favorite parts were the drawing sections. Unfortunately, the directions
for drawing are so
fast-paced they don't allow complete participation. "I liked
the parts of it when he was drawing but it was only medium good
because it was confusing. " DVD. 29 min. ; Age: 5-8. Entertainment
Families of Canada. Join two children and their families
in Canada and experience similarities and differences. Visit their
classrooms, participate in their activities and enjoy the Canadian
Thanksgiving dinner. A part of highly acclaimed Families of the
World series. Adult Juror Comments: Good exploration showing
children living in another country - Canada. Though Canadians lifestyle
differs little from ours, there are differences in the lifestyles
of these two. For example, the family in Nova Scotia is in the fishing
business. The scenes of Toronto show a sophisticated, cosmopolitan
lifestyle and the nifty underground transportation system that allows
people to go about their business without going outside during inclement
weather. Kid Juror Comments: There are two children in the program.
It shows how each one spends their days with their family and at
school. When the kids in Toronto celebrated Thanksgiving, everyone
pitched it. Some parts I could relate to, and others I couldn't
because it was so different. "I loved seeing the lobsters,
snails, and other stuff in Nova Scotia. " "I'd like to
try the 'bug on the wall' thing. " "I should help out
more at home. " DVD. 30 min. ; $29.95; Age: 5-12. Master Communications.
FROM KIDS FIRST!® FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2006
For a complete list of all Festival titles currently
being shown, visit
Hop Harry: Grandma Brooks.
L. 22 min. Inspired by Kiana's Grandma Brooks' stories about Carnival
in her native country of Trinidad, the kids use their imagination
to create their own Hip Hop Center Carnival! When Grandma Brooks
arrives, the Carnival gets into full swing which includes a steel
pan drummer and a stilt walker. As all the kids share special family
stories, they realize that the best way to learn about your personal
family history is to talk with your own family members. Ages 2-5.
Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler. L. 52 min.
Together, Sheerluck Holmes and Dr. Watson can solve any crime. But
when the valuable golden ruler goes missing, will Sheerluck remember
the all-important golden rule in time to rescue the ruler and save
his friendship? English and Spanish audio tracks. Ages 5-12. Big
Idea Productions, Inc.
Me Eloise. L. 45 min. It is Eloise's sixth birthday and
she is determined to make it a special party. Along with planning
her big day, she is busy making friends with a new girl at the hotel
- a violin prodigy - Yuko. Of course, things don't go as planned
and Eloise almost misses her own party. Ages 5-8. Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Teddy Bear's Club and Bible Stories, Vol 1 & 2. L. 58 min. A stimulating and imaginative program designed to educate, entertain
and introduce one- to five-year-old children to colors, letters,
numbers, and the stories of the Bible. It gives young children an
early introduction to the Bible and makes learning about Bible stories
fun. Includes the story of creation and Noah and the Ark. Ages 2-5. First Look Home Entertainment.
& Friends: Stanley the Stinkbug. Stanley the Stinkbug is
new to the garden's Summer Camp this year, but he has a problem.
He stinks. When Stanley arrives at Camp Bug-a-Boo everyone tries
their best to put up with the unusual odor, but they don't do so
well until God shows them why He created everyone to have their
own special purposes. 60 min. Age: 2-5. Tommy Nelson, Inc.
Surf. Almost entirely shot in Oahu, showcases the leading groms
in the world of surfing including Clay Marzo, Granger Larsen, Albee
Layer, Tyler Newton, Kiron Jabour, Evan Geiselman, Bethany Hamilton,
Alana Blanchard and more. Fantastic background music by North Coast
Underground, Alien Crime Syndicate, Commonwealth, Summerjack, and
The Eines. 36 min. ; Age: 8-18. El Porto Productions.
AND RENEWING MEMBERS
Please welcome these new or renewing members
and visit their web sites.
Image, Inc. Clever Image does design, production and content
development for all screens: television, feature films, new media,
interactive advertising, pilot programming and location-based entertainment.
Juan and Miguel, as Blind Dog Entertainment, utilize the
musical and creative talents of the unique Renaissance festival
arts community to develop and bring to the public a full spectrum
of original family friendly CDs and DVDS. With two award-winning
films under their belts (The Lost Princess and El Gusano)
they continue to develop unique and fun material. Their latest project
includes "The Adventures of Don Juan and Miguel"
- a TV mini-series and the development of a Saturday morning cartoon
series based upon the wacky and whimsical world of Don Juan and
Miguelâ. They also offer musical and comedy audio CD selections
from some of the finest entertainers on their circuit.
the Fun Productions. Find the Fun Productions and American
History for Kids employs research-proven teaching methods to make
U.S. history about the Civil War, the American Revolution, 13 Colonies,
and the US Constitution come alive in interactive media, music,
and DVDs. They are also dedicated to the realities that teachers
face in the classroom and the challenges parents face at home, which
is why they provide unique interactive techniques and curriculum
for both teachers and families.
Into Scholastic Titles
This fall, families will really dig, the two exciting
new DVD releases in the Scholastic Video Collection! Steam
engines snort, garbage trucks rumble about and fire trucks scream
through the streets saving lives in the big rig-filled stories contained
within Mike Mulligan and His Steam ShoveI
and More Stories
About Trucks. Complementing the action-packed fun, several spine-tingling,
though kid-friendly, tales will also be unearthed in Teeny-Tiny
and the Witch Woman. . .and More Creepy Tales, just in time to add
spooky-ooky fun to the Halloween season. Both classic collections,
filled with award-winning animated literary adaptations from the
Woods Studios, will be available on September 26, 2006.
Dancing from the Heart was shown in tandem with appearances
by central figures Andrew Garcia and his Tewa Dancers from the North,
along with producer-director Marilyn Hunt at the Living
Ritual: World Indigenous Dance Festival, held at York University
(Toronto), July 14-16.
The KIDS FIRST!® nominee for best feature for ages 12-18, 2006,
is now in national and international distribution, and can be rented
from Netflix, Blockbuster and Hollywood Videos, and bought on through
our KIDS FIRST!® web store.
at Seneca Falls
The creators of Heroic Girlz are invited to show their film
at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Women's Rights Convention
National Park on Saturday, Nov. 4th in Seneca Falls, NY.
Study from See Jane
G-Rated Job Market: Occupational Aspirations for Girls and Boys
in Childrens Films. Researchers from the Annenberg School
for Communication at the University of Southern California (USC)
studied the 101 top-grossing G-rated films released from 1990 through
2004, analyzing a total of 4,249 speaking characters in both animated
and live-action films. The Grated Job Market is the
third report in a series drawing on this research.
Inc. Enters Agreement With PorchLight Entertainment
PorchLight's family and kid's movies and TV programs, as well as
some content from its nonfiction and music division, will be offered
via ReelTime Rental's online broadband network, on a non-exclusive
basis. A number of the kid's properties initially offered on ReelTimeTV.net
will make their way to ReelTime Kids when the online kid's channel
is launched in 2007. ReelTime will launch www.reeltime.com
the second week of September.
Idea's VeggieTales, Launches on NBC Telemundo and the i Network
The Big Idea programming is coming to television as part of "qubo,"
a new children's programming venture from ION Media Networks, NBC
Universal, Scholastic, Classic Media/Big Idea and Corus Entertainment's
Nelvana. The Big Idea programming will premiere on NBC and Telemundo
on Saturday morning (September 9) and the i network on Friday afternoon
AND PARENTING NEWS
PBS Parents Offers Child Development Tracker
This allows parents to monitor and help their child's progress in
literacy, language, math and science, as well as social, emotional
and physical development. PBS Parents recently launched Spanish
language content on language and literacy, media literacy, math
and communicating with children in addition to resources on using
media as a spring board for family activities and engagement to
extend learning and experiences. In addition, PBS will analyze the
full data to develop additional resources over the next few years,
leveraging additional media platforms and working in partnership
with national experts and partners, local PBS stations, and PBS
educator services PBS TeacherSource
and PBS Teacherline.
The Female Role in Film by Christine L. Pollock
Award winner, Geena Davis, tells a story from when she was working
on the movie, Stuart Little. They were filming a scene where
there's a remote-controlled sailboat race on the pond in Central
Park. As children were arranged around the pond, an assistant handed
out all the boat remote controls to boys and arranged all the girls
behind the boys to watch them and cheer. Davis noticed this and
asked if half the remotes could be given to girls. The assistant
had no problem complying, he just hadn't thought about it. Davis'
desire for equal roles in children's film led her to found the project,
See Jane. See Jane is administered
by the respected national nonprofit organization, Dads
and Daughters. Davis hopes that, "By making it common for
our youngest children to see everywhere a balance of active and
complex male and female characters, girls and boys will grow up
to empathize with and care more about each others' stories. "
the Girls Aren't: Gender Disparity Saturates Grated Films, a
study from the See Jane program published earlier this year, highlights
some dilemmas professionals might want to address. "We were
surprised by the results of the research--we didn't expect the imbalance
to be so pronounced," exclaimed Nancy Gruver, executive director
of Dads & Daughters, as I questioned her about the See Jane
study. Where the Girls Aren't reveals a pronounced imbalance
in the representation of male and female characters in widely-viewed
Grated films. Key findings show that:
o In the 101
studied films, there are three male characters for every one female
o Fewer than
one out of three (28 percent) of the speaking characters (both real
and animated) are female.
o Fewer than
one in five (17 percent) of the characters in crowd scenes are female.
o More than
four out of five (83 percent) of the films' narrators are male.
the first report came out only 7 months ago, Dads and Daughters
has already received positive reception from members of the entertainment
industry. The Animation Guild is even holding a forum for members
to hear about their research and hear perspectives from panelists
in animation (on October 12). Professionals can find useful tips
KIDS FIRST!® members also focus on giving young women voice
in media. Reel Grrls, producers
of Unboxed, a KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival title, is a
media & technology training program that empowers girls to critique
media images and to gain media technology skills, mentored by a
network of multicultural women media professionals. The inter-generational
approach to mentoring young girls in media is also shown through
the powerful work of Heroic
Girlz Productions. They point out, "It's an observable
phenomena for girls in our current society to have strong 'voices'
-- until the age of 11 or 12. " Their film, KIDS FIRST!®
Film festival title, Heroic Girlz, won Best Kids Stage Play
at the 2005 Moondance Film Festival. It was originally written as
a one-act stage play by playwright and screenwriter, Cindy L. Parrish
with Thea Ezinga, Elon Michaud, Emma Parrish Post, and Devyn Yurko
(all age 11), and another heroic mom, Laura Yurko.
See Jane and
organizations such as Reel Grrls and Heroic Girlz Productions share
the KIDS FIRST!® mission of abolishing stereotypes and discrimination.
Gruver beautifully sums up our shared mission, "We are looking
to people in children's entertainment to lend their creative gifts
to changing the current imbalance and stereotypes. We don't think
this problem is the result of a conspiracy. Instead, we think this
concern just isn't on enough people's radar. We are working to get
it on the radar."
** From September
29th through October 22nd this year, KIDS FIRST! is proud to partner
Women's Museum to bring a continuous stream of quality media
that focuses on the interests and achievements of adolescent girls.
This year, The Women's Museum is introducing Texas Girls State
Fair at the Texas State Fair in Dallas and over 200,000 girls, schoolmates
and families will visit the Museum during this time. More information
can be found at
Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy
www.drtoy.com Smart Play /Smart
Through Media - Learning about history through dramatization
helps to understand the different periods of history, costumes and
traditions. Through the use of historic themed videos teachers and
parents can support children appreciate the changes that have taken
place over time. A great title is KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival
title, Heroic Girlz.
- Characters in Costume. Project idea is from the Heroic
rolls of paper, paintbrushes, paints, pencil, material (optional)
go to craft
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
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.
22. KIDS FIRST! joins The Women's Museum as they introduce the Texas
Girls State Fair at the Texas State Fair in Dallas where over
200,000 girls, schoolmates and families will visit the Museum. More
October 12. CA. The Animation Guild is holding a forum for members to hear about
their research and hear perspectives from panelists in animation.
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 childrens health and well-being and
what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus
on marketing in schools."
Seneca Falls, NY. Heroic
Girlz is playing at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of
the Women's Rights Convention National Park
2006. Lake Lily Park, 701 Lake Lily Drive Maitland, FL. Take a Day
to Play and enjoy carnival rides and games, Nickelodeon character
visits, and live childrens music. Hot Peas n Butter
and Justin Roberts, both of whom are featured on the NOGGINs
Jacks Big Music Show, will join local favorites on stage for
a six-hour concert. Admission to the concert is FREE, and tickets
for the carnival can be purchased at the event. For more information,
call the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando at 407-645-0923
or visit www.orlandofamilyfestival.org
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
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.
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: http://www.kidsfirst.org
or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!®.
OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members
by clicking here: http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/whomem.htm.
IF YOU FIND THIS NEWSLETTER USEFUL . . . FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS AND
newsletter may be reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media, http://www.kidsfirst.org
CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!®
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.
evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs
and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines,
visit our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org,
call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.