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

Archive for June, 2008

Actress Kay Panabaker at Sheraton Waikiki Sunday, June 29 5:30 p.m.

Friday, June 27th, 2008

In partnership with University of Hawaii’s KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, Actress Kay Panabaker will be at the Sheraton Waikiki to take questions, sign autographs and hang out during her movie, “Moondance Alexander.”

This is our first partnership with the Sheraton Waikiki and it promises to deliver great family fun for ages 8 and up – complete with an outdoor BBQ and plenty of food. Bring your suit and watch the movie from inside the pool!

Sunday, June 29, 2008 – 5:30 P.M to 9:00 P.M.
Poolside, Oceanside at the Sheraton Waikiki

The curiously named, Moondance Alexander is a spirited teen living with her eccentric mother. She is faced with another uneventful summer until she discovers a lost pinto pony named Checkers who has jumped out of his paddock. Although Moondance returns the horse to his rightful owner, the gruff and mysterious Dante Longpre, she is convinced that Checkers is a champion jumper in disguise and is determined to help him realize his full potential.

Kay Panabaker is an award-winning actress who is a veteran of television, stage, and film, and at just 18-years-old is also a UCLA graduate! Teenagers will recognize Kay from her role as angst-filled teen Nikki Westerly on the drama “Summerland,” for which she won the Young Artist Award for “Best Performance by a Leading Young Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Drama.”

Younger fans know her from her work on Disney Channel, including the film “Read It and Weep” in which she starred alongside her sister, Danielle, and guest appearances on “Phil of the Future” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”

Kay currently plays Lindsay Willows, daughter of Marg Helgenberger’s character on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” while her guest appearances include “Medium,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Boston Legal,” “Two and a Half Men,” “ER,” “Angel” and “7th Heaven,” as well as others.

Last summer, Kay was seen on the big screen playing best friend George to girl sleuth “Nancy Drew” in the Warner Brothers feature film adaptation of the classic book series, and later on the small screen, in Lifetime’s “Custody,” alongside Rob Morrow and James Denton. She plays the title character in “Moondance Alexander,” an award-winning family film which also stars Lori Loughlin and Don Johnson, and for which she learned to ride and jump horses. That role earned her the Dixie Film Festival’s award for “Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Film.” She was also recognized in 2007 for her performance in the Dylan and Cole Sprouse film “A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper,” receiving the inaugural “Rising Star Award” at the Temecula Valley International Film Festival.

Extraordinarily focused, Kay has been able to accommodate a rigorous academic schedule in addition to her work, graduating as valedictorian of her high school at the age of 13, and then completing her undergraduate work in history at UCLA in March 2007, at the age of 17. That made her the youngest graduate on record for the UCLA History Department – which is ranked 9th in the nation. It was an elementary school teacher who made learning exciting that inspired Kay’s love of education, and she wants to pass that enthusiasm on to others, hoping to eventually teach 4th or 5th grade herself. Until she has the opportunity to teach in the classroom, however, Kay is content working with young people as a hands-on volunteer with different children’s charities including The Young Storytellers Foundation, Starlight Starbright, and Children’s Hospital.

Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP owns the three Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki and the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, as well as the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali, Maui. Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP is one of Hawaii’s largest employers, with nearly 3,000 hotel associates in its workforce. The hotels are a part of the 11-hotel group of Starwood-managed properties in Hawaii.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 890 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft(SM), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit http://www.starwoodhotels.com/.

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Qubo has some out-of-this-world treats in store for kids this summer.

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Qubo’s Space-Age Summer will defy the laws of gravity, as it transports kids from a continent ruled by elephants all the way to the farthest reaches of the galaxy! The TV and online entertainment service for children kicks off its third quarter programming with two new additions to its broadcast line-up and a new schedule.

THE ZULA PATROL, an animated series premiering on qubo, ignites children’s interest in science and astronomy while the internationally renowned elephant king BABAR returns to the schedule to reinforce qubo’s messages of optimism and resiliency in overcoming challenges.

The new schedule and series will debut on qubo’s broadcast blocks on ION Television (July 4), on NBC (July 12) and Telemundo (July 5-6).
Here’s a closer look at the new shows:

THE ZULA PATROL- Move over, George Jetson! The 21st century’s newest space team, The Zula Patrol, has arrived. Stalwart Captain Bula, brainiac Professor Multo, feisty hot-doggin’ space pilot Zeeter, the amazing space pet Gorga and twin flying companions Wizzy & Wigg are the lovably wacky characters who will take children on a roller coaster fun ride across the Universe – and teach them critical facts about science and astronomy in the process. Each episode follows The Zula Patrol on engaging missions where they are usually trying to save their own Planet Zula, and often, the universe, from the dastardly hand of villain, Dark Truder! When Dark Truder empties out the Asteroid Belt in an attempt to take over the universe, it’s up to The Zula Patrol to devise a plan to get the asteroids back to their proper home. Other episodes include comical capers where The Zula Patrol explore a solar eclipse, examine if the moon really is made of cheese and explore gravitational pull. THE ZULA PATROL was created to address the national call for science literacy education among elementary school students in the U.S. who score lower than their international peers , according to recent research. THE ZULA PATROL is produced by Zula USA, LLC. Dr. Deborah Manchester, series creator for THE ZULA PATROL said, “Our mission is to inspire a love of science in young children. We hope THE ZULA PATROL will spark children’s natural curiosity about the world around them and lay a critical foundation for understanding basic science concepts. qubo is the perfect home for THE ZULA PATROL because of its commitment to informative and high-quality programming that families can watch together.” “THE ZULA PATROL brings a whole new dimension of entertaining educational content to our programming line-up,” added Rick Rodriguez, president and general manager for qubo. “Airing it back-to-back with our other out-of-this world series, 3-2-1 PENGUINS!, kids are guaranteed to have a whole hour of intergalatic adventures!”

BABAR- Based on the beloved classic books by Laurent de Brunhoff, this animated series focuses on the story of Babar, a young orphaned elephant who goes to the big city to learn about the ways of people. He then returns to the jungle where he builds the city of Celesteville and is crowned King of the elephants. A dedicated ruler and father, Babar and his family experience many challenges, but Babar always finds the strength to rise above difficulty through strength and optimism. Each episode begins with a look into Babar’s present life, primarily in his role as a father who teaches his children the value of people, things and relationships through his own experience from the jungle to the city and back again. BABAR reinforces pro-social messages that celebrate the bonds of family. In one episode, Babar loses his crown and learns a valuable lesson about the consequences of falsely accusing his friends as the thieves. Another poignant episode focuses on Babar and Celeste’s daughter, Flora, who becomes jealous of a new baby and runs away from home, only to later learn that her parents still love her as much as they did before the baby arrived. BABAR is distributed by Nelvana Enterprises.

About qubo: qubo® is a bilingual, multi-platform entertainment destination for children that focuses on literacy, values and healthy lifestyles while celebrating the unlimited possibilities of a child’s imagination. Formed in 2006 by an unprecedented alliance of leading distribution partners and content players in children’s television, including Scholastic, ION Media Networks, NBC Universal, Corus Entertainment and Classic Media, qubo offers dynamic content in multiple environments. Currently broadcast on NBC Saturday mornings, ION Television Friday afternoons and Telemundo weekend mornings (check local listings) qubo also includes a 24/7 qubo Channel and website, www.qubo.com.
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Wall-E opens June 27

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Wall-E is a computer animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film, which follows the romance between two robots in the future, will be released in theaters on June 27.

Synopsis: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans. Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Wall-E is directed by Andrew Stanton who directed the Academy Award-winner, “Finding Nemo.” Most of the characters will communicate with sounds which resemble voices, rather than human voices. Human voices are by actors: Ben Burtt, Paul Eiding, Jeff Garlin, Kim Kopf, Kathy Najimy, Garrett Palmer, John Ratzenberger, Sigourney Weaver, and Fred Willard.

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Bonneville: Starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen coming out June 24

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Academy Awardâ-winning actresses Jessica Lange (Blue Sky, Rob Roy) and Kathy Bates (Fried Green Tomatoes, Misery), Academy Awardâ–nominee Joan Allen (The Upside Of Anger, The Contender) and Emmy Awardâ-winner Tom Skerritt (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Picket Fences”), Bonneville­ is an adventure of fun, friendship and self-discovery. The lives and friendships of three best friends are tried and tested as they take a cross-country road trip in Bonneville­. After losing her husband, a widow persuades two friends to tag along as she sets off to California in a vintage ’66 Bonneville convertible to deliver her late-husband’s ashes to her resentful stepdaughter.

This is a story about three friends who come of age for the second time on a trip across the great American West. Faced with the decision of a lifetime, Arvilla Holden (Lange) loads up her 1966 Bonneville convertible and, with her friends (Allen, Bates) in tow, sets out from Pocatello, Idaho en route to Santa Barbara. As they detour to places such as Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas, it doesn’t take long for the women to realize Arvilla has something unexpected in store. What none of them realize is that what began as a simple trip will become a chance to rediscover themselves, their friendship, the importance of promises and of letting go. Bonneville unites three of the most acclaimed actresses of our time in a story that celebrates fun, adventure and living life to the fullest.

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Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Elmo’s World: Summer Vacation will be released June 24.
For toddlers, learning about summer is explored in three episodes with bright and bubbly new songs, Elmo and his friends – the zany Mr. Noodle, ever-adorable Super Grover and, of course, his pet goldfish Dorothy. Elmo shares stories about his vacation at the beach and demonstrates summertime skills such as spreading a towel on top of the sand, taking care of your skin (or fur if you’re a monster) and using a camera. “Elmo’s World” is a wildly popular segment on Sesame Street and the curious red monster is one of the most popular children’s characters in the United States.

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Plan a Summer Film Fest…and Get Kids Excited about Reading

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Check out all of the new and forthcoming storybooks on DVD at http://www.newkideo.com/ Each summer teachers send home a reading list, in hopes of preventing the “summer slide” in reading achievement among youn. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to get reluctant readers involved in the great works of children’s literature. This summer, enlist the help of the SCHOLASTIC STORYBOOK TREASURES™, an award-winning collection of colorfully animated stories adapted from some of the best-loved, best-selling children’s books of all time.
These lovingly animated, award-winning adaptations from the renowned Weston Woods Studios have long been known to teachers and librarians as the finest examples of their craft. These productions engage young minds while remaining true to the source material. And viewing a well-produced adaptation of a children’s book may be the ticket back to reading.

As Dorothy Singer, Ed.D., Co-director of the Yale University Family Television Research and Consultation Centre in New Haven , Connecticut says, “Good videos and television inspire discussion and encourage children to think, and maybe take further action to enhance their understanding and knowledge. In the case of the Weston Woods productions, I really think they do help lead kids back to the books. When my granddaughter saw ‘Corduroy’ for the first time, she wanted to get the book right away.”

Read-Along Videos
The SCHOLASTIC STORYBOOK TREASURES now offers more digitally-enhanced content than ever – featuring at least an hour of stories on each DVD release, value-priced at $14.95 srp . Aside from an enhanced read-along function which highlights the words as they are read, new, kid-friendly features include redesigned authoring for easy navigation and eye-popping packaging. The new kid-friendly website http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=25555867&msgid;=321069&act;=YRIU&c;=277010&admin;=0&destination;=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newkideo.com%2F provides the latest information on new releases, product reviews and activities for children ages 2 to 6.
New releases include:
TREASURY OF 100 STORYBOOK CLASSICS Thin Pak. This is an awesome collection of 100 classic, award-winning storybooks on 16 DVDs, featuring works by some of the most acclaimed children’s authors and illustrators including Maurice Sendak, Ezra Jack Keats, H.A. Rey, Kevin Henkes, Doreen Cronin and Robert McCloskey, just to name a few. Celebrity narrators add excitement to the stories and they include: James Earl Jones, Forest Whitaker, Cyndi Lauper, Sarah Jessica Parker and many more. A helpful read-along option also allows viewers to read the words along with the narrators.
DIARY OF A SPIDER… AND MORE CUTE CRITTER STORIES — The title story, adapted from the best-selling picture book by Doreen Cronin, is a sequel to “Diary of a Worm”, but this time, spider is the star!
THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE (Releasing June 24) – A madcap production of Beverly Cleary’s story, employing a mix of live action and stop-motion animation
CORDUROY… AND MORE STORIES ABOUT CARING (Releasing July 29)—“Corduroy,” the beloved brown bear created by author Don Freeman, turns 40 this year. This special anniversary edition features live action-animated adaptation of the original story and several more stories, including tales narrated by Mia Farrow and Laura Dern.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Releasing August 26) – The storytelling and artistry of Maurice Sendak is celebrated in this landmark release.
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