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

Archive for April, 2009

The swine flu and Plaza Sesamo

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Muppets of Plaza Sesamo and Mexican celebrities are addressing the new flu emergency in a series of pubic service announcements (PSA) aimed at kids. Sesame Workshop and Mexico’s Grupo Televisa have produced four PSAs featuring the Plaza Sesamo Muppet’s Pancho and Lola as well as celebrities Lucero, Jorge Poza and Adrian Uribe, which empower kids with things they can do during this period. The PSAs, which have already begun airing on Televisa, encourage kids to tell a parent if you feel sick, and if you are sick don’t go to school or outside, cover your mouth with a tissue or arm if you sneeze or cough and throw away that tissue in a covered trash can, and of course, wash your hands with soap and water several times a day for at least 20 second. Plaza Sesamo’s Education and Research team worked with Mexico’s Ministry of Health to develop the PSA scripts. The PSAs are being offered to several government organizations to extend the message in Mexico including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Government Workers ‘ Social Security and Services Institute (el ISSSTE) and Mexico City’s public transit system. (from Cynopsis: Kids)

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Thursday, April 30th, 2009
News from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Health risk behaviors have increasingly been linked to psychological distress in children and adolescents. As part of the 2003 Scottish Health Survey of nearly 1,500 children aged 4 to 12 years and their parents, researchers from the University College London looked at the association between television/screen entertainment viewing time, physical activity levels and psychological distress. Higher amounts of TV/screen time were associated with lower physical activity rates. Both higher screen time and lower physical activity rates were linked with higher odds of psychological distress, including emotional symptoms, conduct problems and peer relationship problems. The authors concluded that public health policy should focus on reducing sedentary time and maintaining sufficient physical activity levels in younger children.

“Protecting children from tobacco smoke” is the theme of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2009 art contest for children. Children in grades 3 to 12 are invited to submit original pieces of art for a chance to win cash prizes and a trip to the 2009 AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2009. First-place winners will receive a $500 prize, with $500 for the child’s school, and a trip to Washington, DC, for the child and his or her guardian. The second-place winners will receive $250, with $250 for the child’s school. Winners will have their artwork featured on AAP’s Web site and in other promotional materials. Entries should be mailed to American Academy of Pediatrics, Art Contest, 141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. All entries must be postmarked by Friday, July 31, 2009. Entry form, rules and guidelines are available at http://www.aap.org/artcontest/

Keep your family safe this summer while you enjoy the outdoors. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips on sun exposure, heat stress, swimming, bugs, playground dangers, bicycling, skateboards and scooters, and lawn mower safety. Tips are available in English and Spanish at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/summertips.cfm

For more information on children’s health, visit the AAP News Room at: http://www.aap.org/newsroom/

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“Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope from Children Across America”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Every other day of the week, Lincoln, Nebraska, pop. 250,000, is the pride of the Central U.S. On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, however, Lincoln was the pride of the nation.
Family, friends, politicians and the media descended on Clinton Elementary School in Lincoln to honor twelve students, ages 5 through 9 whose letters and drawings to President Barack Obama appear in the new book, “Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope from Children Across America.”

Coverage of the event, which was broadcast statewide, included CNN affiliate KETV in Omaha. CNN will also feature the story nationally in a special segment of “CNN Weekend News,” hosted by Betty Nguyen.

Footage of the coverage can be viewed at:


“Dear President Obama,” a full-color, large-format trade paperback published by Beckham Publications Group, Inc., was compiled and edited by New York journalists Bruce Kluger and David Tabatsky, and features nearly 200 letters and drawings created by 178 children, ages 4 through 18, from 29 states.

But on Wednesday, the Lincoln dozen were arguably the stars of the book. Clinton Elementary principal Mona Manley arranged a 2:00 PM assembly in the school’s gymnasium, where the young author-illustrators proudly read their letters and described their drawings before a packed and often emotional crowd. After the event, the media swarmed around the children to conduct interviews and meet five-year-old Jason Phan, who drew the picture of the president that appears on the book’s cover.

“I’m going to show [the book] to all of my friends and all my family,” said Anthony Nguyen, 9, who contributed a letter and drawing to the book. Taylor Lengel, 7, was more than happy to repeat a line from his letter that has now become the book’s slogan: “Dear President Obama. You are the best president on Earth. You should be on all the dimes in the world.”

Clinton kindergarten teacher, Trisha Hoppmann, looked beyond the excitement of the day to ponder the impact it could ultimately have on the children’s lives. “Sometimes, all it takes is one positive event like this,” Hoppmann said, “to move a child toward a positive and enduring goal.”

Visit the “Dear President Obama” web site at http://www.obamakids.us./

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Beyonce on Wubbzy this Week – 10 a.m. on Nick!

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Beyonce is lending her voice to Nickelodeon’s animated kids’ show, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, playing Shine, the lead singer of the The Wubb Girls, in four episodes beginning April 27. Beyoncé is guest starring in episodes of the Nick Jr. animated preschool comedy series, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! in a special week-long “Wubb Girlz” celebration, Monday, April 27 through Thursday, April 30 on Nickelodeon at 10 a.m. (ET/PT). The appearance marks her voiceover debut and first-ever children’s project.

Beyonce composed and performs “Sing a Song,” which will be available on iTunes and other digital outlets on April 21. After four music-filled episodes, the week culminates with an hour-long “Wubb Idol” movie on Friday at 1 p.m. (ET/PT).

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Milly and Becky Rosso (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) Star in Legally Blondes

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Coming to DVD April 28. When Elle Woods’ young, blonde cousins Annie and Izzy (Milly and Becky Rosso) moved from England to California, they thought their pink clothes, small dogs and street smarts would make them instantly fit in and feel at home. However, they find they are miles away from the uniform fashions and money-focused power structure of their new prep school. When the school’s reigning forces turn on the girls and try to frame them for a crime, Izzy and Annie must use their cleverness and charm to clear their names and show the school that in the classroom or the courtroom, they should never underestimate the power of blondes!

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Attention All Star Trek Fans – Save the Date – April 28

Saturday, April 25th, 2009
Experience the thrilling action and epic adventure like never before when the groundbreaking first season of STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES lands on Blu-ray disc April 28 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. Boasting superior picture and pristine audio for the best possible home viewing experience, the Blu-ray seven disc set includes all 29 first season episodes and loads of special features.

The first season Blu-ray release of STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES features brand-new technology that finally provides fans/viewers with the best of both worlds by giving them the ability to see each episode’s newly enhanced or original special effects and hear a new enhanced soundtrack or the original one. Viewers will be able to select either version to view or toggle back and forth between the newly enhanced visual effects found on the remastered episodes and the original broadcast episode effects. Also for the first time, fans will be able to enjoy the series in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, the best sound format possible, and have the option of selecting the original mono sound heard on the series’ original television airings decades ago.

As part of the special features, select episodes include the “Starfleet Access” bonus content. By choosing the “Starfleet Access” option, viewers will be able to watch the selected episodes with special pop-up trivia and picture-in-picture video commentaries. The set also includes an interactive tour of the starship Enterprise, rare on-set home movie footage, an inside perspective on what it took to transport Trek into the 21st century and much more. A definitive STAR TREK®collection with more than 24 hours of entertainment, the set will be available for the suggested retail price of $118.00 US and $136.00 CAN. An exclusive collectible Sulu figure from Diamond Select Toys is also being made available with purchase of the Blu-ray set; fans pay only shipping and handling charges.

Starring one of the most endearing casts in television history led by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan and Nichelle Nichols, STAR TREK® is a worldwide phenomenon and served as a launching pad for numerous television series and feature films. These classic first season episodes started it all, introducing the world to Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise’s iconic crew.

STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SEASON ONE is a seven disc set presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Original 2.0 Mono, Spanish 2.0 Mono and French 2.0 Mono sound. STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SEASON ONE Blu-rayis not rated in the U.S. and rated G in Canada. The total running time is 24 Hrs., 20 Min. The Blu-ray disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc One:

The Man Trap

Charlie X

Where No Man Has Gone Before

The Naked Time

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into The 21st Century

Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Where No Man Has Gone Before

Disc Two:

The Enemy Within

Mudd’s Women

What Are Little Girls Made Of?


Dagger of the Mind

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Disc Three:

The Corbomite Maneuver

The Menagerie, Part 1

The Menagerie, Part 2

The Conscience of the King

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: Reflections on Spock

Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – The Menagerie, Parts 1 & 2

Disc Four:

Balance of Terror

Shore Leave

The Galileo Seven

The Squire of Gothos

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner

Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Balance of Terror

Disc Five:


Tomorrow is Yesterday

Court Martial

The Return of the Archons

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: To Boldly Go…Season One

Special Feature: The Birth of a Timeless Legacy

Disc Six:

Space Seed

A Taste of Armageddon

This Side of Paradise

The Devil in the Dark

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: Interactive Enterprise Inspection

Special Feature: Sci-Fi Visionaries

Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Space Seed

Disc Seven:

Errand of Mercy

The Alternative Factor

The City on the Edge of Forever

Operation: Annihilate!

Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Special Feature: Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories

Special Feature: Kiss ‘N’ Tell: Romance in the 23rd Century

Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Errand of Mercy

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