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

Archive for May, 2009

Dr. Dolitle Presents: Million Dollar Mutts Arrives on DVD On May 19.

Sunday, May 17th, 2009
Celebrity starlet Tiffany Monaco seeks Maya Dolittle’s canine counsel for her purse dwelling Chihuahua, Princess. Maya’s charms give Tiffany a bright idea for a new reality series that will help her career, and give Maya a chance to work with animals. Things take a turn for the worse, however, once Tiffany’s self serving agent, Rick Beverly, signs Maya as a client – keeping Maya busy with celebrity dogs but far away from campus where the registrar is waiting for her application. With her faithful sidekick, Lucky, and the support of her new friend, Brandon (and his cute companion Emmy), Maya is finally able to see past the glamour of Hollywood Hills and into a future where she can talk to animals and really help them
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Happy Birthday Netman!

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
Happy Birthday Netman, aka Samsunshine Levy, who is celebrating his 38th birthday today. My son Sam, who is also the KIDS FIRST! webmaster has always been the “Sunshine of My Life.” Thanks Sam for being you. I remember when you were seven, when you had a empty jar with a perforated top that you would sprinkle onto everything, in order to make it “ever so much more so.” You are “ever so much more so” yourself. I love you more than all the magic in the world. (photo of Sam now and Sam at age 6)
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36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The nominees for the 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, a presentation of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) in cooperation with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), were announced yesterday.

The Daytime Emmy Awards include a large number of children’s programming.

The nominees are in for the 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, slated to air on August 30.

Nominees in the category of Outstanding Children’s Animated Program are Curious George (PBS), Little Einsteins (Disney Channel), Sid the Science Kid (PBS), The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon) and WordWorld (PBS).

For Outstanding Children’s Series, nods went to Adventure Camp (Discovery Kids), Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman (PBS), From the Top at Carnegie Hall (PBS) and Postcards From Buster (PBS).

Outstanding Preschool Children’s Series nominees are Between the Lions (PBS), Johnny and the Sprites (Disney Channel), Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies (PBS), Sesame Street (PBS) and The Wonder Pets! (Nickelodeon).

Nods in Outstanding Writing in Animation went to Back at the Barnyard (Nickelodeon), The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), The Future is Wild (Discovery Kids), The Mr. Men Show (Cartoon Network) and WordWorld (PBS).

And Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series nominees are Between the Lions (PBS), Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman (PBS) and Sesame Street (PBS).

This year, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Sesame Street in celebration of its 40 years of educating and entertaining kids. For the full list of nominees, check out http://www.emmys.tv/

The awards will be announced during the live 36th Daytime Emmy Awards from the Orpheum Theater in LA, on August 30, 2009 on The CW.

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Kidtoons Plays Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery

Sunday, May 10th, 2009
Kidtoons is bringing family friendly animated movies to the big screen every weekend at participating theatres across the country. Currently, they are playing Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery.
Sodor Day is coming and all the engines are busy preparing. Thomas gets lost in the mountains and discovers the old town of great Waterton! Soon the whole island is buzzing with the news of Thomas’s discovery! Sir Topham Hatt puts Thomas in charge of restoring the town in time for Sodor Day with the help of his friends. Thomas is so busy restoring the town that he doesn’t have time for his usual duties so Stanley is brought in to help out, much to Thomas’s dismay. The Great Discovery is filled with adventures, mishaps and Thomas learns a very important lesson.

Participating Kidtoons theatres showcase a fun, affordable family friendly matinee movie and provide a family experience filled with entertaining, kid-friendly characters, as well as cartoon shorts, music videos and sing-alongs before each movie. To find a theater near you, visit their website: Kidtoons

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TV Academy Awards Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship to Michelle Tessier and Sabrina Connell

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

On April 28 Family Communications welcomed Nancy Steingard and Michele Fowble of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, who discussed the Academy’s Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship and introduced two recipients of the award to more than 150 guests.

Michelle Tessier told the group she has had a framed quote from Fred Rogers next to her desk since she began animating films for children. The quote reads “If it’s for the children, it needs to be the best.” While pursuing an MFA degree at UCLA’s film school, Michelle created films that offer messages of empathy, friendship and hope. In 2005, she became the first recipient of the Fred Rogers’ Memorial Scholarship. The award helped her complete production on “Camp Bean: All Things Woodsey,” Michelle won an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Student Emmy for “Camp Bean.”

Sabrina Connell recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Master of Arts in puppetry. With the Fred Rogers Scholarship, she is working to develop educational children’s media for the Haitian Health Foundation, an organization that provides healthcare to 200,000 people in rural Haiti. Two films in progress address proper hand washing and safe water handling and will be aired in clinics and remote villages in Haiti. In addition, she is working with the Haitian Health Foundation to help establish local youth puppet clubs for the dissemination of health information. Her desire is to continue to produce educational media for organizations serving the needs of children in the developing world.

Since 2004, the Academy of TV Arts & Science Foundation, with the generous support of Ernst and Young, has been honoring Fred Rogers’ contribution to children’s television with these scholarships. In addition to the monetary award, the recipients are mentored by children’s programming professionals to support and encourage television careers that further the values and principles of Fred Rogers’ work.

For more information on the scholarship, visit the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website.

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New May DVD Releases – Check these out!

Friday, May 1st, 2009
DR. DOLITTLE PRESENTS: MILLION DOLLAR MUTTS arrives on DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment On May 19.
Celebrity starlet Tiffany Monaco seeks Maya Dolittle’s canine counsel for her purse dwelling Chihuahua, Princess. Maya’s charms give Tiffany a bright idea for a new reality series that will help her career, and give Maya a chance to work with animals. Things take a turn for the worse, however, once Tiffany’s self serving agent, Rick Beverly, signs Maya as a client – keeping Maya busy with celebrity dogs but far away from campus where the registrar is waiting for her application. With her faithful sidekick, Lucky, and the support of her new friend, Brandon (and his cute companion Emmy), Maya is finally able to see past the glamour of Hollywood Hills and into a future where she can talk to animals and really help them

LOVE TAKES WING
The Seventh Installment Of The Love Comes Softly Series Arrives On
DVD May 5 From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
From award-winning author Janette Oke comes the seventh chapter in the Love Comes Softly series, Love Takes Wing. The story picks up where the last chapter left off as Dr. Belinda Simpson (Sarah Jones) returns from Boston and takes on a new adventure as she makes her way to Missouri with her best friend Annie (Haylie Duff) to become the town doctor.

LABOU – May 19 From MGM Home Entertainment
Three unlikely friends set out on a journey to find the dreaded ghost of Captain LeRouge whose treasure-laden ship was lost in the Louisiana bayou over two hundred years ago. What they find is an adventure beyond their wildest imagination and the magical swamp creature “Labou” whose whistles are rumored to be the original inspiration for jazz. With the help of Labou, the kids race to stay one step ahead of two crazy oil moguls, but can they find the long lost treasure and save the swamps before its too late.

BEST OF ELMO’S WORLD VOLUME 2
Sunny days sweep the clouds away and bring on endless discoveries for America’s favorite furry red monster. The Best Of Elmo’s World: Volume 2 available on DVD is loaded with interactive fun and three popular stories filled with answers to life’s pressing questions: What is the Noodle’s family dance? What does Cookie Monster get in the mail? Why are food, water and exercise essential parts of life? And can going to school actually be fun? Embark on the adventure with Elmo as he discovers the answers (and more) in the three-DVD Best Of Elmo’s World: Volume 2 gift set including Families, Mail and Bathtime; Food, Water & Exercise and Reach For The Sky!

WOW! WOW! WUBBZY!: WUBBZY’S BIG MOVIE – May 12
Lights! Camera! Action! Join Wubbzy and his Wuzzleburg pals for tons of fun filled adventures in Wubbzy’s Big Movie! When Wubbzy loses his memory, his friends help him to recall who he is by reminding him of all the good times they’ve had together. Join along and help Wubbzy remember where to find marshmallows to make a birthday lasagna, why splashing in mud puddles is not always a good idea and why scary movies may make him afraid of the dark! 77 min.; Age: 2-5. ANCHOR BAY HOME ENTERTAINMENT

GARFIELD’S PET FORCE – May 12
In another universe, one which exists parallel to Garfield’s own, a team of five superheroes known as “Pet Force” serve Emperor Jon as protectors of his throne. Ruling the galaxy from the planet Polyester, Jon’s reign is constantly opposed by the evil Vetvix. When Vetvix uses a new weapon to strip Pet Force of their powers and send them to a ghostly dimension where they will be trapped forever, Jon is forced to have his right-hand man, Sorcerer Binky, use a dimensional portal to find five alternate versions of the heroes to take their place. 140 min.; Age: 5-12. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

TRAIN MASTER – May 12
Jeremiah works for Western Railroad in the Northwest. After Brett purchases the Western Railroad, he fires
Jeremiah. When Brett’s son and Jeremiah’s grandchildren end up on a runaway train together, the two men must join forces to save the kids. 94 min.; Age: 8-12. MPI Entertainment
Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies – divisions of Time Warner – introduce six additional four-title sets from the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection on May 5, 2009. Featured stars include John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, William Holden, Lee Marvin, Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Judy Garland, Julie Christie, Ava Gardner, Betty Hutton and more.The titles include:

Singin’ in the Rain, Easter Parade, The Band Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis
Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kiss Me Kate
Jeremiah Johnson, The Train Robbers, The Wild Bunch, McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Searchers, Fort Apache, Rio Bravo, The Cowboys

VEGGIE TALES: HEROES OF THE BIBLE – Releasing May 2, includes:

THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JOE: In this retelling of Joseph and his coat of many colors, little Joe (Larry the Cucumber) and his rootin’ tootin’ French pea brothers venture from an abandoned mineshaft to Dodgeball City – with Little Joe’s faith being tested every step of the way! It’s a Wild West yarn that teaches us to keep the faith when facing hardship because God can work all things for good!

MOE AND THE BIG EXIT: This Western version of the Exodus finds Moe (Larry the Cucumber) as a cowboy living high on the hog in Dodgeball City while his kinfolk are forced to dig the Grand Canyon. When Moe asks the heartless mayor to let his people go, he refuses and a heap of trouble comes to town. Can Moe help free his people from bondage and flee Dodgeball City once and for all? Saddle up for a Bible adventure with a lesson in following directions!

BABY SITTER IN DE-NILE: Miriam (Laura Carrot) doesn’t enjoy baby-sitting her little brother Moses but when she learns that the Egyptians want to take all the baby boys in town, she realizes she loves him too much to let him go! As she develops a clever plan to keep him safe, kids will learn a valuable lesson in loving their family.

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