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

Archive for August, 2009


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
PBS KIDS today announced its CURIOUS GEORGE Coloring Book App for the App Store. The CURIOUS GEORGE Coloring Book App is an interactive art supply kit for iPhone and iPod touch designed to encourage color experimentation across a full spectrum of hues. The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena.

“PBS KIDS wants to surround a child – whether at home, in school or on-the-go – with opportunities for learning and exploration,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP, Children’s Media, PBS. “As parents look for positive, educational media choices on a variety of platforms, PBS KIDS provides a trusted, safe haven for preschoolers and positive role models who learn alongside, and with, a child.”

“The CURIOUS GEORGE Coloring Book App for iPhone and iPod touch extends a growth strategy centered on launching innovative new content, including original video, games, and apps,” said Jason Seiken, SVP, PBS Interactive. “We’re leading the industry by embedding interactive games into popular shows such as WORDGIRL (PBSKIDSGO.org/video) and we have other innovations in the pipeline. Over two years, traffic to PBS KIDS sites has nearly doubled, which is proof that kids can’t get enough of PBS on digital platforms.”

The CURIOUS GEORGE Coloring Book App was developed in partnership with Mobile Deluxe and series producers, NBC Universal. Features include:
• Color wheel with a palette of 45 colors and a set of virtual stickers.
• Forty-eight unique coloring pages.

• Personal art gallery to store favorite pictures and add to Photos with a single tap, including the capability to email artwork, upload to parents’ Facebook pages, or set as the wallpaper.

The CURIOUS GEORGE Coloring Book App is available for $2.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

PBS KIDS is in development on a series of educational iPhone and iPod touch apps from popular and Emmy-award winning series SID THE SCIENCE KID, MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, MARTHA SPEAKS, and SUPER WHY. The new apps will be designed to enable children to explore the series’ curriculum goals anywhere, anytime, including language development, early reading, science, artistic expression, and social emotional development.

For more information please log on to the PBS Pressroom (PBS.org/pressroom) or visit PBSKIDS.org/mobile.

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New PBS web only social studies series on pbskidsgo.org this fall

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Coming this fall exclusively to PBSKIDSGO.org, WILSON & DITCH: DIGGING AMERICA, produced by The Jim Henson Company, invites kids ages 6 to 10 on a cross country adventure with two comical gophers as they explore America’s most famous (and perhaps not-so-famous) destinations. While learning about American culture, history and geography, brothers Wilson and Ditch ride in style in their green-powered van, sharing experiences and real world resources for families as they visit some of the country’s top cities, national parks and attractions. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the project for PBSKIDSGO.org includes original online video and interactive games as well as blogs and podcasts posted by the brothers. PBSKIDS.org receives an average of 9 million unique visitors per month and the PBS KIDS GO! video player delivers an average of 1.3 million streams per week. The announcement was made today at the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour.

The new Web site continues The Jim Henson Company and PBS’s strong relationship in building curriculum-rich content including the PBS KIDS® preschool series SID THE SCIENCE KID and the upcoming DINOSAUR TRAIN. “We know kids will enjoy exploring the amazing places featured on the site and we hope they’ll get inspired to visit and discover these destinations with their own families,” said Halle Stanford, Executive Vice President of Children’s Entertainment for The Jim Henson Company. “The Internet – and specifically PBSKIDSGO.org – has become a destination for millions of kids to play and learn about the world. As they travel the country with Wilson and Ditch, our audience will gain a greater understanding of their national citizenship that extends beyond their own community.”

Animated webisodes will star Wilson and Ditch (performed by Brian Henson and Paul Rugg) and will be brought to life using the Emmy® Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digitally animated characters in real time. In addition to the webisodes, travel blog and on-location audio podcasts, Wilson and Ditch’s new site will also feature original comics from the brothers’ adventures.

“Not every child has the opportunity to physically explore the United States,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP, Children’s Media, PBS. “Wilson and Ditch are funny guides who take early elementary school kids on an adventure to see parts of the country that they might have never known existed. PBS KIDS GO! is designed to cultivate a love of learning and expand possibilities for every child both in and out of the classroom. As the most trusted educational media brand, it’s a priority to continue to offer this age group something that will not only make them laugh but enrich their everyday learning.”

“We’ve seen tremendous growth on the Web this past year — so much so that PBS KIDS regularly finishes in the top three of all U.S. kids’ sites and PBS.org last year surpassed all commercial television network sites in visits,” added Jason Seiken, SVP, PBS Interactive. “Much of this growth has been driven by new features such as our video hub (PBS.org/video) and our kids’ video hub (PBSKIDSGO.org/video). The next phase of our growth strategy involves aggressive plans for original Web content, including high-quality series such as WILSON & DITCH: DIGGING AMERICA.”

WILSON AND DITCH: DIGGING AMERICA was created by Joe Purdy (story editor of DINOSAUR TRAIN and SID THE SCIENCE KID) and Craig Bartlett (creator of DINOSAUR TRAIN and HEY ARNOLD!). The Web site will be written by Purdy and its animated segments will be directed by Bartlett. Bartlett will also create the site’s original comic strip material.

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Support a White House Conference on Children and Youth

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Child Welfare League of America launched the Campaign for a White House Conference on Children and Youth to take place in 2010. This White House Conference on Children and Youth would be the first since 1970. Three decades have passed without the White House bringing the focus of the nation to examine the state of our children. CWLA is calling on Congress to authorize this conference so that the next President will convene a conference in 2010. We must once again use the power of the White House to organize a national conference on the welfare of our children to establish national goals for improvement in the subsequent ten years.

The fundamental purpose of the 2010 White House Conference on Children and Youth is to fulfill the nation’s need for an overall vision in child welfare and to refocus an inspired understanding of the many facts we have at our disposal to put them into practice at this critical juncture. There has never before been the summation of knowledge and experience as what now lies before the 2010 conference. Now is the time to bring together the years of research and expertise that will make a difference in the lives of children if focused upon nationally.

A White House conference on Children and Youth is needed to focus the attention of the nation on the children who, after all, are our responsibility. The conference will examine the greatest needs and set the country on a path to reform. The commitment of the President and the power of the White House is needed to once again make vulnerable children a national priority and point the way to significant reform and improvements.

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Delgo – Family Friendly Action Film Comes to DVD August 4

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
When a rebellious boy forms a forbidden friendship with a spunky princess, hostilities between their two kingdoms escalate, setting the stage for an exiled Empress to exact her revenge in Delgo, debuting on DVD August 4. Starring a talented voice cast including Freddie Prinze Jr. (Scooby Doo), Jennifer Love Hewitt (“Ghost Whisperer”), Val Kilmer (The Doors), Chris Kattan (“Saturday Night Live”), Kelly Ripa (“Live with Regis and Kelly”), Anne Bancroft (The Graduate) in her final film appearance, Lou Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) and Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit) among others, Delgo takes place in a magical world where two civilizations, divided by fear, and two hearts, guided by love, have one chance to save their world. With the help of a devious traitor and two bumbling servants, an exiled Empress (Bancroft) kidnaps the Nohrin princess (Hewitt) and frames a Lockni teenager, Delgo (Prinze Jr.), for the crime, igniting a war between their people. Desperate to clear his name and rescue the princess, Delgo and his faint-hearted friend Filo (Kattan) join forces with a disgraced Nohrin commander (Kilmer) to prove Delgo’s innocence, rescue a princess, reveal a traitor, end a war and unite the peoples of the land before it’s too late. Touting positive life-lesson messages about responsibility, friendship and unity through stunning CGI animation, enchanting music and inspiring characters, the Delgo DVD features an exclusive award-winning animated short, Chroma Chamelon, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and more!
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