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

Archive for November, 2009

Dr. Toy recently announced the list of her Best Children’s Products for 2009.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Dr. Toy, aka Stevanne Auerbach Ph.D,, a KIDS FIRST! /Advisory Board member has released her annual  report featuring 100 wonderful new toys and other products. The products selected meet Dr. Toy’s high standards for design, durability, price, quality, safety, and value.
We often hear about products that fall apart after minimal use, a frustrating and expensive experience. In addition, products that do not meet safety standards can be dangerous. Dr. Toy endeavors to select products that are structurally safe and sound. But while focusing on those aspects of a product, let’s not forget that “play is children’s work” and should be respected and understood by all adults. We should be thinking: What products or “tools for play” can we obtain to provide wholesome experiences for children and provide plenty of positive play interactions?

Dr. Toy spends a great deal of time reviewing many products created by myriad manufacturers and designers to make sure her selections are safe and lasting, valuable and fun. And certainly durable products, properly designed, and developmentally correct are always worth the money.

Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products – 2009

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Touched by an Angel Collection – Hope and Holiday – On DVD November 10

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Millions of fans will have a new source of inspiration when select episodes of the critically acclaimed and landmark series TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL make their DVD debut in two specially themed collections. TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: INSPIRATION COLLECTION – HOPE and HOLIDAY each feature four thematic episodes specially selected by series executive producer Martha Willamson. Both debut on DVD November 10 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Roma Downey and Della Reese in their Emmy-nominated roles and John Dye, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL chronicled the missions of a group of angels sent by God. An audience favorite, the series ran for nine years on CBS and was nominated for numerous awards including 11 Emmyâ awards and two Golden Globes. Now Martha Williamson hosts two special DVD releases filled with the messages of faith and optimism. Each episode includes all-new personal introductions by Williamson, who provides her unique perspective and insight. Other extras include segments from the broadcast special More True Stories From Touched By An Angel and free music downloads, both of which can be accessed via eBridge Technology. This technology allows consumers to unlock segments by placing their DVD into their PCs.

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: INSPIRATION COLLECTION – HOPE includes the DVD debut of three episodes – including the series milestone 100th episode, “Psalm 151,” in which the angels celebrate Monica’s 100th assignment with a cake in the park — and features stellar guest stars such as Wynonna Judd, Rosa Parks and Mandy Patinkin.

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: THE INSPIRATION COLLECTION – HOLIDAY includes the DVD debut of the beloved “An Angel On The Roof” episode, following the angels as they try to perform a Christmas miracle by bringing the residents of a small Texas town together. The collection also includes two episodes featuring the most requested and frequent guest star, country music legend Randy Travis in his recurring role as Wayne.

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Aliens in the Attic comes to DVD November 3

Friday, November 6th, 2009
It’s summer vacation, but the Pearson family kids are stuck at a boring lake house with their nerdy parents. That is until feisty, little, green aliens crash-land on the roof, with plans to conquer the house AND Earth! Using only their wits, courage and video game-playing skills, the youngsters must band together to defeat the aliens and save the world — but the toughest part might be keeping the whole thing a secret from their parents! Featuring a hilarious cast including comedy veterans Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Andy Richter

(“The Conan O’Brien Show”), Kevin Nealon (“Weeds”), Tim Meadows (Mean Girls) and Gillian Vigman (The Hangover), as well as rising young stars Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical), Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2: The Streets), Carter Jenkins (“Surface”) and Austin Robert Butler

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An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving starring Jacqueline Bisset comes to DVD

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott, the acclaimed author of “Little Women,” An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is the holiday story of family and forgiveness debuting on DVD October 27 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In this #1 Prime Time original period drama from the Hallmark Channel, Jacqueline Bisset (The Deep, Latter Days) stars as Isabella, a wealthy widow who visits her estranged daughter and three grandchildren, who have recently lost their father and fallen on hard times. She befriends her spirited granddaughter, Tilly (Tatiana Maslany), and helps her budding romance with Gad (Kristopher Turner), the son of the local landowner. Bisset was nominated for a Satellite Award as Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television for her role in this film.

Recently widowed Mary Bassett (Helene Joy) and her 3 children have hit difficult times on their farm. Things are so bad this year that they cannot even afford a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. Suddenly, Mary’s wealthy and estranged mother Isabella (Jacqueline Bisset) comes to visit. Although she finds a kindred spirit in Mary’s eldest daughter, Tilly (Tatiana Maslany), Mary resents her mother’s attempts to help them out of their financial difficulties. In the end, more than money will be needed to heal the emotional wounds that exist between mother and daughter in this moving period drama. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving was directed by Graeme Campbell from a screenplay by Shelley Evans. Michael Prupas served as executive producer, with Steve Solomos producing.

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March of the Penguins comes to DVD November 3 as a special gift set

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, the awe-inspiring film from National Geographic was hailed by critics* and audiences alike and became the second most successful documentary ever.
March of the Penguins is narrated by Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman
(Million Dollar Baby) and chronicles the lives of the emperor penguins and their remarkable journey to find a mate and start a family. The film is an all-age, true-life adventure touched with humor, with breathtaking photography that puts you in the middle of the drama of devoted parent penguins who, in the face of fierce polar winters, take turns guarding their eggs and trekking to the ocean in search of food. They will risk starvation and attack by dangerous predators, under the harshest conditions on earth, all to find true love and guard their adorable chicks.

March of the Penguins Limited Edition Giftset features an all-new feature-length documentary, On the Wings of a Penguin, a fascinating look at the lives and adventures of another breed of penguin: the African penguin. With the dedication of people devoted to their survival, this warm-weather species (also known as “jackass penguins”) thrives and inspires the joy of living. From oil spills off the coast of Africa to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, witness the fun-loving spirit of these penguins as they continue to overcome life’s challenges. In the wild and at aquariums and zoos, the African penguins’ quirky and endearing behavior delights fans all over the world.

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Star Wars: The Clone War The Complete Season One Comes DVD November 3

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
As the Clone Wars sweep through the galaxy, the heroic Jedi Knights – including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master Yoda and padawan Ahsoka Tano – struggle to maintain order and restore peace. But despite the best efforts of these brave protectors, more and more planets are falling prey to the sinister forces of the dark side… Star Wars: The Clone Wars features the voices of Matt Lanter (“90210”) as Anakin Skywalker, Ashley Eckstein (“That’s So Raven”) as Ahsoka Tano, James Arnold Taylor (“The Spectacular Spider-Man”) as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Tom Kane (“Wolverine and the X-Men”) as Yoda.

Created and executive produced by George Lucas, the first-ever TV production from Lucasfilm Animation explores the tumultuous time between Episodes II and III of the live-action saga, expanding the scope of Star Wars beyond anything seen in the feature films. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, the heroes of the Republic – including the valiant Jedi Knights and their loyal clone troopers – fight bravely to repel the attacks of the evil Separatists and their droid army.

“The live-action saga was just the beginning. The universe is vast, and there are so many more stories to explore beyond Anakin’s fall and redemption,” said Lucas. “The scope of the war gives us the perfect vehicle for a weekly series, allowing us to look at how the conflict has affected the farthest reaches of the galaxy, including characters, creatures and races we only glimpsed in the feature films. Animation has allowed us to visualize the worlds and characters of Star Wars in all new ways.”

“I’m a longtime Star Wars fan, and the same’s true for a lot of the guys working on the show,” said supervising director Dave Filoni. “And as a fan, I know that Lucasfilm can be pretty secretive. They’re famous for it. But we’re all so proud of the work that’s gone into The Clone Wars, and we wanted to share some of our production tricks, and open up the vault and reveal our efforts. You’re going to get unprecedented access, to see the nuts and bolts of our series – from concept to finished animation

Uniquely packaged with an exclusive 64 page production journal, the four-disc set contains all 22 episodes from the groundbreaking first season – including seven extended Director’s Cuts – as well as companion featurettes for each episode. And exclusive to the Blu-ray disc, The Jedi Temple Archives provides in-depth access to an extensive database of creative materials. Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One is presented in widescreen with English, Spanish and French 5.1 DTS audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

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