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

Great New DVDs – Just in Time for Holiday Shopping for Your Family

ToyStory3.jpgToy Story 3 welcomes Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), Buzz (voice of Tim Allen) and gang back as Andy prepares to depart for college and his loyal toys find themselves in… day care! These untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice, so it’s all for one and one for all as plans for the great escape get underway. More than a few new faces—some plastic, some plush—join the adventure, including iconic swinging bachelor and Barbie’s counterpart Ken (voice of Michael Keaton), a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants (voice of Timothy Dalton) and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (voice of Ned Beatty). Directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo), produced by Pixar veteran Darla K. Anderson (Cars, Monsters, Inc.) and written by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), Toy Story 3 is a comical new adventure! DVD. 103 min.; Ages 8-18. Disney Home Entertainment.

SoundofMusic.jpgThe Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition. Starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews in one of her most memorable roles, the film adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical follows Maria, a spirited young woman who leaves a convent and becomes a governess to seven unruly children. Her charm and songs soon win the hearts of the children and their father but when Nazi Germany unites with Austria, Maria is forced to attempt a daring escape with her new family. DVD. 175 min.; $34.99; Ages 5-18. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

ChittyChitty.jpgChitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls start your engines. You’re about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has never looked or sounded better. Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives but also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure. DVD. 145 min.; Ages 5-18. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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The Goonies (25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition). From the imagination of Steven Spielberg, The Goonies plunges a band of small heroes into a swashbuckling surprise-around-every corner quest beyond their wildest dreams! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of a family of bumbling bad guys…and a mild mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. Blu-ray. 114 min.; Ages 8-12. Warner Home Entertainment.

White Christmas (Two-Disc Holiday Edition). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a “sister” act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to put on a Big Show to benefit the struggling ski-resort lodge run by the beloved old retired general (Dean Jagger) of their WWII Army outfit. DVD. 120 min.; Ages 8-12. Paramount Home Video.

The Happy Elf. Based on the Grammy-winner Harry, Jr.’s original song, The Happy Elf will be sure to ring in the season with loads of holiday laughter. This delightful animated adventure is the story of Eubie, one of Santa’s helpers whose overly optimistic outlook is put to the test when he decides to bring Christmas joy to a sad little town called Bluesville. Will Eubie’s unbridled enthusiasm be too much for the town’s austere authority? Featuring the voice and brand-new holiday songs of Harry Connick, Jr. and the voice talents of Carol Kane, Lewis Black, Rob Paulsen and Mickey Rooney. Adult Juror Comments: Very encouraging. Happy Elf breaks the rules in order to do what is right for the townspeople, but it’s the only way to accomplish his goal. Good ending, especially when we learn that Bluesville changes its name. 45 min.; DVD. 45min.;Ages 5-12. Anchor Bay.

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Families of Afghanistan. Meet Zamora, 13, who lives in the country with her parents, three sisters, two brothers and two uncles. An early riser, Zamora has chores to complete before breakfast, including tending to the cows and chickens.  She shows us how the homes in her village are built around a common courtyard to help protect them and their vegetable gardens from the elements.  At meals, she often helps feed her uncle, who lost his arms and eyesight to a land mine. She attends religion class, where she studies the Koran, and performs her daily prayers (five times a day). Twelve-year-old Madina lives in Kabul with her parents, two sisters, uncle and cousin. Unlike Zamora, who attends school in the afternoon, Madina’s classes are in the morning and include studies in math, science, language, history and sports. She also tutors another student twice a week in computers. After school and the midday meal she shares with her family, Madina helps with household chores like vacuuming and ironing, then enjoys an afternoon snowball fight before doing her homework, eating supper and playing games. DVD. 30 min.; Ages 5-12. Master Communications. 

 

 

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