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

Be a Cool Grandparent with These 3 DVDs for Rainy Spring Days

Here are three great DVDs coming out next week that any grandparent would be considered pretty cool if they had them onhand when their school-aged grandkids come to visit.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack…and More Funny Favorites. Get ready to chuckle out loud as smart Duck takes advantage of Farmer’s vacation to stir up some trouble. This delightful collection brings classic stories to the screen with beautiful illustrations and simple narration. Background music and sound effects add to the tales without overpowering them. Learn about the lives of spiders, worms and flies through whimsical stories in the diaries of worms and flies. You probably never thought before how difficult it might be for a worm to do the Hokey Pokey. Learn about the process one has to go through to become president as Duck heads to Washington, DC before deciding his life was much better back on the farm. This compilation of short films makes great use of humor and is just right for elementary school-age kids. Our youth viewers thought the characters were funny and commented on how it was interesting to see the everyday lives of flies and worms. One child got very excited and said that the diaries were his favorite books. They really laughed when the worm thought the money was a leaf. DVD. 57 min.; $14.95; Ages 5-8. New Video Group.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. AAAAlllllvvvviiiin, Simon and Theodore are back in town, and this time they have some competition. The Chipettes! As the brothers get used to school life and try to get over the betrayal of their former agent, Ian, they discover that Ian is up to his old tricks with the Chipettes. It’s up to Alvin, Simon and Theodore to help the girls. That’s not easy to do when the girls just think they are just jealous. It also doesn’t help that the brothers aren’t getting along as well as they usually do. In the end they are reminded that there is nothing as great as true brotherly love. With catchy tunes and darling animation, the chipmunks will steal your heart and have you singing along as you are reminded about the power of love. Some viewers might not appreciate the potty humor. But, the storyline was good and holds the interest of both kids and adults. Our younger viewers laughed and commented that it was like their everyday life being on film, and parents were able to see it, too. The music is great. Kids liked hearing the songs they normally listen to re-done with chipmunk voices. DVD. 89 min.; $29.98; Ages 5-12. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.


Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove. It’s time to save an orca again, and this time it’s in a film starring Bindi Irwin and Beau Bridges. While the concept of saving the whale is similar to the other “Free Willy” films, you don’t ever find yourself bored. This might be because anyone following Irwin’s career knows that she’s truly passionate about animals, both on and off the screen. It adds a dimension of sincerity to the film. It’s hard to believe it’s her first feature film debut since Irwin’s acting is so natural. In this engaging film, young Kirra joins her eccentric grandfather (Bridges) in South Africa at his rundown amusement park by the sea. An orca, which Kirra names “Willy,” gets stuck in their lagoon and can’t be freed until they find Willy’s pod. Things get tense when the wealthy amusement park owner down the road wants to buy Willy and their own funds get tight, making it difficult to feed the orca. It’s up to Kirra and her buddy Sifisu to find the pod and free Willy. Our youth viewers loved seeing the orcas and the penguin. Their favorite part was when the bad guy was running away and Willy came and bit him in the butt. DVD. 102 min.; $27.98; Ages 8-12. Warner Home Video.  
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