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

Archive for October, 2012

Disney Purchases Lucasfilm for $4.05 Billion

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

According to today’s news, Disney has agreed to pay $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm which is owned completely by George Lucas. Disney will own LUcasfilm in its entirety including the class Star Wars films, the film production company, visual effects and post-production. It is expected that the company will remain in its current location in northern California and Kathleen Kennedy will become president of Lucasfilm.

Read more: http://kidscreen.com/2012/10/30/disney-buys-lucasfilm-for-us4-05-billion/#ixzz2AolsgHNg

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The Hub TV Network Celebrates Halloween Week

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
This Halloween The Hub TV Network gets into the ‘spirit’ with a full lineup of spooky and fun Halloween-themed movies, TV series and specials. The centerpiece of the network’s October 31 programming slate is a special two-hour marathon of the award-winning “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series” (4-6 p.m. ET). The marathon showcases four of the scariest episodes from all three seasons of the Hub Original Series, starring popular young Hollywood actors including Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”) and Dakota Goyo (Real Steel).

The tricks and treats continue with spine-tingling Halloween-themed episodes of favorite live-action and animated Hub series including “The Adventures of CHUCK & Friends,” “Transformers Rescue Bots,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Pound Puppies,” and “Goosebumps.” When darkness sets in, the network’s primetime programming schedule will feature super spooky episodes of “ALF,” “Mork & Mindy,” “Facts of Life,” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.”

The Hub will also present the family-favorite Halloween movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman” (noon-2 p.m. ET), as well as the Hub TV Special “The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow” (10-11 a.m. ET), an hour-long animated special inspired by Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

On Monday, October 29 (4-6 p.m. ET), viewers will be treated to a special two-hour marathon of four back-back episodes of “Truth or Scare,” a ghostly live-action series hosted by Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) that goes deep into the shadows to explore haunted houses, mythical beasts, and ancient legends around the globe.

Fans of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” will be treated to a special four-episode Halloween-themed marathon of ‘spook-tacular’ proportions on Tuesday, October 30 (10 a.m.-noon ET) following everyone’s favorite witch Sabrina Sellman (Melissa Joan Hart) as a teenager with magical powers living with her two aunts and their magical talking cat Salem.

A full listing of Halloween programming for October 31 follows (all times ET):

(6:30-7 a.m.) “The Adventures of CHUCK & Friends – “Ghost Stories: Charlie the Screwdriver”

(8:30-9 a.m.) “Transformers Animated” “Along Came a Spider”

(9:30-10 a.m.) “Transformers Rescue Bots” “The Haunting of Griffin Rock”

(10-11 a.m.) Hub TV Special: “The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow”

(11 a.m.-noon) “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” “The Halloween Scene”

(Noon-2 p.m.) Hub Family Movie: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman.

(2-2:30 p.m.) “Pound Puppies” “Nightmare on Pound Street”

(4-6 p.m.) “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series”

(6-7 p.m.) “Goosebumps” “The Haunted Mask II”

(8-9 p.m.) “ALF”

(9-9:30 p.m.) “The Facts of Life” “The Halloween Show”

(9:30-10 p.m.) “Mork & Mindy” “A Morkyville Horror”

(10-11 p.m.) “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” “Darkness Visible”

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Trick or Tweet

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

ABC gets into the Halloween spirit with the annual airing of the animated Peanuts special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31, at 8p. This year, the network is hosting Trick or Tweet event, where fans will have the chance to take part in a special live chat with Snoopy via Twitter on Halloween night, @Snoopy, #Snoopy and follow @Snoopy. For further information check in at www.abc.com, and use the show hashtag as well as #ABCTrickorTweet.

The classic animated Halloween-themed Peanuts special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, will air Wed., Oct. 31 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. In the 1966 animated special It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. Cast members include Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus). The cast also includes Sally Dryer as Lucy, Chris Doran as Schroeder, Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Kathy Steinberg as Sally, Tracy Stratford as Violet and Ann Altieri as Frieda.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
was executive-produced by Lee Mendelson and created and written by Charles M. Schulz. Bill Melendez is the producer and director and Vince Guaraldi is the music composer.

On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts comic strip launched in seven American newspapers. Who would have guessed the impact the brand would have around the world for decades to come. Nearly 60 years later, the comic strip appears in over 2,200 newspapers, in 75 countries and 21 languages. Peanuts animated specials have become a seasonal tradition and thousands of consumer products are available in virtually all retail channels. Charlie Brown kicking the football, Linus and his blanket and Lucy leaning over Schroeder’s piano are images to which everyone can relate. Such phrases as Security Blanket and Good Grief have become a part of the global vernacular. Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez’s association with Charles Schulz stretches back to 1965 with A Charlie Brown Christmas, which debuted on CBS in 1965 with Mendelson as executive producer and Bill Melendez as animator and director. The three men continued their long-term association until Schulz’s death, working together on 50 PEANUTS network specials and four feature films. The network specials won five Emmys, two Peabodys and 18 other Emmy nominations.

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Famed Soprano Renee Fleming Performs in DreamWorks new film, “Rise of the Guardians’

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming has performed the original song “Still Dream” on the soundtrack for the upcoming Rise of the Guardian. “This is a truly beautiful film and I am honored to perform ‘Still Dream,’ which serves as the perfect finale for Alexandre’s incredible film score,” says Renee Fleming. One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renee Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Known as “the people’s diva” and named 2012 Female Singer of the Year by the German Echo awards, she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. Ms. Fleming is a Three-Time Grammy® Award Winner. Last June, in a historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The film features a score by Four-Time Academy Award® nominated and Grammy® Award winning composer Alexandre Desplat. The original, end-credit song “Still Dream” was written and produced by Desplat, with lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. The complete score was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and features choral work by London Voices. To create the music and lyrics for the original song, Desplat and Lindsay-Abaire drew upon the film’s heroic and sweeping story as inspiration. “There is much more music in Rise of the Guardians than is found in the average live-action film,” says Desplat, who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra. “The goal with the score was to emphasize every moment of joy, sadness and soul so that audiences would be able to dive with the characters into their worlds. The main theme – conveying all the wonder of children’s dreams and their beliefs became the melody on which I wrote the song.”

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes; each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. The film stars Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman.

Rise of the Guardians is directed by Peter Ramsey, written by David Lindsay-Abaire, produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein and executive produced by William Joyce and Guillermo del Toro. Link to trailer: http://www.riseoftheguardians.com/

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Healthy Child HealthyWorld Joins Forces with Vine.com

Friday, October 5th, 2012

The national non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World is proud to announce an ongoing partnership with Vine.com, a new online shopping destination for natural, organic and sustainably-made products from Quidsi, Inc. Starting this September, shoppers on Vine.com will get $10 off their order and free shipping with an exclusive code when they spend $49 or more. The code can be obtained by visiting www.vine.com/healthychild2012. Additionally, Vine.com will give $10 to Healthy Child Healthy World on the customer’s behalf. By increasing awareness of unnecessary health risks and advocating policies that protect children, Healthy Child Healthy World aims to empower parents to protect children from toxic chemicals through simple changes and steps all parents can make.

Featuring everything from paraben-free skincare and gluten-free snacks to reclaimed wood furnishings and solar-powered electronics, Vine.com makes life easier for consumers who want to access green products and shop for them in one place.

“Healthy Child Healthy World has been leading the charge for two decades to help families understand the connection between the environment and their health,” said Josh Dorfman, Site Leader of Vine.com. “We believe in their mission and we have a shared commitment to encourage smart lifestyle choices for everyone, particularly parents and children. So when consumers come to Vine.com, they can find what they need with ease, while supporting an organization that safeguards the health of children.”

“Healthy Child Healthy World is thrilled to partner with Vine.com, a new website that truly embodies our ideals of living a safer, healthier and more sustainable lifestyle,” said Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World. “Working together with Vine.com, we hope to help spread the word that buying green products does not mean sacrificing results or effectiveness – you get the best of both worlds and we know for consumers today, green means health.”

Visitors to Vine.com will find products from Healthy Child Healthy World-trusted products such as Burt’s Bees, Episencial, Green Toys, Dapple, Plum Organics, and official launch partner, Seventh Generation, as well as leading value-based brands such as Method, Tom’s of Maine, gDiapers and Annie’s Homegrown. They will also discover products from next-generation green innovators such as Yes To, Pacific Shaving Company, PACT Apparel and Yogitoes.

Defining “Green”

Before Vine.com carries a product, Vine.com reviews product descriptions (including descriptions of ingredients and materials) that areprovided by a vendor. Those products descriptions are then compared to Vine.com’s standards.

To be available on Vine.com, a product (based on its description) must fall into at least one of the following categories:

Designed to Remove Toxins
Energy Efficient
Powered by Renewable Energy
Made of Sustainable Materials
Water Efficient

As part of its product selection process, Vine.com developed a Banned Ingredients List; and Vine.com vendors must confirm that their products do not contain substances on the list.

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