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Return to Current Children's Video/DVD New Releases

Family movies coming to home video and DVD:

Robots is in stores on September 27th. We're looking forward to the November 15th release of Madagascar, a film that surprised us with humor on multiple levels, and the November 8th release of the funky and sophisticated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Herbie - Fully Loaded was a feel-good, laugh out loud movie, although somewhat predictable, and it's coming to home video and DVD on October 25th.

Last year, the CGI-animated, full-length feature Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-Lot was a hit. On October 18th, a follow-up title, The Care Bears Big Wish Movie will be available. We've had the chance to preview the full-length feature, and it's adorable. The story line is all-new, and brand new characters in the Care Bear family (ones who are much like delinquents at the outset!) are introduced. The DVD is available for pre-order now: Care Bears:Big Wish Movie. Very cute, and, unlike the old cartoon, the focus is more on fun than on fighting "evil".

Raggedy Ann & Andy are back with re-released stories to celebrate the 90th anniversary of a beloved children's classic. The new DVD titles--The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Mabbit Adventure and Other Exciting Tales and The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Pixling Adventure and Other Exciting Tales--are culled from the '80's Saturday morning vaults. They are definitely 80's style--complete with ghosts and villains. They're certainly not like the tamer children's fare of today, and remind me a lot of the old Care Bears (not the newer, more politically correct Care Bears movies as above). In one episode, the dolls find a crowned baby. Is he trouble with a capital "T", as Grouchy Bear insists? The dolls need to get him to Pixling Castle before the Full Moon, and evil enemies stand in their way.

For more information or to buy: The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy - The Pixling Adventure...and Other Exciting Tales or The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy - The Mabbit Adventure... and Other Exciting Tales

Some new children's movie releases that we have reviewed include: The exciting release of The Incredibles on DVD and VHS, Robots released in movie theaters, a special "on location" Barney: Let's Go to the Farm, a new release from the Baby Einstein series of videos for babies: Baby DaVinci, a children's "signing" video Signing Time, the hilarious British children's series Brum: Snow Thieves and Other Stories starring a car with personality, and two videos/DVDs designed to keep kids active and healthy: Sesame Street: Happy Healthy Monsters and Denise Austin's Fit Kids.


The Wind in the WillowsThis new release by A&E is going to make a lot of people happy. The Wind in the Willows: The Complete First Series is a 2-disc DVD set that includes all 13 episodes from the award-winning classic for children. These episodes recreate Toda Hall, Mole End, and Wild Wood from Kenneth Grahame's classic book. A bonus episode from Series 2 is included.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Wind in the Willows - The Complete First Season 

 

Thomas the Tank Engine fans won't want to miss Thomas and Friends: Thomas' Sodor Celebration! It's a 60th Anniversary home video release featuring seven classic stories culled from the Thomas television series. While supplies last, each DVD and video includes an on-pack limited edition gold Thomas Engine. The DVD includes some bonus feature games and a read-along story. Stories include Thomas Saves the Day, Halloween, Spic and Span, Thomas & the Circus, and more.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Thomas & Friends: Sodor Celebrate W/Train (DVD) or Thomas & Friends: Sodor Celebrate W/Train (VHS) 

 

Barbie FairytopiaWe've enjoyed the CGI-animated Barbie direct-to-video movies to date, and Barbie Fairytopia didn't disappoint. Set for release on March 8th, Barbie Fairytopia stars Barbie as Elina, a flower fairy who wishes she had wings. Set in a vibrantly colorful world called Fairytopia, this movie uses a common theme (evil vs. good), yet delivers an enchanting experience for any Barbie fan and children enchanted by fairies. Barbie as Elina has an adorable, fuzzy litle sidekick named Bibble. Together, they determinedly venture off on a number of quests after discovering that the fairies are weakening and some of them cannot fly. Laverna and her evil minions have kidnapped fairy guardians, silenced the Enchantress (who also happens to be Laverna's good twin sister), and invaded all seven regions of Fairytopia. Laverna hopes to become the new Queen of the land. The movie thrilled our little viewers with its compelling characters, interesting story line, and gorgeous "eye candy". See our review of Barbie Fairytopia, along with pictures from the movie, here.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Barbie - Fairytopia (DVD) or Barbie:Fairytopia (VHS) 

 

Angelina BallerinaAngelina borrows her mother's precious silver locket without asking in this new video/DVD, the second title in the three-act Big Performance trilogy, an inspirational series that offers little girls a how-to-kit for staging their own big performances. Angelina Ballerina: The Silver Locket tells the story of Angelina's frantic search for the locket she has lost, as well as 3 more all-new episodes. This special release (the DVD) includes a locket as well as an instructional poster that features Angelina demonstrating five new dance steps. The moves correspond with a live-action segment on the DVD for an interactive experience. Bonus features on the DVD include a read-along book and a couple of games. Very high quality, and highly recommended!

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Angelina Ballerina: Silver Locket (DVD) or Angelina Ballerina: Silver Locket (VHS) 

 

Here Come the ABCs - They Must Be GiantsThere is a fabulous children's DVD (and audio CD) on the horizon by They Might Be Giants and Disney Sound entitled Here Come the ABCs. We had a sneak peek at the DVD, and we have fallen in love with it. Set to be released on Feburary 15th, both the DVD movie and audio CD are now available for pre-order. Here Come the ABCs DVD features songs about letters set to fun animated scenes that will entertain the whole family, and educate preschoolers. They Might Be Giants (John Flansburgh and John Linnell, an alternative rock musical duo who first ventured into the kids' music market with the album, No!, a recording that debuted at #1 on Billboard's Children's Music Chart) had complete creative control on the DVD, and employed graphic artists, illustrators, and puppeteers from around the globe in order to create this funky and charmingly out-of-the-ordinary project. TMBG recently wrote the theme song for the animated series, "Higglytown Heroes", on Playhouse Disney, and twelve of the Here Come the ABCs videos will begin airing on Playhouse Disney shortly. One video claims that "LMNO" are sometimes confused for one letter, but they're not! Others include, "C is for Conifers", "F is for Fake-Believe", "ZYX", and "QU". The DVD is hosted by John and John as puppets. 

This DVD is distinctive, highly "edutaining", and a must-own for families with young children. Whether kids are deciding which squiggly lines are letters (and which are not), or visiting the Alphabet Lost and Found, kids receive an amazing, creative lesson in alphabet/letter recognition with plenty of reinforcement. Fabulous! Our Full Review of Here Come the ABCs can be found here.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: They Might Be Giants - Here Come The ABCs (With Exclusive Amazon.com Content) (DVD) or Here Come The ABCs (With Exclusive Amazon.com Content) (audio CD) 


Rikki Tikki TaviThree animated Rudyard Kipling classics by the legendary Academy Award winner Chuck Jones are now available on DVD. These animated stories are rather short (approximately 30 minutes long), but a bonus episode is included on each DVD along with the featured story. These are fabulous family movies:

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, narrated by Orson Welles, is based on Rudyard Kipling's story about a mongoose who saves his family from cobra snakes. This mongoose, Rikki, is an adopted pet of a British family living in India. After they save him from near death, he returns the favor—more than once! Note that very young children may be frightened by the cobras. For those old enough, the story is exciting and the mongoose is full of personality. The DVD features a bonus episode, Yankee Doodle Cricket

Mowgli's BrothersMowgli's Brothers is based on stories from The Jungle Book. The special story features Mowgli, a small child who is raised in the jungle by a pair of wolves, and stays rather true to the Kipling story. Mowgli's Brothers is narrated by Roddy McDowall. Baloo the Bear is here, as well as Shere Khan, and Akela, the leader of the wolf pack. The DVD features a bonus episode, Very Merry Cricket, featuring the voice of Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny!).

The White SealWhite Seal is a treat. This story is also based on stories from Kipling's The Jungle Book, and follows the adventures of Kotec the Seal through the waters of Nova Scotia. Again, Roddy McDowall narrates. Kotec wants to be a leader, but he faces challenges along the way, not the least of which are humans! The DVD features a bonus episode, A Cricket in Times Square.

All three of these DVDs include a "direct play" feature, which is very handy with children's DVDs. These classic animated stories have been available on VHS for years, and will finally be available on DVD on January 25th.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Rikki Tikki Tavi/Yankee Doodle Cricket (DVD), Mowgli's Brothers/Very Merry Cricket (DVD), or White Seal/A Cricket in Times Square (DVD).

 

The Wiggles LiveThe Wiggles LIVE Hot Potatoes! is now available on video and DVD. 

Greg, Anthony, Murray, and Jeff perform in concert before a live audience for the first time. The Wiggles favorites, like Hot Potato, The Monkey Dance, and Red Car, are all here. The best thing is that there is plenty of drama and humor in the performance, in addition to fantastic songs—The Wiggles truly put on a show, and little kids are likely to sing and dance along. This is a high-energy, intelligent performance that families with young children won't want to miss. Approximate running time is 140 minutes, including bonus features (DVD). See our full review.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Wiggles: Live Hot Potatoes (DVD) 

 

Alice Through the Looking GlassA live-action full-length movie adaptation of Alice Through the Looking Glass is now available. Alice travels to The Looking Glass Land, where she finds Wonderland characters like Tweedledee and Tweedledum and becomes a white pawn on a giant chessboard. On her journey towards becoming a queen, she has all the odd and charming conversations and adventures that you come to expect with author Lewis Carroll. The movie is enchanting, although we found some fantasy sequences a tad dull. For the most, however, Alice Through the Looking Glass is entertaining and quirky, with plenty of humor and visual interest to capture the attention of the whole family.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Alice Through the Looking Glass (VHS) or Alice Through the Looking Glass (DVD) 

 

Leap Frog Code Word CaperTwo new videos/DVDs from Leap Frog have been released, and they are impressive. Following the excellent Leap Frog: Talking Word Factory, Leap Frog Code Word Caper explores more advanced word-building concepts, such as the change a silent "e" makes to the vowel sound of a simple word (cap becomes cape, for example). Catchy songs, enthusiastic characters, and a fun storyline catch and maintain children's interest. At the same time, valuable phonics lessons are offered in a thoroughly digestible manner.

Math CircusLeap Frog: Math Circus was also released on the same day, and it is fantastic. (See our full review of Math Circus). With visual demonstrations of addition and subtraction, Math Circus helps children understand early math concepts with a format that is unique and evocative. We love both videos, and recommend them enthusiastically for children ages 5-7. 

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: 

Leap Frog - Talking Words Factory 2 - Code Word Caper (VHS) or Leap Frog - Talking Words Factory 2 - Code Word Caper (DVD) 

Leap Frog - Math Circus (VHS) or Leap Frog - Math Circus (DVD) 

 

Top Family Movies for the Holidays:

  • Shrek 2 The lovably ugly green ogre returns with his green bride and furry, hooved friend in Shrek 2.
  • Elf Elf is a smartly written, skillfully directed, and well acted story of a human being adopted by Christmas elves who returns to the human world to find his father.
  • Spider-Man 2 More than a few critics hailed Spider-Man 2 as "the best superhero movie ever," and there's no compelling reason to argue.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Some movie-loving wizards must have cast a magic spell on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it's another grand slam for the Harry Potter franchise.
  • Looney Tunes - Golden Collection, Volume Two Yes, here on four discs you'll find 60 more of the finest, funniest, "bestest" Golden Era cartoons from the feverishly bent artistic minds at Termite Terrace.

 

Popeye's VoyageImpressive talent is behind the world's most famous sailor's first CGI-animated full-length feature: Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy was written and produced by Paul Reiser, comedian and actor ("Mad About You"), and features voice talents of Academy Award winner, Kathy Bates, as well as The Ren and Stimpy Show's Billy West. Popeye is on a quest to find his long-lost father, Pappy, in time for the holidays. With Olive Oyl, Swee'Pea, Bluto, and Wimpy in tow, Popeye sets sail through the Seas of Mystery. The VHS runs for 44 minutes, and the DVD's special features (animated behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, four classic television episodes, and a trailer gallery) bring the length to 66 minutes. Release date: November 9th. Available now for pre-order. Full review coming soon.

[For more information, user reviews, or to pre-order: Popeye's Voyage - The Quest for Pappy (VHS) or Popeye's Voyage - The Quest for Pappy (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverBarbie fans can look forward to another CGI-animated direct-to-video Barbie movie, Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper. This time around it's a musical, featuring seven original songs. Like Barbie of Swan Lake and Barbie as Rapunzel, the graphics are rich and the story is a modern re-telling of a classic tale. The DVD and video were released on September 28th. We had a chance to view the final product: see our full review here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper (VHS) or Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

God Made Animals Baby Faith DVDA new line of BabyFaith developmental videos and DVDs by Sony Wonder has just been released. 

coverGod Made Me and God Made Animals are the first two titles in the Baby Faith series. The videos' soothing narrations are by Jodi Benson (the voice of the Little Mermaid). Inspirational songs, hymns, animation, live-action scenes, and parades of puppets are featured in the videos, designed to encourage both developmental and spiritual growth. God Made Me features a simple version of creation, while God Made Animals offers a child-friendly story of Noah and the ark. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: God Made Me (VHS) or God Made Me (DVD); God Made Animals (VHS) or God Made Animals (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverAvailable now is a direct-to-video Sesame Street feature starring "lovable, furry old Grover": Sesame Street: A Celebration of Me, Grover. Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe, and the gang celebrate some of Grover's most memorable moments, treating viewers to vignettes in which the multi-talented monster takes on some of his many roles, including Super Grover, a frustrated waiter, a confused marshal, and more. What better time than Labor Day to celebrate this hard-working Muppet? Available on DVD and video. See our full review.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - A Celebration of Me, Grover (VHS) or Sesame Street - A Celebration of Me, Grover (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverThis feature adaptation of the popular Clifford series includes the voice of the late John Ritter as Clifford. The graphics are rich and appealing, offering parents, as well as kids, something fun to look at. Musical scores, a comedic storyline, and plenty of visual treats are featured in Clifford's Really Big Movie. John Goodman is one of the guest stars. Fun! Available on VHS and DVD August 24th.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Clifford's Really Big Movie (VHS) or Clifford's Really Big Movie (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverBoohbah has arrived on video and DVD. Five colorful atoms of energy star in this intriguing PBS series for young children, designed to encourage movement, imitation, and academic skills. Each Boohbah has a name and is of a different color: Humbah is yellow, Zumbah is purple, Zing Zing Zingbah is orange, Jumbah is blue, and Jingbah is pink. The Boohbahs live in a large ball of light, called the Boohball. The Boohball is called by children, and it travels to kids all over the world. Laughter of children provides energy to the Boohbahs, who "recharge" in their respective pods within the Boohball. Two-dimensional characters, called StoryPeople, are available for children to create stories with, and include Grandmamma, Grandpappa, Mrs. Lady, Mr. Man, Brother, Sister, Auntie, and Little Dog Fido. The episodes begin with an energetic Boohbah warm-up that is sure to get little viewers laughing, or at least amused, from the start. Boohbahs don't speak, yet they "say" a lot about getting up off the couch and enjoying life. Licensed Boohbah merchandise is now available, including videos and DVDs: Boohbah Comfy Chair and Boohbah Squeaky Socks.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Boohbah - Squeaky Socks (VHS) or Boohbah - Squeaky Socks (DVD); Boohbah - Comfy Armchair (VHS) or Boohbah - Comfy Armchair (DVD) at Amazon.com]

In Canada, Boohbah Squeaky Socks (VHS) or Boohbah: Squeaky Socks (DVD); Boohbah Comfy Armchair (VHS) or Boohbah: Comfy Armchair (DVD) at Amazon.ca]

 

coverTwo classic Sesame Street titles are now available on DVD: Learning About Letters and Learning About Numbers. In Learning About Letters, Big Bird leads Snuffy (and little viewers!) through the alphabet, letter by letter. Skits, fun animations, and educational vignettes are featured. Plenty of visual and audio reinforcement of each letter of the alphabet is featured, including the classic "C is for Cookie" Cookie Monster song. Lena Horne guest stars. A must-own classic, now available on DVD. Big Bird and the Count (of course!) lead Learning About Numbers. See our full review of Learning About Letters here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - Learning About Letters (DVD) or Sesame Street - Learning About Numbers at Amazon.com]

 

cover"Meet George Jetson...Jane, his wife...daughter Judy...his boy Elroy..." The Jetsons fans will love sharing the complete first season of this 1960's cartoon series with their kids. The Jetsons: The Complete First Season is now available on DVD. Set in the future, The Jetsons series revolved around a family with all of the "future" conveniences of flying cars, handy gadgets, and androids! 24 episodes of this hilarious classic are included in the 4-DVD box set--commercial-free, of course. Plenty of entertainment for the whole family!  

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Jetsons - The Complete First Season (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverThe turtles are back! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume One (Season One) has been released, and includes the first five episodes from the animated series produced in 1987, as well as bonus features on the DVD edition: four never before seen episodes. This DVD premiere features 110 minutes of full screen Ninja Turtles action. What fun! See our full review.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverThose chunky Little People characters toddlers love come "alive" with fascinating claymation in a new line of videos and DVDs. The first two Fisher Price collections are being released on April 20th and are now available for pre-order: Little People Friendship Collection serves as an introduction to the Little People characters, with themes revolving around the importance of friendship. Stories include meeting a new girl, Sonya Lee, adventures in Discovery City, acquiring a new pet as a friend, and more surprises. Little People Creativity Collection (Volume 2) features stories that explore art and music. 

Each volume in the series includes 10 mini-episodes each approximately 5 minutes long. Designed with the target audience in mind, these videos/DVDs feature simple, easy-to-follow story lines as well as fun characters and settings. Very cute! (See our full review of this video/DVD we rated A+).

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Little People:Friendship Collection (VHS) or Little People - Friendship Collection (DVD); Little People:Creativity Collection (VHS) or Little People - Creativity Collection (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverDisney's latest coming of age theatrical release is now available on VHS and DVD. Set in prehistoric times, Brother Bear tells the story of a young hunter who is changed into a bear and is hunted by his still-human brother. Kenai, this man-turned-bear, meets an orphaned bear cub along the way, and it is their developing relationship--and the hilarious moose duo voiced by Rick Moranis and Doug Thomas (of SCTV's Bob & Doug McKenzie fame)--that forms the bulk of the story line. The movie includes some intense drama that may disturb younger viewers, but for the most part, this adventure is a humorous and warm one. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Brother Bear (VHS) or Brother Bear (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverChildren still love the Care Bears! Two new DVDs featuring episodes from the classic television series were released in February: Kingdom of Caring (pictured here) and Adventures in Care-A-Lot. Both titles incorporate the new FHE "pop-n-play" feature--kids don't need to handle the DVD remote with this handy feature. Together, these DVDs include 10 episodes from the popular 80's TV series. See our full review of Kingdom of Caring here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Care Bears - Kingdom of Caring (DVD) or Care Bears - Adventures in Care-a-Lot (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

We love the Scholastic Video Collection series, and new installments in this educational series are here. Each video and DVD retells classic and contemporary children’s stories, keeping the joy of storytelling alive. New editions in the series include Corduroy…and More Stories About Friendship, Is Your Mama a Llama?…and More Stories About Growing Up, Red Riding Hood…and More James Marshall Fairy Tale Favorites, and The Scrambled States of America…and More Stories to Celebrate Our Country. The DVD editions are packed with bonus stories and extra features. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Is Your Mama a Llama?... and More Stories About Growing Up (Scholastic Video Collection) (DVD); Corduroy... and More Stories About Friendship (Scholastic Video Collection) (DVD); The Scrambled States of America (DVD); or Red Riding Hood... And More James Marshall Fairy Tale Favorites (Scholastic Video Collection) (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Now available on VHS and DVD: An exciting new edition in the popular Elmo's World series, Elmo's World: Elmo Has Two! Hands, Ears, & Feet, has been released. This fun new video teaches body awareness as Elmo explores how to use the different parts of his body to run, jump, and more, with help from faithful pals Baby Bear, Dorothy the goldfish, Rosita, and Mr. Noodle.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Elmo's World - Elmo Has Two (VHS) or Elmo's World - Elmo Has Two (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Fisher Price has launched a new video/DVD line that recognizes the important early stages of baby's development. Fisher Price Musical Baby and Baby's Day kick off the series. Baby's Day begins with a friendly "wake up, good morning!" with live-action video of babies opening their eyes in the morning, stretching, getting dressed, kissing their parents, and more. Eye-popping, colorful puppet sequences add visual interest and humor to the video, and the video also features live-action video of animals and nature. Waking up in the morning, playing, eating, and going to bed are the familiar activities that young viewers follow as the video demonstrates a typical day in baby's world. Children learn new vocabulary words in a gentle, low-key environment. Full sentences are used, including poems, so that children are exposed to words used in context. These first two videos/DVDs, featuring superior production values, were released on January 27, 2004.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Fisher Price - Musical Baby (VHS) or Fisher Price - Musical Baby (DVD); Fisher Price - Baby's Day (VHS) or Fisher Price - Baby's Day (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

What fun is this? Rescue Heroes fans will love the first movie of their favorite show and toy line, featuring CGI-animation that lends an extraordinary new look to the popular Fisher Price toy and television series. The direct-to-video movie is packed with excitement--there are volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, avalanches, and other outrageous emergencies for the team (including Billy Blazes, Wendy Waters, and other elite rescue team personnel) to deal with. Easily more exciting than any of the episodes in the cartoon series, Rescue Heroes: The Movie is sure to please little fans. Interesting story lines, such as an overconfident member of the team who takes too many risks, add depth to the movie, and the CGI animation brings added visual interest and creativity to the mix. The movie will attract a slightly older crowd as a result. Recommended!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Rescue Heroes: The Movie (VHS)  or Rescue Heroes: The Movie (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverIt certainly doesn't look like the Land Before Time series of movies is anywhere near extinction. Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration is the tenth installment in a wonderful series that boasts lush animation, engaging story lines, and a little food for thought for youngsters. This time around, the theme might hit home for many children who have to deal with separation and divorce when Little Foot, who was raised by his grandparents, must make a difficult decision after meeting his father. This is a captivating movie that kids will want to revisit over and over again.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Land Before Time X - The Great Longneck Migration (VHS)  or The Land Before Time X - The Great Longneck Migration (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverUnusual? Definitely. If you're a fan of Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean comedies, there's a good chance you and your family will enjoy the animated version of Mr. Bean and his silly antics. In Mr. Bean: The Animated Series Vol. 1 & 2, the character transfers seamlessly to animation--Bean's hilarious look, expressions, and foibles are captured well by animators. In fact, his exploits and misadventures are often more fantastical because of the nature of the medium, but for the most part, the stories have the same silliness as the original series. Teddy, Bean's stuffed teddy bear friend, appears in many of this 2-DVD set's 18 episodes, as well as other series regulars like his landlady Mrs. Wicket and his girlfriend, Irma. Fortunately, Rowan Atkinson does the voiceovers--Bean's trademark grunts, although often unintelligible in the strict sense of the word, are always full of expression. The episodes include Bean's adventures with spring cleaning, a bout of homelessness after a misunderstanding with his landlady, and a birthday party for Teddy. Kid testers and their parents alike thoroughly enjoyed the collection.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Mr. Bean - The Animated Series, Vols. 1 & 2 (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverOne of our favorite children's music artists, Ralph Covert of Ralph's World, came to video and DVD on September 23rd. We had a chance to see the DVD, called Say Hello!, and it's great fun! We have a full review of this new video/DVD offering here

(See our reviews of Ralph's World CDs here: Ralph's World, Ralph's World At the Bottom of the Sea, and Ralph's World Happy Lemons).

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Say Hello! (VHS) or Say Hello! (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

From the Big Screen to the Little Screen

New this summer, and available now are:

coverPiglet's Big Movie (VHS) July 29th
Piglet's Big Movie (DVD) July 29th
Stuart Little 2
(VHS) August 5th
Stuart Little 2 (DVD) August 5th

Also, Stitch! The Movie, which is a direct-to-video Disney release and sequel to Lilo & Stitch, was released on August 26th. This movie is shorter (about an hour) and the graphics are not as intricate as the original film, but kids will nonetheless want to "meet" some of the other experiments that came before Stitch (otherwise known as Experiment 626). 

NOTE: Our kid testers enjoyed Stitch! The Movie up until the end: they were disappointed as they felt the movie was a big tease for the new Family Channel series. Unless kids subscribe to the Family Channel, they could be quite disappointed that they only meet a couple of the mischievous aliens. 

Available on VHS: Stitch! The Movie and DVD: Stitch! The Movie.

 

coverSesame Street: Three Bears and a New Baby explores the ups and downs, and the ins and outs of welcoming a new baby into the family--Sesame Street-style! When Baby Bear has a sister, he adjusts to the new family dynamic and the idea of not being the baby in the family. This video/DVD was released on August 5th and is just right for children who are expecting a sibling. It's cute, sensitive, and funny--kids will love it, and parents will appreciate it! 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - Three Bears and a New Baby (VHS) or Sesame Street - Three Bears and a New Baby (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Video and DVD releases: Arthur's Tasty Treats and Arthur's Best Friends, released June 10th. Each title includes three animated episodes and retails at lower prices: $7.98 for VHS and $12.98 for DVD. The three episodes on Arthur's Tasty Treats have a common "tasty" theme. In Arthur's Best Friends, D.W. befriends a deer, Arthur's buddy is moving to live with his dad, and then comes back in the third episode with a new worldly attitude. 

cover On the same date, two new-to-DVD titles were released: Arthur's Baby deals with both Arthur and D.W.'s reactions to their new siblings, as well as an episode in which Arthur has a quite an experience babysitting the Tibble Twins! The Tibble Twins reappear to arouse D.W.'s competitive spirit in Arthur Writes a Story. Also, Arthur spins quite a tall tale for his writing assignment, and he gets locked in the library with Francine. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Arthur's Best Friends, Arthur's Tasty Treats, Arthur Writes a Story, and Arthur's Baby (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

  coverIt's a double feature! And not just any double feature--it's a silly, rhyming double feature with Dr. Seuss classics. Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat Comes Back/Hop on Pop is available on DVD for a low suggested retail price of $12.98 on June 3rd. The stories re-tell some of the classic Random House Beginner Books--there are six stories in all. If kids already own the books, they can attempt to read along (or just turn the pages) to The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, There's a Wocket in my Pocket!, Fox in Socks, Hop on Pop, Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!, and Oh Say Can You Say? The cover rhymes are hilarious ("there's a nink in the sink, and a zamp in the lamp"). These are not cartoon-style animations: the stories feature stills of images pulled directly from the books. 

A second Dr. Seuss "double feature" DVD is being released at the same time: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish/Are You My Mother?. Besides the title stories, children can enjoy Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!, The Foot Book, Go, Dog, Go!, and The Best Nest. How fun! 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy/pre-order: Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat Comes... and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish /... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

cover New release: In Elmo's World: The Great Outdoors, Elmo embarks on quite an adventure. Wild animals, ocean life, and weather are the themes of this new DVD that is being packaged with a bonus CD sampler of three tracks from the Best of Elmo album. Elmo's World is such a sweet and safe "world" for children to learn about the world, and this episode takes kids out into the world, so to speak, with a favorite and fuzzy friend. We'll have a full review of this new release in the hit series soon. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - Zoe's Dance Moves (VHS) or Elmo's World - The Great Outdoors (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

We were pleasantly surprised that Zoe's Dance Moves (Sesame Street) is such a rich video/DVD for little ones. Although aspiring dancers might be the logical audience, all of us have an inherent love of dance. And what this video does is celebrate dance in all of its forms! An Asian welcoming dance, an African celebration dance, and even Zoe's impromptu silly dance--all are presented as fantastic, natural, and fun. The video is also outstanding for presenting seemingly complex concepts (like "fluidity") in a totally child-friendly way. Paula Abdul stars--she is teaching Zoe how to dance. This video/DVD is fantastic! 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - Zoe's Dance Moves (VHS) or Sesame Street - Zoe's Dance Moves (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

He's big and he's red, and on time for Valentine's Day. Clifford the Big Red Dog: King Clifford and Be My Big Red Valentine were released on January 21st to DVD and video. The DVD is big--it contains both King Clifford and Be My Big Red Valentine--and each title is available separately on video. Each title contains 4 fun episodes (so you'll get 8 episodes on the DVD -- approximately 90 minutes). There are also bonus features, called Big Fun Features, on the DVD. See our full review

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Clifford - Be My Big Red Valentine or Clifford - King Clifford (VHS) or Clifford - King Clifford/Be My Big Red... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

On February 4th, a new Dora video and DVD will be released, entitled Dora the Explorer Map Adventures. Although Dora is generally rather dependent on Map for guidance, she learns how to navigate nonetheless when Map is taken by a bird! Two episodes are featured in this video and DVD. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Dora the Explorer - Map Adventures (VHS) or Dora the Explorer - Map Adventures (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Also due February 4th is brand-new Baby Looney Tunes videos! The adventures of Bugs, Tweety, Daffy, Sylvester, Taz, and Lola are chronicled before they grew up into the characters we know so well--when they were toddlers. And these toddlers are not quite like the irreverent stars of the classic Looney Tunes animations. Preschoolers will meet Tweety, the kind-hearted Taz-interpreter, the pint-sized troublemaker Daffy, the rather self-assured Bugs, and the rest of the gang in Baby Looney Tunes Backyard Adventures (a nature-themed video, pictured here) and Baby Looney Tunes Musical Adventures. See our full review of Baby Looney Tunes Musical Adventures.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Baby Looney Tunes: Backyard Adventures (VHS) or Baby Looney Tunes: Musical Adventures (VHS) at Amazon.com]

 

It's a re-launch of the Strawberry Shortcake property, and besides seeing the dolls in toy stores, both videos and DVDs became available in March. Four never-seen titles, with the first two, Meet Strawberry Shortcake and Spring for Strawberry Shortcake, released March 11, 2003. The Strawberry Shortcake "look" will be revamped -- a fresh new look from the 1980's look many of us are familiar with. The DVDs will feature English, French, and Spanish options. We are looking forward to reviewing these titles!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Strawberry Shortcake - Meet Strawberry... (VHS) or Strawberry Shortcake:Meet Strawberry (DVD) at Amazon.com]

[For more information, or to buy: Strawberry Shortcake:Spring for Straw (VHS) or Strawberry Shortcake:Spring for Straw (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Video/DVD Releases Archive

Some of summer's exciting children's movies have arrived on video and DVD. Stuart Little 2 (see our feature article) is a real family charmer; Lilo & Stitch (see our review) is a unique story with plenty of ups and downs; and Ice Age is the humorous adventure of three prehistoric mammals. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Stuart Little 2 (VHS) Stuart Little 2 (DVD) at Amazon.com]

[For more information, or to buy: Lilo & Stitch (VHS) or Lilo & Stitch (DVD) at Amazon.com]

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Ice Age (VHS) Ice Age (DVD) at Amazon.com]


Exploring Christmas with Dora

Snow, ice, and Santa are themes in Dora the Explorer: Christmas. Kids will enjoy two episodes starring Dora and her sidekick Boots the monkey...and they'll learn a few basic concepts and Spanish to boot. This video is extra cute and entertaining--anytime of the year, actually.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Dora the Explorer - Christmas at Amazon.com]

 

Schoolhouse Rock!

The Best of Schoolhouse Rock! is the show's 30th anniversary edition, featuring 25 of what fans have voted the best mini-videos from the series. This video covers the subjects of history, grammar, geography, and math with hard-to-forget musicals that will help to cement a variety of rules and other essential tidbits of information into the unsuspecting brains of a new generation of kids.

Buena Vista Home Video is running a special offer that allows teachers to order the DVD for $9.95 (half the retail price)--and the VHS is 50% off as well. Click here for more details.

You can listen to samples and VOTE for your favorite Schoolhouse Rock songs by clicking here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Best of Schoolhouse Rock! - 30th... (VHS) at Amazon.com]

 

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair!

Barbie as Rapunzel will be Barbie's second full-length animation feature. Like the successful debut movie, Barbie in the Nutcracker, CGI animation is used to capture Barbie in a magical story that has her "painting" her way to freedom! Who better than Barbie, with her glorious golden locks, to play as the fairy tale character, Rapunzel? Children will be treated to works of art from the likes of Leonardo DaVinci and more legends. The movie features voice acting from Anjelica Huston, Kelly Sheridan, and Cree Summer. The DVD edition features nice extras: an interactive art gallery that introduces children to art history, a "Dress Up Rapunzel" game in which kids use the remote control to choose ball gowns and hairstyles for Barbie, "The Artist In Me" documentary, and more. See our full review

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Barbie as Rapunzel (VHS) or Barbie as Rapunzel (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

We Scare Because We Care

Of course, the much-anticipated video/DVD release of Monsters Inc. is out. Billy Crystal and John Goodman did  fabulous voiceovers for this computer-animated extravaganza. Both adults and kids enjoyed the movie in the theaters, and we'll bet that the home version will please as well with its extra shorts and outtakes on the video version and extra goodies (like a Pixar tour and more) on the DVD. See our full review of Monsters, Inc.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Monsters, Inc. (VHS) or Monsters, Inc. (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

The Backstreet Boys Are Animals?

In the world of Arthur, the Backstreet Boys are coming to town in 4 weeks, 6 days, and 57 minutes. But who's counting? Muffy is! In fact, she's got quite a crush on Nick Carter. Francine, on the other hand, thinks the Backstreet Boys are "sell-outs", and she's bent on proving that if she had a rock band, she would never sell out. Her new band, U Stink, turns out to be an overnight sensation. This fun video, entitled Arthur It's Only Rock n Roll, features animated versions of the Backstreet Boys sporting animal ears à la Arthur, and two exclusive songs performed by the "boys" themselves! Both the DVD and VHS editions include the bonus featurette, The Making of It's Only Rock n Roll, which features the real-life Backstreet Boys. Release date: October 1st. See our full review.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy:Arthur - It's Only Rock & Roll (Starring... (VHS) or Arthur - It's Only Rock & Roll (Starring... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

New Scholastic Video/DVD Series

Does your child have a favorite book? It just might be available on video. Four videos are being released this fall to start a new series of children's video adaptations of popular books. Do your kids love Kevin Henkes? Well, Chrysanthemum...and Other Kevin Henkes Stories is on the horizon. Featuring 4 wonderful adaptations of 4 equally beautiful books, this video will delight children. Believable predicaments, touching conclusions, and heartwarming family interactions characterize the stories, read by the likes of Meryl Streep and Sara Jessica Parker, on this new release. The DVD version has extra treats -- kids can read along to the stories and enjoy a couple of bonus animated shorts.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes... (VHS) or Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

Many children are familiar with Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Now they can enjoy a video adaptation of the wildly popular book, plus a few more stories by the author. The title story, adapted to video in Where the Wild Things Are...and Other Maurice Sendak Stories, earned the author a Caldecott Medal in 1964. The DVD version includes a Spanish version of the title story, a read-along option, and a feature called "Getting to Know Maurice Sendak". Note that the narration for the title story may be a little too gruff for some sensitive little viewers.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Where the Wild Things Are and other... (VHS) or Where the Wild Things Are and other... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

Other titles in the series include Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (featuring 4 stories on the VHS edition and 3 extras on DVD) and The Night Before Christmas and More Christmas Stories.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Lots More... (VHS) or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Lots More... (DVD); The Night Before Christmas and More... (VHS) or The Night Before Christmas and More... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

A New Joe in the Neighborhood

Steve is out, and Joe is in--the new host of Blue's Clues is now featured on video in Blue's Clues Meet Joe! Veteran Blue's Clues fans will notice some similarities to Steve (Joe's enthusiastic and fresh), and will marvel at the new shape of the Handy Dandy Notepad, but will likely stop comparing by the time the video's 2 episodes are done. The series did a good job of transition (they don't simply plunk in a replacement), and kids enjoy watching as Joe learns the ropes (like skidooing and the like!).

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Blue's Clues - Meet Joe! (VHS) at Amazon.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo
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Dr. Seuss - The Cat in The Hat
The Cat in The Hat
Dr. Seuss
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Maurice Sendak - Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak
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Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2
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Sesame Street - St. Elmo
Sesame Street - St. Elmo
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Shrek 2 -
Shrek 2 - "Buds"
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More Children's Art Prints and Posters Based on Kids' Books & Movies

 

 

 
 

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