9Aug/130

Disney’s PLANES – Flying into Your Children’s Hearts

DisneyPlanes

My daughter has been talking constantly about seeing Disney's PLANES. Every single time a trailer has come on the Disney channel she shouts out, "Disney's PLANES!! It's Disney's PLANES!" Needless to say this was not a screening we were going to miss. How can you say no to a child who is so darn excited about seeing a movie?? Much less saying no to taking your kids out for their first movie theater going experience. As my daughter so succinctly put it, "This is so awesome!"

The squeal from my daughter at the beginning of the movie was enough to tell me this movie is worth seeing. While I personally thought the voice casting was a little iffy, I thoroughly enjoyed Dane Cook's vocal appearance as Dusty Crop-Hopper and thought he added that little extra sparkle that all Disney movies should have. (Hey, I think the guy is hilarious, and a good chunk of eye candy to boot.) I have a feeling if Disney makes a Planes 2 that everything will be just a little bit better the next time around... kind of like the way Cars was and many of their other sequels.

The movie starts out a little slow, spending about 15 minutes introducing all of the characters, but since they are all knew to viewers, it makes sense. Immediately you get a feel for the plight of Dusty and by the time he makes it to the point of racing you're already cheering him on as the underdog. There was one sad/scary moment when you're on the edge of your seat wondering where the movie is going to go next. My daughter blurted out, "Oh no Disney's PLANES! It's going to be OK."

The movie also had some great comedic lines which had the entire theater cracking up. I think laughter is always a good sign that a movie is appreciated and enjoyed. I love movies that teach children the lesson of reaching for the stars. I see video clips every day of real people who have to overcome disabilities and other adversity just to function day to day, so watching Dusty Crop-Hopper soar above and beyond everyone's expectations of him was heart warming and a lesson I hope my kids took in.

Definitely a cute movie, and I hope Disney follows it up with a sequel some day! We'll definitely be seeing it if they do. I'm also sure Disney's PLANES is now a movie my daughter will watch daily once it comes out on DVD.

Disney's PLANES soars into theaters everywhere TODAY! (8/23) While you're waiting to go see it, make sure you check out Disney.com's Flew Tube! You'll find:

  • Planes Trailers & Clips
  • Paper Airplane Tutorials
  • Features on Remote Controlled Flyer enthusiasts
  • Introductions to parts of a plane
  • Flight-related Disney legacy content

You can also find Disney's PLANES on on Facebook, Twitter, Online, and find more video content on the new Planes RSN Channel on Youtube.

 

*I was provided a chance to see a Disney PLANES screening courtesy of Disney & Allied Integrated Marketing in order to facilitate this post/review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

25Oct/120

Warner Archive Horror Release: Confessions of an Opium Eater, The Sorcerers & The Face of Fu Manchu


Confessions of an Opium Eater

"Vincent Price faces the death of 1,000 cuts in this delirious pulp adventure directed by Touch of Evil producer Albert Zugsmith. Returning to San Francisco after a long stay in the Orient, two-fisted mercenary Gilbert De Quincey (Price) finds himself caught in the midst of a Tong war. Descending deep below the surface of Chinatown, he plays one side against the other in a daring attempt to break up a human trafficking ring, where slave girls are auctioned for opium. A surreal, rip-roaring yarn packed with evil drug lords, secret passageways, illicit opium dens and more, Confessions of an Opium Eater is a “claustrophobic fever dream … one of the most bizarre, beautiful and poetic Z-films ever made” (Chicago Reader)!"

I have to admit, that with all three of these films, I had a slight difficulty getting into them. They're all nearly 50 years old, and not a generation of films that I grew up watching. I somehow missed the 60's, 70's and 80's (even though I'm relatively well versed in 40's and 50's films). However, after my initial acclamation, I really enjoyed Confessions of an Opium Eater, probably the best out of all of the Warner Archive Horror Releases. I even recognized Vincent Price, although I'm not quite sure from where. The movie, while humorous in its old school sound and effects, had witty dialogue paired with a serious plot. The cinematography was interesting as well, with the play of shadows, and angles. My absolute favorite character was the hilarious "little person" female character that befriended Vincent Price kept in the basement where the slave girls were kept and auctioned. My husband said this was also his favorite out of the three.

The Sorcerers

"Boris Karloff is at his mesmerizing best in this hypnotic chiller costarring Catherine Lacey (The Lady Vanishes) and directed by Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General). A disgraced hypnotist, Professor Marcus Monserret (Karloff) is about to have the last laugh. Inventing a machine that can control the minds of others, he lures Mike Roscoe (Ian Ogilvy) to his dingy flat to take part in a grand experiment. Discovering he can experience Mike’s sensations as well as his actions, Monserret envisions his device as a boon to science. His maniacal wife (Lacey), however, embittered by years of poverty, soon overpowers her husband and proceeds to use Mike for her own selfish gain. The rarest of the three films directed by the gifted Reeves before his untimely passing, The Sorcerers is a unique work of genius that “rivals the brilliance and intelligence of Peeping Tom” (The Overlook Film Encyclopedia)."

If you're looking to delve into a strange world of mind control, violence, jealousy, and really loud noises (I had to plug my ears at one point), then The Sorcerers is the movie for you. The entire pretense of the movie was fascinating. Melding minds to feel what another person feels and through such being able to control what they do. In theory, that's pretty cool. However, when Professor Marcus Monserret's wife goes off the deep end due to her jealousy over everything she never received in life, the movie takes a twist that I didn't expect, nor fully understand. Overpowering her husband and his control over his test subject, she destroys the hypnosis equipment and forces the test subject to go on a vengeful killing spree on her behalf. The ending provided less closure than I personally would have liked. (I like movies that have a happy ending.) But, since this wasn't your typical happy-go-lucky film, the open ended finish fit in with the bizarre nature of the film.

The Face of Fu Manchu

 "The world can breathe easier. Fu Manchu, the crimelord who knows the hidden powers of the mind, is dead. No less than Scotland Yard’s Nayland Smith witnessed the execution. But beware. Don’t expect Fu Manchu to die so conveniently when there’s still so much evil to perpetrate. Christopher Lee plays the malevolent anti hero of the popular Sax Rohmer novels for the first time in The Face of Fu Manchu. World domination is the ingenious fiend’s goal, one increasingly within his long-nailed grasp now that he’s discovered a secret potion so toxic that one drop can kill thousands. Pay heed, you Nayland Smiths of the world: The forces of evil are very much alive! Are you so foolish as to believe you can oppose the will of Fu Manchu?"

Murders, a mastermind, secret potions, and plot twists; all the things needed to create a truly thriller-ific film in The Face of Fu Manchu. Then throw in the action scenes and fist fights and you've got yourself a rip-roaring adventure. There are several logic gaps (which tend to drive me a bit nutty when watching a movie), however the story was constantly moving, and always capturing my attention. What really captured my attention was the beginning of the film. Watching what I thought was the execution of Fu Manchu - I went into this movie completely blind to the story line - which come to find out was a hypnotized double set up to take the fall for the still-alive Fu Manchu! Oooh, a movie with a beginning twist. As the movie progresses, the setting changes from China to London, and are then introduced to a Scotland Yard Inspector named Nigel Smith. A string of strangulation murders alerts viewers to the possibility that Fu Manchu is still alive. Dun dun dunnnn!

With the Warner Archive Horror Release I had fun watching movies that made me feel like I was in a time warp. For more videos, games, and downloads you can visit Warner Video. Stay up to date with new releases, and find other great DVDs that you can enjoy with your entire family!

*I received these products free of charge from Warner Brothers in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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20Oct/120

Lionsgate & Hit Entertainment – Thomas & Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas

LionsgateThomas

All aboard for a special holiday delivery filled with friendship, teamwork and fun! Rheneas slows down and discovers the perfect Christmas tree. Charlie knows how fun snow can be and discovers that teamwork in the snow is the most fun of all. Edward gets Salty just what he asked for - the perfect story to retell - and Emily learns the best way to be Really Useful. Unwrap the holiday adventures with Thomas and his friends and best wishes for A Very Thomas Christmas! ~ Thomas & Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas

Toot! Toot! All aboard! Newly released this month (Oct. 9th), Thomas & Friends are gearing up for Christmas with their new DVD, A Very Thomas Christmas. With only a 49 minute running time, viewers still get to have a ton of fun with Thomas and Friends in four wintery episodes and additional bonus features.

Episodes Include:

  • "Christmas Tree Express"
  • "Ho Ho Snowman"
  • "Salty's Surprise"
  • "Emily's Winter Party Special"
  • "Buzzy Bees" (Digital Bonus Episode)

Bonus Features:

  • "Thomas' Christmas Journey" (Game)
  • "Guess Who?" (Puzzles)
  • "Fun & Activities with Driver Perkins!"

Having the chance to review so many children's DVDs has brought me way back to my childhood. Once again I was super excited to introduce my kiddlets to Thomas & Friends. I remember old school Thomas, and figured they'd enjoy Thomas and Friends and the Island of Sodor as much as I used to. Plus, both of my kids enjoy trains over just about any of their other toys. We also happened to pick up a Thomas the Tank Engine toy at Goodwill awhile back, and that was their favorite toy. What better way for them to find out what their favorite toy was created after?!

Needless to say they were fascinated. Talking trains chugging along and enjoying wintery fun was right up their entertainment alley. The perfect Christmas-y compilation of Thomas and Friends episodes released in time to enjoy on snow days off from daycare/preschool, or chilly winter evenings when the kids would rather be out playing in whatever snow storm is covering the ground in beautiful snowflakes.

We all know how fun discovering the perfectly Christmas tree for your home can be, and now the kids can relate their favorite Christmas memories to the Characters from Thomas and Friends. In addition to so much Christmas fun, there are definitely life lessons learned including the value of working as a team with your friends instead of taking on everything alone.

I do miss the original Thomas TV show, but my kids adored Thomas and Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas, so this is definitely a keeper. Can't wait to introduce them to other Thomas and Friends episodes and all of the shenanigans that take place on the Island of Sodor. You can purchase the TV to DVD Thomas and Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas online (or find it in a store near you). You can also find Thomas on Facebook!

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20Oct/120

Lionsgate & Hit Entertainment – Barney: Most Loveable Moments 2-Disc Collection

LionsgateBarney

"Join the most loveable, huggable T-Rex in 10 Tee-rific tales filled with imagination, music and learning! Barney shows what it means to be a friend, why it's important to keep promises and how to find creative ways to work together. Follow your heart and join Barney and his friends in a stu-u-pendous collection of stories and songs the whole family will love!" ~ Barney: Most Loveable Moments

Recently released on September 18th, Barny: Most Loveable Moments has managed to warm its way into my home thanks to a review opportunity from Lionsgate. This 2-Disc Collection is jam packed with 10 great episodes and additional bonus features - 198 minutes total. That's a LOT of dancing, singing, and learning just for your inquisitive tots.

Episodes include:

  • "Once Upon A Fairy Tale"
  • "The Reluctant Dragon"
  • "The Princess and the Frog"
  • "Bonjour, Barney!"
  • "Little Red Rockin' Hood"
  • "Beethoven's Hear!"
  • "It's Showtime!"
  • "Counting"
  • "Days Of The Week"
  • "Squares, Squares Everywhere"

DVD Special Features:

  • "Barney's Book Of Hugs" (Book)
  • "Barney And Baby Bop's Band" (Read-A-Long Book)
  • "BJ's Batting Cage Counting" (Game)
  • "What's That Sound?" (Game)
  • "Build A Sand Castle" (Game)
  • "If You're Happy And You Know It" (Sing-A-Long)

Not unlike many moms, I grew up with Barney. I remember singing the songs, and occasionally still catch myself remembering the words from episodes that aired 15 years ago or so. Unfortunately we don't have either of the channels that Barney now airs on (Sprout & PBS), so I was thrilled that I could finally introduce my toddlers to Barney. As a child, Barney was one of my favorite educational TV shows because each episode was new and exciting.

Fast forward into adulthood, and Barney is still evolving with new children's characters, new imaginative friends, and new dinosaurs. Barney still sings the "I Love You" song, It just wouldn't be Barney if he didn't. Needless to say my daughter LOVED Barney, and I'm so happy to have a few hours of educational TV that I can put on for her to watch. I think my favorite episodes were "The Princess and the Frog, "Beethoven's Hear!" and "Bonjour, Barney!"

"The Princess and the Frog" provided a fantastic lesson in keeping your promises, but also taught to look past one's initial judgement of someone. Baby Bop wasn't so sure she wanted to be friends with a frog because he wasn't royalty, or part of her usual group of friends. She learned acceptance, and that when you say you'll play with someone (or tell someone you'll do something for them), that you follow through and do it.

"Beethoven's Hear!" introduced a little girl character who needed hearing aids in order to hear properly. I loved that they took the time to teach her friends a little more about them so they wouldn't find them strange. In addition, they imagined Beethoven to life, so he could talk about how he composed music even though he was deaf.

And finally, "Bonjour, Barney!" taught children that it's OK to do things differently. You may not be able to paint the way other people do, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy your own way of painting, and it doesn't make it bad. They imagined themselves into France, talked with an artist friend of Barney's, and met up with Baby Bop when she came to life out of a painting to do the Can-Can.

"Barney: Most Loveable Moments was a great collection for the kiddos, and we'll certainly remain Barney fans through their childhood. You can purchase the 2-Disc Collection on Barney's Website  (or find it in a store near you). You can also find Barney on Facebook!

 

*I was provided the Barney: Most Loveable Moments 2-Disc Collection free of charge from Lionsgate in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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14Oct/120

NCircle Entertainment – Tricks and Treats, Sid’s Spooky Halloween & Kooky Spooky Halloween DVD Product Review

NCircleLogo

If you're one of those last minute people, or someone who lives under a rock, then perhaps you've forgotten that Halloween is just over two weeks away. With only two TV channels we haven't really had the opportunity to get into the Halloween spirit. Luckily for my kids and I, NCircle Entertainment sent us a group of THREE Halloween centric yet educational DVDs for the kids and I to watch! I wasn't quite sure how Halloween and learning would manage to meld together all that well, but it did. We were sent Cat in the Hat: Tricks and Treats, Side the Science Kid: Sid's Spooky Halloween, and WordWorld: Kooky Spooky Halloween. Because of the last NCircle Entertainment review I had the opportunity to do, I was already familiar with WordWorld, but not so much on the others. We had the perfect rainy day to just sit down and watch the DVDs as a family recently, and because they're not very long, it proved to be a couple hours of entertainment with enough variety to keep everyone's attention.

"A new spooky adventure this DVD brings, with The Cat, Nick and Sally, Fish and the Things. Meet the eeriest critters you have ever seen, arrived just in time for this Halloween! There'll be lots of trick and, of course lots of treats, to share with the animal friends you will meet! There's a coconut crab, spider monkeys and bats, and plenty more fun with The Cat in the Hat! ~ Cat in the Hat: Tricks and Treats

The Cat in the Hat: Tricks and Treats is a super cute Halloween DVD featuring many of the well known and loved Dr. Seuss characters many of us grew up with ourselves. The three short stories include "Batty for Bats", "Aye Aye!", and "Trick or Treat". With 35 minutes of entertainment featuring the voice of Martin Short as the Cat in the Hat, the DVD is entertaining, educational, yet fast paced. The perfect type of DVD for those kiddos with shorter attention spans.

The Cat, Nick, Sally, and Fish visit caves, learn about bats in the "Batty for Bats" episode. They go trick-or-treating around the globe while making new animal friends in "Trick or Treat", and learn about new "scary" creatures such as the Aye Aye and make masks for Halloween in "Aye Aye!". Martin Short made a great Cat in the Hat voice, and kept things light and fun. The music also would pique my children's interests when their minds started wandering off. It was even great to see lessons in sharing, and learning about something before deeming it as scary. Personally, I'm a big animal fan, and love introducing my kids to the wonders of the fauna found around the world.

"It's Halloween! Join Sid and his friends as they discover how bats catch mosquitoes, why spiders are expert engineer web builders, and how skeletons make up the foundation of our bodies. The kids dress up to celebrate Halloween at school, and Teach Suzie leads them in a special Halloween parade song to show off their costumes! With Side the Science Kid, Halloween can be spooky and scientific! ~ Sid the Science Kid: Sid's Spooky Halloween

I had never heard of Sid the Science Kid before, and I actually really ended up enjoying the show! My daughter's favorite part was when they made "slime" and she kept asking to try it. The only thing that I wish was that females in the show had a bigger role. I'm a big believer in encouraging girls to like science (and math), and find that a little girl's biggest role model is another female. I think it's just about relating to someone who is like them, since kids once they hit a certain age tend to group together based on gender. Either way, I still thought the show was clever, and loved that they encouraged every child to be a scientist and to work along with the characters. Not unlike The Cat in the Hat Halloween DVD, Sid the Science Kid spent time teaching its viewers about animals typically associated with Halloween, i.e. spiders, and bats. Although these animals are generally seen as "scary", viewers were also taught how useful these creatures are in nature.

Sid the Science Kid also incorporated animation along with human scenes which I thought was a great way to help children relate. My favorite was the Halloween Parade song. In addition to the Halloween episode, Sid's Spooky Halloween also included a bonus story titled Sid's Healthy Day. This was a fantastic addition in my opinion. Hygiene isn't exactly the easiest thing for kiddos to learn, and it taught everything from washing their hands to help avoid getting sick from nasty germs (after viewing dirty hands under a magnifying glass), eating healthy foods, and taking care of their teeth (and exploring the different teeth our mouths contain, and their functions).

"The WordFriends get their share of scares the night before Halloween, when Pig sleep walks and everyone thinks he's a ghost! Then, Sheep is making herself a super special fairy costume to wear for the big Halloween party. But what will she do when her WordFriends need pieces of her costume for their use?" ~WordWorld: Kooky Spooky Halloween

We decided to save the WordWorld DVD for last since we had been recently acquainted with the show. If you're not familiar with WordWorld, it's a show geared toward teaching your youngsters how to read and spell. Just about every object/character is "built" from letters to create the word that says what they are. The show also teaches basic phonics sounds.

The WordWorld: Kooky Spooky Halloween has two Halloween episodes and a bonus music video titled "Monster Maker". The episode Kooky Spooky Halloween was more funny than anything, and taught the kiddlet viewers that while it is fun to be scared, there isn't anything to be scared of in regards to Halloween and ghosts. "There's no such thing as a ghost." The episode, "Sheep's Halloween Costume", was my favorite from the DVD. Sheep had every plan in the world to be a fairy for Halloween. However, when her friends kept asking her to help them with their costumes, she ended up giving all of her costume pieces away. Sheep shows up at the Halloween party embarrassed and without a costume. It was great to see all of her friends work together to make her a fairy costume, and it was a really great lesson in friendship, generosity, and sharing!

For more information on new releases and giveaways check out NCircle Entertainment on Facebook, Twitter, and Online!

* I received the previously mentioned products free of charge from NCircle Entertainment in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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23Sep/120

Pac Man: The Complete Second Season Product Review

WBPacMan

The Pac Is Back!

Welcome back to PacLand - the hilarious world full of round characters, ghosts, Power Pellets, and chomping! Warner Brothers sent "Pac Man: The Complete Second Season" from the Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection for our family to review. I had never watched Pac-Man as a kid, so I asked my husband if he remembered it. He's the gamer in the family, and boy did he remember.

My kids and I turned on the DVD and let it run all the way through. Yup - we watched all 216 minutes in one sitting. Because I'm not a huge fan of video games, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like the DVD. Turns out I was laughing through most of it! "I'm allergic to sharks. I break out in teeth marks." Hah! Throughout all of the adventures and misadventures Pac-Man kept the humor ball rolling with "p" alliteration perpetually peppering Pac-Man's vocabulary, silly mishaps, and even throw backs to old-school novels, fairy tails and myths.

"Pac-Man returns for a Power Pellet chomping second season of adventures, with some very special cast additions – teenage cousin PJ and the super-heroic Super-Pac! Together with the rest of the Pac pack, they continue to thwart Mezmaron and his minions while time-travelling, battling Robo-Pacs and Pac-Apes, and taking a trip to Pac-Hollywood. Save your quarters, this game’s been extended! Contains all 16 sophomore season adventures." ~ Pac Man: The Complete Second Season

I have to admit that the second season of Pac-Man aired 3 years before I was born. Not only did Pac-Man travel back in time during the episode "Journey into the Pac-Past", but I time traveled back to 1983. Episodes include "P.J. Goes Pac-Hollywood", "Public Pac-Enemy Number One", "The Super-Pac Bowl", "Around the World in 80 Chomps", "Happy Pacs-Giving", "Computer Packy", "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Pac-Man", The Genii of Pacland", "The Greatest Show in Pacland", "Journey into the Pac-Past", "The Old Pac-Man and the Sea", "Super-Pac vs. Pac-Ape", "Pac-Van-Winkle", "Pac-A-Lympics", "Hey, Hey, Hey...It's P.J.", and "Here's Super-Pac!"

"Pac-Man: The Complete Second Season" also included a special bonus! The fan-favorite prime time holiday special "Christmas Comes to PacLand" where viewers watch Pac, Pepper, Baby and the Pac-Pets receive a visit from Santa when ghosts attack sending Santa off course and into PacLand.

I'm actually a little bummed that I never truly grew up with Pac-Man! I thought the episodes were hilarious, and a great way to share a huge blast from the past with my kiddos. One of my favorite episodes was "Computer Packy". Back in 1983 computers still weren't the "norm", and it was great to see the imaginations of the producers run wild with all of the things Pac's computer could do; clean the house, feed the baby, and even teleport Pac, Baby, and PJ into the computer, and then print them back out.

For more videos, games, and downloads you can visit KidsWB and Warner Video. Stay up to date with new releases, and find other great DVDs that you can enjoy with your kids!

*I received a product free of charge from Warner Brothers in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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22Sep/121

NCircle Entertainment – The Gruffalo’s Child, Word World, Noodle and Doodle, & Dino Dan Product Review

NCircleLogo

My story behind working with NCircle Entertainment is a little embarrassing, and just ended up being one of pure happenstance, however I am SO glad the circumstances worked out the way they did because I have FOUR great DVD's from NCircle to tell you all about! For those who are not familiar, NCircle Entertainment is a sales, marketing, and distribution firm that specializes in Educational Entertainment. This is absolutely perfect because I have two toddlers and limited access to educational TV. We were sent four titles to review: "The Gruffalo's Child", "WorldWord: To the Rescue", "Noodle and Doodle: Noodly Doodly Things To Make", and "Dino Dan: Where The Dinosaurs Are".

"One wild and windy night, the Gruffalo's Child ignores her father's warnings and bravely tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse. She meets Snake, Owl and Fox but no sign of the fabled Mouse. He doesn't really exist... or does he?" ~ "The Gruffalo's Child"

"The Gruffalo's Child" is an animated film based on the best-selling children's picture book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler, and is also a companion film to "The Gruffalo". I have never read the books, and I have never seen either of the films so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The 40 minute movie is full of childhood curiosity, exploration, and new-found independence while venturing away from her Gruffalo father. The music is fantastic and falls within a more whimsical and ethereal genre. It's a perfect combination of humor, vivid imagination, seriousness while learning lessons of the forbidden forest, and a loving father/daughter relationship.

The film is narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, the mother squirrel watchers are introduced to within the first few minutes. "The Gruffalo's Child", while a shorter film, captured our attention for the entire 40 minutes. We quickly fell in love with the characters, although I didn't quite understand the relationship between the Gruffalo's child and the forest creatures she met during her night time exploration. But perhaps that's because I'm unfamiliar with the books. The animation was beautiful, and both my son and daughter stopped their fussing, and their running around and watched the film with me. Additional voices included Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, Shirley Henderson, John Hurt, and Tom Wilkinson. "The Gruffalo's Child" extras included Behind the Scenes, an Artwork Gallery, and a BBC Promotional Trailer.

"Welcome to WorldWorld, where words are the stars of the show! Join Duck and Fly as they learn how to be firefighters just like their friends Firefighter Frog! To be firefighters, the gang has to keep a look out for any signs of smoke in WorldWorld... because there's smoke, there's fire! Will Duck and Fly be able to determine what's really smoke and what's not? Firefighters to the rescue! ~ "WordWorld: To The Rescue"

One of the channels I really miss having for my children is PBS Kids. I'm so out of touch these days that I had no idea this was even a show! The second the music began my daughter's attention went straight to the TV, and she spend almost an entire hour learning about words in a colorful word filled world. With episodes including "Fire Fighters to the Rescue", "Duck Saves Spider's Web", "The Best Nest", and "Caterpillar Gets a Home", my children were able to see how letters "built" words, and also basic phonics sounds. Spelling, letter recognition, word recognition, and sound recognition. WordWorld seemed like a great introduction to learning how to spell and read.

In addition to letters and words, throughout the four episodes (60 minutes) on the DVD, the characters also learned several valuable lessons including the dangers of fire, responsibility, friendship, and generosity just to name a few. All of the characters in WordWorld worked together to overcome any obstacles they faced. I love how visual WordWorld is. Just about every object, including the characters, are literally drawn with the letters used to spell them; Dog, Frog, Caterpillar, Firetruck, Sun, Ant, etc. I found it very engaging, and educational in a fun way - something just about every child craves.

"Encourage your child's sense of creativity with fun craft products and kid-friendly recipes that families can make together. Jon Sean and his friends Noodle and Doodle as they use everyday household items to craft, cook and play! Also along for the ride is Sean's dog Doggity who cooks up five special treats. All aboard the Noodle and Doodle bus!" ~ "Noodle and Doodle: Noodly Doodly Things to Make"

One of the things I've been trying to work on lately is finding fun, inexpensive projects to do with my children. "Noodly Doodly Things to Make" a show that airs on Sprout, is chalk full of crafts and recipes that are completely family friendly, and can be done by just about any age child with the help of mom, dad, or an older sibbling. Most of the crafting supplies, and recipe ingredients you can find within your own home. Noodle & Doodle also teach children about re-purposing items that are normally considered garbage including egg cartons, milk jugs, and boxes.

The DVD is comprised of five stories which include "Bake Sale", "Dance Lessons", "It's a Band", "I Love to Build", and "Puppet Show", giving kids 60 minutes of imagination inspiring ideas. Even the recipes had healthier alternatives if you didn't have certain ingredients. I've never heard of using carrots instead of chicken! The DVD also featured "Doggity's", an animated series ONLY found on Noodle and Doodle. Noodle & Doodle is a  great combination of puppets, animation, and human characters keeping your children entertained and stimulated.

"Follow the adventures of a paleontologist-in-training Dan Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs into the real world! Join Dan as he teaches a baby Triceratops defensive moves to help it get around a meat-eating Spinosaurus! Then find otu why the T-rex has such small arms when Dan and his friends embark on a sleepover adventure at the famous Royal Ontario Museum. Tour the museum and learn about real fossil skeletons, from Stegosaurus to the Tyrannosaurus rex." ~ Dino Dan: Where the Dinosaurs Are

OK, who doesn't love dinosaurs?! Out of all of the DVDs, from an adult's perspective (not just a parent's perspective) this was one of my favorite DVDs. I remember the dinosaur unit from my first grade class, and loving every single minute of it. I remember searching for fossils on my own out in my back yard, and thinking some day I'd love to be an archaeologist. Although this DVD is slightly geared toward older children (pre-school and elementary ages), I absolutely enjoyed Dino Dan myself.

"Dino Dan: Where the Dinosaurs Are", as seen on Nick Jr., was 45 minutes, and two episodes of dinosaur exploration. It was educational, and fun and sparked that desire to continue learning more. Once again, a combination of human characters and animation, encourages children to use their imaginations, and learn simultaneously. I have to say I was impressed that the children's characters could even pronounce all of the dinosaur names, and as far as I can tell, the dinosaurs were pretty realistic. It seemed as though they took great care to animate them true to size. Every child knew important information about each dinosaur instead of being talked at by the museum tour director. But, it was Dino Dan's imagination that stole the show. He could communicate with the dinosaurs, and worked to solve problems that his imaginary dinosaurs created for him in reality. I sat down and watched the episodes through twice, I thought it was THAT good.

Check out NCircle Entertainment on Facebook, Twitter, and Online!

Lucky for you, NCircle is giving away a copy of each DVD to one of my readers! When the giveaway is LIVE you'll be able to enter [HERE]. Must be a legal resident of the USA who is 18+ in order to be eligible.

* I received the previously mentioned products free of charge from NCircle Entertainment in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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13Sep/120

Tom and Jerry: Tricks & Treats – DVD Product Review

TomandJerry

I'm pretty sure no matter what age you are, you've watched at least a hand-full of Tom and Jerry episodes in your lifetime. If you're closer to my age, you probably remember pretty vividly waking up in the morning, sneaking into the TV room, turning the TV on, and just reveling in the early morning cartoons which almost always included at least 30 minutes of Tom and Jerry. It's such a timeless cartoon, and something even my children can fully enjoy as they grow up.

With Halloween right around the corner, Warner Brothers sent the "Tom and Jerry Tricks & Treats" DVD for my family to review. Recently released on September 4th, this DVD contains 161 minutes (20 episodes) of Tom and Jerry shenanigans - including some older episodes that I remember from my childhood, and many of the newer ones. This DVD is jam packed with so much fun, they even included two bonus episodes: "Ho Ho Horrors" (Christmas bonus) and "Doggone Hill Hog" (Christmas bonus). Talk about good ol' nostalgia! It was great to be able to share something I grew up watching with my children.

"Tom and Jerry are in for spooks galore in this monster collection. With 20 eerie episodes plus two bonus episodes, your goodie-bag will be overflowing with fun! Tricks and treats are at every turn, from ancient Egypt to Transylvania, from creepy houses to haunted forests, the hair-raising hilarity is non-stop! Our favorite cat and mouse mingle with ghosts, mummies, werewolves and witches in these terrific tales. Of course Tom and Jerry have a bounty of tricks up their own sleeves as well! Fear not, the chase is on! It's a scare-iffic good time for the whole family!" ~ Synopses

"A Chilling, Thrilling Tom & Jerry Treat!"

When the DVD arrived, we immediately popped it into our computer (that just so happens to be hooked up to a 47" monitor on our living room wall), and my kids and I sat down to watch it. I guess this IS pretty "spook-tacular" because the first episode, "More Powers To You", scared my 2 year old daughter! Hah! However, after the first episode she decided that she loves Tom and Jerry and giggled away for the entire 161 minutes. Oh yes. I played that entire DVD all the way through. (Mommy needed some "quiet time". Tom & Jerry to the rescue!)

Hilarious episodes included "Over the River and Boo! the Woods", "Fire Breathing Tom Cat", "Haunted Mouse", "Fraidy Cat Scat", "Tomb it May Concern", and so many more!

You can even watch Tom & Jerry in Spanish and French in addition to English.

The was the perfect initiation DVD for my little monsters, and a great way to spend a little time bonding and sharing my childhood with my kids. I even enjoyed the DVD. You are NEVER to old for a little Tom & Jerry ruckus!

For more videos, games, and downloads you can visit KidsWB and Warner Video. Stay up to date with new releases, and find other great DVDs that you can enjoy with your kids!

 

I received a product free of charge from Warner Brothers in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

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