Posts Tagged ‘ Entertainment ’

This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies and Television

Get high-tech with Disney’s Big Hero 6. The film follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada and his gang of friends as they try to save San Fransokyo from catastrophe. PG; opens November 7

Everyone knows the Penguins of Madagascar are the real stars of the show. Join Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private as they embark on another zany spy mission. PG; opens November 26

Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is getting the Diamond Edition treatment. The Blu-ray release features in-depth behind-the-scenes footage, a sing-along to “Once Upon a Dream,” and deleted scenes—including one with a dropped character called The Vulture. G, $37

It’s going to be even easier for your karaoke star to belt out her favorite Frozen tunes with the special Sing-Along Edition. A bouncing snowflake helps her follow the lyrics as Anna journeys to rescue her sister Elsa. The DVD release also features the original theatrical version. PG, $30

A variety of popular Nickelodeon characters—including Dora the Explorer and Team Umizoomi—make Let’s Learn: Patterns and Shapes both entertaining and educational for preschoolers. The DVD release features five episodes focused on circles, squares, triangles, and more. Plus, early releases of the DVD come with a shapes worksheet to continue the learning once screen-time is over. 3 years+, $15

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is turning 50! The beloved Christmas television special shows what happens when the adorable reindeer teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist. Now on Blu-ray, the anniversary edition offers behind-the-scenes features, sing-alongs, and more. 3 years+, $18

Apps

Make like George Lucas and create your own animated movie moments with Star Wars Scene Maker. Choreograph a fight between Darth Vader and an ewok, or introduce Han Solo to the infamous “I Am Your Father” scene. Then, add music, dialog, and more. And don’t forget to share with friends afterward! 6 years+, Free for iPad and iPhone

PBS Kids and Sesame Workshop have teamed up for Cookie Monster’s Challenge, an app that teaches self-control, focus, and following directions to prepare young children for school. Nine different levels of mini games keep your preschooler busy—and as he progresses, he’ll earn more pieces of a cookie-making machine. 3 years+, $3 for iPad and Android

Your little one can explore her imagination with Toca Town. The open-ended, interactive app lets kids make up their own stories with 21 characters and six different locations to play in, including a park, a store, and a house. Players can engage with almost anything on the screen—including the toilet! 3 years+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android

Bedtime just got a lot less painful, thanks to Disney Story Central. The large selection of e-books starring Disney characters—such as Mickey Mouse, the princesses, and Doc McStuffins—offer read-along narration and personalized book recommendations. Plus, your bookworm will earn trophies and awards as she progresses. 2 years+, free for iPad for first 4 books, with additional purchase packages starting at $4

Video Games

New figurines called amiibo can now interact with compatible Nintendo games. Players touch the toy to the GamePad to release the character into the game. 6 years+, $13 for one figurine

Most motion-sensing, TV-based game systems are for older kids, but LeapTV is made for little ones who can, for instance, do karate moves that help them recognize shapes. 3 years+, $150

Let your aspiring artist develop his skills with Pokémon Art Academy. The game features unlockable lessons and teaches everything from the basics of coloring and shapes to the more complex shading and blending. Print out his masterpieces after! 6 years+, $30 for 3DS and 2DS

Music lovers can’t miss Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved. The motion-controlled game lets you remix and transform 30 different songs—by artists such as The Who, Lady Gaga, and Mozart—by conducting with your hands. Perfect for family game night! 10 years+, $60 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Gamers young and old will have a blast getting lost in the world of Hohokum. The artwork looks hand-drawn rather than pixelated, creating a vibrant and imaginative world to fly around in. There are goals to work towards, but ultimately, the game exists as a colorful playground to explore. 10 years+, $15 for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita

Image courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

The Best Games of 2014!
The Best Games of 2014!
The Best Games of 2014!

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Your Cutie, #Superstar

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Excerpted from How To Make Your Baby An Internet Celebrityby Rick Chillot, Photography by Dustin Fenstermacher. Copyright 2014 Quirk Books. Clockwise from top left: ABC via Getty Images; Getty Images; KCD/Splash News; Fox/Getty Images

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This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies and Television

Inspired by a true story, Dolphin Tale 2 follows two other dolphins rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter, the aquatic star of the original movie, is back too, along with human actors including Harry Connick Jr. PG, opens September 12

Everyone’s favorite tank engine returns on DVD in Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave—The MovieOur hero and his pals grow nervous after they notice unusual footprints on the island. But after a little adventure, they learn that friendship and courage can conquer any obstacle. 2 years+, releases September 16

Meet The Boxtrolls, those mischievous little creatures that live underneath the town of Cheesebridge—and happen to be raising a human boy named Eggs. When a villain starts capturing the Boxtrolls, Eggs ventures aboveground to help save his family. Like Coraline and ParaNorman, the film features dark animation and quirky humor. PG, opens September 26

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters is turning 30! To celebrate, special edition Blu-ray releases of the two films will soon be available. Bonus features include retrospective discussions with director Ivan Reitman and star Dan Aykroyd, a poster art gallery, music videos, and more. PG, $27 for set

Peg + Cat, the Daytime Emmy-award winning PBS Kids show, is coming to DVD for the first time. The animated series teaches math concepts and skills in a fun way, such as rounding up 100 chickens before the farmer realizes they’ve escaped. 3 years+, $13

In The Stream, it’s the summer of 1981 and Ernest is obsessed with Star Wars. When a bully breaks his “lightsaber”—it’s actually a Wiffle ball bat—Ernest and his friends set out for the mall to buy a new one. Naturally, a variety of coming-of-age scenarios occur along the way. A portion of the proceeds from the film benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. PG, $15

Thrilling new episodes of Turbo FAST are coming to Netflix! This batch includes stories of a snail-eating goldfish, a wild ride on a tank, and an underground race against pet store animals. 6 years+, $8 per month for Netflix membership

Apps

Want to keep an eye on what your child is learning? The PBS Kids Super Vision app provides real-time information about what your little one is playing and watching on pbskids.org, so you can manage her screen time from anywhere and set a limit on how long she can play games. It also tells you what skills she’s building, and suggests related activities to continue the education offline. Free for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

A group of fillies attempt to discover their hidden talents in My Little Pony: Fluttershy’s Famous Stare. Preschoolers can interact with the e-book’s characters by tapping the screen. And the text highlights important words to help develop early reading and vocabulary skills. 3 years+, $3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Take creativity to a new level with the Crayola Color, Draw & Sing app. Kids choose a song to listen to while they work, and every action—including scribbling with crayons and choosing new colors—unlocks a new instrument or feature in that track. Your young artist will have completed a beautiful picture and song in no time. 2 years+, $3 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

If your child loves creepy crawlers, Animal Planet’s Real Scary Spiders app is a must. Augmented reality technology lets the player see a pet spider “brought to life” onscreen when he points the camera at an object. Be warned: the graphics are awfully realistic, so the squeamish will want to look away! 6 years+, Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

In The 7D Mine Train, players meet the reimagined Seven Dwarfs from the Disney Channel TV series. Your kid can choose her favorite dwarf and guide him along the twisting tracks, earning gems as she goes. Then, she can cash in for power ups or a cool, customized car. 6 years+, Free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Video Games

Defy gravity with Mario Kart 8, where you can drive upside-down and on the walls. Plus, meet new characters such as the Koopalings, Baby Rosalina, and Pink Gold Peach. 6 years+, $60 for Wii U

Has your kid been begging for a puppy? Let him go wild with PlayStation Vita Pets. Players choose from four different breeds—Labrador, collie, husky, and Dalmatian—and get to know the canine’s personality. Then, it’s time to venture out onto Castlewood Island for a little exploration! 6 years+, $20 for PS Vita

Driveclub is a racing game all about teamwork and collaborating with friends to earn rewards. Users can join a club, experience high-speed solo racing, and customize cars. Made for the PlayStation 4, the high level of detail and great graphics make driving feel authentic. 6 years+, $60 for PlayStation 4

How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy

Image courtesy of Hit Entertainment

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Parents We <3: Hillary Frank

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Up at 3 a.m.? So is Hillary Frank, with her podcast about parenting, “The Longest Shortest Time.”

Why start this podcast?
Radio has this power to make you feel like there’s a friend talking in your ear. You can feel so lonely as a new parent, so it’s nice to know there’s someone else out there, at home and up in the middle of the night, dealing with gigantic questions just as you are.

What parenting questions do listeners ask?

People want to hear about all of the big things: sleep, feeding, health issues, work. They also want to know how to make
mom friends. That’s why I started the Facebook groups—one for mamas and one for papas—so parents could have more personal conversations with each other. Parents from the groups have even started meeting up in person.

What’s been your most popular podcast?
“The Missing Chapter to Ina May’s Guide,” when I interviewed midwife and author Ina May Gaskin. I found Ina May“s Guide to Childbirth so empowering when I was pregnant. But I didn’t have the blissful childbirth that she led me to believe I could have and wound up feeling betrayed by her.

Tune in to see what happened by downloading this episode, plus others, for free at wnyc.org or iTunes.com.

—Allison Berry

It Worked For Me: Quick Kitchen Tricks
It Worked For Me: Quick Kitchen Tricks
It Worked For Me: Quick Kitchen Tricks

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This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies and Television

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, this time in a live-action adventure. The gang of Ninjutsu-trained fighters teams up with April O’Neil (Megan Fox) to save New York City from Shredder and his evil Foot Clan. PG-13, opens August 8

In Dora and Friends: Into the City! our bilingual heroine is moving to an urban area, making new friends, and exchanging her trusty paper map for a tech-savvy app. But her adventures, which focus heavily on community service and helping others, are still educational and entertaining for her legions of preschool fans. 2 years+, premieres August 18

Experience life under water with DeepSea Challenge 3D. The film recounts James Cameron’s personal journey exploring on a submarine in a way that will inspire both kids and adults. PG, opens August 8

Amazon Studios just launched Annedroids, an original kids’ series about a girl genius. The live-action adventure show explores her amazing scientific discoveries and the difficulties of growing up. The first six episodes are available through Prime Instant Video, and more episodes will follow later this year.
4 years+, premiered July 25 on Amazon

Your little Barbie fan’s imagination can fly free with Barbie and the Secret Door, a new DVD release. When the shy princess Barbie discovers a magical hidden world, she must gather her courage to protect the land from danger. Luckily, she has two new friends—a mermaid and a fairy—to help her.
3 years+, $20

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood kicks off Season 2 with some big news: Daniel’s baby sister, Margaret, is on the way! The arrival of a new family member lets the PBS Kids hit series explore difficult emotions, such as feeling left out and dealing with change. 3 years+, premieres August 18

Video Games

Swing away with Mario Golf: World Tour. Players join the classic Mushroom Kingdom characters to putt and drive on a series of challenging courses. (Watch out for those vicious Piranha Plants!)
6 years+, $30 for 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS

Put your problem-solving abilities to the test with Pushmo World. Players push, pull, and climb blocks to solve more than 250 puzzles. Plus, a new feature called the World Pushmo Fair hub lets users easily share and play puzzles by other users around the world. 6 years+, $10 for Wii U

The lovable video game characters of the early ’90s are back in Lemmings Touch. The all new version was designed just for the PlayStation Vita, so players can use the touchscreen to guide the Lemmings through a variety of themed worlds, including Candy Land and Space. Keep an eye out for the mischievous Lemming while you’re at it! 6 years+, $10 for PS Vita

Apps

Eric Carle fans will love The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends – Play & Explore app. The beloved characters and gorgeous illustrations come to life on your device in a series of activities that include counting and memory games for kids. 3 years+, $4 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android

Little Builders lets your child experience a construction site without any mess. He can mix cement, drive a digger, paint a house, or operate a crane with ease. But watch out, because you never know when a water pipe might burst! 2 years+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Teach your kid to care for the environment with Habitat the Game. Players adopt a virtual polar bear and must complete real-world actions—such as turning lights off and conserving water—to keep the creature healthy. Little ones will take pride in making an actual difference in the world with these exciting games. 4 years+, Free for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

It’s Peppa Pig’s Party Time! Your kid can help her prepare by designing the invitations, decorating the party bags, and baking the cake. Afterward, join in the fun with some party games, including musical chairs and pass the parcel. Savor the memories with snapshots saved in the app’s photo album—and then start all over again! 3 years+, $5 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Sago Mini Space Explorer lets children explore the universe with an adorable dog named Harvey. Guide him past stars and planets, make alien friends, and take a spin in a flying saucer. The open-ended play experience encourages kids to make up stories as they go. 2 years+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Image courtesy of Paramount

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There’s A New Kind Of Circus In Town: Marvel Universe LIVE!

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Summer is full of concerts, capades, and circuses for families to enjoy. But there’s a new show in town unlike anything you or your kids have ever seen: Marvel Universal LIVE! Before you brush this off as just another big arena show, think about this: The Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man all on a single stage. (I think your own little Spider-Man just lept to the ceiling in excitement.)

Produced by the creators of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey and Disney On Ice, comes a show of massive proportions. It’s an original story that brings together 25 heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe. The spectacle brings these icons to life “to show audiences their powers—things they could only imagine could exist in film or in animation,” according to Juliette Feld, the show’s producer and EVP of Feld Entertainment. From a wild live car chase to actors freefalling 26 feet, the stunts are big and the action explosive. Marvel Universal LIVE! uses never-before-seen technology and special effects to bring the comic book world to fruition for the whole family.

“We really try to create stuff that parents will love as much as the kids,” says Feld, who is pregnant with her first child. “I hope I have a good perspective on what is meaningful to moms and to dads because I’m one of them.” While the show is recommended for kids ages 5-12, Feld knows from experience that even younger kids can get into the hype: her baby reacts in utero to Feld’s time in rehearsal. “She really likes this scene where Thor is fighting Rhino and Lizard and Doc Ock,” laughs Feld. “There’s really heavy bass in that scene, so that might be what she’s responding to. I think she has her own hammer in there. She just starts knocking around!”

Marvel Universe LIVE! kicked off it’s 85-city tour last night in Tampa, FL as it brings the magic of superheroes (and the villains they battle) to audiences all over the globe.

Click her for other fun activities for you and your kids to enjoy this summer vacation.

Click here to find out if Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to your city.

Make a mask and matching cape for your mini-hero!

How to Make DIY Capes and Masks
How to Make DIY Capes and Masks
How to Make DIY Capes and Masks

Photograph: Courtesy Marvel Universe LIVE!

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This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies

A group of kids discover and befriend alien life in Earth to Echo. The “found footage”-style movie (which looks as if one of the characters filmed it himself with a handheld camera) follows their journey to protect the creature from the government.
What’s in it for you The film features an adventurous plot to thrill the whole family, similar to classic kid-centric films such as E.T. and The Goonies.
PG; opens July 2

Our ambitious friend Dusty is back again in Planes: Fire & Rescue. This time, he’s forced to switch careers when engine damage threatens his racing ability. But he’s not idle for long; he soon joins up with a fire and rescue helicopter and a squad of all-terrain vehicles to fight a giant wildfire. PG; opens July 18

Everything is awesome now that The Lego Movie is coming to DVD! Emmet, an ordinary construction worker, accidentally ends up on a quest to prevent an evil tyrant from destroying the entire universe with glue. The wacky humor will appeal to both kids and adults. PG; $36

Based on a Belgian book series, Ernest & Celestine tells the heartwarming tale of a mouse and a bear who become friends under unlikely circumstances. The film—which was nominated for best Animated Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards—showcases beautiful hand-drawn and watercolor artwork and a number of celebrity voices, including Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, and William H. Macy. PG; $30

Video Games

Bring on the competition with Kinect Sports Rivals. Using the new Xbox One’s amazing technology, the game scans your body to create a “Champion” who looks like you—and eventually learns to act and play like you too. 10 years+; $60 for Xbox One

If your family enjoyed Toothless and Hiccup’s adventures in theaters this summer, you can continue the fun with the How to Train Your Dragon 2 video game. Become a master dragon rider by entering flight school, competing in tournaments, and completing training exercises. 10 years+; $40 for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U; $30 for 3DS and Wii

Ever imagine what your Mii might be up to when he’s not involved in your video games? In Tomodachi Life, players get to create and customize Mii characters, and then see how they interact with each other during daily life. Some might fall in love, others might become rock stars—and some will just take a nice long bath. 6 years+; $35 for 3DS

Apps
Your little one can learn all about her favorite prehistoric beasts with Dinosaur Train A to Z. Based on the popular PBS Kids show, the app introduces users to 26 interactive dinosaurs to feed and X-ray. Plus, the app’s Dinosaur Letter feature lets kids practice spelling. For even more learning, two additional app packages focused on carnivores and winged creatures are also available for purchase. 3 years+; $2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Reminisce with the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e Angel app, based on the popular virtual pet toys from the 1990s. The graphics are still charmingly retro, but users can now collect different wallpapers and shell designs. 4 years+; free for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Totally Monster Manners makes teaching your child etiquette a snap. The amusing e-book features adorable monsters who aren’t very polite—and soon suffer the consequences when no one wants to play with them! 2 years+; $1 for iPad

If your kid likes a little adventure before bed, check out Mike the Knight: Storybook Treasury. Three exciting new e-books—based on the popular TV show —will thrill preschoolers with tales of dragons, castles, and jousting. 3 years+; free for first book for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; additional stories cost $2 each

When your little one needs a push to go outdoors, try enticing him with Plum’s Photo Hunt. Each mission involves taking a picture of something in the environment, such as leaves, signs of animal life, or unusual weather. Your budding photographer can then submit his findings to the PBS Kids site, and a select gallery will be published online each week. 6 years+; free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Travel the globe with Whole Wide World 2. Players meet characters from different countries and participate in games related to each culture, such as riding a kangaroo in Australia and finding hidden objects in Italy. The app’s scrapbook feature collects postcards from each stop. 5 years+; free for basic edition, $1 per additional country, $5 for premium access to all 15 countries for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Image courtesy of Xbox

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This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies and Television

How to Train Your Dragon 2 picks up five years after the original film ended, but Hiccup and Toothless are still an inseparable duo. This sequel promises plenty of adventure, a mysterious Dragon Rider, and an epic battle to protect the peace on the island of Berk. PG, opens June 13

Thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World, you can take your little one all over the globe without ever leaving the couch. Join Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto on a trip to France, Italy, Egypt, and China—and keep an eye out for Monsieur Donald Duck and Gondolier Goofy along the way. 3 years+, $20

Disney XD is airing a fresh take on the seven dwarfs this summer. The 7D is an animated comedy series set in the world of Jollywood, where the dwarfs help Queen Delightful keep her kingdom in order and protect it from two hapless villains. 3 years+, premieres July 7

In SpongeBob, You’re Fired!, our hero must try out new kooky occupations—including working at the Chum Bucket, picketing with Squidward, and modeling in a commercial. The DVD release features 14 funny episodes of the hit Nickelodeon show. 6 years+, $15

Video Games

Soccer lovers can get in on the action with EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. New features allow better control of the ball and make the physics more realistic. Plus, you can play with up to 32 gamers through the qualifying rounds in tournament mode. 6 years+, $60 for Xbox 360 and PS3

Immerse yourself in Disney Magical World. Players can customize their avatar, interact with dozens of their favorite characters, and explore various Disney universes. Some activities include managing a café, planting crops, and helping to solve challenges. 7 years+, $30 for 3DS

Putty Squad, the early 1990s video game, is getting a makeover! Help a little blue blob rescue his friends by stretching, squishing and morphing through obstacles. New moves and modes add a modern twist. 10 years+, $30 for PS4, 3DS and PS Vita, $20 for PS3

Become a master of plants with Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends. Choose from more than 50 flower, fruit, and vegetable seeds, and then care for them with water and fertilizer. And when your animal friends ask for help, harvest and deliver your crops to their restaurants and shops. 7 years+, $30 for 3DS

Apps

Fans of the PBS Kids show won’t want to miss Cyberchase Shape Quest. The app uses augmented-reality technology to help kids develop geometry, problem solving, and spatial-reasoning skills. Print out the free game board online, and when the camera focuses on it, characters pop up onscreen. 6 years+, free for iPad

Make basic arithmetic exciting with Wonder Bunny Math Race. Players must solve addition and subtraction problems quickly to help the rabbit beat opponents. Three levels of difficulty make it interesting for older kids too. 3 years+, Free for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android

Kids can engage with a story in a whole new way with I Imagine. This interactive e-book lets your little one create the characters by choosing names, adding photos for faces, and customizing outfits. Then, he can join in the fun by helping the hero dance, build sand castles, draw pictures, and more. 3 years+, free for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

It’s time for a Wild Kratts World Adventure! The app, based on the PBS KIDS show, lets young explorers virtually swing with orangutans, swim with dolphins, and hunt bugs with woodpeckers. Earn stickers as you complete levels—and don’t forget to take a “Creature Power Selfie,” which inserts your face on an animal’s body. 4 years+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

If your child is always begging to use your tablet or smartphone, teach her some boundaries with The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: ScreenTime. The interactive e-book introduces some manageable rules for using devices, and encourages an active lifestyle too. The photo-album feature lets her take pictures of herself having fun. 4 years+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android

Image courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

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