Don't Miss April 2013

Family-friendly movies and games everyone's talking about.

Donald McDermott

Pretty Princess

The Disney Junior hit animated series for preschoolers is now available on DVD. Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess invites young viewers to join the title character as she learns what it means to be royalty. The release comes with an activity kit that includes stickers and tiaras. For more information, go to www.disney.go.com.

Sweet Dreams

Believing in the positive impact of lullaby music on premature babies, The Western Connecticut Health Network teams up with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra to produce Sweet Dreams. Designed to help preemies thrive and improve their cognitive development, the unique CD offers a collection of internationally inspired classic melodies that combine vocal lullabies with soothing classical tunes. Learn more at www.danburyhospital.org/en/our-services/pediatrics/neonatal-intensive-care-unit and www.ridgefieldsymphony.org.

Grand Slam

In time for a new season of Major League Baseball, Sony presents MLB 13: The Show for Play Station 3. Gamers enjoy the national pastime through incredibly lifelike graphics, expanded play options, additional modes, playoff levels, instruction for beginners and commentary. Rated E for Everyone, the video game is available in stores and online.

Spaced Out Videos

Be sure to enter the Why Space Matters to the Future video contest. NASA and the Coalition for Space Exploration challenge families to submit a short video capturing their vision of why exploring space matters. Three winners receive a VIP trip to one of three NASA visitor centers and have their videos shared with the public and national leaders. Entries are accepted through April 7. Go to www.visitnasa.com to find out more.

Luigi Goes Solo

Mario’s sidekick brother takes center stage in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. The spooky ghost hunting game is rated E for Everyone and includes cool gadgets, puzzling challenges, clever creatures and five mansions to explore. The title is available exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.

Dino-mite Entertainment

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic returns to theaters with a brand-new look when Universal Pictures presents Jurassic Park: An IMAX 3D Experience. The re-release allows old and new fans to watch dinosaurs come alive in a state-of-the-art theater. The flick roars into theaters on April 5.

Curious About Spring

Everyone’s favorite mischievous monkey celebrates the start of a new season in Curious George Swings into Spring. The full-length animated DVD follows George as he explores everything from blooming flowers to baby animals. Pick up a copy in stores and online.

Get Creative

Youngsters can create their own stop-motion animation video thanks to the myCreate application from iCreate. The app mixes physical and digital play using special software created to reinforce kids’ creativity while teaching them 21st century technology skills. To learn more, visit www.mycreateapp.com.

Party Time

Cartoon Network brings the party home with Regular Show: Party Pack. The DVD follows the adventures of best buds Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon. The pack comes complete with a character gallery bonus feature and 16 episodes from three seasons of the Emmy-winning animated series.

Big Red Celebration

Scholastic celebrates the 50th anniversary of Clifford the Big Red Dog with a year-long homage. Festivities include the release of the DVD Celebrate with Clifford and Clifford’s Big Birthday app. Families are also invited to take part in Clifford’s Be BIG in Your Community Contest. Find details at www.scholastic.com.

This column appeared in the April 2013 issue.