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Don't Miss August 2011

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

Donald McDermott

Even More Panda
Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman team up once again to lend their vocal talents to the highly anticipated Kung Fu Panda 2. DreamWorks Animation presents this action-packed sequel that has Po joining forces with a group of kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon. Opening in theaters on May 27, Kung Fu Panda 2 also features the voices of Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu.

Treasure Your Child
The Johnson’s Treasuring Everyday Joy campaign encourages parents to celebrate the joy a baby brings to their lives. Throughout the spring season, parents, extended family members and friends can “promise” to celebrate this everyday joy on the Johnson’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/johnsons. With every promise taken, Johnson’s makes a donation to the March of Dimes to enable families in need of support to treasure the incredible bliss that comes with having a healthy baby.

Backyard Pirates
The Backyardigans set sail on four high-seas expeditions in the DVD The Backyardigans: We Arrrr Pirates. Released by Paramount Home Entertainment, the title portrays five young neighbors meeting in their backyards and using their imaginations to be thrust into different situations. Available now in stores and online, The Backyardigans: We Arrrr Pirates allows preschoolers to mambo with Sinbad and become heroes when the neighbors rescue King Pablo and his knights from the Not-So-Nice Dragon.

Three for Three
Anna Chlumsky stars as free-spirited 25-year-old Jennifer Mills, whose world is turned upside down in the Hallmark Channel original movie Three Weeks, Three Kids. Presented as part of the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Mother’s Day celebration, the film depicts Chlumsky as someone forced to grow up fast when she is recruited to take care of her sister’s three rambunctious kids for what seems like three never-ending weeks. Three Weeks, Three Kids premieres on May 7. Check your local listings for when to tune in.

Game Time
Embark on endless fun with new video game releases from 2K Play. Kids exercise in entertaining ways with some of their favorite characters in Nickelodeon Fit, enjoy a magical celebration in Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure, prepare for a food festival in Dora’s Cooking Club and help Diego solve puzzles in Mega Bloks Build and Rescue. All games are currently available for the Wii and Nintendo DS gaming systems.

Ready to Rock
Award-winning children’s artist Daddy A Go Go has dropped his eighth CD Grandkid Rock by Boyd’s Tone Records. On the latest release, Daddy A Go Go, aka Atlanta stay-at-home dad John Boydston, offers young fans a greatest hits CD comprised of 16 of beloved tunes remixed from his previous albums. Boydston’s rockingest CD yet includes unforgettable sing-alongs such as “I Wanna Be An Action Figure,” “The Sports Song” and “Way to Go, Idaho.” Pick up a copy in stores or online.

Scene Stealer
The hit Playhouse Disney TV series Timmy Time is now on DVD. Produced by Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment, Timmy Time: Timmy Steals the Show stars the infamous sheep Timmy from the animated Shaun the Sheep series. Laughter and surprises take center stage without a single spoken word when Timmy performs groovy dance moves and genuine acts of kindness. Along the way, he learns the true meaning of saying “I’m sorry.” Your own little lambs won’t be able to get enough!

What a Deal
Mamma Mia!, the interactive Broadway show that weaves the greatest songs by ABBA into a sunny tale set on a Greek island, is offering a discount on its family-friendly performances. Now through May 25, seats are available for only $75, which is reduced from $127.50. The offer is valid for performances on Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Saturdays at 2pm. To order, visit www.broadwayoffers.com and enter code MAMMA75 or call (212)947-8844 and mention the discount code. The production plays at the Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway in Manhattan.

Bowling Blowout
Score a strike with your family by treating the clan to a realistic bowling experience in Brunswick Pro Bowling. Available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii, the captivating new game is the next best thing to a trip to your neighborhood bowling alley. Strap on the wrist guard for hours of sports action as you earn trophies, customize your bowler with genuine Brunswick equipment like bowling balls and shoes, and unlock hidden items on your way to winning the world championship. The game is rated “E” for everyone.

This column appeared in the August 2011 issue.