Don't Miss December 2012

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

Donald McDermott

Limited Engagement

Celebrate the meaning of Christmas with a special one-night event. The wonder of the season comes to life in new ways with the help of incredible storytellers, award-winning musicians, a comic sensation and a master illusionist in 12 Gifts of Christmas. See the flick in theaters only on December 11.

Dino-Mite

Three mischievous kids travel back to the time when dinosaurs ruled supreme in the animated film Dino Time (Clarius Entertainment). Opening in theaters on December 7, the movie depicts kids searching for a missing piece of their time machine. Characters encounter scheming dinosaurs and one nurturing mother T. rex. This hilarious and heartwarming tale is an entertaining way to spend time with family.

Hallmark Moment

Rival lawyers Kyle and Jenna are bonded together when their siblings fall in love in the Hallmark Channel movie Baby’s First Christmas. When the bickering colleagues visit family during the merry season, they learn that their siblings are enduring financial hardship. Jenna and Kyle come up with a plan that might save the day, all in the name of love. The flick debuts on December 15.

Seuss is Loose

Oceanhouse Media releases four Dr. Seuss applications for Windows 8: The Cat in the Hat, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Each offers different reading options, illustrations, professional narration and other features. Visit www.oceanhousemedia.com for information.

Build a Bandage

Support the fight against pediatric cancer with Ouchies for Others Bandage Art Contest. The campaign provides children ages 18 and younger with an opportunity to design a bandage and tell their stories about the fight against cancer. Entries are displayed on the company’s Facebook page where fans vote for their favorites. Five winners have their design featured on Ouchies for Others products. Find a design template and instructions at www.ouchiesonline.com. The deadline for entries is January 25, 2013.

Searching for Guidance

Talented child actor Joshua Rush joins Hollywood heavyweights Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei in Parental Guidance. Watch the adventures that unfold when a grandfather watches his three grandchildren. The film opens in theaters on December 25.

Toys for Tots

Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal partners with Toys “R” Us for Give Back With Shaq. Benefitting the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots Foundation, the campaign encourages families to make a cash or toy donation at www.toysrus/toysfortots through December 24.

Dancing Delights

Make it a winter to remember with Just Dance: Disney Party for the Xbox and Wii. Dance to 25 songs from Disney movies and television shows. Also check out the CD release Disney Jingle Bell Fun, which features 10 newly recorded holiday classics, including “Let It Snow” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” Both titles are available at local entertainment stores.

Expect Results

Inspired by the timeless bestselling book by Heidi Murkoff, What to Expect When You’re Expecting: The Workout (Lionsgate Home Entertainment) is an ultimate pregnancy exercise video. The program uses six 10-minute routines and a customizable mix-and-match style to keep users fit through all nine months of pregnancy. The new release is available on DVD, digital download and On Demand beginning December 4.

Terrific Team-up

Two Nickelodeon favorites come together for the first time in Team Umizoomi & Dora’s Fantastic Flight. The Nintendo DS adventure lets players customize their ships and search through jungles, forests, beaches and mountains with popular characters Dora, Boots, Milli, Geo and Bot. The fun-filled new game is available in stores and online.

Donald McDermott is an associate editor.

This column appeared in the December 2012 issue.