Don't Miss January 2012

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

Donald McDermott

Out of This World
Kids suit up as Nemo, Stitch, Captain Jack Sparrow or any of their other favorite Disney characters in Disney Universe. Available for the Wii, Xbox, PS3 and personal computers, the outrageous new game is totally unique because for the first time it allows players to enter a virtual world where a particular character can cross over into different Disney worlds. Find the game at online and local retailers.

Penguin Party
Motivate tykes to move their feet along with lovable penguin pals in Happy Feet Two - The Videogame. Based on the recent animated feature film, this musical adventure game for the entire family encourages players to use dance moves to keep the action going. Rated E for Everyone, the title is available now for the Xbox 360, PS 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.

Rock Them to Sleep
Rock guitars and pounding drums are traded in for soothing rhythms as Rockabye Baby! releases another CD for wee ones. Lullaby Renditions of the Police eases your tot to sleep with some of the band’s most memorable hits, including “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle.” Learn more about the series
inspired by the tunes of famed musicians adapted for babes by logging onto www.rockabyebabymusic.com.

Sweet as Strawberries
Provide your kids with a sweet DVD treat in the new year by picking up Strawberry Shortcake: Bright Lights, Big Dreams. The recent release follows Strawberry and her friends in a competition for berry special prizes. Along the
way, the endearing gang deals with pressure and ultimately discovers the true meaning of being a winner. Available now from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the flick is sold in stores and online.

Accept the Challenge
PBS KIDS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have joined forces to promote the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge. Designed to get families to focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the contest encourages participants from middle school to educators to come up with original games highlighting specific math curriculum skills for children ages 4-8. Entries are being accepted through March 12 with prizes
being awarded in an array of categories. For further information or to enter, visit at www.stemchallenge.org.

Elephant Antics
A cherished HBO show for children makes its way onto DVD when Entertainment One presents Babar: The Classic Series. Centering on the stories developed by creators Jean & Laurent De Brunhoff, each four-episode
DVD in the series stars Babar, the little elephant who leaves the jungle behind for fun adventures in the big city. Find the entertainment beginning January 1.

Face the Music
Award-winning independent children’s musician Nick Deysher has completed his fifth studio CD Making Silly Faces. Featuring Deysher’s band In The Nick of Time, the compilation blends rock, pop, disco, reggae, rap, jazz and funk as the CD takes listeners of all ages on a musical romp from the 1970s to today. Get the disc from www.inthenickoftime.com or other digital distributors.

Power Up
Bringing a new generation of the popular Power Rangers franchise to life, Namco Bandai Games America unleashes Power Rangers Samurai. The new game allows players to become an actual ranger and join the action as a part of the team, battling the elements of fire, water, forest, sky and Earth in an endeavor to reign supreme over samurai symbols of power. Behold the magic when you get the game, which is compatible with
the Wii and Nintendo DX.

Drawing for Fun
THQ takes its popular uDraw GameTablet one step further with a brand-new look and new games. The updated console features a more stylish appearance, HD resolution, a pressure-sensitive stylus, touchscreen abilities and built-in controller functions. The sky is the limit as youngsters get creative with neat games such as Instant Artist, Pictionary and more. Available in stores and online, the tablet works in conjunction with the Xbox 360.

Taking the Leap
Get ready to hop around with adorable LeapFrog character Scout in LeapFrog: Phonics Farm. Lionsgate Home Entertainment and LeapFrog Entertprises distribute this educational DVD that is designed to make learning phonics enjoyable. Also available for digital download and On Demand, the enlightening yet entertaining title is ready for your clan.

This column appeared in the January 2012 issue.