Miffy Coming to the Big Screen

Miffy, the white rabbit created by Dutch author and illustrator Dick Bruna, is ready to hop into movie theaters as she stars in her own movie, slated to release in early 2013. Miffy the Movie will be a collaborative effort among Telescreen Filmproductions, a division of Telescreen B.V. (a subsidiary of the German brand management and media company m4e AG); Mercis, which manages the rights; Warner Bros. Netherlands; and Dutch public broadcaster KRO Television. The director of the movie is Hans Perk and the screenwriter is James Still.

The movie will target preschoolers and will follow Miffy and her friends on a treasure hunt at the zoo. The film aims to be the perfect first cinematic experience for very young children, filled with happy songs, adventures, animals, colors, and shapes. Miffy and Friends is a puppet animation series that is currently broadcast worldwide.

Photo Credit: Telegraph.co.uk

NCircle Entertainment Releases New DVDs

NCircle Entertainment, a distributor of independent non-theatrical children’s entertainment, is releasing four new DVD titles for children ages 6 and under.

The titles are Animal ABCs, Animal 123s, Goodnight Pajanimals, and Dance, Pocoyo, Dance!.

Animal ABCs and Animals 123s, based on the award-winning Animal Atlas series, encourages preschoolers to sing, count, and learn about all sorts of animals. The DVD also teaches children lessons on nature conservation.

Goodnight, Pajanimals, based on The Jim Henson Company’s bedtime series, runs 90 minutes long. The story follows four animals as they go about their bedtime routine, and includes songs to comfort preschoolers as they ease into their own night time rituals.

Dance, Pocoyo, Dance! is based on the Nick Jr. series Pocoyo .This 90-minute DVD includes 12 songs that aim to get preschoolers  moving.

Buildable Figures from Playmobil

It may be hot outside, but The Toy Book just got a preview of Playmobil’s holiday lineup. New from the company are Playmobil Figures, which will be available in August. The line offers 12 different boy figures and 12 different girl figures, which come in a surprise mystery package.

The figures come unassembled in the package, allowing children to put them together themselves. Children can interchange the parts on various Playmobil figures to make new characters with the pieces they get in the package. The figures retail for $ 2.99 and are for ages 5 and up.

New Children’s eBooks From Skyreader Media

Skyreader Media, a publisher of interactive children’s eBooks and a part of the Skywriter Media Entertainment Group, announced the release of its first eBook apps, Robo Buddy and Coyote’s Tale. Previously these titles were only available for use by the K-12 school system.

These eBooks apps come with special interactive features, including AutoRead mode, Read To Me mode, and Read Myself mode. The apps also invite kids to touch the characters and environments to uncover surprises, sounds effects, and music. Also included are Notes for Literacy Learning—tips for parents to help struggling readers improve reading skills and comprehension.

Robo Buddy, originally published in print by Rubicon Publishing, follows the story of two best friends. Readers try to help Dexter find his missing best friend, Robo Buddy, in the story.

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Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3 Hits Stores This Fall

Gleeks everywhere will be belting out their favorite songs from season 2 with the Konami Digital Entertainment , Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products collaboration, Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3, hitting stores this fall on Wii.

Volume 3 will include more than 35 hit songs and exclusive footage from season 2 of the TV show. For the first time, players can compete in multiplayer singing games, including minigames and a party mode for up to six players. Gleeks can also take center stage with new celebrity guest stars, in addition to their favorite  season 2 characters.

“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” “Toxic,” “Losing My Religion,” and “Stop! In The Name of Love” are just a few of the titles included. The volume also contains popular song renditions from artists such as Ike & Tina Turner, Poison, Amy Winehouse, En Vogue, and Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat.

This volume uses Karaoke Revolution’s proprietary voice recognition technology, which recognizes and scores vocal pitch and rhythm, allowing players to reach hard-hitting notes and to perfect their harmonies.

Baby Genius Offers Apps

Baby Genius recently launched two apps featuring characters Frankie and Tempo. Parents can download MyPal Frankie and MyPal Tempo for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad for free. The MyPal Tempo musical game is a “Simon Says”-style game that teaches memory skills through music. With MyPal Frankie, Frankie will repeat anything the child says. Kids can play with Frankie and make her giggle, wiggle, or eat an apple. Videos can be recorded and saved or shared.

Rev Up for the New “Cars 2″ Video Game

Cars fans can race around the world this summer and hone their spy skills. Disney Interactive Studios has released Disney•Pixar’s Cars 2: The Video Game, available on all major gaming platforms.

The game, based on the soon-to-be-released movie Cars 2, will have players take on dangerous missions, attempt to become the fastest race car in the world, and use their espionage skills in combat racing and battle arenas. Avalanche Software developed the game in collaboration with the filmmakers at Pixar Animation Studios.

Players can choose to play as one of more than 20 different characters, including favorites like Mater and Lightning McQueen. Players are emerged in the Cars universe and in different locales around the world, including London, Tokyo  and Italy.

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A Year of Celebrating To Mark The Simpsons’ 500th Episode

Muster up your best “Doh!” in preparation for a celebration for the most-watched U.S. television program and the longest scripted show in television history—aka The Simpsons.

To mark the record-breaking 500th episode, to air in February, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products is throwing a yearlong celebration. This will include specially tailored brand initiatives created to appeal to the franchise’s wide fan base, a new global retail partnership, and a worldwide QSR campaign with Burger King Corp.

The commemoration starts in September and will continue throughout the show’s upcoming 23rd season. Fox Consumer Products’ new launches will include a “Ladies of Springfield” brand for fashion-forward female fans. The accessories will feature Marge and her two sisters, Patty and Selma. There also will be numerous products based on Duff Beer for male fans.

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Paul Frank’s Julius Joins the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is about to start monkey-ing around! Paul Frank’s Julius will premiere as a larger-than-life character balloon during Macy’s upcoming annual holiday event.

With help from Macy’s Parade Studio and Paul Frank Industries, Julius will transform into a giant helium balloon measuring more than 40 feet tall. Around 3.5 million spectators at the parade will see firsthand Julius’s inaugural flight, while an additional 50 million viewers nationwide will watch it on television.

Following his flying debut, Julius will star in his own seasonal animated special about the true meaning of Christmas. Julius fans that can’t wait for the parade can keep busy with interactive experiences at Paul Frank online.

Saban’s Samurai Power Rangers will also return to the parade and will escort the giant Earth balloon. The 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will air on Thursday, November 24 on NBC, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m in all time zones.


The Results Are In For What’s Hot With Kids Today

Justin Bieber topped the list when The NPD Group, as part of its Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS), asked “what would the kids you know say is the hottest new thing these days?” in May. Mentions included celebrities, movies, television shows, toys, games, hobby, sports, web sites, brands, and retail stores. NPD compiled 2,095 mentions for kids ages 0-14. The results were:

  1. Justin Bieber (10 percent)
  2. Nintendo Wii (2 percent)
  3. Dora The Explorer (2 percent)
  4. Xbox 360 (2 percent)
  5. Cars: The Movie/ Cars 2 (2 percent)
  6. iPad (2 percent)
  7. SpongeBob SquarePants (2 percent)
  8. Disney (2 percent)
  9. Video games (2 percent)
  10. Thor (1 percent)

Bieber also topped the list in the same survey conducted in February, with 14 percent. The NPD Group’s Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS) provides monthly insight into purchases made on behalf of kids ages 0-14, across product categories, with an emphasis on licenses and brands. Each month, the service asks an open-ended, unaided question designed to provide insight into what is hot with kids today.