Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Activities: Babies

Here is a look at what's new this week in family entertainment as adapted from reviews and ratings by Common Sense Media. Click on the links to read the reviews in full.

New in Theaters: The Princess and the Frog
Disney's first princess movie featuring an African-American heroine, "The Princess and the Frog" is a new and improved version of the classic frog-kissing tale. Set in New Orleans, the film features a strong-willed, hard-working princess who isn't waiting around for a prince to rescue her. The film tries hard but can't seem to avoid slipping in a few stereotypes, including a tooth-wearing voodoo master. Rated G, OK for Kids 6+

DVD: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" continues the ever-darkening saga of the Hogwarts kids. The PG rating is misleading as this third installment features plenty of violence, scary scenes and a sexual undertone. It's a mixed bag of emotional upheaval and adventure as the characters continue their fight against darkness while coping with their own burgeoning sexuality. Rated PG, OK for Kids 12+

TV: Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation
The adventurous twosome and their pals join forces to save Christmas from the bungling Dr. Doofenshmitz in "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation." Hilarity ensues as the kids go over the top to show Santa some love after the entire town makes the naughty list. There's even a little romance as older sister Candace frets over a boy and a younger character receives his first real kiss. Rated TV-G, OK for Kids 5+

Books: The True Gift: A Christmas Story
A brother and sister give the gift of love to a lonely farm cow in Patricia Maclachlan's "The True Gift: A Christmas Story." A simple tale with no dramatic villains or clueless parents, the book quietly conveys a message of love, hope and the joy of selflessness. OK for Kids 7+

Music: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Soundtrack
Some popular songs get cleaned up and pitched high on "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Soundtrack." A chipmunk version of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" may be a sound only a kid could love, but that's exactly who this record is aimed at. Other songs include Taylor Swift's "Put Your Records On" and Black Eyes Peas' "I Gotta Feeling." OK for Kids 7+

Web: Kideos
A video site for the preschool set, "Kideos" is a safe place for kids to view their favorite television shows and other videos. The site is free and the content is screened by a team of parents and educators. Handily organized into age groups and categories, it's a bookmark-worthy site for parents of young children. OK for Kids 3+

Games: Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
For Nintendo DS and DSi, "Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes" is a fantasy game that requires players to use strategy and problem-solving skills to advance. Using the button or touch controls, players travel the world protecting the land and their loved ones from evil. The wireless mode lets friends battle each other. Rated E10+, OK for Kids 10+

commonsense media

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.