Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Toys, That's Entertainment, Music



Here's 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: Avatar
Intense and violent, James Cameron's "Avatar" is a visually stunning science fiction epic with a romantic side story. A message of peace and environmental responsibility pervades as a lone Marine tries to save the population of a distant world from a hostile military takeover. Strong language and scary scenes make the film inappropriate for young children. Rated PG-13, OK for Kids 13+

DVD: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie
Just like the Disney series on which it is based, "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie" features a rebellious and back-talking teen stirring up trouble and then owning up to it. Despite their differences, the fictional wizard family is a close one and the film delivers a satisfying, feel-good ending. Not Rated, OK For Kids 7+

TV: The Sing-Off
Former boy band member Nick Lachey hosts "The Sing-Off," a reality contest featuring a capella groups competing for cash and a Sony recording contract. After all but three groups are eliminated by the celebrity judges, viewers take over the voting. Diverse contestants and great songs make the show entertaining and sometimes even inspirational. Rated TV-PG, OK for Kids 9+


Books: The Great and Only Barnum
The good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the life of P.T. Barnum are skillfully portrayed in "The Great and Only Barnum." A brilliant businessman with a penchant for exploitation, Barnum's life is a study in contradictions. It's a fascinating look at the man and the world in which he lived. OK for Kids 8+

Music: The Princess and the Frog Soundtrack
It's not all adorable singing animals and lovesick royalty on "The Princess and the Frog Soundtrack." Amid the warm fuzzies are darker themes involving "friends from the other side," voodoo and tarot cards. Produced by Randy Newman with a jazzy New Orleans sound, the songs are as fresh as the new Disney princess herself. OK for Kids 4+

Web: PBS Kids' Lunch Lab
The Public Broadcasting Service launches an online weapon in the fight against obesity with "PBS Kids' Lunch Lab." With a goal of educating kids about nutrition while keeping them entertained, the site imparts its message via videos, games and music. Hosted by Professor Fizzy and his sidekick Mixie-Bot, it's a fun way for kids learn the basics of staying healthy. OK for Kids 6+

Games: The Princess and the Frog
For Nintendo Wii, "The Princess and the Frog" is a completely different game than the DS and Leapster versions. This one is all about dancing, dressing up and throwing the occasional pie. The game picks up where the film left off as players help Tania prepare for the grand opening of her restaurant. With 25 mini-games to choose from, players are sure to find a favorite. Rated E, OK for Kids 7+

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