Reviews: What's New This Week
Here's a look at what's new 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: Leap Year
A marriage-minded woman takes matters into her own hands when her boyfriend fails to propose in "Leap Year." Despite the presence of the adorable Amy Adams, Ireland's scenic beauty steals this otherwise bland show. However, with only a few mild swear words and no sex or nudity, it's a romantic comedy the entire family can enjoy together. Rated PG, OK for Kids 11+
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side
The title gives a hint of what you can expect with "Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side." A silly and intentionally stupid parody of "The Empire Strikes Back," the DVD-only special feature is chock full of crude humor, rough language and offensive stereotypes. As with the television series itself, this extended Family Guy episode is not family-friendly. Rated NR, Iffy for Kids 14-16
TV: Peep and the Big Wide World
Using science to solve problems, "Peep and the Big Wide World" keeps the lessons simple enough to appeal to preschoolers. Narrated by Joan Cusak, each animated episode ends with a real-life segment featuring young kids repeating the experiment at home. Rated TV-Y, OK for Kids 3+
Louise the Big Cheese: Divine Diva
A self-centered little girl learns to share the spotlight in "Louise the Big Cheese: Divine Diva" by Elise Primavera. Many parents will no doubt recognize Louise's me-first attitude and kids may learn a thing or two about dealing with disappointment. Diane Goode's watercolor illustrations add a beautiful layer of detail to this tale about friendship and forgiveness. OK for Kids 5+
Music: Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome!
Featuring songs from the popular Nick Jr. TV series, "Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome!" offers up a fun and funky retro sound that kids will find hard to resist. Songs about hand washing, loving your family and going to school are upbeat and totally danceable and perfect for a party, a play date or just a rainy day. OK for Kids 2+
Web: Zhu Zhu Pets
You knew it was coming and here it is. The hottest toy of the Christmas season, "Zhu Zhu Pets" are now on the Web. This just-for-fun site lets kids play games and, of course, buy Zhu Zhu Pets. The site has so little to offer in the way of activities that it feels more like a storefront than a play destination. OK for Kids 7+
A plug-and-play gaming system for preschoolers, "Zippity" is the result of a collaboration between LeapFrog and Disney. With a mat controller and a tall joystick, kids must get on their feet to play games of memory, music, numbers, letters, colors and even Spanish. With familiar Disney characters leading the way, it's a highly active introduction to educational play. Rated NR, OK for Kids 3+
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.