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3 Ninjas Knuckle Up

3 Ninjas Knuckle Up

Starring: (III), Victor Wong Slade, Max Elliott Epper, Gary Grant, Stuart Proud Eagle Gunderson, Janie Melissa Holahan, Dennis Hungerford, Michael Jayne, Selina Jayne, Selina Lightning, Crystle
Director: Shin, Sang-ok

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 85 min

Color Dolby

In this movie Rocky, Colt and TumTum must battle an evil wealthy toxic waste dumper in order to save a local Indian tribe and their friend Joe...

Agent Cody Banks

Agent Cody Banks

Starring: Muniz, Frankie Duff, Hilary Harmon, Angie David, Keith Stevenson, Cynthia Vosloo, Arnold Roebuck, Daniel McShane, Ian McShane, Ian Donovan, Martin
Director: Zwart, Harald

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 102 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Doing for awkward teens what the Spy Kids movies did for grade-schoolers, Agent Cody Banks is a wish-fulfillment adventure for James Bond wannabes who are still too young to shave. Just in time for puberty's curtain call, Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz stars in the title role as a 15-year-old recruit to the CIA's youth-agent program, who gets what millions of men desire: a face full of Angie Harmon's cleavage. (It's just for laughs; the sexy Law & Order alumnus plays Cody's CIA handler, but you've got to admit this Bond Girl with a boy thing is a bit perverse.) Otherwise, the movie's a low-rent Bond clone from the director of One Night at McCool's, with a pair of twisted villains (Ian McShane, Arnold Vosloo) threatening to unleash stolen "Nanobot" technology that can ruin everyone's day. It's barely fun enough to be worthwhile, but the best gag (at 007's expense) is buried in the soundtrack, when a CIA receptionist announces, "Will the owner of a silver Aston Martin please report to security... you are parked in a handicapped zone." So much for respecting your elders! --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Aristocats, The

Aristocats, The

Starring: Harris, Phil Gabor, Eva Holloway, Sterling Crothers, Scatman Winchell, Paul Hudson, Lord Tim Scotti, Vito Ravenscroft, Thurl Ravenscroft, Thurl English, Liz
Director: Reitherman, Wolfgang

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 78 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Duchess and her three kittens are enjoying the high life with their devoted human mistress until the wicked butler Edgar, with his eyes on a big inheritance, decides to dope them and get them out of the picture. How can these fragile creatures cope in the unfamiliar countryside and the meaner streets of Paris? Only by meeting the irrepressible alley cat O'Malley, a rough diamond with romance in his heart. After they get a taste of the wide dangerous world, he guides them home, and Edgar gets his just desserts at the wrong end of a horse. As always, it's really the voices rather than the animation that are the heart of the Disney magic: Phil Harris is brilliant as O'Malley, Eva Gabor as Duchess is... well... Eva Gabor; but perhaps the most memorable turns are by Pat Buttram and George Lindsay, who turn the old hounds Napoleon and Lafayette into a couple of bumbling Southern-fried rednecks. Their scenes with Edgar, and the musical numbers with Scat Cat and his cool-dude band, are classic. Most striking about seeing The Aristocats now is how deeply Disney's style of animation has changed since this was at the cutting edge in 1970. Perhaps the nostalgic, dated feel are just a result of being plonked down in Belle Epoque Paris, but the illustrations are fussier (a pity) and the animation and overall pace much less frenetic (sometimes a relief) than in more recent efforts such as Aladdin. --Richard Farr --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Balto II - Wolf Quest

Balto II - Wolf Quest

Starring: LaMarche, Maurice Benson, Jodi Chabert, Lacey Carradine, David Hamill, Mark Fleischer, Charles MacNicol, Peter Paulsen, Rob Paulsen, Rob Spore, Melanie
Director: Weinstein, Phil

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 75 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com As if becoming a new father isn't enough, Balto the half-wolf is puzzled by a recurring nightmare involving a treacherous journey, some threatening characters, and plenty of unanswered questions. Chalk it up to parenthood: nightmare turns into reality when the last of his litter, whom no human will adopt, learns the devastating truth about her mixed heritage and embarks on a dangerous Wolf Quest, with papa Balto hot on her trail. The result is 75 minutes of engrossing action, beautifully integrated songs, well-timed humor, polished animation, and a refreshing tendency to surprise rather than shock. As thoughtfully composed as the original Balto (based on the true story of a heroic Alaskan sled dog), this made-for-video sequel promises to be a deeply satisfying selection for families with 3- to 8-year-olds. --Liane Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Beauty and the Beast (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Beauty and the Beast (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Starring: O'Hara, Paige Benson, Robby White, Richard Orbach, Jerry Stiers, David Ogden Lansbury, Angela Pierce, Bradley Everhart, Rex Everhart, Rex Smith, Hal
Director: Trousdale, Gary

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min (special edition)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video The film that officially signaled Disney's animation renaissance (following The Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Beauty and the Beast remains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father's place, imprisoned in the Beast's gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle teaches the Beast to love. What makes this such a dazzler, besides the amazingly accomplished animation and the winning coterie of supporting characters (the Beast's mansion is overrun by quipping, dancing household items) is the array of beautiful and hilarious songs by composer Alan Menken and the late, lamented lyricist Howard Ashman. (The title song won the 1991 Best Song Oscar, and Menken's score scored a trophy as well.) The downright funniest song is "Gaston," a lout's paean to himself (including the immortal line, "I use antlers in all of my de-co-ra-ting"). "Be Our Guest" is transformed into an inspired Busby Berkeley homage. Since Ashman's passing, animated musicals haven't quite reached the same exhilarating level of wit, sophistication, and pure joy. --David Kronke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features Over a decade after it was made, this Oscar®-winning musical looks better than ever; the remastered film pops off the screen. This DVD debut has a whole disc of extras, but it's the film that matters here. You can see the original version, the special edition--which has a new song sequence, "Human Again," created for its 2001 release in IMAX theaters--and the unique "work-in-progress" edition that played the New York Film Festival and was seen on an earlier laserdisc release. Disney's... read more

Big Fat Liar

Big Fat Liar

Starring: Muniz, Frankie Bynes, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Detmer, Amanda Faison, Donald Oh, Sandra Hornsby, Russell French, Michael Bryan French, Michael Bryan Majors, Lee
Director: Levy, Shawn

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Pitting kids against grown-ups has always been a reliable source of comedy, and Big Fat Liar indulges the "smart kid vs. dumb adult" fantasy with infectious enthusiasm. In this case it's Frankie Muniz from TV's Malcolm in the Middle, playing a Michigan eighth-grader whose penchant for lying results in parental scorn when he claims that a Hollywood movie mogul (ace character actor Paul Giamatti) has stolen the kid's hastily written English essay and turned it into his upcoming summer blockbuster. The kid only wants to prove his honesty and recruits his girlfriend (spunky TV star Amanda Bynes) to beat the honcho on his Hollywood turf. Elaborate practical jokes and slapstick gags turn this kid stuff (scripted and produced by two former child stars) into an enjoyable send-up of Hollywood absurdity. When combined with Giamatti's mastery of slow-burning megalomania, the show-biz in-jokes and Home Alone-style anarchy make this a harmless diversion for the young and young-at-heart. --Jeff Shannon

Cats & Dogs (Full Screen Edition)

Cats & Dogs (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Goldblum, Jeff Perkins, Elizabeth Pollock, Alexander Margolyes, Miriam Natwick, Myron Chillcott, Doris Robek, Kirsten Turner, Frank C. Turner, Frank C. Barber, Gillian
Director: Guterman, Lawrence

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 87 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com How can you hate a movie that features ninja Siamese cats wreaking havoc with their kung fu prowess? That's one of the highlights in Cats & Dogs, an effects-laden family film that mystifies cat fanciers by casting dogs as the undisputed heroes in all-out warfare with nefarious felines. Hidden headquarters and high-tech gadgets are featured on both sides of this age-old battle. On the feline side, the longhaired Persian Mr. Tinkles (voice of Sean Hayes) plots to sabotage the efforts of Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum) to discover a cure for human allergies to dogs. On the canine side, stalwart shepherd Butch (voice of Alec Baldwin) trains the mistakenly recruited beagle puppy Lou (voice of Tobey Maguire) to foil Mr. Tinkles's scheme--a mission that begins when Mrs. Brody (Elizabeth Perkins) adopts Lou for her son Scott (Alexander Pollock). Using combinations of live animals, animatronic puppets, and digital wizardry, Cats & Dogs has just enough imagination to match its effects, climaxing with a feline global-domination scheme involving mice sprayed with chemicals that will make all humans allergic to dogs. Goldblum and Perkins gamely play second fiddles to this menagerie of mayhem, and as madcap "realism" gives way to cartoonish fantasy, the movie escalates into utter chaos, burdened by lame jokes but highlighted by a furry supporting cast including a Saluki hound (voice of Susan Sarandon), a shaggy sheepdog (voice of Michael Clarke Duncan), and a Chinese hairless techno-geek named Peek (voice of Joe Pantoliano). Though never as charming as the Babe movies, Cats & Dogs is harmless fun--especially for dog lovers. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Cinderella II - Dreams Come True

Cinderella II - Dreams Come True

Starring: Hale, Jennifer MacNeille, Tress Paulsen, Rob Burton, Corey Taylor, Holland Blakeslee, Susan Welker, Frank Barnes, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Christopher Daniel
Director: Kafka, John

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 73 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Disney continues to "sequelize" its classic features. With smart foresight, the filmmakers choose to go with three snappy short films to comprise this 73-minute feature with the Fairy Godmother granting wishes to various characters. In the opening short, Cinderella must pursue life as queen. Several feathers are ruffled as she brings her down-home ways to the castle (bring the commoners in and open those darn curtains). In the other tales, one of Cinderella's animal pals receives a chance to see the world quite differently, and finally, Anastasia, Cinderella's formerly evil stepsister, finds love with a little help. As with the other sequels, the look of the film helps bridge the distance between the original and the sequel (here over 50 years) and it comes together seamlessly. Little ones from ages 4 to 9 should be entertained while purists may be a bit aghast. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Description The magical story of Cinderella continues in an all-new movie brimming with irresistible music, lush animation and all your favorite characters from the original Disney classic. When Cinderella and her prince return to the palace from their honeymoon, the new princess suddenly finds herself cast in the role of Royal Hostess. But the traditional rules of the Royal Court don't allow her to entertain in her own warm and wonderful way. With the help of everyone's favorite Fairy Godmother and a band of mischievous mice, Cinderella and her friends find that the only true way to succeed is to be yourself. You'll find dreams really do come true in the enchanting tale of Cinderella II.

Crocodile Hunter, The - Collision Course

Crocodile Hunter, The - Collision Course

Starring: (II), Steve Irwin Irwin, Terri Szubanski, Magda Wenham, David Hulme, Lachy Young, Aden Ransom, Kenneth Beahan, Kate Beahan, Kate Vidler, Steven
Director: Stainton, John

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com This first movie from the Discovery Channel favorite opens with a plot of international intrigue over a downed satellite, but within four minutes Steve Irwin is belly flopping after a baby croc on the outback floor. Steve and his nerves-of-steel sidekick wife, Terri, are asked to relocate a cattle-chomping crocodile before it's shot by a local rancher. This same reptile happened to swallow the intelligence-gathering device that fell to earth, and so begins the goofball premise of this lark of a movie. The feds believe the Irwins are appropriating their classified info, and the Irwins think they're running from poachers. Quibblers may object to Irwin's frequent interruptions to introduce a bird-eating spider or paw through croc dung, but Crocodile Hunter fans wouldn't have it any other way. This 89-minute film is rated PG for action violence/peril and mild language. But unless you consider "crikey" an obscenity, it's a safe bet for family viewing. (Ages 4 and older) --Kimberly Heinrichs

Daddy Day Care (Special Edition)

Daddy Day Care (Special Edition)

Starring: Murphy, Eddie Garlin, Jeff Zahn, Steve Nealon, Kevin Zahn, Steve Chabert, Lacey Garlin, Jeff Kightlinger, Laura Kightlinger, Laura Krusiec, Michelle
Director: (III), Steve Carr

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com There are some good laughs to be found in Daddy Day Care, especially if you're a preschooler with energy to burn. This romper-room comedy shamelessly exploits its high concept idea--dropping Eddie Murphy into a seething den of rugrats--but kids will have plenty of vicarious fun as Murphy and his fellow laid-off colleague (Jeff Garlin) battle unemployment by opening a day-care center in Eddie's home. In partial Witches mode, Anjelica Huston hams it up as a day-care competitor bent on closing Eddie down, while doofus extraordinaire Steve Zahn is recruited as a third partner in "Daddy Day Care," trying his best to entertain a pack of hyperactive kids who've stopped taking their Ritalin. Zahn makes a funny Star Trek fan (even when the script contains bogus Trekkie trivia), and Murphy deserves credit for giving his all in a comedy that mostly squanders his talent. Indeed, is Daddy Day Care a comedy or every parent's nightmare? Daring viewers can decide for themselves. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Dr. Dolittle 2

Dr. Dolittle 2

Starring: Murphy, Eddie Wilson, Kristen Raven-Symone Pratt, Kyla Zane, Lil' Dowse, Denise Y. Avery, James Taylor, Elayn Taylor, Elayn Pollak, Kevin
Director: (III), Steve Carr

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 87 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com It's only a marginal improvement, but Dr. Dolittle 2 defies the odds by rising above its popular 1998 predecessor (and once again, let's not confuse these movies with the earlier Rex Harrison musical). Eddie Murphy cakewalks through his title role with the confident professionalism of a comedian who knows when to share the spotlight--especially when he's being upstaged by a bunch of animals who steal all the punch lines. And once again the movie's aimed at a preteen audience, so many of those punch lines involve flatulence, bodily functions, and frequent use of the word butt. The difference this time: Dr. Dolittle has settled into his talk-to-the-animals routine; his 16-year-old daughter (Raven-Symone) is getting to be a feisty handful (it turns out she's coping with a hereditary gift); and his lawyer wife (Kristen Wilson) is representing him in a trial against corporate villains who want to clear-cut a local forest. Naturally, the local critter mafia (their Don is a beaver... fugeddaboutit!) want Dolittle to fight for their cause, and this involves the successful mating of an endangered bear and a domesticated circus bear who's forgotten all the bear necessities of life in the wild. The bears are voiced by Lisa Kudrow and Steve Zahn, and they almost steal the show, but the whole menagerie (with digitally animated "talking") is equally amusing. Adults might wish that the filmmakers had tried harder to make a truly memorable sequel, but this is a movie for kids, and they're going to love it without quibbling. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Dudley Do-Right

Dudley Do-Right

Starring: Molina, Alfred Parker, Sarah Jessica Prosky, Robert Kehler, Jack Hoffman, Brant Van Idle, Eric Rocco, Alex Fraser, Brendan Fraser, Brendan Rees, Jed
Director: Wilson, Hugh

Rating: PG (MPAA)
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 83

Color Digitally Processed

The gallantly goofy "Mountie" of Jay Ward's 1969 television cartoon bumbles his way onto the big screen in this live-action adaptation starring Fraser in the titular role. Dudley must foil the dastardly deeds of Snidely Whiplash--brilliantly brought to life by Molina--in order to save his damsel in distress Nell Fenwick (Parker), and along the way hopefully learn to ride his trusty horse Horse (the brains of the duo) and avoid loose floor boards. Physical comedy (mostly involving humorous head trauma) rules the day in this good-natured family comedy.

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Thomas, Henry Barrymore, Drew MacNaughton, Robert Barrymore, Drew Coyote, Peter Martel, K.C. Frye, Sean Howell, C. Thomas Howell, C. Thomas Swingler, Richard
Director: Spielberg, Steven

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 120 min (extended version)

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com essential video Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit about a stranded alien and his loving relationship with a fatherless boy (Henry Thomas) struck a chord with audiences everywhere, and it furthered Spielberg's reputation as a director of equally strong commercial sensibilities and classical leanings. Henry Thomas gives a strong, emotional performance as E.T.'s young friend, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore make a solid impression as his siblings, and Dee Wallace is lively as the kids' mother. The special effects almost look a bit quaint now with all the computer advancements that have occurred since, but they also have more heart behind them than a lot of what we see today. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features Universal pulled a fast one when they placed both the 1982 and 2002 versions of E.T. on this standard DVD release. The result is an excellent two-disc set that contains nearly all of the material on the higher-priced ultimate edition (minus the handsome packaging). On the disc one bonus menu, you must play through the two-minute introduction to see a short on the 2002 premiere of the film that was accompanied by John Williams conducting a live orchestra. There is an option to see the film with... read more

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Starring: Brooks, Albert DeGeneres, Ellen Gould, Alexander Dafoe, Willem Garrett, Brad Janney, Allison Pendleton, Austin Root, Stephen Root, Stephen Ranft, Joe
Director: Unkrich, Lee

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 100 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com A delightful undersea world unfolds in Pixar's animated adventure Finding Nemo. When his son Nemo is captured by a scuba-diver, a nervous-nellie clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) sets off into the vast--and astonishingly detailed--ocean to find him. Along the way he hooks up with a scatterbrained blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who's both helpful and a hindrance, sometimes at the same time. Faced with sharks, deep-sea anglers, fields of poisonous jellyfish, sea turtles, pelicans, and much more, Marlin rises above his neuroses in this wonderfully funny and nonstop thrill ride--rarely does more than 10 minutes pass without a sequence destined to become a theme park attraction. Pixar continues its run of impeccable artistic and economic success (their movies include Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc). Also featuring the voices of Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, and Allison Janney. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features It's not that the folks at Pixar are geniuses when it comes to DVDs... well, come to think of it, their fifth DVD set shows these folks are wizards. It's not just that the two discs are packed with watchable extras that hardly reiterate the same information; it's how they are handled--funny, inventive, with a light touch--unlike many PR-driven discs. A good place to start is the filmmakers' jolly commentary track, which branches off into 31 minutes of behind-the-scene stuff, deleted scenes, and... read more

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

Starring: Curtis, Jamie Lee Lohan, Lindsay Harmon, Mark Gould, Harold Murray, Chad Michael Tobolowsky, Stephen Vidal, Christina Malgarini, Ryan Malgarini, Ryan Chao, Rosalind
Director: Waters, Mark S.

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 93 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com In the wonderfully entertaining Freaky Friday, teenager Anna (Lindsay Lohan) and her forty-something psychiatrist mom Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) have sunk into a rut of frustrated bickering--until a magic spell causes them to switch bodies. Suddenly Tess finds herself faced with petty teachers, vicious rivals, and a hunky boy, while Anna has to cope with her mother's neurotic patients as well as her befuddled fiance (Mark Harmon), who doesn't understand why his bride-to-be is suddenly recoiling from his embrace on the eve of their wedding. Both Lohan and Curtis turn in deft, delightful performances, with Curtis showing a surprising flair for physical comedy. The movie even manages to explore serious issues about fractured families, new parents, and adolescent sexuality with honesty and empathy--and without making the story stop dead in its tracks. It's a mother-daughter film that fathers and sons can enjoy just as much. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Holes (Widescreen Edition)

Holes (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Weaver, Sigourney Voight, Jon Nelson, Tim Blake LaBeouf, Shia Thomas, Khleo Smith, Jake M. Cotton, Byron Jefferson, Brenden Jefferson, Brenden Kasch, Max
Director: Davis, Andrew

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 117 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Fans of author Louis Sachar's book Holes will be delighted with this scrupulously faithful adaptation. After being wrongly found guilty of stealing a pair of sneakers, Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility in the bed of a long-gone dry Texas lake. There--under the watchful eye of overseer Mr. Sir (a zesty Jon Voight), sneakily mean therapist Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson, O Brother Where Art Thou?), and the cool and cruel Warden (Sigourney Weaver)--Stanley and dozens of other delinquents are forced to dig an endless series of holes that the Warden hopes will lead her to a precious secret left behind by a long-dead female outlaw (Patricia Arquette). Sachar's book is beloved for its vivid characters and suspenseful plot; by sticking close to its source, Holes has become a dynamic, exciting, and surprisingly touching movie. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Ice Age

Ice Age

Starring: Leguizamo, John Leary, Denis Leary, Denis Visnjic, Goran Black, Jack Entertainer, Cedric the Root, Stephen Bader, Diedrich Bader, Diedrich Bagley, Lorri
Director: Saldanha, Carlos

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 81 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Just as A Bug's Life was a computer-animated comedy inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, the funny and often enthralling Ice Age is a digital re-imagining of the Western Three Godfathers. The heroes of this unofficial remake (set 20,000 years ago, during the titular Paleolithic era) are a taciturn mastodon named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an annoying sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a duplicitous saber-toothed tiger, Diego (Denis Leary). The unlikely team encounters a dying, human mother who relinquishes her chirpy toddler to the care of these critters. Hoping, against all odds, to return the little guy to his migrating tribe, Manfred and his associates need to establish trust among themselves, not an easy thing in a harsh world of predators, prey, and pushy glaciers. Audiences that have become accustomed to the rounded, polished, storybook look of Pixar's house brand of computer animation (Monsters, Inc.) will find the blunt edges and chilly brilliance of Ice Age--evoking the harsh, dangerous environment of a frozen world--a wholly different, and equally pleasing, trip. Recommended for ages 4 and up. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The new short film "Scrat's Missing Adventure: Gone Nutty" showcases the well-timed animation--strongly influenced by Chuck Jones's Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote shorts--that made that frantic little character so effective as a comic foil. It's interesting to compare the Oscar®-winning short "Bunny" with Ice Age. The viewer can see the Blue Sky artists developing the more angular and less detailed look that's become the studio's signature. Like Sid the Sloth, the title character in "Bunny"... read more

Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius

Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius

Starring: Derryberry, Debi Paulsen, Rob Derryberry, Debi Garcia, Jeffrey Goen, Bob Hart, Mary Lawrence, Carolyn Martin, Andrea Martin, Andrea Paulsen, Rob
Director: Davis, John A.

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Jimmy Neutron, the feature that launches Nickelodeon's attempt to create a new children's franchise, plays like a cross between Rugrats and Dexter's Laboratory in outer space. Accompanied by his cyberdog Goddard, "boy genius" James Isaac Neutron (voiced by Debi Derryberry) invents fantastic devices that work only sporadically and with decidedly mixed results. The communications satellite he makes out of his mother's toaster allows for a race of gooey, egg-shaped aliens to kidnap the adults in Jimmy's town with the intent of sacrificing the parents to their chicken-god. Converting amusement park rides into spaceships, Jimmy saves the day, despite a few false starts and misadventures. Several of the characters feel like slightly older versions of Rugrats: smart-alecky Cindy (Carolyn Lawrence) resembles Angelica; sniffling nerd Carl (Rob Paulsen), Chuckie. The most original member of the cast is Sheen (Jeff Garcia), the maladroit devotee of superhero Ultralord--a very funny spoof of cartoon fandom. The characters look more like plastic toys than human beings. Instead of the thousands of individual hairs on the heads of the realistic figures in Final Fantasy, Jimmy sports a one-piece hairdo that recalls a soft-serve ice cream cone. The animation is weightless and the acting minimal, but the often quirky story carries the limited visuals and will appeal to elementary school kids. Rated G; suitable for ages 6 and older; cartoon violence, minor gross humor. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Kangaroo Jack (Widescreen Edition)

Kangaroo Jack (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: O'Connell, Jerry Anderson, Anthony Warren, Estella Walken, Christopher Ngoobujjarra, David O'Connell, Jerry Weaving, Hugo Csokas, Marton Csokas, Marton Sellito, Mark
Director: (II), David McNally

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Kids will be drawn to Kangaroo Jack because of the playful antics of a computer-generated kangaroo; however, they'll probably be bored stiff as they endure the absurd and over-elaborate plot. Charlie (the charmless Jerry O'Connell) and his best friend Louis (the reasonably amusing Anthony Anderson) run afoul of Charlie's mob boss stepfather. He insists that they deliver $50,000 to a mystery man in the Australian outback--or else. Along the way, these two dimwits put Louis's bright red jacket (which happens to contain the money) on a kangaroo they think they've accidentally killed, which awakens and bounds off. Belabored and nonsensical chases follow, along with the usual realizations about the importance of friendship, etc. Kangaroo Jack has a lot more sexual innuendo and violence than you'd expect, none of which is either funny or thrilling. Christopher Walken and Estella Warren get through their supporting roles largely unscathed. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Stop that 'Roo! The chase is on when two bumbling Brooklyn buddies sent to deliver a $50,000 mob pay envelope cross paths with a hip-hopping prankster of a kangaroo who sprints off with the loot.

Like Mike

Like Mike

Starring: Wow, Lil' Bow Lipnicki, Jonathan Lipnicki, Jonathan Song, Brenda Plemons, Jesse Ritter, Julius Glover, Crispin Meara, Anne Meara, Anne Levy, Eugene
Director: Schultz, John

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com As its title suggests, Like Mike is a rousing wish-fulfillment fantasy for any kid who's ever dreamed of soaring for a game-winning slam dunk like basketball legend Michael Jordan. It's fun but formulaic, beginning when 14-year-old, 4-foot-8 orphan Calvin Cambridge (played by appealing teen rapper Lil' Bow Wow) dons a magical pair of hand-me-down Nikes with the enticing initials "M.J." written inside. Next thing you know, Calvin's the new star of the L.A. Knights, an instant NBA celebrity taking his team to the playoffs alongside favorite teammate Tracy Reynolds (The Best Man's Morris Chestnut), with a bevy of villains (including reliable weirdo Crispin Glover) trying to steal his thunder. With Jerry Maguire's Jonathan Lipnicki as a fellow orphan, and a solid supporting cast including Eugene Levy, Robert Forster, and two dozen NBA stars, Like Mike is schmaltzy and predictable (and, surprisingly, there's no cameo from Jordan himself), but its sweet, good-natured quality will captivate kids from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Lilo & Stitch

Lilo & Stitch

Starring: (III), Chris Sanders Chase, Daveigh Carrere, Tia Stiers, David Ogden McDonald, Kevin Rhames, Ving Caldwell, Zoe Lee, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Scott Hegarty, Susan
Director: DeBlois, Dean

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min / Spain:86 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Warm, funny, and imaginative, Lilo & Stitch is the best animated feature the Walt Disney Studios have produced in years. On the planet Turo, mad scientist Jumba Jookiba (voice by David Ogden Stiers) has created a miniature monster programmed for destruction. When the monster escapes to Earth, it's adopted as a pet and named "Stitch" by Lilo (Daveigh Chase), a lonely little Hawaiian girl. Lilo and her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere) have been struggling to stay together since their parents died. Stitch and Lilo share some hilarious adventures, evading welfare officer Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames) and galactic police agents. They learn the timely lesson that a family can be something you're born into--or something you assemble. A warmth and sincerity that recall The Iron Giant and the films of Hiyao Miyazaki make Lilo a delightful fantasy adults and children can truly enjoy together. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Lion King, The (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Lion King, The (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Starring: Broderick, Matthew Irons, Jeremy Weaver, Jason Williams, Joseph Irons, Jeremy Jones, James Earl Kelly, Moira Dworsky, Sally Dworsky, Sally Williams, Laura
Director: Minkoff, Rob

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 89 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video Not an ideal choice for younger kids, this hip and violent animated feature from Disney was nevertheless a huge smash in theaters and on video, and it continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed Broadway production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is sabotaged by a rivalrous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking, and the music is more palatable than in many Disney features. But be cautious: this is too intense for the Rugrat crowd. --Tom Keogh How good-looking is the DVD restoration of Disney's popular animated film? Take a look at the serviceable but dull film clips incorporated in the plethora of extras and compare them to the vivid gorgeousness of the film presentation. This "special edition" also adds a 90-second song ("Morning Report") that originated in the lavish stage musical. To Disney's credit, the original theatrical version is also included, both restored and featuring two 5.1 soundtracks: Dolby Digital and a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, which does sound brighter. As with the Disney Platinum line, everything is thrown into the discs, except an outsider's voice (the rah-rahs of Disney grow tiresome at times). The excellent commentary from the directors and producer, originally on the laser disc, is hidden under the audio set-up menu. The second disc is organized by 20-minute-ish "journeys" tackling the elements of story, music, et cetera, including good background on the awkward Shakespearean origins at Disney where it was referred as "Bamlet." The most interesting journey follows the landmark stage production, and the kids should be transfixed by shots of the real African wildlife in the animal journey. Three deleted segments are real curios, including an opening lyric for "Hakuna Matata." Most set-top DVD games are usually pretty thin (DVD-ROM is where it's at), but the Safari game is an exception--the kids should love the roaring animals (in 5.1 Surround, no less). One serious demerit goes to the needless and complicated second navigation system that is listed by continent, but just shows the same features reordered. --Doug Thomas Family Fun, Michael Trotman "A Must-Buy for your family DVD collection."

Little Big League

Little Big League

Starring: Edwards, Luke Busfield, Timothy Ashton, John Crow, Ashley Dunn, Kevin Sullivan, Billy L. Feulner, Miles Silverman, Jonathan Silverman, Jonathan Robards, Jason
Director: Scheinman, Andrew

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 119 min

Color DTS

A young boy is bequeathed the ownership of a professional baseball team.

Max Keeble's Big Move

Max Keeble's Big Move

Starring: Linz, Alex D. Miller, Larry Kennedy, Jamie Grey, Zena Peck, Josh Dunn, Nora Carradine, Robert Davis, Clifton Davis, Clifton Fisher, Noel
Director: (III), Tim Hill

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Max Keeble's junior high career is off to an inauspicious start: one bully chucks him in a dumpster, another tormenter takes his friends' money, the ice cream truck guy is after him, and the self-serving principal is after everyone who stands in the way of his budget-draining football field plans. But his family's sudden plans to relocate give him the moxie to stand up to his foes in a big way. This kid revenge fantasy results in gags like a squirrel in the principal's pants and a cafeteria-wide food fight. Of course, Max (Alex D. Linz) doesn't move, forcing him to take responsibility for his actions, or this wouldn't be a Disney film. The broad humor is clearly meant for preteens, but crude jokes, bullying, and sexual innuendo (thus the PG rating) make it inappropriate for younger kids, leaving it for the narrow age range of about 8 to 12. --Kimberly Heinrichs

Monkeybone - Special Edition

Monkeybone - Special Edition

Starring: Fraser, Brendan Fonda, Bridget Goldberg, Whoopi Turturro, John Esposito, Giancarlo Fraser, Brendan Reubens, Paul Foley, Dave Foley, Dave Odenkirk, Bob
Director: Selick, Henry

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Brendan Fraser plays the best-looking cartoonist you'll ever see in Monkeybone. Stu (Fraser) has created an animated character named Monkeybone, who sprang from his repressed sexual anxieties. He's just sold his animated series to a cable channel, and is being bombarded with proposals for toys and other marketing extravaganzas, when he and his girlfriend Julie (Bridget Fonda) get into a car wreck and Stu falls into a coma. But comas are much more complicated than you might expect: Stu finds himself in Down Town, where lives a mixture of other people in comas and figments of these people's imaginations. Naturally, Monkeybone himself is there, and he and Stu quickly start fighting like cats and dogs. When Stu realizes that his sister, due to a pact they once made, is preparing to pull the plug on him, Stu makes a deal with Hypnos, the god of sleep, to help him steal a golden ticket from Death himself (or herself, as Death is played by Whoopi Goldberg). Sound complicated? Well, from there it only gets more ornate. Monkeybone is a bit of a mess, but it's never boring, and every now and then it roars to amazingly dynamic life. Fraser is excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Do the Right Thing), Rose McGowan (Scream), Dave Foley (Brain Candy), and Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan as a gymnast with a broken neck who... well, it's a bit complicated to explain. A crazy quilt of a movie, chock-full of delirious ideas and inspired moments. --Bret Fetzer

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Starring: Goodman, John Crystal, Billy Gibbs, Mary Buscemi, Steve Coburn, James Tilly, Jennifer Peterson, Bob Ratzenberger, John Ratzenberger, John Gerson, Dan
Director: Silverman, David

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 92 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com The folks at Pixar can do no wrong with Monsters, Inc., the studio's fourth feature film, which stretches the computer animation format in terms of both technical complexity and emotional impact. The giant, blue-furred James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (wonderfully voiced by John Goodman) is a scare-monster extraordinaire in the hidden world of Monstropolis, where the scaring of kids is an imperative in order to keep the entire city running. Beyond the competition to be the best at the business, Sullivan and his assistant, the one-eyed Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl dubbed "Boo," who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley one night. Director Pete Doctor and codirectors David Silverman and Lee Unkrich follow the Pixar (Toy Story) blueprint with an imaginative scenario, fun characters, and ace comic timing. By the last heart-tugging shot, kids may never look at monsters the same, nor artists at what computer animation can do in the hands of magicians. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The all-new animated short "Mike's New Car" is the promoted highlight of the DVD release of Pixar's hilarious film. However, this short--as good as it is--is far from the only new footage here. If you saw Monsters, Inc. early in its theatrical run, you missed the outtakes included here. Bits seen or heard about in the movie--commercials, guided tours, the "Company Play"--are shown uninterrupted and are a delight. The easily navigated extras are broken into two parts. The Monster World should... read more

Old Yeller

Old Yeller

Starring: McGuire, Dorothy Parker, Fess Connors, Chuck Kirk, Tommy McGuire, Dorothy York, Jeff Washburn, Beverly
Director: Stevenson, Robert

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 minutes

Color Stereo

Amazon.com essential video There's nothing hip about this vintage Disney film that begins and ends with a corny song about the "best doggone dog in the West." But that's the beauty of Old Yeller, originally released in 1957. The simple, heart-warming story of a boy who bonds with a feisty stray dog in 1860s Texas is full of 1950s sensibilities: A Donna Reed-style perfect "Momma" (Dorothy McGuire) who knows best, a couple of brothers who quarrel in the best sitcom tradition, and a father (Fess Parker, in a small role) who goes off to provide for his family, leaving his older boy (Tommy Kirk) in charge and his incredibly cute younger one (Kevin Corcoran) to steal as many scenes in the movie as he possibly can. With Old Yeller at his side, Kirk becomes a little man, who in the end must make a decision so heart-breaking that it's one of filmdom's most memorable moments. --Valerie J. Nelson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Ping!

Ping!

Starring: Reinhold, Judge Howard, Clint Jones, Shirley Ferrigno, Lou Howard, Rance White, Steve Garcia, Ted Winn, Brooke Winn, Brooke Kushnick, Eric
Director: Baugh, Chris

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 93 min

Color Stereo

From the Back Cover He's cute, short and a lot smarter than you think! He's PING! A chihuahua with an attitude! Buckle in for hilarious ride as PING! puts all of his puppy power into saving his owner and her fortune from two bumbling crooks (Judge Reinhold: The Santa Clause and Clint Howard: My Dog Skip, The Waterboy)! Will PING! do just about anything to save the day - including hang glide? You bet! Babe meets Home Alone in this action packed adventure that will remind you, it's not about how big you are, but how big your heart is!

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

Starring: Depp, Johnny Rush, Geoffrey Bloom, Orlando Arenberg, Lee Davenport, Jack Saldana, Zoe Knightley, Keira Bloom, Orlando Bloom, Orlando New, Giles
Director: Verbinski, Gore

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

Color Stereo

Amazon.com You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, especially if you've experienced the Disneyland theme-park ride that inspired it. There's a galleon's worth of fun in watching Johnny Depp's androgynous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, a roguish pirate who could pass for the illegitimate spawn of rockers Keith Richards and Chrissie Hynde. Depp gets all the good lines and steals the show, recruiting Orlando Bloom (a blacksmith and expert swordsman) and Keira Knightley (a lovely governor's daughter) on an adventurous quest to recapture the notorious Black Pearl, a ghost ship commandeered by Jack's nemesis Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a mutineer desperate to reverse the curse that left him and his (literally) skeleton crew in a state of eternal, undead damnation. Director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) repeats the redundant mayhem that marred his debut film Mouse Hunt, but with the writers of Shrek he's made Pirates into a special-effects thrill-ride that plays like a Halloween party on the open seas. Aye, matey, we've come a long way since Jason and the Argonauts! --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Like any DVD blockbuster from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the extras are plentiful and often a bit too self-congratulatory (worst offender here is the primary commentary track). The slickly (natch) produced making-of documentary goes through the standard routine; however, the less-flashy "fly on the wall" bits--just showing what happens on set without comment--is more fun, offering effortless insight on the filmmaking process. The best treasure is a nifty interactive history on pirates with... read more

Princess Diaries, the (Full Screen Edition)

Princess Diaries, the (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Andrews, Julie Hathaway, Anne Elizondo, Hector Matarazzo, Heather Moore, Mandy Goodall, Caroline Schwartzman, Robert Detten, Erik von Detten, Erik von O'Bryan, Sean
Director: Marshall, Garry

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 114 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com A thoroughly engaging fairy tale that's family friendly without being condescending, The Princess Diaries is your basic Cinderella makeover story given a fresh, affectionate twist courtesy of a game, energetic cast and a screenplay that skirts schmaltz in favor of gentle, effective comedy. Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a frizzy-haired, glasses-wearing 15-year-old girl whose two highest ambitions are to become invisible and to get a few smooches from the slickly attractive school heartthrob. As a girl who can't stand being the center of attention so much that she throws up during debate class, she's stunned and horrified when her coolly continental grandmother (Julie Andrews) shows up and informs her that she's the crown princess of the European principality Genovia. Soon enough, Mia has to undertake "princess lessons" (and a makeover) from her queenly grandmother, and eventually she blossoms into a confident, radiant girl--despite the worries and pressure that her newfound status brings. What makes The Princess Diaries work is director Garry Marshall's guileless, irony-free approach to the material (based on Meg Cabot's novel). In comparison to most snarky, ultra-hip teen comedies, The Princess Diaries is refreshingly and enjoyably square, content to win you over on charm alone and not a slick bag of tricks. Hathaway is a charismatic, appealing role model with a sharp sense of comic timing, and Andrews--who came to stardom as the object of a makeover supreme in My Fair Lady on Broadway--is at her regal best whether teaching Mia the proper royal wave or learning how to eat a corndog. Both leading ladies are complemented by a finely tuned cast, including Hector Elizondo as Genovia's head of security (and romantic counterpart to Andrews), Heather Matarazzo as Mia's best pal, and Robert Schwartzman as the good guy who ultimately wins Mia's heart. All in all, a royal pleasure. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Recess - School's Out

Recess - School's Out

Starring: Lawrence, Andrew Collins, Rickey D'Shon Willson, Paul Davis, Jason Johnson, Ashley Mead, Courtland Segall, Pamela Beasley, Allyce Beasley, Allyce Coleman, Dabney
Director: Sheetz, Chuck

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 82 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Disney's Recess: School's Out dipped in and out of theaters faster than fans of the cable TV show could snap their lunch boxes shut--kind of nice for parents whose idea of grown-up detention is sitting through such fly-by-night kiddie features. Now that home screenings are an option, though, plan for the ages 5-and-older set to settle in for reruns. Also plan to get sucked in yourself--if the screwball plot doesn't do it, the soundtrack will. While TJ and Principal Prickly (the latter the unfortunate bearer of the "saggy butt" that becomes this movie's clunkiest running gag) bust in on a crew of fiendish would-be teachers during summer break, slices of vintage grooviness--Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild," Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints," and Robert Goulet's "Green Tambourine" among them--get you cheering along, whether you're 3 or 43. The reason for all the retro funkiness revolves around the chief bad guy, Phil Benedict, a one-time educational visionary and former Prickly schoolmate. Back in the day, Benedict was a radical school revolutionary, but his manifesto for better test scores misfired when it called for a ban on recess, a concept so barbaric it got him canned from a cushy government job. Now, undeterred in his mission to make life miserable for kids, he's hatching a switcheroo scheme that will forever pull the shade on summer and thus summer vacation. Predictably, right at trigger time, TJ, Prickly, and the gang roar in to the rescue. It's an ending that's as pat as any on the TV show, but so what--this is a movie that aims for summer-linen lightness. Just as the Fifth Dimension promise on the soundtrack, it lets the sunshine, as well as a few well-timed chuckles, in. --Tammy La Gorce --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Jim Svejda, KNX/CBS RADIO “A Delightful Family Film. Smart, Funny and Thoroughly Enjoyable!” --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Rock-A-Doodle

Rock-A-Doodle

Starring: Plummer, Christopher Campbell, Glen Deezen, Eddie Duncan, Sandy Ganger, Toby Scott Greene, Ellen Harris, Phil Hoff, Christian Hoff, Christian Lio
Director: Kuenster, Dan

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 77 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Don Bluth's lavish animated musical Rock-A-Doodle was not a success when it was released in 1992. It's not hard to understand why: the film varies wildly in tone and the story makes little sense. In the live-action prologue, a little boy named Edmond learns that the crowing of Chanticleer the rooster did not make the sun rise, as everyone thought. But when a flood threatens his family's farm, Edmond sets off to get Chanticleer to make the sun rise and save the day. (Edmond gets turned into a kitten during this adventure, for no apparent reason other than that cats are easier to animate than humans.) Chanticleer has moved to the city, and although the farm seems to be in the Midwest, the nearest city is clearly supposed to be Las Vegas. Chanticleer is now the King, an Elvis caricature used for an unfunny spoof of showbiz clichés. The animation is quite fluid, and there are lots of brightly colored effects--rainbows, sparkles, sunbeams. But parents will have a hard time explaining the story to their children. --Charles Solomon

Sandlot, The

Sandlot, The

Starring: Guiry, Tom Vitar, Mike Renna, Patrick Leopardi, Chauncey York, Marty Adams, Brandon Quintin Gelt, Grant Obedzinski, Shane Obedzinski, Shane Leary, Denis
Director: Evans, David M.

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 101 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com When egghead Scotty Smalls moves to town just before the summer vacation of 1962, his first priority is to make friends. He heads to the nearby sandlot only to humiliate himself before the local kids, but star player Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez befriends the awkward boy, teaches him the basics of baseball, and welcomes him to the team. It's a summer filled with camaraderie and fun until Smalls hits his first home run. Problem is, Smalls's home run sends his stepfather's "Babe Ruth" autographed baseball into a neighboring yard that's patrolled by a snarling, slobbering monster called "The Beast." Creativity reigns and hilarity ensues when the boys risk everything to retrieve the ball. A final heroic encounter with "The Beast" and his owner yields some very surprising results. Action, humor, and friendship permeate this 101-minute film appropriate for ages 5 and older. Rated PG due to name-calling and some pubescent behavior. --Tami Horiuchi

Scooby-Doo (Full Screen Edition)

Scooby-Doo (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Jr., Freddie Prinze Gellar, Sarah Michelle Lillard, Matthew Cardellini, Linda Atkinson, Rowan Fisher, Isla Jr., Miguel A. Núñez Grives, Steven Grives, Steven Bullock, Craig
Director: Gosnell, Raja

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com "I would've gotten away with it if weren't for you meddling kids!" Equal parts remake and spoof, this tongue-in-cheek live-action resurrection finds the old Saturday-morning-cartoon gang reunited to investigate the zombie teens of a haunted amusement park. Frantic action and big-screen special effects stand in for logic, but for a while it makes for a spirited send-up. Freddie Prinze Jr., under a blond hairdo and an ascot, turns Fred into a preening pretty boy, and Sarah Michelle Gellar plays with her own Buffy image as eternal damsel-in-distress Daphne (in magenta mini-dress and maxi-boots, no less), but this show belongs to gangly Matthew Lillard, who is the adenoidal beatnik Shaggy. His loyal-to-the-end friendship with the computer-animated Scooby-Doo is the most convincing relationship in the whole two-dimensional goof. Some of the supernatural nasties may be scary for young kids and the humor careens from winking self-awareness to Scooby doo-doo gags, but otherwise this is as harmless as a Saturday-morning chapter and as substantial as a Scooby snack. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Zoinks! Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close it's doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (FREDDIE PRINZE JR.), Daphne (SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR), Shaggy (MATTHEW LILLARD) and Velma (LINDA CARDELLINI) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot. Concerned that his frightfully popular resort might truly be haunted, Spooky Island owner Emile Mondavarious (ROWAN ATKINSON) tries to reunite those notoriously meddling detectives to solve the mystery before his supernatural secret scares away the college crowds. Scooby and the gang will have to overcome their personal differences and forget everything they think they know about fake ghouls and phony creatures to crack the case, save themselves and possibly...the world! Ruh-roh!

Secret of Anastasia, The

Secret of Anastasia, The

Starring: Beach, John DeSimone, Lisa Fernandez, Peter Hammond, Earl Harris, Cynthia Kearney, Barbara Jean Meisle, William Petkoff, Robert Petkoff, Robert Raines, Roger
Director:

Rating: NR
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 minutes

Color Stereo

Description: A young Russian princess obscures her identity from two suitors in order to discern which one is out to destroy her. Special bonus: "Snow White and the Magic Mirror".

Snow Dogs

Snow Dogs

Starring: Jr., Cuba Gooding Coburn, James Sisqó Nichols, Nichelle Walsh, M. Emmet Greene, Graham Doyle-Murray, Brian Bacalso, Joanna Bacalso, Joanna Bolton, Michael
Director: Levant, Brian

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Snow Dogs is not a fantasy about talking dogs--it's a heartwarming story about personal growth starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and a sled team of Siberian huskies. When Dr. Ted Brooks, a successful, sun-loving dentist from Miami, receives a summons to the minuscule town of Tolketna, Alaska, his mother is forced to confess that he was adopted. Teddy's desire to quickly return to Miami yields to a burgeoning curiosity about his deceased mother and biological father. Teddy's experiences in Alaska acquaint him firsthand with the wonders of sled dogs, the sport of mushing, human sacrifice, and love. The city slicker's hilarious attempts to mush even culminate in a hero's reception at the finish of the prestigious "Arctic Challenge." Snow Dogs is 99 minutes of breathtaking vistas, amusing comedy, and entertainment suited for the entire family. Rated PG due to the occasional outhouse joke and other mild crude humor. --Tami Horiuchi --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Widescreen Edition)

Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Damon, Matt Cromwell, James Studi, Daniel Bernet, Chopper LeBeau, Jeff Rubano, John McGonagle, Richard Levin, Matt Levin, Matt Cait, Robert
Director: Cook, Lorna

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Horse lovers young and old will celebrate this utterly enjoyable and marvelous-looking animated film. The titular stallion runs free in the Cimarron (New Mexico) wilderness until a series of men try to master the proud horse, leading to adventures through a U.S. Cavalry fort, Native American settlements, and a railroad camp. Despite a heavy dose of political correctness and realism (the animals don't talk; we only hear Spirit's internal monologue, voiced by Matt Damon), directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook give their hero many only-in-a-movie moments, including an action sequence rivaling any of Rambo's escapes. The stirring mix of 2-D and 3-D animation is absolutely stunning and aptly fueled by composer Hans Zimmer's synthesized score. The film earns one demerit for '80s rocker Bryan Adams's abundant songs--a different singer could have brought more to the film. Rated G but there is some rough treatment of horses shown, so nix the sensitive preschoolers. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Buscemi, Steve Judge, Mike Trejo, Danny Marin, Cheech Marin, Cheech Osment, Emily
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com This delightful sequel to Spy Kids demonstrates once again writer-director Robert Rodriguez's remarkable gift for wild invention. Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are now regular operatives for a spy agency, but a couple of rival spy kids are making their lives difficult. When an important gadget gets stolen, Juni gets blamed and loses his job--but Carmen hacks into the agency computer, reinstates him, and sends them off on a high-security mission to a mysterious island to clear the boy's name. The pace is zippy, every situation is crammed with dazzling eye-candy, and the cast is great--Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino return as the kids' parents, Steve Buscemi plays a crackpot scientist, and Ricardo Montalban comes in as the kids' grandfather. Fans of the classic Sinbad adventure movies will particularly enjoy the elaborate creatures that Carmen and Juni battle on the island. Pure fun. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over

Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Montalban, Ricardo Taylor, Holland Stallone, Sylvester Judge, Mike Judge, Mike O'Leary, Matthew
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com The adventures of pint-sized secret agents Juni and Carmen Cortes (Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega) continue. As Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over opens, Juni has left the spy agency and launched a career as a private detective--but when he learns that his sister Carmen has disappeared into a nefarious multi-user computer game, he agrees to go in after her, with the assistance of his grandfather (Ricardo Montalban). Three-dimensional special effects launch us into a topsy-turvy world of battling robots, souped-up motorcycle races, frogs on pogo sticks, surfing on hot lava, and much, much more. The story is even more incoherent than an actual computer game--but the movie storms along, driven by writer/director/editor/everything-else Robert Rodriguez's sheer visual enthusiasm. Featuring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, and everyone else who appeared in the first two Spy Kids movies. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids

Spy Kids

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Cumming, Alan Shalhoub, Tony Hatcher, Teri Marin, Cheech Marin, Cheech Trejo, Danny
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Carmen and Juni Cortez will soon find out that their favorite bedtime story, "The Spies Who Fell in Love," is really the story of their parents. So begins this affable fantasy, a James Bond adventure for wee ones with all the trimmings. When Dad and Mom (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) mess up their first mission after coming out of retirement, their kids must come to the rescue, equipped with some cool gadgets. The Cortez family gets involved in a bizarre plot hatched by a Pee-wee Herman-type entertainer named Fegan Floop (a wonderfully hammy Alan Cumming) that's as giddy as it is ridiculous. Needless to say there is plenty of derring-do concerning long-lost uncles, goofy monsters, double agents, evil robots, look-alikes, and energized chases. Did we mention the gadgets? Although Banderas and Gugino make terrific impressions, the movie is carried (as it should be) by the younger Cortezes, winningly played by Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. Who would have thought an action/horror studio (Dimension) and writer-director Robert Rodriguez had this pleasing family film up their sleeves? Rodriquez (who produced with his wife Elizabeth Avellán) seemed to be mired in cheesy horror films but here breaks out by capitalizing on the talent that gave him instant status with his debut, El Mariachi (1992). Spy Kids has plenty of verve but never swerves into potty humor (OK, there is one good potty joke) or wicked gunplay. All 7-year-olds should have a film as fun as this in their movie-going lives. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Titan A.E.

Titan A.E.

Starring:
Director: Bluth, Don

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating:
Running Time: 94

Color DigitalSound

Spectacular animation, combining two- and three-dimensional techniques with stunning special effects, is TITAN A.E.'s mark of distinction. Directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (ANASTASIA) make their first foray into science fiction with this film, which is the first U.S.-produced animated science fiction film in more than 20 years. The story is a classic bildungsroman, following the journey of Cale, a young man who holds the destiny of humankind in his hand--literally. Opening with the stunning destruction of earth as seen from space, the film launches the audience into a seamlessly imagined universe in which the alien Drej have turned humans into homeless ¿gr¿ searching desperately for a new world. Cale (voiced by Matt Damon) is haunted by the legacy of his father, who abandoned him but created the spaceship Titan, which holds the key to the new home of humankind. With the plan for Titan imprinted in his hand, Cale is swept from a life of lonely drudgery devoid of female companionship into the colorful crew of mysterious Captain Korso (voiced by Bill Pullman). On the Valkyrie ship, Cale enjoys Korso¿s crew, including the kind, beautiful, and expert woman pilot Akima (voiced by Drew Barrymore) along with a strange but fascinating band of aliens.