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Kidvid: Studios Spring Into Action With Holiday Fare

7 Feb, 2004 By: Meryl Schoenbaum

The month of April brings more than just showers for May flowers; it's a time when many families gather to celebrate two major holidays: Easter and Passover.

Video stores can help children get into the holiday spirit by stocking titles that offer a fun learning experience. Many of these titles feature kids' favorite animated characters in holiday adventures.

Warner Home Video thinks videos are the perfect solution to the problem of what to bring children when visiting during the holidays. The supplier is releasing three new titles as well as repricing and repromoting some of its classics.

“Easter has become a key gift-giving holiday, and we're happy to offer retailers and consumers this strong selection of family-friendly titles with wide kid appeal,” said Dorinda Marticorena, Warner Home Video executive director of kid marketing.

Warner's new titles are Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-traordinary Adventure, Teletubbies: Oooh! and Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu. All three titles prebook now and street Feb. 10. Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-traordinary Adventure is priced at $19.97 on DVD; the VHS has been repriced to $6.93. Teletubbies: Oooh! is $14.97 on DVD, $12.94 on VHS. Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu is $14.97 on DVD, and repriced to $6.93 on VHS.

Some of the titles Warner is repricing and repromoting for the holidays are Tom & Jerry: The Movie and Tom & Jerry's Greatest Chases (DVD $14.97 each, VHS $6.93 each). Warner has also repriced its “Lightyear” DVD line at $12.98 each.

Big Idea tosses a new “VeggieTales” entry into the holiday mix with VeggieTales: An Easter Carol, streeting Feb. 10 (DVD $14.98, VHS $12.95). The storyline has Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber trying to convince Uncle Ebenezer Nezzer that Easter is about more than just candy and eggs. Extras include a documentary about stained glass and an Easter egg hunt.

Another entry in the Easter product parade is Paramount Home Entertainment's Dora the Explorer: Dora's Egg Hunt, streeting March 2, prebook now (DVD $16.99, VHS $9.95). The DVD includes the two episodes on the VHS as well as two other episodes and an original “Dora” game.

Fox Home Entertainment has a basket full of holiday titles streeting March 16 (prebook Feb. 18), all priced at $14.98 DVD each. Among the classic titles in the promotion (geared toward older children) are Easter Story Keepers, The Bible and The Robe. Easter Story Keepers follows Ben the Baker, the leader and story keeper of a valiant group of Christians, as the Roman Emperor Nero tightens his brutal grip on the city. The Bible recounts the greatest stories of the Old Testament. The Robe stars Richard Burton in his Academy Award-nominated role as a Roman centurion charged with overseeing the crucifixion. When he wins Christ's robe in a gambling game at the foot of the cross, his life is changed forever.

Also from Fox is the much-loved true story The Diary of Anne Frank (DVD $19.98). The new-to-DVD title educates children about the Jewish experience during the Holocaust through the eyes of a young girl living in Amsterdam. The film won three Academy Awards in 1959, and has been restored and digitally enhanced for the DVD.

Lions Gate Home Entertainment is using the Easter holiday to repromote several of its religious titles, including Joshua; Miracle Maker; Noah's Ark; Mary, Mother of Jesus and In the Beginning (DVD $14.98 each) as well as Greatest Heroes of the Bible and Jesus of Nazareth (DVD $24.98 each). All street Feb. 17. Joshua is also available on VHS at $9.98, Greatest Heroes of the Bible is available in an eight-pack VHS version at $49.98, and Jesus of Nazareth has a VHS version at $24.98.

The Passover holiday gets a lighthearted sci-fi treatment in Sisu Home Entertainment's The Seder on Planet Matzah Ball, available March 4 (prebook now, DVD/VHS $18.95). The title is being released to coincide with its broadcast on PBS stations nationwide during the March/April holiday season. The fantasy takes place millions of miles away, on a giant matzah ball in outer space, where a family of funny, furry aliens live.

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