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'Malcolm' Dad Teaches Kids About Abduction

31 Jul, 2003 By: Brendan Howard

KidSmartz: Abduction Prevention, a DVD from Showtime Entertainment that dramatizes ways for kids to avoid being kidnapped, was a labor of love for actor Bryan Cranston and the crew of “Malcolm in the Middle.”

It had to be.

The production schedule was wedged into a two-week hiatus on the TV show, Cranston (who plays the dad on “Malcolm”) bankrolled it as the sole producer, and most of the “Malcolm” crew agreed to work on a “deferred” basis, meaning they might eventually get paid. But in an era of news reports of daily kidnappings, abuse and Amber Alerts, it was a necessary labor.

“I think it's important we get video retailers to understand this is a really good thing, that they have an obligation to society to help,” said Tom Sykes, VP of sales for Showtime Entertainment.

According to Cranston, Showtime “slashed distribution costs” on the title to keep the price down ($14.99) and will donate half of the proceeds to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The sections, such as “Always Stay Together” and “Cyber-Safety,” are well-dramatized, with scenes of good and bad adult and kid reactions to potentially dangerous situations. For instance, kids are taught to stick together and to report situations that make them uncomfortable.

Cranston said it was his own “ineptitude” at talking to his young daughter about abduction that led him to search for answers and that he and the writers consulted with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the FBI.

The disc also comes with a FamilyTrusted software CD-ROM, to help parents keep up-to-date information and pictures of their children.

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