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Starlight Snags New 'Davey and Goliath'

18 Oct, 2005 By: Brendan Howard

When Starlight Home Entertainment president Matt Feinstein read that the makers of the classic stop-motion animated show “Davey and Goliath” were looking for a DVD distributor, he knew it had to be him.

“I grew up watching ‘Davey and Goliath' every Sunday morning as a kid,” Feinstein said. “I did everything in my power to prove Starlight was the best partner. I went to key retailers and took pictures of the new-release wall to show [Starlight films] were right next to Spider-Man and The Bourne Identity.

His perseverance paid off. The creators of the classic show — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — worked with him to release Davey and Goliath: Volume 1 in June. When it did “phenomenal numbers,” according to Feinstein, the ELCA signed on with Starlight to release all 65 episodes and holiday specials.

The first in the deal is Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas, the first new “Davey” cartoon since the 1970s. Starlight releases it Nov. 15 (prebook Oct. 11) as a $16.99 DVD. The Hallmark Channel-aired special is unique, according to the Rev. Eric Shafer, director of ELCA's department of communications. It still focuses on “Davey's” “core messages” — God loves children, parents are wise, etc. — but also looks at the differences in religions.

“Post-Sept. 11, we wanted to talk about the oneness of the three faiths of Abraham,” Shafer said. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all derived from the first believer in God in the Bible, Abraham.

“With all the nastiness toward Muslims and Jews, we thought it was appropriate to emphasize this at Christmas,” he said. “We wanted to teach tolerance to adults through their children.”

So, Davey gets two new friends in the special — a Jewish boy and Muslim girl — who teach him that other faiths have holidays other than Christmas.

Starlight will release the rest of the classic episodes and specials in themed sets — “Caring for Others,” “Forgiveness,” etc. — and one set with “lost” episodes not aired since their debut. All 10 sets will be available by the end of 2006. The Oct. 18 release Davey and Goliath's Holiday Spectacular will collect volumes one, two, three and four before the latter three are available individually.

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