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Travel DVDs for Kids on the Go

4 May, 2005 By: Meryl Schoenbaum

Chances are, if you've ever been in a car, plane, train or any other moving vehicle with a child for an extended period of time, you've heard the plaintive wail: “Are we there yet?”

Now, thanks to the proliferation of in-car DVD players and some understanding video suppliers, that phrase is less likely to be an inevitable part of the trip. With the summer travel season fast approaching, videos are available to keep kids entertained and educated, making the trip a lot more fun for the entire family.

Banyan Entertainment May 24 offers a travel-themed DVD appropriately titled Are We There Yet? Starring Miles the Goose (DVD $17.99), the title is geared for children ages 3 through 8.

Eric Ritter, VP of Banyan Entertainment, felt the time was right to produce a children's video that features travel games and songs.

“With the growing popularity of portable media, such as iPods, and DVD players in many cars, there is a void in the ‘on-the-go' children's DVD market,” Ritter said. “Every day, a new device comes out in a portable design. We wanted to fill that void with a series of DVDs kids can watch at home as well.”

Banyan has three more DVDs featuring the character Miles the Goose slated for fall as well as a Web site (milesthegoose.com). The company consulted with children's TV writers to ensure the video would be educational, but fun.

Ritter said the company is so committed to its “kids on the go” concept, that it plans to extend it beyond the initial DVD by exploring the possibility of developing a children's TV series around the theme.

The popular children's performing group The Wiggles are doing some traveling of their own this summer, and will share their adventures in The Wiggles: Sailing Around the World, streeting July 19 (prebook June 21), priced at $16.99 DVD and $14.95 VHS from HIT Entertainment.

The travel-themed title follows The Wiggles in London, Sydney and Mexico City. Bonus features include a sing-along with The Wiggles.

The Berenstain Bears take a break in their video The Berenstain Bears: Bears Take a Car Trip (DVD $14.95, VHS $9.95) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The DVD includes six episodes, the VHS has four.

Sometimes the best part of going somewhere is the journey itself. Seattle-based Power to Create, a producer of children's programming, has a video series called “Real Wheels,” featuring different modes of transportation.

Power to Create's Land, Sea & Air Adventures (DVD $14.97) lets kids get an up-close look at ships, helicopters and mail delivery trucks. It is available from Warner Home Video, with which Power to Create recently marked a milestone 10-year distribution partnership.

Older kids can get fidgety on long trips, too. For them, MGM Home Entertainment has “Bill & Ted's Excellent Collection” (rated ‘PG') July 12 (prebook June 14), priced at $29.98 for a three-disc set. Included are Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and a special features disc.

Expect to see the trend in travel and portable kidvid titles continue as hardware companies flood the market with portable video products for children. Among the most popular of these are Hasbro's Video Now player for tweens and Video Now Jr. for kids ages 3 through 6, and Mattel's Juice Box, for the 9- to 12-year-old market.

Disney just released the Disney Personal DVD Player for youngsters. The 3-1/2- inch players ($129.99) will be available in character-themed designs, Disney Consumer Products said. The device will play DVDs, CDs and MP3s. Disney will also offer a 7-inch version ($199.99). Special headphones for the devices will be priced at $14.99, including one shaped like a tiara. The players initially will include a DVD featuring Disney shows “Phil of the Future,” “Brandy & Mr. Whiskers” and “Proud Family," the company said.

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