As summer starts to wind down, the kids entertainment scene is gearing up, with the annual fall bonanza of new kids television ready to roll, and some video game manufactures calling August 31 as the launch of the Holiday Season!
*Dates and times are subject to change. Please check local listings.
The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That
Premieres Saturday, August 7, 5:30 p.m. ET,
Martin Short stars as the voice of Cat, in the first incarnation in an animated series. Thing One and Thing Two and friends Sally and Nick join the behatted feline as he explores the world in his Thinga-ma-jigger. They travel to the bottom of the sea and shrink down to the size of a bee to learn more about what makes nature tick.
Premieres September 10, 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, YTV.
Nickelodeon’s hot new live-action comedy follows Tori Vega, a 15-year-old girl thrust into the spotlight when she accidentally gets admitted to the prestigious Hollywood Arts high school.
A valiant polar bear and a daredevil kitten lead a band of explorers who roam the oceans in search of adventure and fun. Based on the richly imaginative books by MEOMI, the series combines the visual appeal of ‘kawaii’ (Japanese cute) properties with story lines that emphasize the importance of helping friends and self-confidence.
Disney Guilty Party
Launches August 31, exclusively for Wii.
Up to four players can join the Dickens Detective Agency as the wacky sleuths pursue archvillain Mr. Valentine, using their remotes as a flashlight, lock-pick, fingerprint kit and other tools of the trade. Once a case is solved, players can try again with different clues and suspects and get a different outcome every time.
DRAGON QUEST IX:
Sentinels of the Starry Skies
The latest installment in this venerable franchise about an angel who comes to earth broke with tradition when it was released exclusively for handheld platforms in Japan last year. It’s a little more difficult than its predecessors and offers customers more options to customize their characters, including their hairstyles, skin tones and even the shapes of their eyes. The innovations paid off and DQ IX broke Japanese sales records.
THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE,
Launched July 13. Nintendo DS.
The gamer’s companion to the new live-action film that retells (in a very souped-up way) the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon feature. Here, players assume the role of Dave, the college kid who apprentices to master sorcerer (and computer sim guy) Balthazar Blake and helps him rid New York City of the evil wizards who wreak havoc after escaping from prison.
LEKAR IPHONE APPLICATION:
Inspired by their Playreport, a global study on the state of play, the folks at IKEA have come up with a multi-player app for parents who want more play time with their kids. Lekar is designed as a framework for games that IKEA will gather from around the world. It has launched with Musical Chairs, Charades, and a game in which a hidden phone gives sound clues to its location to help players find it. Available at iTunes. Free.
If you’re a parent of kids with food allergies, food shopping can be a nightmare. If so, here’s the app for you. MyFoodFacts is a smartphone application that allows you to scan the barcodes on food products using your iPhone camera. Once a product is scanned, up pops a clearly readable list of its ingredients. You can read the list alphabetically or according to the quantity of each ingredient, and the application will alert you to any potential allergens the product may contain. The application can also be customized to send you personalized alerts. Available at the iTunes app store. $9.99
Why should iPhone users have all the fun? In June, cell phone manufacturer Nokia launched the Canadian edition of its Ovi Store for its customers who are making 1.7 million downloads every day. The new service has a good selection of applications for kids and parents including: