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Product Type: Video
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2006 Award
The Incredibiles
(Disney $29.99 Score:) We first reviewed “The Incredibles” in a packed New York City movie theater. Parents and kids found aspects of the movie that especially appealed to them. Kids loved the fast-paced adventure and were big fans of Dash’s speed. While siblings could identify with the tension between Dash and his big sister Violet, parents identified with the everyday problems and frustrations of the middle-aged former superheroes. Unlike many family films that are tolerated by adults, “The Incredibles” is truly family entertainment. The adult humor is there but not in an over-the-top way that would make you or your 10-year-old uncomfortable. The DVD’s extras are worth a look.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Ice Princess
(Disney $29.99 Score:) How about a movie about a super-smart math and science student who becomes a great skater applying what she knows about physics to her own skating? While it may take a leap of faith to get the same girl to the Nationals, it is a fun leap. Michelle Trachtenberg (of “Harriet the Spy”) is allowed to be smart and beautiful. Kim Cattrall plays her coach and Joan Cusack plays her mother (and they make her look upsettingly matronly). The behind-the-scenes look at the cutthroat world of figure skating may be eye-opening to many young skaters. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Ken Burns American Lives Collection
(PBS HOME Video $139.99 Score:) Here is an outstanding set of seven biographies and stories of Americans and the historical events in which they played a leading role. Burns’s stories begin with his memorable 1997 program “Thomas Jefferson” and conclude with his newest work, “Lewis and Clark,” “Frank Lloyd Wright,” “Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,” “Mark Twain,” “Horatio’s Drive,” and “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.” 24 hours, 40 mins. Titles are available separately. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2007 Award
Wallace & Gromit:The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
(Dreamworks $29.99 Score:) We are big fans of Wallace (the inventor) & Gromit (his canine sidekick) and their latest film is wonderful. Together they run the Anti-Pesto pest control company and when prized veggies start disappearing prior to the big local veggie competition they are called into action. They’re inventive and always fun to watch. Not intended for very young children.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
The Greatest Game Ever Played
(Disney $29.99 Score:) Much like The Legend of Bagger Vance, but without the sexual tension (or scenes), The Greatest Game Ever Played is the story of the local boy who against all odds gets an opportunity to play in the U.S. Open and of course, wins. Even better because it’s based on a true story. Long in parts, but engaging, and continues in the tradition of great sports movies from this studio.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Cars
(Pixar $ Score:) From the team that brought us The Incredibles and Toy Story, Cars delivers both stunning animation and an engaging story. A very ambitious race car, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) finds himself in the forgotten Route 66 town of Radiator Springs with such notable car characters as Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), a VW van (George Carlin), and Sally (Bonnie Hunt). A little long in places, but it delivers a solid message that family and friends are more important than celebrity or fortune. Humor, amazing graphics, and heart challenge the Hollywood myth of the go-it-alone macho-man, giving us a new kinder, gentler, hero.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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