Category: Amalia Zea Meadows

Netflix’s ‘Beat Bugs’: Imparting a Great Musical Legacy to Our Children

beat-bugs-netflix-ffbGreat art is timeless, and corresponds to all beholders, no matter how young.

This is what executive producer Josh Wakely discovered one day while listening to The Beatles on the radio after his first child was born.  As he told Rolling Stone: “I remember hearing ‘All You Need Is Love’ in the car and realizing that it was a perfect song melodically. It had a message of love that resonated with me as a young parent, that it’s a message you can teach children.” The result was Netflix’s “Beat Bugs,” which premiered earlier this month. All episodes are currently available.

Like Wakely, I often ask myself what it is that I would like to pass on to my children? Of course, my Catholic faith is at the very top of the list. But because beauty is a link to the Divine, coming a close second is an appreciation for the arts, all arts, but most especially great music.

“Beat Bugs” imparts a piece of music history to the next generation in a very unique and literal way – and despite what you might think, the songs apply to kids’ life lessons very easily – because of its greatness, and childlike simplicity.

Not everyone might consider The Beatles to be deep-thinking philosophers, but along with their catchy rhythms and soulful melodies, their lyrics often strike a very human chord. That is to say, although simple, the language that floats atop their sonorous music speaks real truth to the human heart.

So, through the eyes of the Beat Bugs – Jay (the only beetle), Crick, Buzz, Walter, and Kumi – children can learn the valuable life lessons found in the Beatles’ legacy. My kids not only learn life-lessons, but they also learn great songs. (They have binge watched the entire season already, and some episodes, once or twice.)

If you break it down, the examples really are abundant. For example, who among us has never felt the need for help, sometimes desperately so? And so, The Beatles song “Help” more than mere practical help. This song speaks with great intensity to the difficulty of our fallen human situation; it seems to cry out of our real need for God and one another’s help to progress through the journey of life. It captures so well, the sometimes-haunting loneliness of just being an individual and trying to navigate the paths of life in one’s own strength.

Now let’s translate this idea for the kids: In “Beat Bugs” episode one, where Jay, the reckless and stubborn beetle, is forced to cry out for help because he is stuck in a jelly jar, he learns that friendships can grow stronger because of our weakness. The message corresponds to even the smallest child.

Beatles fans might laugh, knowing the overly poetic, almost nonsensical lyrics some of these songs contain.  But since the songs are great art it corresponds quite easily – with the help of some very literal references to the lyrics.

In “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?” for instance, Lucy the dragonfly (that actually has kaleidoscope eyes) teaches Buzz the little bee to use her imagination to fight her nightmares.

In “I Am the Walrus”, Walter Walrus, the slug, learns self-confidence after making an embarrassing first impression on his new bug friends when an egg falls on his head.

A grasshopper offers an unpredictable “Magical Mystery Tour” to the five bug friends, and the list goes on.

Great art attracts the great, is it any wonder that many stars of today are attached to this series, such as P!nk (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), Sia (“Blackbird”),  Eddie Vedder (“Magical Mystery Tour”), James Corden (“I’m a Loser”), Aloe Blacc (“Rain”), and many more.  Already “Beat Bugs” have the green light for a second season, to air in November.

Great art also unites us in the common human experience, especially music, as was witnessed on our evening family walk, after watching “Beat Bugs”. We were all singing the familiar tunes, which even my three-year-old boy learned. As the beautiful melodies echoed through the neighborhood, I realized that there were three generations being unified, and I was so proud of my kids for knowing some of timeless favorites, I couldn’t help but sing along.

Season One Special Guests:

  • P!nk: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
  • James Corden: “I’m A Loser”
  • Aloe Blacc: “Rain”
  • Robbie Williams: “Good Day Sunshine”
  • Eddie Vedder: “Magical Mystery Tour”
  • Frances: “In My Life”
  • The Shins: “The Word”
  • Wesley Schultz (of the Lumineers): “Honey Pie”
  • Sia: “Blackbird”
  • Glass Onion
  • Carry That Weight

Season Two Special Guests:

  • Rod Stewart: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
  • Chris Cornell: “Drive My Car”
  • Regina Spektor: “And Your Bird Can Sing”
  • Jennifer Hudson: “I’ll Follow The Sun”
  • Of Monsters and Men: “Eleanor Rigby”
  • James Bay: “Hey Bulldog”
  • Tori Kelly: “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”

And here’s a taste of “Beat Bugs”

Image: Courtesy Netflix

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World Youth Day Kraków, From a Catholic Mom Who’s Been There

World-Youth-Day-KrakowHave you heard of World Youth Day? Most people haven’t, unless they have attended one or lived in a city that has hosted one. Well, news flash … there is one going on right now, in Kraków, Poland, and over a million people are going to be there.

World Youth Day comprises days of encounter between the pope and the youth of the world. It’s a yearly event on a local level, held every Palm Sunday. But every two or three years, the pope calls for young Catholics from around the globe to gather in a city for what some have called “Catholic Woodstock,” but it’s far more than just a party (although a lot of fun is had there, too).

In December of 1985, Saint Pope John Paul II formally instituted World Youth Day (WYD), and the first was held in Rome in 1986. The next international WYD was held in 1987 in Buenos Aires, Argentina (home town of our current pope – there’s some foreshadowing for you).

Since then, they’ve been held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1989); Czestochowa, Poland (1991); Denver, USA (1993); Manila, Philippines (1995); Paris, France (1997); Rome (2000); Toronto, Canada (2002); Cologne, Germany (2005); Sydney, Australia (2008); Madrid, Spain (2011); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013); and currently, Kraków.

WYD was created as a tool of evangelization for a demographic that needed special attention in the modern age. Since then, WYDs have been the cause of many conversions and vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  They draw crowds of millions of youth from all around the world, has even drawn the second largest crowd assembled in human history – 5 million in Manila in 1995.

It’s no wonder conversions happen, and that millions attend. Happiness abounds, from the moment that the small groups of youth – wearing their custom made T-shirts – gather in the airport of departure to the host city. Once arrived, there are even more small groups walking up and down streets with their guitars, singing their songs of praise to God, as they go to their next youth talk, holy site, Mass, or WYD event.

Already for the Kraków event, there are YouTube videos chronicling trips, and visits to special places in Poland, most notably Auschwitz. The city is fully alive and taken over by Catholicism, in its most youthful and positive sense.

Here’s the video of the opening Mass, with Pope Francis …

Historically there has been reluctance on the part of secular media outlets to say positive things about Catholic events. At least that was the case in 2008, when I had the privilege of producing the coverage of the Sydney WYD for Catholic TV, radio and digital network EWTN.

It was Pope Benedict XVI’s second World Youth Day. He was still relatively new to the papacy. There were lingering, unfounded doubts about his past World War II Germany, and, there he was, about to arrive to Australia, one of the most liberal nations on earth.  The hostility was palpable, from the rumored demonstration that was set to take place (which ended up being only a handful of people) to one-sided news reports and headlines we would see around the city.

But Australians, known for their openness, were changed by the groups of joyous pilgrims that would chant happy songs as they walked from event to event, being loving and respectful. The Aussies reciprocated by singing along to their chants on the side of the road, by giving rides to the misplaced WYD pilgrims, and even by accommodating the accidentally unsheltered ones.

As the week of WYD festivities progressed, the news reports we would watch got increasingly positive about the young visitors, the pope, and even the Church.

The same is sure to happen in Kraków, and you and your family will be able to “be” there as well. There will be coverage on many Catholic channels. However, I highly recommend the EWTN coverage, due to their access to the different Catholic speakers and artists that will be attending, and also their connections to the ministries, and religious orders that will be represented.

Father Mark Mary, MFVA, is the host of his fifth WYD coverage; Joining him on set are Chris Stefanick of Real Life Catholic, and Jason Evert of the Chastity Project, both seasoned and highly experienced speakers for the youth.

They are hosts for papal events, with play-by play-commentary. They’re also interviewing pilgrims, and providing in-depth coverage of the youth concerts, talks, and festivals taking place throughout the week. Here is the link to the EWTN coverage schedule that will be posted daily. These are events your whole family is sure to enjoy.

The change I witnessed in Sydney has been typical for all host cities where the pope has encountered the youth – and the changes stand the test of time. The youth do not forget the messages of the Vicar of Christ on earth. The large numbers show that they are searching for something more, and desire to create a better more just and loving society.

WYD was truly one of the greatest innovations of inspiration in the history of civilization. It’s unfortunate that the secular media too often fails to perceive or acknowledge the astounding reality of these events, as some of the greatest and largest gatherings of the human community.

It’s all because one man, inspired by the Faith and, no doubt, the movements of the Holy Spirit, chose to innovate how the Church approached and evangelized young people, who are seeking meaning, love, and of course, Christ.

Image: Courtesy Holy Cross Family Ministry President Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

Does ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Deliver on the Hype?

The-Secret-Life-of-Pets-FFThis summer, the humans who brought you “Despicable Me” will tell you the secret that we have all been wanting to know ever since God gave Adam dominion over the animals at the dawn of creation: what do your pets do when you leave them? If only that were what “The Secret Life of Pets” was actually about.

The animated feature film, released on July 8, tells the story of Max (Louis C.K.), beloved terrier of Katie (Ellie Kemper – a Catholic, whom we discussed in a previous post), whose power struggle with new doggy-roommate Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and a bunch of crazy alley cats lands him – collarless – in a pound-bound truck, with his new roommate in tow.

While trying to get home, the unlikely duo stumbles upon a gang of “flushed,” or rejected, pets whose mission is to take down the human race. Its leader is Snowball (Kevin Hart), a cute white fuzzy bunny, who is anything but cute and fuzzy on the inside. Meanwhile Max’s neighbor, Gidget (Jenny Slate), a fluffy white Chihuahua, leads a search expedition made up of Max’s other neighborhood pet-friends. In order to get home, Max and Duke need to evade the rejected pets and the city pound and get reunited with his friends, all by the time Katie gets home.

Yes, there were some very interesting characters that were built upon stereotypes, while some were their opposites, like the, Chloe (Lake Bell) the self-centered picky cat, and airheaded Gidget, who wears her heart on her sleeve and loves her cheesy Latino soaps, and is in love with Max. There is the pig that was used for practice at the tattoo parlor; and the hawk whose master had seemingly abandoned him. And then there is that poodle that is featured in all the trailers, who loves head banging to heavy metal when his sophisticated owner is not around.  (That joke might still be funny when you see it in the actual movie.)

The movie does deliver on its promised funny moments, some which are more predictable than others, mostly thanks to its cast of famous stand-up comedians, including Dana Carvey as Pops, the paralyzed basset hound.

Unfortunately, this movie tells the same story that we have heard time after time, from “Lassie” to “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” to “Bolt”: a beloved pet gets lost and has to find his way home, but in this film the owner doesn’t know about it.

“The Secret Life of Pets” has too many characters (16 of them to be precise) to create an attachment to any one of them, and the least interesting one happens to be the main character. The only attachment to Max is the fact that he is separated from Katie, whom all of us pet owners empathize with.

So the credit for the record-breaking $103.2 million opening-weekend for an animated feature should probably not go to the writers, but the marketers who have been promoting the heck out of this movie for the past year, with a Christmas promo, a Super Bowl ad, a “Happy Easter from the Secret Life of Pets” ad, and 34 different TV spots.

Here’s the Super Bowl spot:

The notion of anthropomorphism has been very lucrative since the dawn of literature, especially with the birth of animation. Who wouldn’t want to know what their pets are thinking? The movie delivered on the funny and cute pets and pet moments. Sadly, the plot – though morally harmless – had the potential for so much creativity and was superficial at best.

It might also do to remind younger children that real animals aren’t like the ones in the movies. While pets do have a life when we’re not home, it’s not like the ones on-screen, and we always need to understand animals on their own terms, not as humans with fur, feathers or scales.

Images: Illumination Entertainment

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EWTNKids: A Skeptical Mom Changes Her Mind

EWTNKidsEWTNKids is a website that uses games and graphics to teach your kids about their Catholic faith. “Oh no, not one of those again!” I hear you say.

I know, I have been jaded as a mom, when I have proposed the Faith to my kids one too many times with a Bible cartoon or faith-based show, only to have them get bored within two minutes and start complaining about it. So I have become extra picky with the kind of media I choose to teach my kids about Catholicism. I want my kids to find the Faith exciting, something that reaches them on their level, and engages them completely as long as it possibly can.

So when a friend I respect recommended the EWTNKids website, I decided to give it a try, only out of respect for her, not because I was particularly excited about the prospect of yet another attempt to make our Faith “cool” to our children.

(NOTE: The site does ask users to register to be a member of the EWTN Clubhouse. Some parts of the site are available for use without registration.)

I opened up the site and clicked around on it. I saw long paragraphs, quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and slightly outdated graphics. My first scan of it was hypercritical and cursory, I will admit. But since I am a truth seeker, I did a little experiment and decided to try the site out on my own little critics.

BeatriceMy seven-year-old Beatrice, with a 5th-grade reading level and an insatiable appetite for knowledge — but, because of her smarts, also a harsh critic of all things media — was the first to try it. I started her on the page called “The Village” At first she was a bit unsure, asking me how to navigate the site.  I told her to click on “God’s House”, what they call the church.

She asked,  “What do I do now”?

“Just click on whatever you want,” I said. “You’re a good reader!”

Slowly, I saw her get more and more interested … what kid wouldn’t like options, and colorful images with little sound effects, of things you always see your parents engaging with? Then I wandered off, to give Beatrice a bit more freedom, expecting her to leave the computer, or navigate from that site to another one of her kid sites.

Five minutes later I came back into the room, and heard her say, “I am gonna have to write that down, I don’t want to forget that!” She promptly got up, grabbed a notebook and feverishly filled a whole page full of notes, even sketching the little pencil character that “tells” the kids about Catholicism.

She took notes on the Sacraments, such as the who, what, where, when and how of Baptism. And, much to my joy, she started asking EWTN-Kids-Churchme where she was baptized, and where I was baptized, too. She asked me how to pronounce “Eucharist.” She played a musical game with singing nuns, clicked around the inside of the church, learning its different parts. She found the school room, where she took a faith quiz. An hour later I had to pry her off the computer to give her little sister a turn.

OK, little Maggie’s five-year-old language skills are not nearly as advanced as her big sister’s. Diagnosed with a 14-month speech delay at three years old, she barely learned all her sight words at the end of kindergarten. Plus, she does everything her own way, no matter how odd it might seem to her peers. “EWTNKids” had definitely met its match.

I started her right where Beatrice was in the Church, and she tried some of the faith facts. I could tell she had trouble understanding. But she clicked on the Village page, curious to see if there was something else that might catch her fancy. Finally. “The Morgans’ House” is where she ended up — there are different houses, inhabited by a multicultural selection of families — inside the room with twins Erin and Mary’s names hanging on the door.

EWTN-Kids-MorganIn the room she saw two pictures of patron saints, a little Bible where she could read a scripture passage, a craft “How to make a Spiritual Bouquet.” At last, she found a coloring book to click on. She was hooked!  She said, “Mommy, I want to color ALL the pictures!” And there were quite a few to choose from.

I was proven wrong. Two kids, so completely different in their tastes and in their scholastic strengths, both were absorbed by the website.  And inside, I am comforted as a mom, because I have found a good tool for my kids to learn their faith, and have a little fun in the process.

OK, it might not have the most dazzling graphics, but we aren’t talking about Nickelodeon and Disney here. EWTN is a donation-based Catholic ministry, so it’s not fair to compare. The great thing about this site is that its message is safe and sure to be free of any modern heresies out there, as EWTN always goes the extra mile to give its viewers the pure unadulterated truth about Catholicism and the best of what Catholicism has to offer. Which leads me to think that it’s also possible that Mom and Dad could learn a thing or two as they look over their child’s shoulder, just as the author of this blog did.

Image: Courtesy EWTN

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From ‘Finding Dory’ to ‘The BFG’ to ‘Ghostbusters’: Preparing Your Kids for the Summer Blockbusters

The-BFGIt’s risky to bring your kids to the movie theaters, especially the younger ones. One temper tantrum and that’s $10 down the drain. So here is one media-savvy mom’s proactive way to get the kids excited and emotionally invested in the film beforehand, so you get your money’s worth!

If you do a little research, a lot of these of the big family blockbusters have a prequel to it, or a book that it’s based on. It’s worth it to read or watch these with your kids. That way, they will know the characters and their world when they go into the movie. (Or if they aren’t interested, you’ve saved yourself the hassle of taking them in the first place.)

“Finding Dory”: Opens on Friday June 17th.  For those of you planning to see “Finding Dory,” its beautiful predecessor, “Finding Nemo” is a must-see.  It’s the story of Marlin a widowed clownfish whose only surviving son gets lost, and he ends up finding Nemo with the help of the sweet but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory. Along the way, it provides a beautiful lesson for parents who want to learn where to draw the line on overprotectiveness. In this upcoming sequel, Marlin and Nemo try to help Dory find her family, which she had already lost before she met Nemo and Marlin in the first movie, due to her deplorable short-term memory.

Click here to read our previous post on “Finding Dory,” which includes links to reviews, including a Catholic one.

The BFG”: The beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl comes out as a movie on Friday, July 1. I remember having that book read to me in my first-grade class in the early 1980s, so I am particularly excited to read this to my kids. Especially exciting is that the payoff for them will be to get to see a hit Stephen Spielberg film starring Oscar-award-winning Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) turned into a giant with the latest technology. (Interestingly enough, that was a role that was being primed for the late Robin Williams, which would have altered the tone of the movie significantly).

It’s the story of a caring, compassionate, non-cannibalistic Giant able to give children pleasant dreams, who snatches orphan girl Sophie. A friendship forms between them, whilst the BFG’s fellow giants become a threat to Sophie. In order to end Cannibalism once and for all, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to get rid of Giants once and for all. This movie is rated PG, but contains cannibalistic giants that might scare the younger kids, but you can test it out on your kids with the book.

Then there’s Ghostbusters, the third of its kind. This time it’s a version featuring Kate McKinnon, a female member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast. Interestingly enough, its 1984 and 1989 male predecessors consisted of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, also “SNL” cast members of their time. Also starring are former “Mike & Molly” star Melissa McCarthy and Chris Hemsworth, along with “Ghostbusters” original cast members Murray, Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson.

The last two films were about three eccentric scientists and former university professors who set up Ghostbusters, a business specializing in the service of trapping pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists. The new Ghostbusters has a very similar premise, but this time these are females that are shunned out of academia and forced to save New York City from a poltergeist uprising. The ghosts could scare the little ones. I remember being seven years old and scared myself.  But again, rent out the original and see for yourself – some kids are braver than you – or they – think.

Two more remakes to look into are “Pete’s Dragon” – another Disney, whose original was made in 1977 – and “Ice Age: Collision Course,” a franchise which has been known to contain some adult innuendos, but double meaning will often pass undetected by our innocent little ones.

Too many books, films, and comics to count have come before “The Legend of Tarzan.” (This is the 19th film of its kind, according to Wikipedia). In cases such as these, I like to go to the original book. This time, it’s a novel called “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. For the little ones, the 1999 animated Disney version, voiced by Tony Goldwyn might be more age-appropriate (though little ones always love being read to).  However, speaking of age-appropriateness, this film version is PG-13, and probably isn’t for the little ones. But take your teens out for a treat with this one.

Prepping your kids before hitting the theater can be a good method to use the media as a way to teach our kids that some of the most lucrative pop-culture is grounded in a tradition of great literature. Imparting the knowledge of the origins behind these blockbusters will then make this expensive trip to the movies a great occasion for educational and cultural enrichment.

But, all pretenses aside, the kids will be more focused on the movie, giving us parents something that we all long for … a much-deserved break!

Here are some trailers:

Image: Courtesy Walt Disney Company

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5 Media Activities for Every Device for Kids on a Rainy Summer Day


As you moms know, we are on call 24 hours a day, and if we are awake, that means we are on duty.

We are everything to our kids: caterers, psychologists, nurses, maids, teachers, cops, judges, and most importantly, entertainers — especially when there is no school. If our kids have nothing to do, we will know about it: either by the little shadow following us everywhere demanding our undivided attention, by World War III erupting by the toy bin, or by the eerie silence meaning there is something fishy going on that doesn’t bode well for us — or them. Unfortunately, desperate moms sometimes must resort to the media babysitter.

So here are a few clean and engaging media activities for each of your devices, to keep up our sleeves so we can actually get some work done, and they can keep from getting into trouble!

1) Free Internet Video: “Daily Bumps”:

Take out your computer for a YouTube vlog Daily Bumps. It consists of the daily chronicling of the life of musician Bryan Lanning, who’s married to YouTube vlogger Missy Lanning. They take part in wacky weird events, dress up in costumes, pull pranks, and make life as goofy and fun as possible. Their first vlog, which took place in 2013, simply consisted of a trip to the video arcade, Missy pregnant with baby #1. Three years later, they have a two-year old, Oliver; a six-month-old, Finn; and a dog named Karma, Missy has posed for J.C. Penney; Bryan beat singer, Adele, in the charts with his #1 EP “Like a Lion”, they traveled around the world to Cambodia, and have 1 million subscribers.

It appeals to the entire family. Interestingly, my seven-year old girl discovered it due to her love of babies, and pretty soon I got hooked as well. The teens will love the goofy, adventurous Lanning family, and there are a ton of ideas for parents who are looking to generate activities and make the mundane daily grind of the family more interesting. Concerned about content? No need. Missy and Bryan are Christians and, though they never show themselves going to church, they do pray before their kids’ births and make the occasional reference to God.

2) Paid Internet Video: “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”:

Up for a binge watch with your sick kids? “My Little Pony” has something for the entire family, even the boys! What is great about this new version of the series is that magic takes on a sacramental nature, in that the magic of friendship, like grace, is transformative and redemptive. By learning to use their elements of harmony, the ponies become stronger, better versions of themselves, and defeat evil time and time again.

The magic of friendship redeems the penitent evil characters, like Nightmare Moon, who becomes Princess Luna; Discord (the incarnation of chaos), who is reformed by the ponies from an enemy, to a not-so-reliable ally. And, in the “Equestria Girls” feature, Sunset Shimmer repents of her jealousy towards Twilight Sparkle, and becomes a friend in the end. My favorite episodes are the Canterlot wedding episodes, where the magic of the love between Princess Cadance, and Shining Armour defeats the evil that is trying to destroy Canterlot.  Available on Netflix.

3) App: “ABC Mouse”:

The best educational app that makes learning fun for kids is hands down “ABC Mouse.”  It is for kids two to seven years old, and has the ability to keep them engaged and enjoy learning. Whether they want to learn with singing, coloring, puzzles, or exercises, the kids will love it.  The best thing about this app is the fact that kids from the most difficult age, preschool, are engaged in something productive that allows them to have fun and learn at the same time.  Available for download on iTunes.

4) Television: “MasterChef Junior”:

Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” shows young kids eight-13 years of age, competing for the title of MasterChef Junior, the MasterChef Trophy, and  $250,000.00.  Kids see their peers create veritable culinary works of art, and get to experience cultures from around the world.  Also they get the thrill of the competition aspect, under the watchful threatening, supportive eye of a more gentle version of chef Gordon Ramsey.  Also available on Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video.

5) Film: “The Peanuts Movie”:

A great film to view at home is “The Peanuts Movie”.  It’s everything you loved about the comics and the cartoon when you were a kid, and more.  All the satisfying payoffs you always hoped the characters you loved would receive get dashed and granted in the most unpredictable ways.  Charlie Brown is as relatable as ever, and all his friends as loveable and true to the spirit of Charles Schwarz, containing great lessons for your kids to learn, and many funny and tender moments for the whole family, and a great way to introduce one of Generation X’s most lovable characters childhood down to the next generations.  A must have for your family DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes collection.

Image: Courtesy Fox

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects