Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Finds: 'LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: The Letter Machine Rescue Team' & 'Alpha and Omega 3' on DVD

CC is a big fan of LeapFrog. That goes for the LeapPad as well as the DVDs.

That's why it was so great to catch a special screening of LeapFrog's newest DVD, LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: The Letter Machine Rescue Team (SRP: $14.98), at the Lionsgate HQ in Santa Monica.

Let's just say the DVD scored a big A from CC and got the thumbs up from me as well.

Featuring 3D CGI animation, which is an update from previous LeapFrog DVD incarnations (such as another CC fave, Math Adventure to the Moon), the graphics were easy on the eyes. Not only that, but the story was both fun and educational -- always a plus with me.

In this DVD (the first of four), Quigley the robot is about to open the new Letter Factory, and he invites frog friends Leap, Tad, Lily and more to visit. There, the kids learn about building letters, "consonant blends" (such as "st"), and adjectives. When the machinery starts to go haywire, the crew has to work together as "junior engineers" to fix everything. That means bouncing around ideas and testing them out.

The DVD is meant for ages 4-7, and I can see how it can appeal to that wide of a range. While the little ones can learn more about reading, the bigger kids, like CC, enjoy more of the jokes and learn what it's like to work on a team -- a team that's made of different people (or, er, frogs) with lots of different ideas. The story models great ways of working together to work things out for the best.

And speaking of teamwork, our Lionsgate double feature included a screening of the latest Alpha and Omega DVD, The Great Wolf Games -- arriving at Walmart March 25 on DVD (SRP $19.98) and Blu-ray combo pack (SRP: $24.99). It will also be available on VOD, Digital HD and PPV.

This is a cute movie that also spotlights the value of working together and good sportsmanship, which is a great follow-up to the Winter Olympics.

Part of the popular franchise that started with the 2010 film Alpha and Omega, Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games has pups Claudette, Stinky and Runt training hard to compete in The Great Wolf Games.

When the wolf pups find out that other teams are competing, they, of course, want to join in. Their father, Humphrey, however, has one stipulation -- one the other teams don't necessarily abide by -- and that is, they have to include all kinds of animals if they want to compete -- not just wolves.

As a parent, I love the message that the kids should be inclusive and encourage others to join in the fun. I also like watching them train and work hard to become better. They also work together and keep their perspective -- that is, they don't want to win at all costs.

And the girl power doesn't hurt. The "Alphas" of the bunch happen to be the mother-daughter duo of Kate and Claudette, respectively, and that was great for CC to see. I loved watching the mother wolf teach her daughter some clever training tricks -- which made her an especially valuable asset to the team.

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