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1995 Awards
Raffi on Broadway
( $19.95 Score:) A real musical experience with the "eco-troubadour" singing many old favorites such as "Baby Beluga." We could have done without the pessimism of "Will I Ever Grow Up?" but kids probably hear it as a song of longing rather than doubt. 4 & up. Also classic: Raffi in Concert

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1995.

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2000 Award
Kids' Favorite Songs
(Sony $12.95 Score:) Elmo is going to play kids' top ten favorite songs on his radio show. The problem is picking them. With hits like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in the line-up there's not a miss in the list. But what is Elmo's favorite? A good choice of songs kids show know with lots of counting backwards mixed in. 2 & up. Still top rated, Jim Henson singing the Best of Kermit.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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1997 Awards
Fiesta!
(Sony $12.95 Score:) A lively Sesame Street video with many songs performed in both English and Spanish, introducing kids to counting, colors, and familiar music with a Latin beat. 2 1/2 & up. Also top rated: Get Up & Dance and PLATINUM AWARD'97 winner, Elmocize.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1997.

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Elmo's World
(Sony $12.95 Score:) We found the production below the usual high standard set by Sesame Street. In the first segment, Elmo watches kids who dance and then makes the distinction that mailboxes and birthday cakes don't dance but he does-really! The dumbed-down content was more irritating than inspiring. The producers probably didn't intend for kids to watch all 50 minutes of Elmo in one sitting-we had trouble staying with the first 10.

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

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1999 Award
Clap To It!
(Go Kid Productions $12.95 Score:) You and your kids will love learning these clapping games and rhymes to play with friends or family. We laughed out loud as we tried to keep up with the kids who demo and then teach you traditional clapping games that would be fun for a party. Thank goodness for the rewind button! 5-9

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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1997 Awards
Cathy & Marcy's Song Shop
(Community Music $14.95 Score:) If you're looking for music videos to actively engage kids, these are for you! On "Yodel-Ay-Hee-Hoo!!!" kids sing along, learn to yodel, and even sign along in American Sign Language. "Is Not, Is Too!" also has plenty of audience participation. Using a hammered dulcimer, banjo, and guitar with a blend of traditional and new songs, Cathy and Marcy make real music for the whole family! 4& up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1997.

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2000 Awards
Blues Clues Series
(Paramount $12.95 Score:) Preschoolers love being in the know by finding Blue's clues before Steve, the host, finds them. New for 2001, Blue's Safari, which centers on identifying animals and looks at how adult animals care for their babies, is our top pick this year. In Magenta Comes Over, viewers are asked to pair related costumes, e.g., those of a lifeguard and a swimmer, and an umpire and a baseball player. One of the pairings is an astronaut and a four-eyed alien. We question the importance of four-eyed aliens for preschoolers! Other than that, it's on the mark. Blue's Big Musical Adventure is 78 mins. long! That's a lot of Blue with big musical numbers. The cast is planning to put on a show and Steve's searching for Blue's singing partner. Closed-captioned. 2-5 Still top rated: Blue's Clues Rhythm and Blue, PLATINUM AWARD '00 and Blue's Clues Story Time, PLATINUM AWARD '99. Thumbs down for Blue's Big Treasure Hunt, ABC's, and 123's, which takes a wrong-headed turn in the road. This is not the audience for reading and spelling lessons!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2000 Award
Charlotte's Web Video
(Paramount $19.99 Score:) Few characters in literature are as memorable as dear Charlotte the spider who teaches young Wilbur the pig about friendship, trust, and life and death. This reissued animated version (1972) of E. B. White's classic features the voices of Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, and Henry Gibson. Bring home the book for the complete experience! 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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1996 Awards
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(Disney $12.99 Score:) The story of that very well-loved, hungry caterpillar has been transformed into a totally magical video! Animation and music have enhanced Eric Carle's beautiful illustrations and given them another dimension while retaining their original beauty. Five other gems also appear on this video: "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me," "The Mixed-up Chameleon," "The Very Quiet Cricket," and "I See a Song." A delicate blend of imagination and information illuminated with great artistry. Closed-captioned. 2-6.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 1996.

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2005 Awards
Mulan
(Disney $24.99 Score:) We have not yet seen the DVD of this winning film. We expect the additioni of games, extra music and behind the scenes features will only make a good thing better. In a season with not too many bright choices, this is a welcome retred of a previous Platinum winner. This is what we wrote in 2000. "Featuring a strong and courageous girl who fights in her father's place and rejects the traditional female role, this video won high marks from our viewers. The music and imagery of China are stunning for any age audience. Although this film is not without violence (it is about war, after all), it is not here for its own sake. There is a bigger story here with clear lines of good and evil. Suspenseful without being overly violent, Disney should use this well-crafted film as a model for future films. 6 & up."

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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