SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : How to build a better Easter basket with new kid video releases


With Easter little more than a month away, consider these new and upcoming videos to stuff kids' baskets or to watch during the days of Passover:

A second version is now available of the classic bunny and egg tale, Tales of Beatrix Potter, Volume 2, (FHE, $13). For ages 2 to 10.

From The Enchanted Tales Series comes The New Adventures of Peter Rabbit (Sony Wonder, $15, available Tuesday). This direct-to-video offers new characters and original songs. For ages 2 to 10.

Two new episodes of The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon: "Mr. Crabby Tree" and "Dudley and the Genie," (GoodTimes, $13). In the first, a tree takes Dudley through the rings of time. In the second, the dragon meets a magic Genie who tries to trick him into using more energy than he needs. For ages 2 to 10.

From the makers of the syndicated "Pigasso's Place" comes the "3D computer-animated" The Circus (M3D, $15, available March 20). The M3D character Mango takes a trip to the circus. For ages 2 to 8.

If you don't know who Hello Kitty or Keroppi Frog are, you can bet your kids do. The popular Sanrio characters will star in four videos: Hello Kitty can be seen in Cinderella and Snow White, and Keroppi ribbets his way through Robin Hood and Let's Play Baseball (FHE, $13, available March 21). For ages 2 to 8.

Your kids might not care about the celebrity voices (Mark Hamill, Joely Fisher, Michael York and Samantha Eggar) but it could be fun for parents to try to figure out who's voicing who in The Magic Flute (ABC Video, $15, available March 28; airing as the "ABC Weekend Special" March 18 and 25 at 11:30 a.m.) Based on Mozart's opera, the story is about a fearless prince, who, with the help of a magic flute, rescues a beautiful princess from an evil queen. For ages 2 to 10.

"Bump in the Night's" cheery lead character is in a singing mood on Mr. Bumpy's Karaoke Cafe (ABC Video, $13). Here, Mr. Bumpy tackles golden oldies and new tunes too. For ages 2 to 12.

Combining live-action, animation and, of course, child-star Macaulay Culkin, The Pagemaster (20th Century Fox, $23, April 4) centers on a timid boy who finds adventure in a library where literary classics come to life. Christopher Lloyd, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart and Leonard Nimoy also lend their voices to the feature-length movie. For ages 4 to 12 .

Disney's version shimmers in trailers on the movie screen, but since it won't be released until June you can catch the "Enchanted Tales" version of Pocahantas (Sony Wonder, $15), about the beautiful Indian princess and the dashing John Smith. For ages 2 to 10.

Your kids' curiosity can be further raised with new editions to the "There Goes ... " series of videos: There Goes A Spaceship, There Goes A Boat and There Goes A Race Car (Kid Vision $11). A miniature toy is available with each video for an additional $1. For ages 2 to 8.

Have a hard time setting your VCR to record? There are plenty of TV shows that have recently come to video. Two episodes of The Magic School Bus (Kid Vision, $13) are now available on video: Gets Lost In Space and For Lunch. For ages 9 to 12. Fans of the kanga down unda may delight in Rocko's Modern Life: With Friends Like These ... and Machine Madness (Sony Wonder, $13). For ages 2 to 10. HBO's Tintin can be seen on two new vid titles, The Secret of the Unicorn and Cigars of the Pharaoh (Sony Wonder, $13). For ages 2 to 10.


Designed for older kids and parents, Disney's new six-part science series Nature by Design (Part 1, "Driven By Design," Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Disney Channel) offers parallels between designs in the high-tech world and in the natural world, using natural history film, video effects and graphics. For ages 12 and up.

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