“Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Edition” (Acorn, 1993, two discs, $49.99, six episodes, audio commentaries, featurette; eight-page booklet). PBS initially aired this miniseries based on Armistead Maupin’s novels (eight and counting) about bohemian lifestyles in San Francisco. Laura Linney plays naïve Mary Ann Singleton, through whose eyes we are introduced to this world in the 1970s when she moves into a boarding house that introduces her to freewheeling sex, drugs and alternate lifestyles. (There is nudity, coarse language, drugs and sex.)
“Missions That Changed the War: Germany’s Last Ace” (Acorn, 2011, two discs, $49.99, four episodes, featurette; 16-page booklet). World War II documentary narrated by Gary Sinise was initially shown on the Military Channel, an exploration of three fighter pilots whose aerial battles over Germany were integral to the war effort in mid-1944. (There is coarse language.)
“Super Buddies” (Disney/Blu-ray, 2013, G, two discs, $36.99; Blu-ray, DVD, digital versions). The latest in the straight-to-DVD franchise of “Air Buddies” movies, a spinoff of the “Air Bud” series, has the talking pups gaining super powers and taking on an evil shape-shifter from another planet. The voice cast includes John Ratzenberger, Colin Hanks, Amy Sedaris and Tim Conway.
“Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and more stories by Mo Willems” (Scholastic, 2013, $14.95, three stories, read-along, featurette, cookie recipe). Animated stories for ages 2-8 based on Mo Willems’ books: the title tale, “Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion” and “Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.” (This is “Volume 3” of “Mo Willems Cartoon Collection.”)
“Children Make Terrible Pets and more stories about family” (Scholastic, 2013, $14.95, four stories, featurettes, read-along). Animated stories for kids ages 4-12 include the title tale, “All the World,” “Crow Call” and “Eizabeth’s Doll.”
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent's Guide to Movie Ratings." His website is www.hicksflicks.com
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