THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS - Following ALL HAIL KING JULIEN, this is the latest series from DreamWorks Animation to place a supporting character from a popular franchise into the lead slot in their own adventures, but in this case, PUSS IN BOOTS previously made the jump from the world of SHREK into a solo feature back in 2011. The first five episodes of 26 ordered are now streaming on Netflix, and there's a lot of fun to be had here as the swashbuckling kitty breaks the spell that keeps his town safe, forcing him to fight off a host of evildoers.
My girls weren't familiar with PUSS IN BOOTS previously, but if anything, this puts the character in the spotlight ahead of the 2018 (!) release of PUSS IN BOOTS 2: 9 LIVES & 40 THIEVES, which is in production now for a theatrical release.
FANTASIA - I recently discovered that while most kids are familiar with Mickey Mouse wearing the Sorcerer's hat, none of them seem to know where exactly that image came from. With the arrival of Walt Disney's 1940 epic FANTASIA (and it's belated sequel, FANTASIA 2000) to Netflix, I took the opportunity to make sure my daughters know what THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE is. An odd film by all accounts, FANTASIA is also a captivating piece of cinematic history that all families should experience.
This 2013 French film was based on the music of the band DIONYSOS and a graphic novel by it's frontman. Originally landing on my radar last year when my friends at Shout! Factory sent me a copy on Blu-ray, the girls love it. The basic gist? A boy has a cuckoo clock for a heart and has to keep his emotions in-check (think high blood pressure, or trying to prevent a heart attack). As with many films, that means "love" so you know where this is heading.
CHUGGINGTON - Ludorum's popular train series for preschoolers makes the jump from Disney Junior to streaming here, making access to Brewster, Koko and all the kids' favorite Chuggers available instantly. Short episodes are good gap-fillers, and the little ones can learn social skills in the process.
EVER AFTER HIGH: SPRING UNSPRUNG (Available February 6)
"The kids of fairytale characters attend a school with two cliques: those who accept their fairytale destinies and those who want to write their own."
No, they haven't seen this one yet since I couldn't get Doc Brown to loan me the DeLorean, but this Netflix Original feature is the latest on-screen adventure based on Mattel's popular Ever After High Dolls. There's a few episodes of EVER AFTER HIGH that have been available to stream for awhile, but this one is definitely on-the-radar as it precedes an all-new 12 episode series that Netflix and Mattel announced last summer.