Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's Panda-monium in April

If you know any children that go bonkers over pandas be prepared for panda-monium to ensue.  PBS Kids is releasing on April 11 a DVD featuring a 4 episode collection from the Wild Kratts animated television series which focus on animals from China and highlights pandas.  Then Disney's BORN IN CHINA is arriving at movie theaters across the United States on April 21.  This feature film follows three animal families (pandas, snow leopards, golden monkeys) as they live in the wild. Based upon opening week attendance (April 21 - 27, 2017), Disney will make a contribution to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China.  Kids who love pandas are really going to be delighted this month.

The WILD KRATTS: PANDA-MONIUM DVD from PBS Kids provides four action-packed adventures where the Kratt brothers (Chris & Martin) save giant pandas from the evil Zach Varmitech, find an adorable little lost red panda and help to reunite her with her mother, save animals captured in China from the villain Donita Donata, and more!

Panda Power Up

While checking out the endangered giant panda, the Wild Kratts get stranded in the bamboo forests of China without having power for any of their vehicles or equipment. They must figure out how to ‘power up’ in time to help save the pandas, who are being turned into roboticized stuffed toys by the nefarious villain, Zach Varmitech. An ‘ancient panda secret’ just might lead to the creature power that will restart their engines and save the pandas.  

Red Panda Rescue

Chris finds a little lost Red panda, but before she can be reunited with her mother, Zach steals her as a birthday present for Donita Donata. It’s Wild Kratts to the rescue!

The Colors of China 

While hanging out with golden pheasants in China, Martin and Chris wonder how important color is for creatures. But when Donita Donata begins to steal animals and remove their color, they soon discover just how critical it is for survival. It’s a race to stop Donita and get color back into the creature world!

Snowy Owl Invasion

Martin and Chris are hanging out in China with their giant panda friend Stuffo when they receive reports of snowy owls showing up all over North America. Since these raptors live in the Arctic, it’s up to the Wild Kratts to solve the mystery of the snowy owl invasion! 

WILD KRATTS transforms the Kratt Brothers, creators of the award-winning “Kratts’ Creatures” and Emmy-winning “Zoboomafoo,” into animated versions of themselves, allowing the real-life zoologists to visit wild animals in their little-seen habitats and showcase key science concepts along the way. From elephants using physics to suck gallons of water with their trunks to a fleet of peregrine falcons that harness the force of gravity to speed through the air, each episode of WILD KRATTS presents age-appropriate science inspired by the natural abilities of the animals that the Kratt Brothers – and young viewers – meet. WILD KRATTS airs daily on PBS KIDS (check local listings). 

Disney's BORN IN CHINA explores the magic and mystery of China's exotic wildlife.  Narrated by John Krasinski ( NBC's "The Office"), this movie transports audiences to some of the world's most extreme environments to witness intimate moments in the lives of animals that are only found in the wild within China.  A panda bear guides her growing baby that is beginning to seek independence from the mother. A two-year old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts.  And a mother snow leopard -- an elusive animal rarely seen by human eyes -- raises two cubs in one of the harshest environments on Earth.

BORN IN CHINA features stunning, never-before-seen imagery and includes pandas in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in the Si Chuan province, golden snub-nosed monkeys in the Hubei Shennongjia Nature Reserve in the middle of the Yangtze River and the elusive snow leopards in the Qinghai Province which is on the northeast rim of the Tibetan plateau (5,000 meters above sea level).  The movie also shows the rarely filmed chiru, located in the Kekexili National Reserve, and red-crowned cranes filmed at the Heilongjiang Zhanglong National Nature Reserve and Jiangsu Yancheng National Nature Reserve for Coastal Rare Birds.

Learn more about pandas and the other animals BORN IN CHINA features be enjoying this entertaining and educational activity pack courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios:

Want to see a Panda up close?  These animals are rare and endangered but there are a few on display at a few zoos in the USA on loan from China to assist with conservation education and captive breeding programs.  The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC has 3 pandas you can meet during a visit, Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei.  Can't make it to the nation's capitalVisit the zoo's website to view a live webcam feed of these panda bears' exhibit for a real-time view of these animals.

The Atlanta Zoo is also home to a panda family.  In fact a set of panda cub twins were just born in September 2016 expanding the growing family of parents Lun Lun and Yang YangCheck them out on the zoo's pandacam.

When I think of Memphis it is Graceland and BBQ that come to mind, but this Tennessee city is also home to the pandas Le Le and Ya Ya.  They are on loan from China until 2023 and make a trip to the zoo well worth a visit if you are in town.

The final zoo you can find pandas at in the USA is on the West Coast.  The San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the country and the panda display is one of the jewels in its crown.  They also have a Panda Cam if your family can't make it out to southern California and want to see Gao Gao, Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu. 

My daughter loves pandas so she's going to be thrilled as we watch the complimentary WILD KRATTS: PANDA-MONIUM DVD PBS Kids sent our way, celebrate Earth Day by going to see BORN IN CHINA and check out the web cams that provide a look at those animals that live in zoos.  April is going to be a month of panda-monium

San Diego Zoo Panda Cam

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