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N ew DVDs are in and flying off the shelves. To see all the other new titles that didn't fit in this column, go to the library home page at www.juneau.org/library, select "catalog" and look for the big "NEW" on the navigation bar. One can peruse the newest DVDs, videos, books, Alaskana, and large print titles.
For the kids: "The Railway Children" When their father is mysteriously taken away by the police, three children and their mother move from their comfortable town house to the English countryside. The children, separated from their friends, make new friends with the train passengers and crew that they see each day, and with their aid, have several adventures. A great adaptation of the E. Nesbit book.
"Old Yeller" This classic Disney film has been reissued on DVD, complete with audio commentary, an animated short and an interview with the human star. When young Travis first comes across Old Yeller, who is obviously a stray, he wants nothing to do with the dog. But Old Yeller wants a home and sets about showing his worth to Travis and his family, introducing them to the joys and sorrows of dog ownership.
"Spirited Away" This beautifully animated movie, based on a Japanese comic book, has themes of loyalty, kindness and bravery. Chihiro and her parents, on their way to a new town, stumble upon an abandoned amusement park ... or is it really empty? When her parents are transformed by eating the spirits' food, Chihiro seeks a way to save them. Some of the characters are very Japanese and may be a bit scarier for little kids simply because they are so unfamiliar (the horseradish spirit and the various river spirits, for instance). An excellent, engrossing family movie.
And for the adults: "Devil's Playground" A documentary about Amish teens, who, at age 16, are allowed to experience the world outside their community for the first time. As you might imagine, many of them go wild, drinking, smoking, etc., until they are ready to make a choice: to commit themselves to their Amish community forever, or to make a break with their friends and family and live among the "English." This film explores four teens' journey from childhood through the teen years and into the age of commitment.
"The Blue Planet: Seas of Life" This four-part series aired on the Discovery Channel many months ago - if you missed it then, take a look now. Besides having some of the most beautiful underwater scenes I've seen, it is also chock full of fascinating information. Each volume is dedicated to different parts of the ocean: tidal seas, coasts, seasonal seas, coral seas, open ocean and frozen seas. Don't miss seeing the undersea "lake" (in the deep ocean volume).
"Lumumba" Patrice Lumumba became the first Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo in 1960. His dream of a united Africa put him in great danger as Cold War politics raged around him. He was assassinated within months of taking office. Here is the story of the rise and fall of a legend.
"Drumline" For all of you who have ever marched in a band and loved it, this movie was made for you. In the tradition of "Strictly Ballroom" and "Breaking Away," this movie celebrates a passion - in this case, college marching bands. Competition isn't limited to the football teams: In this band, everyone wants to be best. There is great drum action and choreography.
Whether you are pining for Bhutan or the Caribbean, take a look at our new travel DVDs. We've got Greece, Italy, Thailand, the Cote d'Azur, South Africa, and more.