“The Toy Castle™” New DVD Series Presents Imaginative Ballet Stories and Encourages Creative Play

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Enchanting new DVD series presents imaginative ballet stories and encourages creative play. Three titles in the launch dance into stores May 30, 2006 from Questar Inc.

Less and less money allotted for schools in art, drama, music, and dance is resulting in generations of children with little exposure to the performing arts. Enter The Toy Castle™, the award-winning live action series of narrated ballet stories, which dances into stores on DVD with three enchanting volumes “Beautiful Ballerina,” “Birthday Bash,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle,” May 30, 2006 from Questar Inc. Three additional titles in the series will be released in the fall.” Suggested retail price for each DVD is $14.99.

Appearing on many PBS stations nationwide, The Toy Castle is the first children’s DVD series to carry the American Public Television logo. Performed in the universal language of dance and mime by members of the renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Toy Castle nurtures an appreciation for dance, promotes positive character development, and encourages creative play. The series has received numerous accolades from publications such as TV Guide and Parenting, and has been awarded the Film Advisory Board “Award of Excellence,” the Gemini Award for “Best Pre-School Series” and top prizes at New York International Festivals.

"At a time when funds for arts education in schools are being drastically cut, ‘The Toy Castle' is an initiative that brings the experience of live performances to young people, and nurtures their appreciation for the performing arts, an essential part of a fully rounded education,” said Albert Nader, chairman Questar, Inc. “There is nothing like The Toy Castle on home video or television. It is an engaging change of pace from animation. Children will embrace the delightful storybook characters.”

The Toy Castle is set in a Castle where the Toys come to life “only at night, when your eyes are shut tight.” The characters are familiar storybook icons, including Ballerina, Soldier, China Doll, Rag Doll, and others. Children learn how to constructively handle such personal and social issues as friendship, self-esteem, jealousy, being left out and expressing feelings.

Each 90-minute DVD features 12 delightful stories, and very special “Time to Dance” segments, in which Toy Castle characters demonstrate basic and fun ballet positions and movements. Each disc also contains DVD-ROM interactive educational activities and interactive games developed to enhance early learning skills and basic knowledge, such as “Memory Match,” “Puzzles,” “Strongman’s ABC’s,” “Goblin’s Piano Lesson,” “Learn to Count,” “Swaparoo” (where players can create their own Toy Castle friends), “Toy Castle Clean Up,” “Coloring Book, “Dress Up,” and much more.

Initial titles in The Toy Castle DVD launch are:

  •     “Twinkle, Twinkle” – The toys in the Toy Castle share all the magic of starry skies, bedtime stories and warm friendships. “Time to Dance” segment teaches Demi Pointe, Tendues, Degagées, the Clown Shuffle, and the Jack in the Box.
  •     “Beautiful Ballerina” – Spend some quality time with one of the Toy Castle’s most beloved characters in stories of friendship, caring and self-esteem. “Time to Dance” moves are Promenade, Promenade on Point, Chainnes, Pose Turns, Bourres.
  •     “Birthday Bash” – Everybody loves a party, especially at the Toy Castle where all the toys magically come to life and friendship and thoughtfulness are the most precious gifts of all. “Time to Dance” segment teaches Petits Jetes without Arms, Petits Jetes with Arms, Waltz for Two. Blancees, and Super Stretch.

Three new Toy Castle DVDs to be released in the fall are “Dance for Joy” and “Nursery Rhyme Time,” and “Nutcracker Sweet.” For more information about The Toy Castle or to order please call 1-800-544-8244.

About Questar Inc.

Questar, Inc. is one of the most distinguished independent producers and distributors of programming for television, the home, libraries, education and the Internet. In addition to original productions, Questar distributes feature films in partnership with PorchLight Entertainment, classic television with SFM Entertainment and acclaimed non-fiction programming in association with such esteemed producers as Readers Digest and the award-wining public television series Nature.

About The Toy Castle™

The Toy Castle was inspired by The Tin Soldier, a live ballet featuring Canada’s premier dancer, Frank Augustyn. Neil Bregman saw the potential for a children’s TV classic and turned it into a one hour TV special for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Developed for television by Bregman and his wife, Katherine Jeans, The Toy Castle was the first live action pre-school series introducing children to the world of classical dance and the performing arts. Today, The Toy Castle is seen in many countries around the world, with touring live shows and an explosive fan base on the web with their interactive and educational website.

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