Thursday, 27 November 2014

Meet SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer

Meet SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer at the
DStv Kids Xtravaganza this festive season for not-to-be-missed holiday magic

Children’s favourites Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Nick Jr’s Dora the Explorer will be performing live in their own shows at the DStv Kids Xtravaganza, which takes place at Vodacom World in Midrand from 12 to 15 December.

It’s festive season holiday entertainment at its best for the entire family. The two popular characters from Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305) and Nick Jr. (DStv Channel 307) will keep youngsters entertained during the holiday break with three live hour-long stage shows every day followed by a 90-minute session in the massive Fun Zone with a host of activities, including face painting and gaming stations. There will also be fantastic SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer products to buy.

Both SpongeBob and Dora are global TV phenomena – regularly ranking among the top children’s programmes around the world. For the past six years in South Africa, SpongeBob has been named the Coolest Cartoon Character in the Generation Next Survey and lists Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, and David and Victoria Beckham among his many celebrity fans. During the DStv Kids Xtravaganza live shows, both cartoon stars will perform exclusive sing-alongs for their fans.

We are thrilled to be partnering with DStv on this wonderful event, bringing kids and families together with Nick Jr. favourite Dora the Explorer and Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Dora and SpongeBob are loved by families all over the world and it gives us great pleasure to bring them to life with DStv Kids Xtravaganza,” says Asania Parsadh, Head: Nickelodeon Africa.

SpongeBob Squarepants lives in a pineapple with his pet snail Gary. He is an incurably optimistic and well-intentioned sponge. He always finds himself in hot water without really trying, and he’s not usually alone, as wherever SpongeBob goes, his best friend Patrick Starfish is never far behind. SpongeBob performs in a show which is fully interactive and will incorporate various media elements.

Dora the Explorer is an adventurous five-year-old Latina heroine who actively involves pre-schoolers to help her on her play-along adventures. She is joined by her fearless and determined cousin Diego and a monkey, her best friend called Boots. Dora, Diego, Boots and host Sam will perform in the live shows which consist of fun nursery rhymes and popular songs with a Spanish twist.

The DStv Kids Xtravaganza takes place from Friday 12 December to Monday 15 December. Show times are at 09h30; 12h30 and 15h30. Tickets are available at Computicket at R135 a person and includes entrance to the live shows (40 min Dora the Explorer show and 20 min SpongeBob SquarePants show) as well as 90 minutes access in the Fun Zone.

Get your tickets now for this December’s best holiday entertainment.

The DStv Kids Xtravaganza is brought to you by Vodacom World in proud association with Glomail, Sony PlayStation, Mitsubishi Motors and Kaya FM.

Online links:
· Website:

Issued by Total Exposure.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Penguins spotted making their way to Ster-Kinekor IMAX® theatres…

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR is the movie event that will blow their cover…”
The mystery around the strange sightings of penguins in various parts of the city this week has finally been resolved, much to the relief of the public and the penguins’ counterparts, who are all still safely ensconced in their various penguin enclosures around the country! The identity of the four penguins spotted in all manner of crazy situations – bouncing on a jumping castle, catching a ride in a taxi, crossing the road and munching on cheesy snacks – are none other than our favourite ‘flippered’ friends, ‘Skipper’, ‘Rico’, ‘Kowalski’ and ‘Private’.
You can see them strutting their ‘secret agent’ stuff as they “Hi-1” each other in solving the mystery of the slimy-green “bazooka serum”, in Penguins of Madagascar. Ster-Kinekor is releasing this much-anticipated film from Dreamworks® at its two IMAX® 3D theatres at Gateway in Durban and The Grove Mall in Pretoria on Friday 28 November, a week before its national release on Friday 5 December.
In recognition of these four flippin’ fabulous, feathered friends and their super-sleuth skills, Ster-Kinekor and Times Media Films, the film’s local distributor, have declared Friday, 28 November as National Penguin Day. They are encouraging all South Africans to embrace the day by wearing black-and-white and posting photos of themselves – resplendent in their penguin colours - on Ster-Kinekor’s Facebook page. There are great prizes up for grabs for the best-dressed photos, including tickets to see the film at IMAX® and hampers of movie merchandise.
But wait… there’s more! To announce the start of the summer holidays, Ster-Kinekor is giving penguin-lovers across the country the chance to catch the film before its national release date. On Sunday, 30 November, and Wednesday, 03 December, Penguins of Madagascar will have special pre-screenings at all Ster-Kinekor cinemas nationally, at select times.
As South Africans become all a-flutter about the Penguins of Madagascar this  December, the public can also make a positive difference to ensure the continued safety and care of our country’s famous penguin population.
To tie in with the release of Penguins of Madagascar, Ster-Kinekor and 20th Century Fox are adopting four penguins – and are encouraging you to follow suit. The adoption of the birds is through a partnership with SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.
Every year around Christmas time, SANCCOB receives numerous abandoned African Penguin chicks. In order to give these chicks a chance to grow into healthy, adult penguins, SANCCOB is appealing to the public to adopt a Christmas penguin chick. Your adoption entitles you to name the chick, while your donation will pay for its rehabilitation and release back into the wild. For more information on how to adopt a penguin chick this December, visit
If you go down to Ster-Kinekor The Grove Mall in Pretoria East or Bayside Mall in Tableview in Cape Town, on Sunday 30 November, to catch one of the special screenings of Penguins of Madagascar, you’ll be in for an extra surprise! Penguins from Pretoria Zoo will be on display at The Grove, and SANCCOB’s special ambassador African Penguin, Rocky, will make an appearance at Bayside – both these events are taking place from 10:30 to 11:30 on 30 November.
The public will be able to meet these wonderful creatures and learn more about the ongoing conservation programmes to ensure the survival of these iconic South African birds. It will also be the perfect time to adopt a penguin, before enjoying the spy-like antics of Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private on the big screen in Penguins of Madagascar!
So, with National Penguin Day on Friday 28 November, to coincide with the release of Penguins of Madagascar in IMAX® 3D at Gateway and The Grove; pre-screenings of the film on 30 November and 3 December at Ster-Kinekor cinemas countrywide; and the opportunity to get up close with these flippered friends at The Grove Pretoria and Bayside Cape Town on 30 November, there is no escaping the penguins this summer – unless of course, Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private have some other sneaky plan up their flippers... and escape first!
For more information about Penguins of Madagascar at Ster-Kinekor and IMAX®, and to make bookings, download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or BlackBerry smart phone. Visit To find out about other exciting offers and promotions, follow @sterkinekor on Twitter or on Facebook at Ster-Kinekor Theatres. For queries, contact Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).

SYNOPSIS - Penguins of Madagascar
The penguins from the smash-hit Madagascar get their own film as secret agents in this animated adventure comedy. When a villainous octopus named Dave (voice of John Malkovich) hatches a plan to eliminate all penguins from zoos across the world, Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (John DiMaggio) and Private (Christopher Knights) are forced to team up with a clandestine, secret service-type animal organisation known as North Wind, under the leadership of Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), to thwart the diabolical plan.

Issued by Amplified Communication on behalf of Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

Strange behaviour in penguin enclosure…

The curator in charge of the penguins at the Pretoria Zoo, has reported some rather unusual activity in the birds’ enclosure. It appears that some of the penguins are on the move – four small suitcases were spotted near the exit, and some of the black-and-white birds were seen sporting colourful summer hats. This behaviour is most unusual and cannot be explained at this stage. However, a highly-trained team of secret agents has been posted near the enclosure to keep an eye out for any further movement.

Also in penguin news: ‘Elijah, would’ you believe that reports are coming in of penguins literally putting their beaks up at the fish being offered to them for their daily meal – the same fish that they have been enjoying day in and out in the past. Some of the birds were also spotted with strange orange stains around the beak and throat area, and are being monitored closely by their keepers.

We will update you on more news as it becomes available to us…

Breaking news from Ireland/Davenport.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Learning to fly with SA's best-loved teen

Spud 3: Learning to Fly

Spud 3: Learning to Fly

Based on the best-selling novel by Durbanite John van de Ruit, and directed by John Barker, Spud 3: Learning to Fly continues the story of John 'Spud' Milton (Troye Sivan) and the antics of the Crazy 8 in all their glory.

We get a front row seat into the life of a perceptive teenager who, like most his age, struggles to keep his head above water. When he isn't trying to keep his straight A record, he's trying to impress his teachers on stage and on the sports' field to secure his scholarship for his last year at school. His last resort is to 'push for prefect', breaking a pact which tears the (seriously) Crazy 8 apart. All this while trying to find love and keep his parents' marriage from failing.

This third instalment introduces Casper Lee, a world famous South African YouTuber, as the annoying, yet hilarious 'Garlic' from Malawi. This young actor has a promising future in film. We can't imagine anyone else taking on the role of Garlic! John Cleese is back as The Gov, promising more endearing moments, however insane they may seem, from the much-loved English teacher.

Peppered with unique, proudly South African humour, Spud 3: Learning to Fly is a roller-coaster ride of laughs and tears from beginning to end, but mostly good ol' belly chuckles and much insanity. It's a story to which we can all relate, as we try to remain level-headed in a seemingly chaotic world where the pressure to stand out grows to beyond what we think we can handle.

Due to hit SA cinemas on 28 November 2014, Spud 3: Learning to Fly is a definite must-see for all!

Watch the official trailer:

 Review by Andrea Vermaak

Friday, 7 November 2014

What’s your 'soda in a bottle' IQ?

Did you know that just over 6 billion kilograms of garbage is dumped into the ocean every year and that plastic water bottles play a major roll in this staggering statistic, with many of them eventually ending up on the ocean floor?

The major chemicals that go into the making of plastic are highly toxic and similar noxious substances are emitted during the production of plastic – all of which impact negatively on humans, animals and the Earth’s fragile ecosystem. Plastic in the garbage (and not recycled) absorbs organic pollutants that were already in existence, thus increasing the overall pollution which gets into soil and water, and eventually into animals' systems when they ingest the water.

There is no way around the fact that plastic causes serious damage to the environment during its production and disposal process. The only way to reduce the hazards of plastic pollution is to reduce its usage an, thereby, force a reduction in its production.

Enter Sodastream. This 21st century eco-friendly home sodamaker makes going green so much easier, especially for those who want to be green but never have the time to recycle all those plastic bottles. Its BPA-free bottle with a 3-year lifespan guarantees that no unwanted plastic bottles are left cluttering up your bin or decomposing in landfills. In fact, it reduces the use of plastic bottles for the the average family by almost 1700 bottles per year. The added bonus? Sodastream’s regular flavour range contains only a 1/3 of the sugar of store-bought fizzy drinks, ensuring that you can both care for the planet and be good to yourself!

Now, just to make sure you get the message loud and clear, try our 'bottled soda' IQ test.

1. How long does it take for a single-use plastic water bottle to biodegrade?
a) 100 years; b) 450 years; c) 1000 years

2. How many soda and water plastic bottles worldwide land up in landfills every year?
a) 340 billion bottles; b) 340 million bottles; c) 340 000 bottles

3. Which dangerous compound in plastic may cause heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities in adults, as well as brain and hormone development problems in fetuses and young children.
a) Bisphenol-A; b) Polyethylene; c) Oxygen

4. How many litres of water does it take to make 1L of bottled water?
a) 1L; b) 2L; c) 3L

3. B) Source:
4. C) Source:

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Issued by Riana Greenblo Communications on behalf of Sodastream SA.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Original educational songs for children

Buzz drama, dance & singing - now available through iTunes and Amazon

Buzz, the leading edutainment dance, drama and singing group, can now offer their exclusive range of original and educational musical to parents wishing to bring the magic of Buzz home.

The songs, which have always been an integral part of the Buzz experience, are now available though online portals iTunes and Amazon.

Finding original South African age-appropriate music for children is not easy, but now parents can easily entertain kids with this tried-and-tested range of songs.

All songs are created by Buzz founder Hanneke Rauch and Buzz’s incredible music partner, Hlubi Kwebulana. As a composer and vocalist, Hlubi is the creative force behind these exceptional children’s songs. With years of ‘hands on’ experience with kids’ creative song, dance and drama, Hanneke and Hlubi know just what it takes to get kids moving, singing and enthusiastic. 

The latest release entitled ‘Outer Space’ is a firm favourite with Buzz kids around South Africa. Buzz creates programs around specific themes, with the most recent being outer space and the planets, a theme that also enables the Buzz team to share environmental and green messages along the way, as Hanneke explains further:

“The Buzz Outer Space adventure has been the best one yet! Every week, kids have been learning about the solar system and the planets. They are dancing and singing to our fun, fresh original Outer Space tracks. On their mission in the Rock-out Rocket Ship, children have been blasting through space with Sammy the Spaceman to stop the evil Galliumina from overheating Planet Earth with her Gas-O-Thron 3000. They are learning while having fun!”

Buzz fans can also look forward to the album African Safari that will also be available soon.

Hanneke and her Buzz team are already well known as educational leaders through their work that uses the creative arts to educate, build confidence and foster creativity among children ages 5 to 9.  Many children have had their lives drastically changed and their confidence built, while making new friends through the Buzz program. 

These original songs play a vital role in the program and parents are now encouraged to take home the tracks that are so loved by their kids.   

See more about Buzz themes:
 Home page with link to iTunes:

Press release by Red Flag Design & Marketing.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cotton On KIDS launches first room range

In mid-November, Cotton On KIDS will launch one of its most exciting product categories yet - its first children's bed linen and room collection.

The collection, in a burst of print and colour, includes a range of stylish and fun sheet sets, reversible quilt covers, cushions, as well as the brand’s signature Mike Monkey soft toy.

Young girls will be delighted by a dazzling range of styles including pastel hues, polka dot prints and watermelon cushions, while boys can steer the ship of their bedroom design with nautical-themed cushions, bold prints and bright block colours.

All styles are designed to be mixed and matched, inspiring kids and parents to re-create any bedroom and turn it into a sanctuary where they can sleep, dream, play, create and have fun.

The aim of the collection was to steer away from traditional girl and boy bedding option to ensure it was a combination of bright colours, fun patterns and most importantly, a collection that kids and parents will both love,” said Cotton On KIDS general manager Natalie McLean.

The 100 per cent cotton bed linen capsule is available in a range of designs suitable for single, double and queen size beds, ensuring everyone in the house, including toddlers, teens and even the ‘big kids’, can have fun revamping their bedroom.

Prices for the on-trend and super bright collection start at R149 for a pillow case through to R499 for a single quilt cover, making it an affordable option for growing families.

Since its inception in 2005, Cotton On KIDS has experience rapid growth with 224 stores now operating throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and the Unite Arab Emirates. Along with global store footprint growth, the product offering has also expanded, ensuring it is a one stop destination  for all baby, children and tween (9-14 years) fashion and home needs.

The new room collection will be available from mid-November in select Cotton On KIDS stores including Sandton City, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Woodlands Boulevard and Canal Walk. The range will also be available online via the Australian website.

Press release by Butter Knife PR.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Crawford Pretoria’s artistic talents captured in a mural

This week the Crawford College Pretoria Grade 11 students completed their Cool Capital Biennale mural project that was sponsored by the Atterbury High School Art Trust. At Crawford’s annual art exhibition, they revealed this extraordinary self-image mural project to showcase their artistic talents together with the aptitude they developed under the guidance of the professional artist and mentor Karin Miller.

Karin Miller has develop a style of digital collages that is at once recognisable, with a background in information design. Karin’s artworks are an eclectic mix of graphic design elements, historic iconography, pop reference and Eastern-esque patterns. Her work playfully explores a humorous visual language of juxtapose iconography and appropriated images. 

Our students were thrilled to get involved with this self-image project and fuse some of Karin’s essence with their own talents. They had the opportunity to take themselves out of context and place themselves in two places at once. Re-evaluating the ‘self’ image in a beautiful medium by emulating their heritage, but also their future prospects through the use of science and technology, and Photoshop software, searching for a sense of order in the overwhelming chaos of life,” says Suzette da Serra, art and design teacher at Crawford College Pretoria.

The Grade 11 students' artwork came to life in a professional printed large mural mounted on the wall across from the hall. Parents, students, teachers and VIP guests were in awe of the big reveal. “We thank every Grade 11 student who submitted an artwork and worked countless hours to make this event a success,” says da Serra. 

Column 1, 2, 3 (from left to right)

Row 1 (top):
Andoni Michaelides (Gr 11: Design)
Mienkie de Jager (Gr 10: Art & Design)
Tabbiyah Hassan (Gr 11: Design)
Shaneil Gungudoo (Gr11: Design)

Row 2 (middle)
Jenny (Nga) Nguyen (Gr 11: Art & Design)
Megan Mukheibir (Gr11: Art & Design)
Ingrid Swart (Gr 11: Art)
Simone Dos Santos (Gr11: Art)

Row 3 (bottom)
Prisca Musa (Gr11: Design),
Nayyab Burki (Gr11: Design),
Andrea Shrives (Gr11: Design)
Mrs Suzette da Serra (Art & Design teacher at Crawford College Pretoria) 

Press release by AdvTech Group.