Birthday’s On-Demand: Netflix now helps celebrate your kids birthday

Netflix Birthdays On-Demand

Along with interactive choose your own adventure shows, special countdowns for New Year’s Eve and a growing library of original kid-friendly content, Netflix has now launched Birthday’s On-Demand.

RELATED: Netflix will help you trick your kids to go to bed early this New Year’s Eve

With Birthday’s On-Demand parents can cue up characters from 14 different Netflix shows to celebrate with. Characters include LEGO Friends, Dinotrux, Barbie, King Julien, My Little Pony, Beat Bugs, Skylanders and more.

About Birthdays On-Demand

Birthdays On-Demand is a one-click birthday hack for the 44 per cent of parents who feel the social media-fueled anxiety of pulling off the perfect birthday celebration, and the 69 per cent who wish there was an easier way. No glitter, no confetti, just family-friendly entertainment that’ll be the icing on the cake at any birthday bash.

To find the Birthdays On-Demand featurettes on Netflix search for “birthday,” “birthdays,” “Birthdays On-Demand” or “birthday songs” or visit

Will you use the Netflix Birthdays On-Demand feature for your child? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at

7 family-friendly movies to see in 2016

Finding Dory

A scene from Finding Dory. Courtesy Walt Disney Motion Pictures Canada.

With two children controlling my life it’s very rare I get to see anything in the theatre these days that isn’t animated or family-oriented. When I look back on what I saw in 2015, it was movies like Inside Out, Home, Minions, The Peanuts Movie, Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Good Dinosaur (no, I have not seen The Force Awakens yet).

In my former life as a film critic I used to see an average of 200 films a year — across all genres — so this adjustment hasn’t been easy for me. That said, 2016 thankfully looks to be a good year for family movies. I’ve counted a total of 18 films I might be able to see in the theatre, seven of which I’m really excited for (listed below).

Zootopia (March 4)

The story behind Disney’s Zootopia doesn’t appear to be that original (talking animals, one doesn’t fit in, etc.), but the colourful animation and voice cast (including CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge as Peter Moosebridge) have me and my kids really excited for it. Check out the trailer below.

The Angry Birds Movie (May 20)

I love the silliness of the Angry Birds game franchise and can’t wait to see how that translates to the big screen. From the trailer (below) I gather The Angry Birds Movie is going to be a lot of slapstick humour and fart jokes, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m also happy to see the likes of Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride and Jason Sudeikis lending their voices to the film.

Finding Dory (June 17)

Finding Nemo is cherished by many as one of the best films in the Pixar library and I feel it would be nearly impossible for them to mess up a sequel 13 years in the making. With Ellen DeGeneres back voicing the Dory character and Andrew Stanton back in the director’s chair, I’m also betting Finding Dory will be one of the biggest critical and box office hits from Pixar in a long time. Check out the trailer below.

The BFG (July 1)

Steven Spielberg teams up with Disney for this live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic novel about a Big Friendly Giant who refuses to eat children. My 4-year-old says The BFG looks too scary, but my 8-year-old — who is currently reading the book — is pumped for it almost as much as I am. Watch the trailer below.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

From the people who brought you the Despicable Me films, The Secret Life of Pets looks to be filled with silly humour and beautiful animation. My kids can’t enough of the trailer (below) because they find it so funny and cute (this seems to be the consensus with others online as well).

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (December 25)

Tim Burton adapts Ransom Riggs’ novel about a teenager who embarks on an adventure to an abandoned orphanage after a family tragedy. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of the few family-friendly Burton films to not include Johnny Depp (Samuel L. Jackson gets top billing on the IMDb). No trailer or poster has been released yet.

Jumanji (December 25) 

**Sony has moved the release date of Jumanji to July 28, 2017**

As a fan of the 1995 Robin Williams-Kirsten Dunst film, I’m intrigued with what they will do with this “re-imaging” of Jumanji. Not much information is available yet (no cast has even been announced) but it will be out on Christmas Day according to the IMDb. I recently watched the original Jumanji with my boys and it holds up really well.

Other family and kid-friendly movies opening in 2016 include Norm of the North (January 15), Kung Fu Panda 3 (January 29), The Jungle Book (April 15), Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27), Ice Age: Collision Course (July 26), Pete’s Dragon (August 12), Storks (September 23), Trolls (November 4), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18), Sing (December 21) and Moana (December 26)

What are you (or your kids) looking forward to seeing this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Netflix will help you trick your kids to go to bed early this New Year’s Eve

Netflix 2016

Wondering how you can celebrate New Year’s Eve with the whole family without having to keep the kids up to midnight? Thanks to Netflix you no longer need to worry!

To help parents trick their kids into thinking they are celebrating the countdown to 2016 before midnight, the streaming video company has released six on-demand kid-friendly specials.

RELATED: Netflix wants to help you get your kids to bed on time

Covering off preschoolers to tweens, the 10-second countdowns feature popular characters like King Julien, Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Oona and Baba of Puffin Rock. Users can find the titles on Netflix by searching “New Year’s Eve Countdown” (full list of countdowns are listed below).

According to a survey Netflix conducted, 58 per cent of parents worldwide want their kids in bed before midnight on New Year’s Eve. In Canada that number jumps to 65 per cent of parents, with one in five parents (20 per cent) saying 9 p.m. is the ideal time to ring in 2016 with the little ones.

Will you use Netflix to trick your kids into celebrating 2016 early? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Countdowns available to stream include:

  • Puffin Rock residents Oona and Baba re-live their adventures from the past year and celebrate with the Northern Lights, nature’s very own fireworks.
  • Care Bears & Cousins head to Share Bear’s Shake Shack to gear up for a belly badge-tastic countdown in Care-a-Lot.
  • Inspector Gadget saves New Year’s Eve from a mischievous M.A.D. agent just in the nick of time for a dazzling firework display.
  • King Julien lives up to his party animal persona with a countdown to dance your way into the new year.
  • Mr. Peabody and Sherman venture around the world to gather their favorite talk show guests for a star-studded countdown event featuring Hiccup and Toothless, Puss in Boots, the Croods and the entire Dinotrux team.
  • Project Mc2 stars McKeyla, Adrienne, Bryden and Camryn team up for NOV8’s most important mission yet: Party!

Netflix wants to help you get your kids to bed on time

Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites

Like most kids, my two boys always want to stay up “just a little longer” and I usually cave because it’s the easy thing to do (I try to avoid dealing with screaming and crying as much as I can). Netflix realizes this is a problem with parents around the world and recently conducted a survey to find out how bad it really is.

According to the results, 61 per cent of Canadian parents don’t give in to their kids tactics. Sounds great until you find out that the average time it takes Canadian parents to get their kids to bed is 18.1 minutes, versus the global average of 17.5 minutes (not so great). The stall tactics Canadian kids try add an extra 13.2 minutes(!) to their bedtime routine while the global average is 15.7 minutes(!!).

To help with this bedtime battle, Netflix took their findings and, along with DreamWorks Animation, have launched Dinotrux 5 Minute ‘Favorites’. These short 300 second episodes can be used to time those “just 5 more minutes” moments while avoiding a full-on war with your little ones.

Check out the infographic Netflix put together with some of the results they got from the survey below.

Netflix 5 more minutes