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Learning on Children's Day

CHILDREN'S Day offers kids in Shanghai plenty to do and see, including feature films, acrobatics, a fashion show, a shark exhibition and a chance to pose with wax museum statues of their heroes.

In theaters, two kiddie films not only entertain but also help children learn the importance of courage, friendship, teamwork and perseverance.

"How To Train Your Dragon" is a 3D computer-animated fantasy film by DreamWorks. It centers on a hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons and finally becomes friends with a young beast. Sensational scenes help inspire young viewers to find their own path of growth.

Although there is also a regular version of the film, the 3D picture is far more exciting as viewers can share the hero's exhilarating feeling of flying with the dragon.

A 3D Chinese answer to the Hollywood blockbuster "Transformers," "Animan" will open on Children's Day. The domestic animated feature has been highly anticipated.

Its producer, Shanghai SJS Animation Co Ltd, spent five years creating and producing the science fiction film about a race of humanoid frogs from outer space. They are gifted with superpowers and fight for justice and peace.

Advanced motion-capture technology is used to present dramatic robot fight scenes and detailed facial movements, like eye blinks.

Local theaters, such as Stellar Cinema City and Yonghua Cinema, will offer all-day half-price tickets and gifts on Children's Day.

In addition to movies, acrobats will entertain children and adults.

Through tomorrow, "Kwan-yin Sisters," a singing and dancing acrobatics show, will be staged at Shanghai City Theater. It's based on the legend of the Goddess of Mercy and conveys messages of love and virtue.

The show also features folk dance. Some of the young performers are from Sichuan Province and want the show to pay tribute to Shanghai residents' help for survivors of the Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008.

At Ciro's Plaza, the Shanghai Puppet Theater will stage highlights of famous children's dramas, including "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Monkey King."

Each show features storytelling, puppets, singing and dancing to create a fantasy atmosphere for children.

One highlight is an acrobatic puppet Lion Dance, a Mandarin-costumed dancer, and the traditional dance "The Butterfly Lovers" presented by a puppeteer and solo red puppet.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is another fun place where children can also learn about the marine world. It has nine exhibition zones featuring more than 450 species of marine creatures from penguins to sea horses and clown fish.

There are three special exhibitions: sharks, valuable creatures of the Yangtze River and dangerous ocean inhabitants.

Children will learn about the brutality of killing sharks for their fins and how the slaughter of sharks damages marine life cycles and the ocean itself.

For outdoor fun and fresh air, families can visit the Shanghai Sculpture Park near Sheshan Hill. The park is one of the very few that allows dogs. Kids can play on an artificial beach, jump on trampolines and explore mysterious banyan tree hollows.

Kids can also be models for a day in the park during a children's fashion show.

With the recent launch of action star Donnie Yen's wax image, Madame Tussauds in Shanghai now displays nearly 90 wax statues. On Children's Day, kids can dress in sparkling costumes and also be photographed with the wax figures of their heroes.

At the Super Brand Mall, kids will be offered a day of pure fun. Famous kids' toy store Toys "R" Us will present light-hearted kids' games. Children will be invited to do the Barbie dance, make Chinese snacks and see Japanese cartoon films. Also, popular cartoon characters from "Transformers" as well as the toy models of Expo pavilions are on exhibit.

Acrobatic show

Date: Today and tomorrow, 7:30pmVenue: Shanghai City Theater, 4889 Dushi RdTickets: 100-200 yuanTel: 5415-9123

Puppet ShowDate: Tomorrow, 3pmVenue: 5/F, Ciro's Plaza, 388 Nanjing Rd W.Tickets: 90-150 yuanTel: 6334-5200

Fish ExhibitionDate: Daily, 9am-6pmVenue: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, 1388 Lujiazuihuan RdTickets: 135 yuan for adults, 90 for childrenTel: 5877-9988

Children's fashion showDate: Tomorrow, 9am-4:30pmVenue: Shanghai Sculpture Park, 1158 Linyinxin RdTickets: 120 yuan for adults; 50 yuan for childrenTel: 5779-8090

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Date: Daily, 10am-10pm

Address: 10/F, 2-68 Nanjing Rd W.

Admission: 135 yuan for adults, 100 yuan for students

Tel: 6358-7878

Kids' game

Date: Tomorrow, 10am-10pm

Venue: 3/F, Super Brand Mall, 168 Lujiazui Rd W., Pudong

Tel: 6887-7888


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