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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN

Come fly with Andy in a Disney journey that crosses America

July 25, 1993|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Andy Rooney, the resident cantankerous complainer of "60 Minutes," takes on a more appreciative tone in Disney Channel's Andy Rooney's Bird's-Eye View of America, as Rooney travels across America in a helicopter, providing an unusual perspective of the nation from the air.

Bird's-eye views include looks at homes of unusual shapes and styles, old forts, state capitals and churches.

There's also a glimpse of the nation's garbage--from auto-wrecking yards to acres and acres of junked Navy ships.

Different lifestyles are examined airborne with looks at bodies of water and how people live by them and play in them.

Other glimpses in the hourlong show include roads and freeways, bridges, farms, city skylines, suburbs, distinctive landmarks from Cape Cod to Mount Rushmore, farmland, factories and mountains as well as people who almost always wave and animals that almost always run.

"Andy Rooney's Bird's-Eye View of America" airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 a.m. For ages 7 and up.

MORE FAMILY SHOWS

Recalling memories of Sunday afternoon television with Shirley Temple, the Family Channel finishes its month of Shirley Sundays with Wee Willie Winkie (noon-2 p.m.), in which Shirley and her widowed mother come to a British outpost in India, where the youngster must win over her crusty grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith). Guess what?: She does. Inspired by the Rudyard Kipling story, the movie was directed by John Ford. For ages 4 and up.

With interest in the dinosaur era at its peak, Beakman takes a look at fossils and their importance to learning what the world was like thousands of years ago on Beakman's World (Sunday 8:30-9 p.m. Learning Channel). Guest Dr. Louis Leakey explains how fossils are formed. Also on tap: a guess at what the first musical instrument was. For ages 8 and up.

There's no doubt that kids are fascinated by oddities. For that matter, so are most adults. Beyond Bizarre (Sunday 9-10 p.m. Discovery) takes a glimpse at churchgoers who handle deadly snakes and drink poison; self-propelling rocks in Death Valley; the wolf boys of Mexico, and modern mummification of people and their pets. For ages 10 and up.

What looks like a shooting star falling to Earth is actually a child discovered by two woodcutters in Star Child (Tuesday 7:30-8 a.m. Showtime). When one of the woodcutters decides to raise the youngster, both his family and the star child are affected in wonderful ways in this touching fantasy. For ages 4 and up.

Quietly affecting, Wizard of Loneliness (Tuesday 10 a.m.-noon Lifetime) is the tale of a bitter, emotionally cold little boy (Lukas Haas of "Witness," "Alan and Naomi") who is forced to leave his home to live with his grandparents in Vermont after his father joins the Army. Lea Thompson plays the boy's aunt, whose secret life adds some drama. Based on John Nichols' novel. With Lance Guest. For ages 12 and up.

Kids often hear "Monkey see, monkey do," as well as see the popular tripartite image of three monkeys with their paws over their eyes, mouth and ears. So a fascination with the furry creature isn't surprising. From Monkeys to Apes' "The Lilliputian Monkeys" goes deep into the forests of South America to take a peek at some of the world's rarest monkeys, which weigh less than a pound. Among them: the golden lion tamarin, which is on the verge of extinction. For ages 10 and up.

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