Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts

Harlem Globetrotters 2022 Spread Game World Tour

Image from The Harlem Globetrotters

Thank you to US Family Guide and the Harlem Globetrotters for hosting us so we can share this experience with you!

For generations, the Harlem Globetrotters have been delighting fans.  Having never been myself, I was excited to experience these talented basketball stars with my family when they recently visited Baltimore.  A Harlem Globetrotters show is so much more than a basketball game!  Part sporting event and part comedy show - the Harlem Globetrotters bring something the whole family can enjoy.

The Harlem Globetrotters 2022 Tour is in full swing!  Visit their website for all of the dates and use code USFAM to save 20% on tickets.

So what can you expect at a Globetrotters game?  After arriving at the arena, we first visited the official Harlem Globetrotters merchandise and my son picked out a basketball as a souvenir.  We grabbed some snacks and headed to our seats as the teams finished warm-ups.  At our Baltimore event, the Harlem Globetrotters were playing the Washington Generals.  The introduction of the teams was much more of a comedy show than a sporting event with a "grandma" Globetrotter fan taking center stage.  During warm-ups, the team delighted with some classic Harlem Globetrotters tricks - fancy dribbling, dunking, passing, and more!

Throughout the "game," there are frequent comedic game breaks with the ref and players interacting with each other.  It's all good, clean, family fun and left my little one buying his own Globetrotters ball and practicing in the concessions area during halftime for his chance to make it on the team one day!

The Harlem Globetrotters really cater to the family experience and the afternoon was topped off with a free autograph session after the game.  While it was a little disorganized, as fans just went down to the court and stood behind ropes clamoring towards their favorite players - the lines did move and we were able to grab three autographs in about 30 minutes.  The best Globetrotter in my son's opinion - X-Over!

Don't miss the chance to see the Harlem Globetrotters with your family when they come to town.  The show is as entertaining as ever and a great choice for a fun evening!


Hamilton Coming to Disney+: See the New Trailer!

Hamilton - Image from Disney+

Hamilton fans can rejoice as one of the most popular shows to ever hit Broadway is heading straight to your living room this summer!  I never made it to a theater to see Hamilton so I can't wait to tune in on July 3rd and check out this theatrical masterpiece as song and story come together in the most magical of ways.  Even better, subscribers of Disney+ can ditch the lofty ticket prices for this show and enjoy it streaming on this service as part of your subscription. . .yay!!

Find more to enjoy on Disney+ here!

The "movie" is actually a 2016 filmed version of the original Broadway production starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom, Jr as Aaron Burr.  Another familiar face you'll see is Jonathan Groff. . .although his voice may even be more famous as that of Kristoff in Frozen 2. As fans of the show have attested, the original cast that is featured in this filming are phenomenal and present a memorable performance.  Of course, one of the most popular things about Hamilton is the music - a unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway.  

Love Lin-Manuel Miranda?  Did you know he is the mind behind the memorable music of Moana?

I can't wait to FINALLY get to see Hamilton on July 3rd and bring a full review here.  The history teacher in me has always loved learning about Alexander Hamilton as his role in founding our country was immense and I've been curious to see how his story is portrayed on stage.  Who else is with me in celebrating Independence Day this year as Hamilton comes to life for us to enjoy?

"Hamilton" - Image from Disney+

About Hamilton (From Disney+)

An unforgettable cinematic stage performance, the filmed version of the original Broadway production of “Hamilton” combines the best elements of live theater, film and streaming to bring the cultural phenomenon to homes around the world for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and direction by Thomas Kail, “Hamilton” is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow and produced by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller, with Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman serving as executive producers. The 11-time-Tony Award®-, GRAMMY Award®-, Olivier Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical stars: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Jonathan Groff as King George; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton; and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton.

“Hamilton” premieres on July 3, 2020 around the world, streaming only on Disney+.


IMAX Films Coming to Hulu This Summer!

Image from IMAX

If you're anything like us right now, somedays we feel like we're beginning to reach the end of the television after so much time at home.  That means our household gets even more excited about new titles hit our streaming services.  And both the mom and educator in me gets super excited when those titles are educational as well as entertaining!  Luckily, Hulu is coming to the rescue with a significant number of IMAX titles heading to households over the next few weeks.  

What can you expect from an IMAX movie?

Typically, we see IMAX movies in grand theaters at science centers, museums, etc., but viewers can still expect greatness on the small screen.  IMAX movies debuted in 1970 and since then has brought transported humans to some pretty amazing places - from outer space to the depths of the ocean and everything in between!  Along the way, IMAX movies have been recognized for their excellence with Academy Award nominations and have been home to many celebrity voices including Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Bell, and more.  So long story short, if you're a Hulu subscriber - you're in for a real treat!

What IMAX movies are heading to Hulu?

Several titles are already available and more are coming in July.  Check out the complete list below (descriptions courtesy of IMAX):
  • A Beautiful Planet (Available Now) - A breathtaking portrait of Earth from space.  Made in cooperation with NASA, the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet - and the effects humanity has had on it over time - captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

  • Pandas: An IMAX Original Film (Available Now) - A heartwarming story about the adventures of Qian Qian, a captive-born giant panda cub who's destined for life in the wild.

  • Superpower Dogs (Coming July 2020) - Join an immersive adventure to experience the life-saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world's most remarkable dogs.
Image from IMAX

  • Destiny in Space (Available Now) - Featuring images of the space shuttle in orbit around the Earth and thrilling flyovers of Mars and Venus, the film focuses on the dramatic partnership of humans and robots working in space.

  • Fires of Kuwait (Available Now) - An eloquent visual testimony to the remarkable resourcefulness and heroism of the men and women who extinguished and controlled over 600 burning and gushing oil wells sabotaged by retreating Iraqi troops in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

  • Galapagos (Available Now) - Delves deep into the largely unknown waters surrounding the volcanic archipelago to explore the natural wonders of a realm that is truly a living natural science laboratory.

  • Hail Columbia! (Coming June 2020) - Experience on of humankind's crowning achievements - the inaugural voyage of the world's first space shuttle.

  • Into the Deep ( Available Now) - The film captures unique marine life and magnificent underwater vistas.  Dive under the sea to the kelp forests of the southern coast of California and discover a living, breathing kaleidoscope.

  • Journey to the South Pacific (Available Now) - Takes audiences on a breathtaking adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua.

  • Space Station (Available Now) - Travel 220 miles above Earth at 17,500 mph to experience the greatest engineering feat since landing a man on the Moon.  

  • Survival Island (Available Now) - The story of vast animal cities of penguins, albatrosses, fur seals and elephant seals and the order that lies beneath their seeming chaos.

  • The Dream is Alive (Available Now) - You're invited to a window seat on board the space shuttle and an inside look at the astronauts living in space.  Experience the sensation of weightlessness and the splendor of Earth from 250 miles up.
Image from IMAX

  • T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (Available Now) - Follow a paleontologist's daughter on a wondrous pre-historic adventure as she is magically transported back through 65 million years to the Cretaceous Period.  As she encounters the 20-foot tall, 15-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex, discover how these incredibly majestic and fierce animals lived during a time that is almost impossible for us to imagine.

  • China: The Panda Adventure  (Coming July 2020) - The true story of Ruth Harkness, a fiercely independent woman who travels to the mysterious forests of China to follow in her late husband's footsteps and achieve his dream of bringing the first live giant panda to America.

  • Horses: The Story of Equus (Coming July 2020) - The story of three horses born on the same day whose lives take very different paths.  One becomes a racehorse where his overwhelming instinct to run is highly valued.  The second is trained as a stunt horse where his capacity for learning and individual nature triumph.  The third horse joins the herds in the wild.

  • The Secret Life of Earth (Coming July 2020) - Discover the interdependence between plants and animals and the key developments that made possible the web of life - since evolved and now endangered. 

Artemis Fowl Movie Review

Artemis Fowl - Image from Disney+

New movie releases continue to drop despite the closure of movie theaters an the latest one for family movie fans to enjoy is Disney's Artemis Fowl.  Artemis Fowl was scheduled for a theatrical release, had it's date pushed, and then moved to a Disney+ release when COVID-19 sent us into lockdown mode.  This movie has some serious star power for a straight to Disney+ streaming release including Colin Ferrell and Josh Gad in leading roles.  Artemis Fowl also has a built in fan base from the popular children's books.  But would it live up to it's promise?  

Artemis Fowl Movie Review

So, now it's time for my confession.  I didn't finish the book before seeing the movie.  And according to some of my friends like Patty and Tessa, maybe that's a good thing.  In the movie, we meet young Artemis Fowl - his mother has passed and his father travels away from Fowl Manor frequently on mysterious trips.  Young Artemis is a very intelligent and curious boy.  When his father disappears off of his super yacht in the South China Sea, Artemis receives a cryptic phone call demanding a mystical object - the Aculos - as ransom.  Artemis begins formulating a plan to save his father from his captors while also clearing his name a a criminal.  

What follows is a story of trolls, fairies, dwarves, and human lives intersecting into one big adventure.  I'll be honest. . .there were parts of the movie that I was confused about what was happening.  Books and movies with a lot of "fantasy" elements generally aren't among my favorites (I've never been a Harry Potter fan - shocking, right??) and the hodgepodge of characters was difficult for me to follow.  I felt like there were some serious plot holes that movie just glazes over.  For example, when Artemis' dad goes missing and Butler introduces him to the work his dad had been doing with fairies and this whole underground world, it all just clicks for Artemis.  No struggle, no questioning - just straight to work.  It wasn't for me and didn't hold the attention of my kids either who I think couldn't figure out what was going on.

The movie isn't BAD though. . .it's just not something I know I'd rush to watch again.  The bond between Artemis and Holly Short is endearing as is the way that Artemis cares for Butler.  He acts as someone with the soul of someone much older.  Despite the separation between the fairy world and the human world, there is a strong connection between the two and the fairies demonstrate more times than one their care for humanity. Josh Gad is also a highlight in this film. . .I mean, isn't he always?  His character, Mulch Diggums is funny and kept me hanging in when I wasn't sure about where the movie was heading.  Director Kenneth Branagh did a beautiful job visually creating the worlds of both Artemis and the fairies as the colors, scenery, and camera work is very well done.

Overall, I think this was a good call by Disney to release this movie straight to Disney+ instead of pushing the release date again in hopes of a big theatrical release post COVID-19.  The ending of the film certainly leaves it open for more adventures from Artemis to come.  After all, "I'm Artemis Fowl and I'm a criminal mastermind."

Looking for more straight to Disney+ movie releases? Check out Disneynature's Dolphin Reef!

About Artemis Fowl (From Disney+ and Walt Disney Studios)

Disney's "Artemis Fowl," based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he desperately tries to save his father who has been kidnapped.  In order to pay his ransom, Artemis must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization - the amazingly advanced world of fairies - and bring the kidnapper the Aculos, the fairies' most powerful and coveted magical device.  To locate the elusive object, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan - so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.

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Think Like a Dog Movie Code Giveaway!

If you haven't seen Think Like a Dog yet, you are missing out on a heartwarming family story that will leave you with a smile on your face.  I really enjoyed this film and am super excited to share with my readers that I have not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE (yes FIVE!) digital download codes to give out to some lucky winners!  

Did you miss my review of Think Like a Dog?  Find it here!

Think Like a Dog Giveaway Details

***This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated!***

I'm excited to be able to host this giveaway for five winners to receive digital codes and bring the "pawsome" fun of this movie home!  Entering is simple.  This giveaway is can be found over on my Instagram page and the details are below:
  • Be sure you're following me on Instagram @dsnyrunrgrl!
  • Readers will receive one entry for liking the giveaway post.
  • Readers will receive one entry for commenting on the giveaway post - "I want to Think Like a Dog!"
  • Additional entries can be earned by tagging friends (one extra entry per tag - please make each tag a new comment!)
  • Did I mention, all entrants must be followers of @dsnyrunrgrl on Instagram in order to be eligible to win???
  • Entries period is Friday, 6/12 at 8AM through Monday, 6/15 at 5PM and winners will be announced on Instagram that night!

Click the picture below to enter!!!

Good luck everyone!  

About Think Like a Dog (From Lionsgate Movies)

Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox star in this whimsical family comedy about a boy and his dog, and a science project that will change all of their lives forever.  Think Like a Dog follows 12-year-old Oliver (Gabriel Bateman), a tech prodigy whose middle-school science fair experiment goes awry, creating a telepathic connection between him and his furry friend, Henry.  The bond brings Oliver and Henry even closer as they join forces to comically overcome complications at school, and help Oliver's parents rekindle their marriage along the way. 

Think Like a Dog is now available to buy on your favorite digital platform!

Think Like a Dog Movie Review

Think Like A Dog - Image from Lionsgate Movies

I don't know about you, but I feel like some of the entertainment side of my site has really gone to the dogs lately!  Over the past few weeks, we had the at home movie premiere of SCOOB and the new series It's A Dog's Life with Bill Farmer on Disney+, dogs are certainly a hot trend in entertainment.  The newest release for at home viewing from Lionsgate Movies is no exception.  In the new film, Think Like a Dog, families will get to do something they only dream of. . .get inside a dog's head.  

Think Like a Dog Movie Review 

Think Like a Dog was exactly what I wanted to see with my family right now.  It was cute, funny, and also relatable.  It's not only a movie about a middle school student who creates a way to talk with his dog, but also a movie about the life of a pre-teen in general.

At 12 years old, Oliver is dealing with some similar pressures and realities that other kids in elementary and middle school can relate with in their own experiences.  Oliver deals with a classmate picking on him, which has a pretty significant impact on his presentation of his science fair project in front of the famous inventor he is trying to impress.  He's also a pre-teenager who has a crush on a girl in his class and is going through all of those awkward puberty phases of figuring out how to talk to her.  In addition, Oliver's parents are struggling in their marriage.  While they try to cover a lot to protect him, he can tell something is off and that stress weighs on him.  Just when you think Oliver has too much on his young plate to handle, he discovers that his technology has been found out and that means people are after him. . .and Henry too!

Image from Lionsgate Movies

But through all of the uncertainty and adventure that unravels, Henry the dog is there for his best friend Oliver.   Even though Henry may be going through life on four paws instead of two legs, he shares his own insecurities and complex feelings with Oliver.  I think it makes Oliver feel better to know he's not alone in struggling with things and his dog becomes and even strong friend than before.  Henry shows the whole family how to live the simple life - it turns out that's why dogs are so happy all the time.

"When humans grow up they start to focus on the wrong things and forget about what matters." ~ Henry

Want more doggone fun?  Download a Think Like a Dog word game here!

About Think Like a Dog (From Lionsgate Movies)

Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox star in this whimsical family comedy about a boy and his dog, and a science project that will change all of their lives forever.  Think Like a Dog follows 12-year-old Oliver (Gabriel Bateman), a tech prodigy whose middle-school science fair experiment goes awry, creating a telepathic connection between him and his furry friend, Henry.  The bond brings Oliver and Henry even closer as they join forces to comically overcome complications at school, and help Oliver's parents rekindle their marriage along the way. 

Think Like a Dog is now available to buy on your favorite digital platform!

I received a digital copy of this film to provide this review.


Artemis Fowl Trailer Reaction and Movie Preview!

Artemis Fowl (Image from Disney+)

I've been reading Artemis Fowl in preparation for the movie and was excited to see that fans wouldn't have to wait for movie theaters to re-open before getting their fairy fix.  Disney+ will be releasing Artemis Fowl straight to streaming beginning June 12th, following in the footsteps of other family films Trolls World Tour and SCOOB which also decided to go the digital route rather than pushing opening dates.  Let's take a look at Artemis Fowl and see what we can expect.

Looking for my Artemis Fowl movie review?  Find it here!

Artemis Fowl Trailer Reaction

I don't know about anyone else, but my 8 year old is going to flip when Artemis Fowl lands on Disney+!  He is a big fan of spy movies and shows - particularly where kids are the stars.  The amount of technology and fantasy in here will certainly delight young fans.  And, for me?  Well, I'm a fan of anything with Josh Gad in it.  From what I've gathered too, the book series has some devoted fans which I'm sure are excited to tune into the screen adaptation of this popular book series.  I'm reading the book now so I can see how to the two compare once this is released.  Here's hoping this movie delivers on the promise of being an action-packed, yet family-friendly adventure!

Want more? Check out this trailer reaction for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run!

See my review of another Disney+ movie, Lady and The Tramp, here!

About Artemis Fowl (From Disney+ and Walt Disney Studios)

Disney's "Artemis Fowl," based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he desperately tries to save his father who has been kidnapped.  In order to pay his ransom, Artemis must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization - the amazingly advanced world of fairies - and bring the kidnapper the Aculos, the fairies' most powerful and coveted magical device.  To locate the elusive object, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan - so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.


SCOOB! Movie Review

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

As parts of the country still are under stay-at-home orders and others are slowly opening up, Warner Bros. Pictures came to the home entertainment rescue with the at home digital release of SCOOB!, the latest Scooby Doo movie in this longstanding franchise.  With a talented cast and a fancy at home premiere night, hopes were high for this film. . .but does it live up to the expectations?  Let's take a look.

SCOOB! Movie Review

I have to admit, all of this time at home has me really excited when something new hits the digital entertainment world and I was probably more excited about the "newness" of SCOOB! then I was for the actual movie.  I've never been much of a Scooby Doo fan and I actually don't think my kids have really seen much of anything Scooby Doo previously.  Regardless, we all excitedly tuned in and weren't disappointed.

Scooby fans will be excited to get a little backstory at the beginning of the film as to how Scoob and Shaggy become friends then their first interaction with Velma, Fred, and Daphne - the rest of what will become Mystery, Inc.  As the group of friends grow up from kids to young adults, they are taking on more and more cases.  Like many small businesses, they are looking for investors - enter Simon Cowell.  Yes, you read that right, a cameo by Simon Cowell!  In true Simon fashion he critiques the work of Mystery, Inc. - particularly where Scooby and Shaggy are concerned.  Hurt by the meeting, Scooby and Shaggy go bowling and that's where this newest adventure really begins.  The two friends come under attack and then are mysteriously rescued by one of their favorite superhero duos - Blue Falcon and Dynomutt.  While on board, they begin putting pieces together about an evil plot by the villain, Dick Dastardly, who is after Scooby himself!  Meanwhile, Fred, Velma, and Daphne learn of the attack on the bowling alley and the mysterious disappearance of their friends.  They jump into action themselves to try and rescue Scooby and Shaggy.  

The overarching theme of this movie is all about friendship.  Simon Cowell makes a comment when he is meeting with Mystery, Inc. that friendship won't save the day and throughout the movie, that theory is put to the test.  Viewers see Fred, Velma, and Daphne wrestling with the advice of Simon Cowell to distance themselves from Scooby and Shaggy while also wanting to remain loyal to their longtime friends.  But more poignantly is the changing dymanic of Scooby Doo and Shaggy on their adventure with Blue Falcon.  They challenge their beliefs about themselves and each other.  Can people (and dogs!) grow and change while still having their friendship survive?  Without spoiling the details of their adventure, there are many valuable lessons about friendship that you'll find in the film.

Overall, my kids really enjoyed the movie.  We watched it twice in a 24 hour period and they probably would have watched it more if we would have let them!  There are life lessons sprinkled among the laughs and it's a solid choice for family movie night.

Learn more about the SCOOB! premiere and get your FREE activity pack for the movie here!

About SCOOB! (From Warner Bros. Pictures)

"SCOOB!" reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma, and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures hared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world.  As they race to stop this global "dogpocalypse," the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

SCOOB! At Home Movie Premiere!!!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Ruh-roh!  Time to grab some Scooby snacks and get ready to see the newest Scooby Doo movie, SCOOB!  Similar to Trolls World Tour, SCOOB! is being released straight to digital streaming so families can again make it a movie night from the comfort of your own home while large parts of the country are still under stay at home orders.  Just because we're stuck at home, doesn't mean we can't have a fabulous movie premiere night.  Check out more details about the film, how to join celebrities during the premiere, and download your own FREE activity pack.

About SCOOB! (From Warner Brothers Studios)

"SCOOB!" reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma, and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures hared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world.  As they race to stop this global "dogpocalypse," the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

Host Your Own SCOOB! Premiere Night

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

A global pandemic can't bring down this pawtastic premiere!  Starting at 7PM, you can catch up with some of your favorite stars of the film like Will Forte, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, and more over on Twitter.  But they won't be the only ones enjoying the party as there will be plenty of four-legged friends to join the fun and support Best Friends Animal Society (, helping homeless dogs and cats find their own best friends.  In addition to this star power, there will be trivia, music, and dancing to get everyone in the spirit!

Following the pre-show, you can join in by grabbing a copy of the film - either a 48-hour rental for $19.99 or premium digital ownership for $24.99.  You are also able to preorder the film by visiting  Don't forget to tweet along as you enjoy the film using #SCOOBMovieNight.  And there is also plenty for the littles to enjoy as well with this FREE download of a SCOOB! Movie Night Activity Pack.  

So what are you waiting for?  Grab your Scooby snacks and make it a family fun home premiere of SCOOB! from Warner Brothers Studios - available on digital beginning May 15, 2020.  Scooby-Dooby-Doo!!!

Prop Culture - A Look at the New Disney+ Series

Prop Culture Mary Poppins
Image from Disney+

The original content on Disney+ has been phenomenal and I always look forward to the next show being released.  May 2020 is bringing several new shows to Disney+ (at least something positive about 2020, right?!?) and Prop Culture was the first to hit the line up.  Before we get to my thoughts, let's take a look at what Disney+ has shared about this series.

About Prop Culture (From Disney+)

Film historian and prop collector Dan Lanigan reunites iconic Disney movie props with the filmmakers, actors, and crew who created and used them in some of Disney’s most beloved films. Throughout this journey, Dan will recover lost artifacts, visit private collections, and help restore pieces from the Walt Disney Archives to their original glory. Among the films featured this season are Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Movie, Tron and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Prop Culture is produced by ABC Studios, a label of Disney Television Studios. The series is executive produced by Jason Henry and Dan Lanigan.

Review of Prop Culture

Richard Sherman Mary Poppins
Richard Sherman at Walt's Piano - Image from Disney+

After watching the first episode of Prop Culture, I have to say the Disney nerd in my sufficiently hooked.  If you are the slightest fan of Disney movies, you will cherish this inside look at rare items and behind-the-scenes stories from those connected with the film.  The first episode takes a look at Mary Poppins - a household favorite for my family!  Our storyteller, Dan Lanigan, takes us on a journey to track down some iconic props from the movie and tell some amazing stories at the same time.  A highlight, watching Richard Sherman play the piano in Walt's office (did you know he's the only person allowed to play it?) and talk about the music behind the film.  Along the way we also meet a choreographer, costume designer, and uncover many props.  Listening to those connected with the movie, makes this piece of Disney history come to life in a totally new way.  
I can't wait to explore more Prop Culture episodes to learn more about some of my favorite films.  This is sure to be a big hit on Disney+ as it follows other popular shows like The Imagineering Story in giving us a behind-the-scenes of some Disney classics.  

Looking For More?

Check out my brush with Mary Poppins Broadway props during the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

See how Mary Poppins Returns stacks up to the classic original

Find more great Disney+ content


Trolls World Tour Review - Is The Sequel Worth It?

Dreamworks and Universal Pictures
Image from Dreamworks - Trolls World Tour

Trolls World Tour, the sequel to fan-favorite Trolls released in 2016, hit the small screen on April 10, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.  While viewers were confined to their homes, Dreamworks / Universal decided to release this new film direct to consumers for digital download rental.  At the price of $19.99 for a 48 hour rental period, it certainly was a cost saver for families compared to traditional movie prices.  Even with what feels like bargain pricing, is Trolls World Tour a worthy sequel to the original or is this one that you should wait to catch on streaming in a few months?

About the Film (from Universal Pictures)

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return in an all-star sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s 2016 musical hit: Trolls World Tour. In an adventure that will take them well beyond what they’ve known before, Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. Their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder.

A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom), aided by her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne), wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch, along with their friends — Biggie (James Corden), Chenille (Caroline Hjelt), Satin (Aino Jawo), Cooper (Ron Funches) and Guy Diamond (Kunal Nayyar) — set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Barb, who’s looking to upstage them all.

Trolls World Tour Review

I'll be honest, I went into this film with high expectations.  I adored the original Trolls - from the music to the storyline, it was a fun, upbeat film filled with memorable characters.  Maybe my own expectations got in the way, but Trolls World Tour fell short for me.  Don't get me wrong, there are parts of this movie that I enjoyed and the overall messaging was incredibly meaningful, but it felt disconnected and choppy for me.  

As the summary above states, we learn that Queen Poppy (formerly known as Princess Poppy) discovers that her Pop Trolls are not alone in the world.  In fact, there are several other Troll Kingdoms - each captivated by a different type of music.  When an invitation from Queen Barb, the Queen of Rock, lands on Poppy's doorstep, her sunshine and rainbow outlook leads her to think that Queen Barb wants to bring all of the Trolls together.  But as she hears stories from her father and embarks on her own journey to find Queen Barb, she soon learns the Trolls have a darker past. . .and it's not entirely the past her father shared.  As Poppy travels from the Classical Trolls, to the Country Trolls, and beyond we are introduced to a host characters.  This is where the movie began to feel more like a hodge-podge mashup than a clearly connected story to me.  It was too many characters to keep track of and they came and went so quickly, they didn't really develop.  

I mentioned the messaging earlier and I do think this is important to highlight here.  The overall message of Trolls World Tour centers on the value of diversity in our society.  What makes us great is that we are all different - like different things, dress different, etc.  In a simple way that's easy for kids to see this message is portrayed in the movie.  Because each of the Troll groups are so distinct from one another it's very easy to spot their differences and throughout the movie are examples of how those differences have both driven them apart and brought them together.  

The music - as you would expect - is catchy in this movie, but I still prefer the soundtrack of the original.  Nothing compares to "Can't Stop the Feeling" and there are times that songs sound forced - like they're trying to figure out ways to squeeze as much music into the movie as possible. 

Final Thoughts on Trolls World Tour

Image from Dreamworks
Overall, I would say this is one you could wait on.  However, if you're looking for something new and different to watch with the family while we are all inside, this is an OK film and the rental price is cheaper than your original night at the movies.  While I was admittedly just "eh" on the film, my kids enjoyed it. . .although neither one is asking to watch it again right now which normally happens in our house (I swear we've seen Onward about a thousand times during this quarantine!).  


Free Activity Sheets - Frozen 2 Coloring Pages

Frozen 2 Family Activities
Frozen 2 - Photo from Walt Disney Studios

The queen of social distancing, Elsa, and the entire Arendelle crew is now available in Frozen 2 on Disney digital and on Disney+.  Today, I'm excited to share with you FREE coloring pages and activities to share with the whole family!

Frozen 2 became the number one animated movie of all time with it's blockbuster success and appeal to Frozen fans, both young and old.  I also think it's the perfect film for families to watch during tough times.  All of the characters are grappling with big emotions - fear, frustration, anger, questioning what they've been taught - and it provides a great back drop to have a conversation with your own kids about things going on in the world that they may not understand.  Even if kids don't fully understand WHAT is happening in the world, they certainly have feelings about it.  A family movie night is a great way to blend conversation with fun in your household.  Before we look at how to have a Frozen family fun night at home, check out my complete coverage of Frozen 2:

Walking the Red Carpet at the Frozen 2 World Premiere

Review of Frozen 2

The Music of Frozen 2

Growing Up: A Look at Olaf in Frozen 2

Will there be a Frozen 3??

Now that you're up to speed on everything you need to know about Frozen 2, let's talk about ways to have a Frozen family fun night.

  • Play Charades - Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff enjoy a fun evening in the castle at the beginning of the film playing charades.  This is something easy for the whole family to enjoy on a relaxing night in.  You can create your own charade cards or search Pinterest for some ideas that you can print out.
  • Go on a Scavenger Hunt - Frozen 2 takes us Into the Unknown, but you can search the familiar with a new perspective by having a family scavenger hunt while walking in your neighborhood.  Depending on the ages of your children, you can make the items easy or hard.  For real young kids, you can have them look for things of various colors, while older kids may be able to find more specific items like types of birds or flowers.  Spring is a great time to get outside!
  • FREE Frozen 2 Coloring Sheets and Activities - Download this FREE activity packet from Walt Disney Studios here.  Your family can enjoy these before, during, or after your movie night!
With all of this time at home, we've been enjoying movie nights revisiting our favorites AND trying new movies.  Make family movie night a tradition in your house!

About Frozen 2

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

Frozen 2 is now available for digital purchase and is currently streaming on Disney+!


Free Activity Sheets - The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild Activity Sheets
The Call of the Wild - Photo from Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is once again bringing the magic to families to make some Disney magic inside their homes.  The Call of the Wild was a hit in our household with a beloved furry lead character who you couldn't help but fall in love with and a rugged mountain man looking for one more adventure in his life with a new friend.

For my full review of The Call of the Wild, check out my post here.

As a bonus with the release of The Call of the Wild to digital, Walt Disney Studios has shared these FREE downloads that you can print and enjoy with your family.  Whether you're up for a maze, matching game, playing a board game, or printing bookmarks - there is something everyone will enjoy!

Download the FREE The Call of the Wild Activity Packet here!

What a great way to enjoy some family time.  And don't forget, The Call of the Wild is now available from Walt Disney Studios and can be purchased at home for quick, easy digital enjoyment!!

About The Call of the Wild

THE CALL OF THE WILD delighted audiences upon opening February 21, earning an 89% Verified Audience Score on RottenTomatoes®. Adapted from the novel by Jack London, it vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Canadian Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team--and later its leader--Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master. As a live-action/animation hybrid, THE CALL OF THE WILD visual effects and animation technology in order to bring the animals in the film to life. THE CALL OF THE WILD is directed by Chris Sanders and stars Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, Cara Gee, Michael Horse, Jean Louisa Kelly, Colin Woodell, Adam Fergus and Abraham Benrubi. Erwin Stoff, p.g.a. and James Mangold, p.g.a. are producing with Diana Pokorny, Ryan Stafford and screenwriter Michael Green serving as executive producers.

Free Onward Activity Sheets

Onward Family Activities
Pixar Onward - Image from Walt Disney Studios

The great team at Walt Disney Studios keeps bringing us good news in these challenging times with early releases of some great movies.  Pixar's Onward, which opened in theaters everywhere on March 6, only had about a week before school closures and social distancing became the norm around our country, meaning many families didn't have the chance to see the movie in theaters.  Coming to the rescue, Walt Disney Studios has made the movie available starting on Friday, March 20th as a digital purchase and will begin streaming it on Disney+ as of April 3rd!

Check out my review of the movie here!

See my top quotes from the film - so many emotional moments!!

Plan an Onward Family Movie Night!

If you're looking to have family fun while staying inside, look no further than an Onward movie night!  My friends over at Walt Disney Studios have put together these FREE downloadable activity sheets - including a memory game, maze, and coloring pages.  Besides those activities - here are a few other ideas to add a bit of magic to your movie night.


Disney / Pixar Onward - Top Quotes

From Disney / Pixar's Onward

Disney / Pixar's Onward tells the emotional story of two brothers on a quest to meet their father who died 16 years earlier.  Through a magical gift from their deceased father, given to younger brother Ian on his 16th birthday, the two boys unlock a spell that brings their dad back. . .or at least part of him.  In their quest for the Phoenix Gem to complete the spell, the boys learn a lot about themselves and their commitment to each other.  For a full movie review, check out my thoughts here.

Memorable Quotes

It's no surprise that Disney / Pixar's Onward would be filled with heartwarming quotes that both inspire and resonate with the viewer.  When I listen for quotes that stand out for me in a movie, they tend to be ones that motivate me to want to be a better version of myself or bring a tear to my eye as I empathize with the characters in the movie.  Below are a few of my favorites:


Sonic The Hedgehog - Movie Review

Sonic the Hedgehog raced into theaters and back into our hearts.  He's been delighting fans for decades in the world of video games so it's no wonder this movie met with big success opening weekend.  If you think this movie is one that just the kids will enjoy though, you're mistaken.  Fans young and old of the little "blue devil" will find comedy and life lessons to enjoy.

Ben Schwartz is the voice of Sonic
Image from Paramount Pictures

So why Sonic now?  I spent some time thinking about this as I watched the movie and came to the conclusion it was the perfect time for a Sonic the Hedgehog movies.  Those of us that grew up playing Sonic on our SEGA Game Gear's and SEGA Genesis systems now have kids playing Sonic on their devices.  As soon as the movie began, I felt a twinge of nostalgia at the excitement of seeing one of my favorite childhood games come to life on the big screen.