Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

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.

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 (www.bestfriends.org), 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 www.watchscoob.com.  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!).  


Disneynature Dolphin Reef Review

Disneynature Dolphin Reef - Photo from Disney+

Disney+ released two new Disneynature films to celebrate Earth Month this April.  I don't know about you, but following these stay-at-home directives has me missing all of my travel so I decided to start with Dolphin Reef as it makes me think of my visits to the islands!


Disneynature’s Elephant & Dolphin Reef | Official Trailer | Disney+ 

Dolphin Reef is narrated by Natalie Portman and follows the life of Echo as he grows and plays near the reef.  But don't be fooled, this film showcases more than just dolphins - you'll be introduced to many different types of sea animals including whales, sharks, fish, etc. Like most of the Disneynature films, the story itself is not overly compelling.  In fact, I kind of forgot that there was an actual storyline going on during the film in various parts.  Then things get perilous for young Echo on his ocean adventure and I find myself on the edge of the seat to see if he'll be OK.  Also true to Disneynature movies, Dolphin Reef is visually stunning.  I mean, really gorgeous.  You'll feel like you've taken a beautiful vacation all while sitting on your couch during quarantine. 

Disneynature's Dolphin Reef is also a great way to squeeze a little education into your kid's day without them even knowing it!  For example, fun fact we learned watching this parrotfish poop sand.  Now where else would you learn that while social distancing??  Looking for more facts and activities to do with your family?  Disneynature has an accompanying educational guide with each of their films.  Dolphin Reef features a 67 page educational guide that you can find HERE

While the Disneynature films are definitely a different family movie night experience than you may experience with other content on Disney+, but I don't think you'd be disappointed in this choice.  Now I need to just start planning a trip to experience the beauty of the ocean again for as soon as we can start traveling again.

Looking for more fun and educational content on Disney+, check this out!


About Disneynature's Dolphin Reef


(From Disneynature) Narrated by Oscar and Golden Globe winning actress Natalie Portman, Disneynature's "Dolphin Reef" tells the spectacular story of Echo, a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin who seems far more interested in exploring the coral reef, and its intriguing inhabitants, than learning to survive in it.

Rating: G
Release Date: April 3, 2020


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:

Disney / Pixar Onward - Movie Review

Chris Pratt and Tom Holland

If you're like me, as soon as you see Pixar's studio attached to an animated film, you know to pack the tissues.  While the stories told in these movies are often heartwarming and filled with laughs, they also pack an emotional punch that leaves softies like me ugly crying in theaters.  Would Onward be any different?  The newest film from Disney and Pixar actually had me questioning it during the trailers, but would Onward defy my initial trailer reactions and live up to the hype?  Let's find out.  Before taking a look at my thoughts on the film, let's take one more look at the trailer and information from the studios.

About Disney / Pixar's Onward


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.

The Call of the Wild - Movie Review


"Well Buck, what an adventure."

Image from Walt Disney Studios
An adventure is just what you'll find when you head to theaters to see The Call of the Wild starring Harrison Ford as John Thornton and his loyal companion, Buck.  We have long heard that a dog is man's best friend and in this movie we see that come to life. I have always been a fan of Harrison Ford and you know my love of family films that appeal to kids and adults alike so I was really hoping to fall in love with this movie.  While I won't say it's a film that everyone will love, I left the theatre with my heart full and warm.  Wondering if it's right for you and your family?  Let's find out.

Review


Overall, I really enjoyed the film with my kids.  Having never read the book, I wasn't sure what exactly to expect.  I feel like the trailer tells the story of Buck and John Thornton on their grand adventure and I didn't realize how much of the move would take place before this adventure even begins.  There is a whole life that Buck has prior to going into the wild with Thornton.  Watching him go from a spoiled house pet, to a scared and captured pup, to a struggling mail dog, and ultimately to a confident leader, Buck embodies a transformation that humans can relate to as we go through the different seasons of our lives.  I felt a connection to Buck in a way I didn't expect to.  And then there's Harrison Ford as John Thornton.  His performance is memorable and just as you experience Buck's emotional journey during the film, you also do with Thorton.  As a man who has lost his family and is really trying to lose himself, he turns his life around and awakens to have the adventure he always dreamed of with the dog he never knew he needed.

Sonic The Hedgehog FREE Family Fun Activities

Are you as excited as we are about Sonic The Hedgehog heading to the big screen?  As someone who grew up playing this game on my SEGA Game Gear (there's a blast from your past!) and now watching my own kids race Sonic across their tablets, I feel like this is the movie I've been waiting to see my entire life!

Can't wait to get in on the Sonic fun?  Well you don't have to wait any longer!  Below are two free printable activities for your family to enjoy.  The first is a set of Sonic Valentine's Day cards to get every kid's heart racing!  My oldest is using these for his Valentine's Day celebration at school and is super excited to share them with his friends.  Then, you can find a fun math activity printable - perfect for educators and parents alike. I know math activities may not sound like they are the most exciting when it comes to little ones, but trust me when I tell you that these provide a fun way to engage in learning - without even realizing it!

Dolittle Trailer Reaction - This Movie is Doing Little for Me. . .

It's a new year and I'm trying to figure out why we sometimes need to mess with a good thing?  Granted, Disney has had success making "live action" remakes of animated classics like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast in recent years, but not every studio needs to be reimagined and Dolittle is one that didn't have to change for me.  I loved the Dr. Dolittle movies starring Eddie Murphy and my kids have grown up enjoying them too.  Now, we are just a few weeks away from Robert Downey Jr. becoming the next Dolittle and I have not been excited about this film. . .like at all.  Let's take a look at the latest trailer and see if it changes my mind.



Nope.  Not at all.  Again, I don't feel at all connected to any part of this story.  I'm worried about this whole dragon thing that's going on in the movies and I don't plan on spending my movie money on this one.  I'm curious to see how the movie going public receives this one and whether or not the masses will agree with me.  What are your thoughts on this trailer?  Planning to head to the movies to see Dolittle or not?

About Dolittle


Robert Downey Jr. electrifies one of literature’s most enduring characters in a vivid reimagining of the classic tale of the man who could talk to animals: Dolittle.
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures. The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar® winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar® winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen (The Queen), Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent and Carmen Laniado (FX’s A Christmas Carol) and features additional voice performances from Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson. Directed by Academy Award® winner Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic), Dolittle is produced by Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum under their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films (Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent) and Susan Downey (Sherlock Holmes franchise, The Judge) for Team Downey. The screen story is by Thomas Shepherd and the screenplay is by Stephen Gaghan and Dan Gregor (CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) & Doug Mand (CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). The film is executive produced by Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Bradshaw (The Mummy, Maleficent) and Zachary Roth (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil).

Dolittle opens January 17, 2020.

Yippee TV - Streaming You Can Trust for Kids

If your kids are anything like mine, they love independence on their tablets - feeling like big kids even though they're several years away from their tween and teen years.  And if you're a parent like me, you feel stressed sometimes finding content you can trust for your kids to enjoy while giving them a taste of that independence.  Yippee may be the answer that everyone in your family has been looking for! As they say in their mission statement, Yippee strives "to build character in kids by transforming them with world class media that is safe, values based, and FUN."

As a partner with Yippee, my family and I received a free trial of this service to share our experiences with you!

We have only been checking out content for a little over a week now and it's been perfect for my 4 and 7 year old boys.  Yippee provides content that is both fun and builds a character foundation for the little ones.  Currently, you'll find familiar favorites like Veggie Tales (45 episodes!) and original content like The Yippee Show where hosts Cameron and Noel compete in challenges - just like what kids love to see on YouTube.  It feels good as a parent to know they are getting quality content that is safe and promotes our values while also seeing them enjoy what they are exploring.

I'm excited to see what lies ahead for this service too as they have plans to unveil even more original content in the near future and will become the only place to find exclusive new Veggie Tales episodes beginning in February 2020.  With so many options out there for families to choose from, it's easy to get overwhelmed.  If you're looking for values-based family-friendly content for the littlest members of your family, look no further than Yippee!

Interested in learning more?  Find Yippee online:

Website - www.yippee.tv
Facebook - www.facebook.com/yippeetv
Instagram - www.instagram.com/yippeetv

Want to Explore Yippee Yourself?


I'm excited to have partnered with Yippee to offer my readers the chance to win a prize pack from Yippee including 3 FREE months of streaming!  So how do you enter?  It's easy and can all be done from the comfort of Facebook!  Head to Running on Pixie Dust on Facebook and do the following:
  • Like this post on Facebook - Get one entry!
  • Comment on the post - Get one entry!
  • Tag your friends - Get one entry PER TAG!
  • Are you following me on Facebook? - That gets you one extra entry!
  • Share this post on Facebook - Get another bonus entry!


Each household is only eligible to win Yippee Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Entry period will open at noon EST on Monday, 12/30 close Friday, 1/3 at noon EST and the winner will be notified by Facebook!

Easy peasy!  I can't wait to share my excitement about this service with the winner and hope all of you - winner or not - give Yippee a try with your kids!  

Best Bets at the Movies This Holiday Break

The holidays are officially here and with many kids home from school and adults taking time or having time off from work, it's a perfect opportunity to head to the movies!  Here's a round-up of movies I've seen that are still out in most (if not all theaters) to help you make your viewing choices.  Click the titles of each for a more detailed look.

Frozen 2


We still can't let this film go!  This movie has been out since before Thanksgiving and has already surpassed $1B globally.  If you are one of probably only a handful of people who haven't seen this film, what are you waiting for?  Grab the kids and head "into the unknown" to uncover the source of Elsa's powers and watch the next chapter of the story unfold for our friends in Arendelle.  I still can't believe I had the chance to see this at the Hollywood World Premiere back in November with The Geekly Retreat - walking the red carpet and taking celebrity selfies!  ALL of my Frozen 2 coverage is linked here including my experience at the premiere, a review, a closer look at Olaf, and my favorite musical moments!

Spies in Disguise


This is another movie that I had the chance to see in it's entirety at The Geekly Retreat out in California, weeks before the fancy world premiere.  We had the chance to watch this with some of the creative minds behind the film and then dish on the secrets of making it.  Your kids will really enjoy this action-packed look at an unlikely friendship and championing the fact that it's good to be weird.  With the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland behind the main characters, you know you're getting quality.  I've again linked all of my coverage to Spies in Disguise here because there is also a mobile game available when the movie releases that I had the chance to preview at The Geekly Retreat and then received a free download of in advance of the release for my kids to enjoy.  Check it out!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


What will most likely be the undisputed winner of every box office stat this Christmas season, Star Wars has raced back into theaters for the final chapter in the Skywalker saga.  If you're a hard core Star Wars fan, you're going to be feeling LOTS of feels with this one.  My review linked here is spoiler-free so you are totally fine to read it ahead of time.  In fact, you may want to if you're debating taking your kids as I have a whole section devoted to whether or not that's a good idea.  May the Force with you!

Richard Jewell


I didn't write an official review for this one, but I did record an initial reaction after I saw the movie for my YouTube channel.  This is definitely one to leave the kids home for as the content and language is not appropriate for them.  I really enjoyed this movie for a few reasons.  I remember the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and the name Richard Jewell, but I didn't really remember the details into what happened.  It's a fascinating look at the concept of "innocent until proven guilty."  Is that really the case anymore with media coverage scrutinizing every detail of an investigation?  And this was 1996 people. . .imagine if this happened in 2019 how this would have played out with not only traditional media, but the advent of social media.  It's a heavier film to watch, but their our some comedic one liners and the actors all do an incredible job.  There has been some criticism of Clint Eastwood with the way he directed this film and portrayed Kathy Scruggs, the Atlanta journalist who broke the story on Richard Jewell.  Scruggs has passed and her family is strongly denouncing the the way that she is portrayed here, and Eastwood even acknowledges that we may never know what REALLY happened.  See it with that in mind.  There may be some liberties that were taken with characterization of the people who were there covering events.

Knives Out


This is another movie that has been around since mid-November, but has picked up speed after opening weekend.  Again, I didn't write a full review on this one, but I LOVED this movie.  It's certainly a grown-up night out - not appropriate at all for your littles.  It's a fun, witty whodunit story with an all-star cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Chris Evans. . .in cable knit sweaters.  I mean, that right there is reason to go see it, right???  It's like a giant game of Clue as the patriarch of the family dies on the night of his 85th birthday party.  The twists and turns will keep you guessing and you may or may not see the ending coming!  This movie may be getting pushed out of your local theater depending on it's size, but it's still at a few local ones for me so I included it here.  See it if you can!

And of course, there are some other big movies that have just recently released for the holiday that I haven't seen yet to comment on including Black Christmas, Bombshell, Jumangi: The Next Level, and CATS (why would you want to see this one though??).  What are you planning to see this holiday season?

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker - Is the Force strong in this final chapter?

It's the finale that was 42 years in the making.  Fans have been waiting to see how the Skywalker arc ends in the Star Wars universe and now they finally have their answers.  Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is quickly taking the world by storm, but should it be?  I waited 24 hours to post my review so I could process what I saw and what I wanted to say.  In an effort to keep this post spoiler-free, I'm going to discuss my thoughts on the film by breaking down some questions you may have before you see it.

Do you have to be a serious Star Wars fan to enjoy this film?


Yes and no.  I'm gauging this answer the same way I look at Avengers: Endgame.  If the only experience you have with Star Wars are more recent films (like my husband - Episodes VII and VIII, Solo, and Rogue One are it for him), you can certainly see the movie and mostly follow along, but you want appreciate the entirety of the story.  I'm not spoiling anything by telling you that Palpatine factors into this film as his presence was felt in the trailers.  My husband, a Star Wars novice at best, would have no idea who he is and his importance in the Skywalker saga.

JJ Abrams definitely made this film for the fans - even including several fabulous cameos and easter eggs.  Knowing your Star Wars history will maximize your enjoyment of the film.  I'm not a diehard fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I've seen the entire Skywalker saga and was armed with all the knowledge I needed to see this movie.  I'll openly admit though that I probably missed some other nods to the Star Wars universe because I have not watched all of the other shows / stories so those of you that have a PhD in a galaxy far, far away will have a field day watching this!

Is this movie appropriate for my kids?


The film carries a PG-13 rating like some other Star Wars films.  Judge my parenting you may, but I have allowed my 7 year old to watch Episodes I - VIII in their entirety and there is nothing in this film that is more or less appropriate than any of the others.  Star Wars films mainly carry that rating due to the violence that is portrayed.  Most of this fighting in this film is again lightsaber battles, air fighting, and large explosions.

But just because I feel like my son COULD see this movie, I don't know that it means he SHOULD be seeing it in theaters.  I'm still torn on whether or not I'll take him to the movies over the winter break from school to see it.  This movie is very dark.  Read that as you will.  Dark scenes both from a lighting standpoint and a "heaviness" to them.  It's an emotional end to a powerful saga - keep that in mind.  Knowing my son too, he'd ask A LOT of questions during the movie because, while he's seen all of the Skywalker movies, he doesn't necessarily have the details memorized.  Seeing this in your home might be a better option for little ones. . .if you can keep them waiting that long!

Was the end everything it should be?


This is going to be a very personal question for Star Wars fans.  It's an end.  You will walk out of the movie feeling like the Skywalker story is complete.  But will it be what you wanted?  That depends on you.  Again, I think Abrams worked hard to create a movie that fans will appreciate.  I did feel like some of the pithy one-lines from characters were a bit forced.  Don't get me wrong, I like Rey, Finn, and Poe as much as the next fan. . .but they don't have the same chemistry that Luke, Leia, and Han had and at times it feels like filmmakers are trying to force that chemistry on screen.

You will walk away with strong feelings about Ren and Rey.  Both of these actors delivered powerful performances and I think this is Adam Driver's best Star Wars performance yet.  CGI Leia was a little weird for me in all honesty - just felt a little weird, but she needed to be there to end her story as well.   Notably absent was Rose who featured so prominently in Episode VIII.  She's there, but simply as a background character.  I really thought we'd see more of her.  And we also meet a few new faces as the final chapter comes to a close.

What happens with the Star Wars universe from here?


While the Skywalker story has come to a definitive end, there were several openings I noted during the movie where I can see more to develop.  I don't want to ruin any of the plot points for you so I'm not going to say much here, but keep an eye on Finn.  I don't think we've seen the last of him!

Overall, I think Episode IX will satisfy fans.  Will it astound you?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  As a fan of Star Wars, I walked away emotionally drained and very content with how the story ends.  I have a lot more I WANT to say about this film, but I'll write a spoiler post in a few days to unpack more of my thoughts after hopefully more of you have had the chance to see it.  Enjoy the final chapter and. . .may the Force be with you!



Onward - New Trailer Released

A new trailer for Disney/Pixar's Onward was released today.  I've seen the previous trailers and I have to say, I honestly haven't been super excited about this film.  I don't know what it is, but the story just hasn't been connecting with me from what I've seen.  Brody on the other hand has been excited each time he sees an advertisement for this one. Let's take a look at this most recent trailer and see if it changes my mind.



So. . .this latest trailer is starting to sway me a bit.  I enjoyed seeing more of their mom in this trailer and her potential involvement in their quest.  I think the idea of a boy going on a quest to meet his dad when he never knew him is truly touching and I'm rooting for them to get all of their dad back in the end. . .not just his pants!  I'm sure we'll go see it when it comes out because I spend too much of my money on Disney as a compulsion I can't seem to control and my boys are excited about this one.  And it will probably play better in theaters than it does on a trailer.  I mean, it's Pixar after all and they don't make bad movies.  What are your thoughts?  Are you looking forward to this latest film from Pixar?

About Onward


Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers (voices of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. A new trailer and poster are now available, and new character posters were recently revealed, introducing cast members Mel Rodriguez, who voices Officer Colt Bronco; Lena Waithe, who lends her voice to Officer Specter; and Ali Wong, the voice of Officer Gore. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. Facebook: http://facebook.com/pixaronward/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixaronward Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixaronward/ Hashtag: #PixarOnward

Top Gun: Maverick - New Trailer and Poster!!


I feel the need. . .the need for speed!  OMG - between Ghostbusters and Top Gun, I'm really living my best 1980s life right now.  When I heard that a new Top Gun movie was heading our way, I was on board from the beginning.  Bringing back Maverick to the big screen is amazing in my eyes.  I can't wait to see what this film brings and we just had another trailer released.  Let's take a look at what Maverick's up to when he hits theaters in 2020!



I don't know about you, but this trailer brings back that loving feeling!  The throwback imagery from the bar scene, the motorcycle ride, the air stunts, and more is everything I hoped it would be.  I mention in my reaction video that I didn't feel like I had a good sense of the plot and then, as I was putting this post together, I saw that a plot summary was released with the trailer as well!  Now more of the pieces are falling into place and it appears Maverick is going to be reunited with Goose's son (remember. . .he played with him in the piano "Great Balls of Fire" scene in the original?) for some intense training!  I'm here for all of this!!!

About Top Gun: Maverick


After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.


Top Gun: Maverick releases June 2020 from Paramount Pictures.