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

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 -
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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: Twitter: Instagram: 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.


It's Good To Be Weird - A Spies in Disguise Review

What do you get when you combine the voice talents of Tom Holland and Will Smith with a great story and a talented animation team? The answer. . .Spies in Disguise, an action packed comedy that will have you championing Team Weird! I had the chance to be among the first in the world to see this movie complete - weeks before the "world premiere" even!  When I was out in California for The Geekly Retreat we had the opportunity to screen this movie with some of creative talent behind it.  I already had a sense this movie was going to be a hit, but I walked out loving every minute of the film and having a really hard time staying silent about it until embargo broke.  So let's dive right in to see what makes this the perfect spy movie for kids.

About Spies in Disguise

Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is … not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo are forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise – transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic… pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril. “Spies in Disguise” flies into theaters this Christmas.

The Perfect Spy Movie for Kids

There are several reasons why I loved this film. First, the characters - particularly Beckett. Beckett and Sterling are the perfect on screen duo with the classic "opposites attract" feel to their relationship. While Sterling may appear to be the obvious hero, Beckett proves to us that heroes can also come from unlikely sources. "Let's get weird" becomes a tagline of the movie and I love the fact that a kid who is fascinated with science and engineering follows his dreams and sees them become a reality. As a mom of a boy who is also a STEM lover and an educator, I think it's awesome to have kids see it's cool to be smart - not just cool to be tough.

When it comes to brains, Beckett doesn't just have smarts in the science world, but also in the political philosophy department. Some of the messaging of this movie is incredible and just what I want to have my boys hear as they are watching an action packed spy movie. Here is just a sampling of lines that Beckett delivers in the movie that teaches kids fighting, violence, and war are not always the best or only option to consider. Without turning this into a political piece, we see a lot of violent messaging in our world - it's popular and it sells. This film shows that while the world may have violence, maybe it doesn't always have to be that way. Here's just a sampling of Beckett's lines throughout the film:

  • "You can do more by bringing people together than by blowing them up."
  • "I believe together we can find a good way to beat the bad."
  • "There's not good guys or bad guys - just people."
The value of teamwork is also central to this story. Sterling was an incredible super-spy, but he needed help from an unlikely source. In fact, early on in the film, Sterling remarks "Team? I fly solo." Little does he know how important the kid from research and development will become in his life. Not only does Beckett become a member of Sterling's team, but he develops his own "flock" of support as the movie progresses. This doesn't mean that everything is smooth sailing though as these team relationships develop. Friendships are tested and feelings are hurt - just like in real life. Characters learn what it means to change and grow, to apologize, and to accept the beauty of each other's differences.

I think this movie truly has it all for families to enjoy - action, humor, and heart. I can't wait for my boys to see it in theaters when it opens this Christmas. Make plans to fly to the movies too and see it with your family this holiday season!


Who You Gonna Call??? GHOSTBUSTERS!

You know you haven't stopped singing that theme song since 1984 and, good news, you can dust it off for 2020.  I'm the same age as the original Ghostbusters movie and grew up pretending that I too was going to do battle against the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  Break out your Proton packs kids, we've got a new Ghostbusters movie coming to theaters in 2020. . .and it even has Paul Rudd!  Check out the trailer with me.

This film looks fantastic if you want my opinion.  It seems to draw on the perfect amount of nostalgia while telling it's own story.  Watching the kids in the trailer start to put together the pieces of the Ghostbusters past reminds me of my own kids starting to watch Ghostbusters now and figuring out what all of the fuss was about.  In this creepy small down, Paul Rudd appears to be the expert in all things ghost.  He's going to help the next generation discover the past that the Ghostbusters have left behind - including the fabulous Ectomobile!  So what do you think? Who is ready to dig out their Ghostbusters gear and take a trip down memory lane and into the next chapter of the story?

About Ghostbusters: Afterlife

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan. 

Releases July 10, 2020


Playmobil: The Movie Review

Over the past several months, I've seen the trailer for Playmobil: The Movie as we've headed to theaters to watch other family friendly films and my boys were excited to see this when it released.  So when opening night found us with nothing to do, we decided to head to the theaters and check this out.  I'll have to admit we were very surprised (and slightly concerned) that our local theater was running a "sale" on tickets for this movie on opening night - just $5 per person.  In fact, when we showed up just 5 minutes before the start of the movie, we were the only ones to have bought tickets and remained the only people in the theater for the whole show.  So why?  Was the movie really going to be that bad??

The answer is a definitive no - the movie is not THAT bad.  Now, compared to more popular competition like Playing with Fire and Frozen 2 still out and going strong in the family film genre, I think there's some tough competition.  Marketing of this film was also sparse in my opinion.  Honestly, outside of the trailers in theaters, I don't know that I really would have known anything about this film so opening weekend was likely not too exciting to draw crowds.  Out of these three films, Playmobil was my least favorite, but the boys enjoyed it which is what matters in the end.  The movie begins with live action characters who get swept into the make-believe world of Playmobil where they have the adventure they always imagined they would and remember the magic of their sibling relationship.  Musical numbers are placed throughout, but I think they seemed forced and even my boys said they didn't like the music.  They did enjoy the super secret agent Rex Dasher voiced by Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) and I enjoyed the character of Del voiced by Jim Gaffigan.  There's nothing GREAT about the film, but little ones will find moments to laugh and will likely enjoy the action.  Sorry grown-ups, you'll probably be bored with this one.

Overall, you can definitely wait until this one hits Netflix - no need to rush to the theaters.  But if you're kids are interested and excited, it's an OK film for the trip to the movies.

About Playmobil: The Movie

In PLAYMOBIL’s® animated action adventure, a top secret organization has caused citizens from different lands to vanish from thin air. The dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe) must partner with smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan) and Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) a smart, savvy civilian with her own secret agenda, to rescue them.  Against unthinkable odds, the trio go on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds as they gather clues for their rescue mission.



Mulan - New Trailer Released!

Continuing the streak of Walt Disney Studios releasing live action reimaginations of some of their animated classics, Mulan is set to release in March 2020 and we have a new trailer!  I'm a bit under the weather today so I'm not able to do a trailer reaction, but I hope to keep this trailer a secret from my son for a day or two and when I'm feeling better we can record his reaction and update it here.  For now, here's a look at the newest trailer released from Walt Disney Studios!

In all honesty, Mulan was never one of my favorite Disney animated films, but I have to say I'm pretty excited about the live action version.  I think the visual beauty of this film is stunning and the story seems even more powerful.  This film opens March 27th - just in time for my birthday!

About Mulan

When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”

Mulan opens March 27, 2020. For more information on “Mulan,” follow: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: YouTube: Hashtag: #Mulan

Black Widow Trailer Reaction

Oh Natasha.  The original female Avenger is finally getting her own movie!  Black Widow is set to be released by Marvel Studios in May 2020 and the trailer is nothing short of action packed - with a dose of wit and humor we expect from the MCU.  Let's watch it together.

So what do you think? I can't wait to find out more about Black Widow before she was Black Widow.  Scarlett Johansson is back in the role we all know and love.  In the trailer, we also meet David Harbour's character, Red Guardian.  Who is he to Natasha?  I don't know about you, but I think his costume resembles Captain America a bit.  Her "family" seems, well. . .interesting.  I know we'll be heading to theaters with some of our Avengers loving friends when this hits theaters.  Until then, check out my reviews of previous Marvel movies here and follow along with Black Widow on social media below.


Will There Be a Frozen 3?

The release of Frozen 2 has answered many questions for fans of the first film and has taken the box office by storm.  One of the lingering questions though that Frozen fans continue to ask is - will there be a Frozen 3???  Well, I don't know about that, but I do know that there are still more questions I have and more stories I want to see told from the Kingdom of Arendelle.  I'm going to keep this post as spoiler free as I can, but I do caution that there are some mild spoilers ahead so if you haven't seen Frozen 2 yet, you may want to hang on and read this after your visit to the movies.

Love Story of Anna & Elsa's Parents - In Frozen 2 we learn a lot more about Anna and Elsa's parents.  We find out how they first met and then what happened on that voyage that ultimately cost them their lives.  But I feel like there is still more I want to know about these two.   What was their love story like?  How did they go from little kids to adults who fell in love with one another?  We see their mother rescue their father and then they land in a wagon together, but we don't know how her sudden appearance in Arendelle is explained and how she grows up as an orphan in a strange land.  And after they fall in love and give birth to their first child, life only gets more complicated.  When did they first realize Elsa had powers and what did they make of this discovery?  It seems that magic and adventure is a part of this love story from the beginning and I think it would be a great tale to explore.

Kristoff's Backstory - Can we all just agree right now that Kristoff is simply amazing?  He is everything a woman would want - rugged mountain man with a heart of gold that wears his emotions on his sleeves.  I mean, that power ballad, says it all.  So where did he come from?  When we meet young Kristoff in Frozen, he is in the woods with his favorite reindeer friend, Sven.  They follow the King and Queen into the woods to seek the wisdom of the trolls and obviously end up becoming "family" with them.  Where are Kristoff's parents?  What was it like to be raised by the trolls?  I don't think I'm alone in wanting more Kristoff - especially if it involves more 80s musical numbers, right??

Anna and Kristoff's Wedding - Forget the royal weddings of Charles and Diana or Will and Kate, THIS would be the royal wedding event of all time.  Anna and Kristoff have a love that is pure and sweet.  They are both a bit clumsy from time to time (Kristoff's attempts to propose in Frozen 2 had me cracking up!) and have a way of bringing humor to every situation they touch.  This special event would be the perfect show!  What would the bride wear?  How about Sven and Olaf?  They would obviously be involved in the wedding party - maybe loosing the rings sometime before the ceremony??  I could write this script in about an hour if you're out there listening Disney - it practically writes itself!


So whether Frozen 3 is in the works as a major movie event remains to be seen, but with the new streaming service of Disney+ already a resounding success, Disney has yet another platform to tell more Frozen stories.  I'm hoping there is more in the works and I bet I'm not along in that desire.  So Disney, if you're out there listening, please give us more Frozen in the years to come!  Love, the loyal citizens and fans of Arendelle!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Clip Reaction

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit theaters on December 20, 2019 and excited fans are counting down the days until we once again can travel into galaxy far, far away.  I've been enjoying rewatching the whole saga on Disney+ these past few weeks with my oldest son as we count down the days until the final chapter in the Skywalker saga is revealed.  I was so excited to hear a new movie clip was released and couldn't wait to get home from work and watch it with Brody.  Check out our reaction!

When we combine this with the trailers we have already seen and the special look from D23 Expo this summer, it's easy to see that we are in for an epic finale.  In this latest clip I'm less confused then in the footage from D23 where Dark Rey threw all of us for a loop.  So what do you think?  Who else is excited by this clip?

In the meantime, make sure you are following all things Star Wars on social media for the latest news and updates!

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The Call of the Wild Trailer Reaction

The first trailer for The Call of the Wild dropped and it offers us a glimpse into this latest interpretation of Jack London's classic story.  Honestly, this movie wasn't even on my radar screen, so I didn't know what to expect when I viewed the trailer today.  As soon as I saw the poster and the trailer began, I knew that having Harrison Ford involved in this project meant that it was going to be something that would pique my interest.  But will kids be interested?  Let's watch it together.

I'm excited to hear more about this film in the weeks and months ahead.  This first look at the trailer gives me a lot of hope for this film.  Harrison Ford seems poised to deliver a strong performance as always and the scenery has me wanting to plan my own trek into the Yukon.  My husband will enjoy the fact that it's set during the Gold Rush and my kids will fall instantly in love with Buck.  I hope that it delivers as a family friendly movie that elementary and up will enjoy when it releases in February 2020.

About The Call of the Wild

Adapted from the beloved literary classic, 20th Century Fox’s THE CALL OF THE WILD 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 Alaskan 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 employs cutting edge visual effects and animation technology in order to render the animals in the film as fully photorealistic--and emotionally authentic--characters. Directed by Chris Sanders from a screenplay by Michael Green, based on the novel by Jack London, the film was produced by Erwin Stoff, with Diana Pokorny serving as executive producer and Ryan Stafford as co-producer and visual effects producer. THE CALL OF THE WILD stars Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford and Colin Woodell.

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Growing Up: A Look at Olaf in Frozen 2

As Olaf told us all in Frozen, "some people are worth melting for" and it's certainly true that one little snowman melted hearts all over the world in the original Frozen.  From his delightful song to his charming sense of humor to his deep love and loyalty to Anna and Elsa, Olaf captivated audiences and became a star.  Olaf fans have nothing to worry about in Frozen 2 as he is once again back and, in some ways, steals the show.  But, like some of the other characters, our favorite snowman has done some growing up since we last left him in Arendelle.

In Frozen, we meet Olaf - the snowman lovingly created by Anna and Elsa as children when they played in the castle.  When Elsa's powers are unleashed, Olaf becomes real and befriends Anna and Elsa in adulthood.  However, we meet a very naive Olaf in the original film.  His song, "In Summer," tells of a snowman longing to spend days relaxing in the summer sun, oblivious to the danger that would pose to him.  Throughout the film he is equal parts lovable and goofy.  While his character is certainly dedicated to his friends and can clearly articulate love, he seems blind to what's going on in the world around him.

Josh Gad (Olaf) discusses his character's
growth at the Frozen 2 press junket.
Then we meet Olaf in Frozen 2.  Olaf has become older and wiser and is now questioning the world around him.  I attended  the Frozen 2 press junket with The Geekly Retreat where Josh Gad jokingly talked about Olaf getting "a license" and taking out "an insurance policy" as the moderator mentioned his permafrost and new found ability to read.  But Gad turned serious when he shared Olaf's fears about change and growing up.  He shared a story of his own daughter at about 5 years old suddenly crying and asking "what if I don't want to grow up?"  Olaf is going through that same journey in the film.  He questions why things have to change and even his song, "When I Am Older" hints at the fact that kids question the world around them and recognize that they don't have all of the answers.  Gad described it as that moment you "realize that maybe the world isn't just raindrops and lollipops and roses."

Olaf will definitely be a relatable character for kids trying to figure out the world around them.  He reminds me of my own son who at 7 notices everything and questions "why" when he sees things that are difficult for him to understand.  Gad again delivers a memorable performance that will leave an impression on your heart even after the movie ends.  Olaf will once again we worth melting for when your family sees Frozen 2!

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, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.

Looking for more Frozen 2 fun?  Check out my experience on the red carpet, download FREE activities for the family to enjoy, learn about the music of Frozen 2, and read a full review of the film

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Meet the Villains of Lady and The Tramp

Following our screening of Disney's new live action remake of Lady and The Tramp, I had the opportunity with my fellow attendees of The Geekly Retreat to sit down with Yvette Nicole Brown (Aunt Sarah) and Adrian Martinez (Elliott) to talk about working with the furry stars of the film, their characters, and diversity in the film. These two were delightful and full of enthusiasm to share their perspective on a reimagining of this classic Disney film.

About Working with the Dogs

Both Brown and Martinez had nothing but wonderful things to say about working with their four-legged co-stars.  They each talked about the difficulty of being the "villain" to these sweet dogs.  Because their characters had to be so mean to the animals during filming, they spent some extra quality time playing with the dogs when the cameras weren't rolling so they knew not to really be fearful of Brown and Martinez.  Brown in fact was so moved during the film, that she adopted a dog herself to bring some of that puppy love home!

Their Characters

It may seem that a villain is a one-dimensional "bad guy" character that is just out to ruin lives.  However, the conversation we had with Brown and Martinez shed a different light on the villains from Lady and The Tramp.  Martinez talked about his character being "misunderstood."  He was a dutiful civil servant who truly felt like he was doing what needed to be done to keep the citizens of the city safe from wild and dangerous animals.  Brown also talked about the complexity of Aunt Sarah.  On the outside, it's easy to write her off as a cruel, cold woman, but when you look closer you see her doting on her niece and genuinely enthusiastic about the new arrival.  One of the lines that humanizes Aunt Sarah most was actually an ad lib by Brown.  In this version of the film, Jim Dear and Darling actually take Lulu with them when Aunt Sarah comes to housesit.  You can clearly see the hurt and disappointment in Aunt Sarah's eyes as the young couple races out of the door with their baby as soon as she arrives when Brown says "I didn't even get to hold her."  Looking at her through the lens of someone who is lonely and hurting, it becomes easier to relate to her character.  Those cats in the film though. . .they're just mean and manipulative if you want my opinion!
Photo From Walt Disney Studios

Diversity in the Film

One of the things that stands out about this film is the diverse casting.  As Disney has been re-imagining films for a live action reboot, this seems to be a trend. . .and it is very welcome and refreshing to see.  Both Martinez and Brown talked about the film's obligation to represent the world we live in and hopefully seeing this as a step towards the new normal.  Brown shares that "I think every child, no matter their race, or their sexual orientation. . .deserves to see someone that looks like them."  When asked how critics may respond to re-imagining some favorite Disney films, Brown points out that "there's enough love in our hearts to enjoy the 1955 classic and the 2019 classic" and notes that they don't need to cancel each other out.

Want to know more about Disney's Lady and The Tramp which is streaming on Disney+?  Check out my review and then tune in for yourself to see Yvette Nicole Brown, Adrian Martinez, and other terrific actors - both on two legs and four! - light up the screen in this remake of a film that has been delighting viewers for over 60 years.

About The Film

In Disney+'s "Lady and the Tramp," a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.  Life is good for Lady, an overachieving American Cocker Spaniel who resides in an upscale suburban neighborhood.  Her owners, Jim Dear and Darling, spoil her daily and her neighbors, Jock, an outspoken Scottish Terrier and Trusty, a world-weary Bloodhound, are always within barking distance.  But when a baby enters the picture, Lady is no longer the center of attention, and the arrival of cat-loving Aunt Sarah only complicates matters.  Lady soon finds herself alone on the streets in an unwelcoming part of town.  Fortunately, Tramp steps in, and the streetwise mongrel is quick to teach her the ways of the world.  Before long, the prim and proper pure bred and the fast-talking mutt are partaking in moonlit strolls in the park and romantic spaghetti dinners by candlelight.  Tramp savors the independence of a world without leashes or fences alongside his roguish friends Peg and Bull, but Lady misses the comfort and safety of a family, and soon both must decide where - and with whom - they belong.  A heartwarming romantic adventure that seamlessly combines live action and photorealism animation, "Lady and the Tramp" stars: Tessa Thompson as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of Tramp; Kiersey Clemons as Darling; Thomas Mann as Jim Dear; Janelle Monae as the voice of Peg; Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah; and Sam Elliott as the voice of Trusty.  The film is directed by Charlie Bean from a screenplay by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and is produced by Brigham Taylor with Diane L. Sabatini serving as executive producer.

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Spies in Disguise: Agents on the Run Game Sneak Peek

While I was in California attending The Geekly Retreat, we were among the first to see the new movie Spies in Disguise which will be heading the theaters on Christmas Day (Check out my review here!).  Following our screening, we had the chance to play the all-new Spies in Disguise: Agents on the Run game which will also be available Christmas Day for mobile devices via the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store.  Before we talk about the game, here's what the studio has released about the upcoming movie:

Blue Sky Studios presents “Spies in Disguise,” an animated spy comedy adventure set in the slick, high-octane, globe-trotting world of international espionage. Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is...not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo is forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise –transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic...pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril. “Spies in Disguise” is directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno from a screenplay by Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor and a screen story by Cindy Davis inspired by the animated short film “Pigeon Impossible” by Lucas Martell. The film stars Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled and Masi Oka. The film is produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Michael J. Travers with Chris Wedge and Kori Adelson serving as executive producers.

So What About the Game?

From Denali Publishing, the mobile game allows you to play as one of the lead characters from the film. Once you assume your identity, you begin running through the city - jumping and sliding along the way to collect points. There's an awesome car mode too where you get to show your skills navigating traffic instead of always being on the run by foot. Each spy also has unique gadgets that you can use to help you on your mission.

Confession - I was terrible at playing this game. But, I'm terrible at playing most mobile games! My oldest though as loved playing during our special preview and is already having much more success than me. The design of the game is easy to use and visually appealing with the characters and design blending perfectly with the movie itself. Both my 7 year old and 4 year old will be able to easily navigate the features of this game. In fact, the general premise is similar to some other games they have played before where they have characters race to the finish and try to collect coins and prizes along the way. This is the perfect way to bring the action of Spies in Disguise home with you from the movies!

Can't wait to check out this game with your family? You can pre-register at The game will release alongside the movie on December 25th!

The Music of Frozen 2 - My Favorite Songs from the Film

Reviews are pouring in for Frozen 2 as it gets ready to open everywhere on November 22.  But you don't have to wait until then to start enjoying this magical journey in your own home!  The soundtrack just released and it is a force to be reckoned with. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who were also the songwriters for Frozen and Coco, really come through on this film with a soundtrack that is as memorable as the first.  I had some favorite musical moments that stood out from the film, but listening to the soundtrack (over and over again!), brings that whole flood of emotions back and I once again find myself in the woods with our favorite Frozen friends.  As an animated movie musical, the songs enhance the story so listening to the soundtrack may give you a few details about the plot itself, but no major spoilers to be found in the music or in this post!  Take a look at my top 3 songs from the film.

#3 - Some Things Never Change

This song comes early in the movie as we are catching up with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf.  I think part of what I like about this song is it features all of our lead characters singing to and about each other.  It's a cute song to watch as you see those close relationships the between each of the characters and the perfect way to bring them all back to us on the big screen.  Listening to the song again after seeing the movie, I enjoy the message of the song even more.  The world is constantly changing around us and sometimes it feels like things are spiraling beyond our control.  It's in these times that we look for the constants in our lives.  Who are the people that are always there for us no matter what?  When life gets scary, lean on those around you and take comfort knowing that "some things never change."

#2 - Into the Unknown

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez,
songwriters for Frozen 2.
Much like it's predecessor, Frozen 2 turns to Idina Menzel to deliver a powerful and memorable musical performance as the rising action in the story climbs and our characters embark on their daring journey.  I mean, as if there were any doubt, this song is a technical masterpiece.  Menzel is spectacular.  It's mystical, beautiful, and powerful - all at the same time.  But don't overlook the alternative version of the song performed by Panic at the Disco during the closing credits and also available on the soundtrack.  It takes a totally different spin on the song which is equally delightful for listeners.  Whether your journey into the unknown is a new job, a new beginning, or venturing into the North Woods, you'll find all the courage you need to face the unknown with confidence in this song.

#1 - Lost in the Woods

Ok, ok. . .hear me out on this one.  If you are just listening to the soundtrack, I hope that you're enjoying this song like I do, but this is also one that you have to "see it to believe it" when I tell you this is simply the best musical moment of the film.  As you can tell from the lyrics, we find Kristoff at a bit of a crossroads emotionally and in a true 1980s power ballad way, he delivers a heartfelt song where he puts all of his feelings on the table.  He is in love and not afraid to say it.  The way he loves Anna during this film will leave people talking about how every man should treat his Disney princess.  I really fell in love with Kristoff during this movie and this number is a big reason why.  I have listened to it on repeat and each time can't help but feel my heart smile.  The delivery of this song in the movie is a highlight which will leave you feeling all the feels with Kristoff and also laughing out loud at the creative minds of the animators.  Hands down #1, I don't care what anyone else says!

If you haven't downloaded the music yet, what are you waiting for??  This is the perfect way to pass the time until the film opens and to relive all of your favorite parts once you've seen it.  Looking for more Frozen posts?  Check out what it was like to walk the red carpet and attend the Frozen 2 after party, read my review, and download FREE printable activities for the family to enjoy all here at Running on Pixie Dust!

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, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Trailer Reaction

Confession time.  My family and I have never been big SpongeBob Squarepants fans, but have caught the show occasionally on Nickelodeon.  As part of The Geekly Retreat, I had the chance to view this trailer almost a week ahead of it's debut to the public and I have to admit, that this movie may turn me into a SpongeBob fan if it's as good as the trailer promises!  But will my kids be excited for it, never having really seen the show.  Let's find out!

Ok, ok - my son had his turn, now mommy has hers.  Can we first talk about my favorite part of the trailer?  Yeah, it's Keanu Reeves.  What a cool cameo, right??  I really have no idea how he or that
scene fit into the movie, but I don't care - I'm already a fan.  I think families will really enjoy this movie with all of the laughs and fun along the way.  Who doesn't love good laugh out loud moments like this trailer delivered and I bet the movie will have more along the way! While it's hard to piece together too much of the plot from this trailer, I do enjoy the overarching theme of friendship that is clearly evident as friends work together to reduce Gary.

About The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

This Memorial Day weekend, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event. After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.

**Update - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run has had it's release delayed until August 7, 2020.

We still have a while until The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run opens, but I can't wait to learn more about the film along the way!

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Frozen 2 Takes Us Into the Unknown

Are you ready to go "into the unknown" and "let it go" when Frozen 2 hits the big screen on November 22?  I had the chance to walk the red carpet and attend the Hollywood world premiere as part of The Geekly Retreat and it was an amazing way to experience this film! Get ready to fall in love all over again with your favorite characters and meet incredible new faces along the way.

Review of Frozen 2

We find Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff living their best lives in Arendelle as the movie opens.  However, Elsa quickly begins to question what is happening as she hears a strange voice calling to her.  She tries to shake it off, but the sound keeps coming back.  When the full force of nature seems to unleash on Arendelle, the queen and princess lead their subjects into the mountains surrounding the city to seek safety.  Grand Pabbie appears and fills Anna and Elsa into the mystical happenings taking place around them.  It becomes clear that to get the answers she seeks and to save her kingdom, Elsa must leave Arendelle.  Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff begin their journey northward to find out what is happening.

My thoughts on the film?  The story is as good as the first - if not a bit better.  All of the characters have more depth this time around - even little Olaf!  The trailers show a "darker" and "scarier" story than we saw in the original film, but I don't think this should deter young families from seeing the movie.  It's a more serious story at times, but also has many moments of heart, humor, and song that all everyone with find a connection with as they watch.  I will say that I thought the story is a bit more complex than the original and I feel like the first 20-30 minutes are a bit slow, but stick with it and pay attention because the information they go over at the start of the movie is crucial and the action picks up quickly once they arrive in the woods.  And then there is the music!  The songs from this film are their own version of iconic.  While I *think* I enjoyed the original soundtrack more on a standalone basis, I'm excited to listen to the music again when the soundtrack releases and when I see it with my kids to see if that changes.  Regardless, the songs are PERFECT for the film.  The powerhouse team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez certainly deliver again.  There is one song that may go down as my favorite Disney "music video" of all time. . .but I'll let you discover that one one your own!

After all of the years watching and re-watching Frozen, I was left with a number of plot questions.  And when I heard a Frozen 2 was in the works, I found myself hoping that these questions would get answers.  This is a spoiler-free zone, so while we're talking about what questions that will be answered - no answers will be actually be given!

What happened to Anna and Elsa's parents?

In Frozen, we get a brief few scenes with Anna and Elsa's parents before they embark on a journey by boat.  We see the boat thrown around the ocean and then Arendelle receives news that the King and Queen have died.  While it appears clear that they perished at sea, I always wanted to know where they were going and more about what happened on that fateful day that changed the lives of both Anna and Elsa forever.  You WILL find out more about the death of their parents in this film.  Apparently Anna and Elsa, like me, have been asking this same question.

Where do Elsa's powers come from?

Anyone else find it strange that Elsa is the only one in her family that turns the world to ice when she touches things?  Grand Pabbie asks Elsa's parents early on in Frozen if she was born with the powers or cursed and her dad reveals that she was born with the powers.  How does that happen?  My academic brain thinks back to Punnett Squares and I'm fascinated that she has these icy powers while mom, dad, and Anna don't.  Well, rest assured that you WILL find out why Elsa has these magical powers as the story unwinds.

What's Kristoff's backstory?

Can we talk about Kristoff for a moment?  Here is this rugged mountain man who lives with his reindeer best friend and falls in love with a princess.  What happened to his parents?  Why does he live with a bunch of trolls?  I love me some Kristoff and want to know more!! So in this movie, Kristoff plays a more prominent role and we learn more about him for sure (in fact, some of my favorite moments from this film involve Kristoff) - but I did not get ALL of my questions answered.  Maybe this is Frozen 3 territory?  Or a Disney+ series?  One can hope!

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, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.

Looking for more Frozen 2 fun?  Check out this trailer preview post including FREE downloads of activities for the whole family to enjoy!  Follow the Frozen fun on their social media channels!

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