Showing posts with label television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television. Show all posts

Morning Bird Home: Jurassic World Bedding - A Walk on the Wild Side!

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My kiddos are big fans of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous on Netflix so when the opportunity came to try a set of Jurassic World bedding from Morning Bird Home, we jumped at the chance.  I surprised Caleb with a bedroom makeover while he was out of the house at his grandparents one day and he was so excited when he came home.  Check out his reaction below:




Thanks to Morning Bird Home and Collaboration Nation for gifting us a Jurassic World Bedding set to share with our readers!

Caleb's reaction was just the beginning!  After using the bedding for a few weeks now, we're happy to share a full review on the product and why this may be my favorite room makeover I've done yet!


Morning Bird Home: Jurassic World Bedding Set Review


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There are several things that jump right out as big wins for me from the get go with this set.  First, is the coloring.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to theme a room.  From Star Wars, to Mickey Mouse, to the Lion King, to Jake and the Neverland Pirates - we've had a lot of themes over the years.  One thing kids character themed bedding always seems to have in common though is bold colors and a "loudness" to it.  That has never bothered me, but I have to say that I was instantly in love with the fact that his bedding set is Jurassic World themed, but uses all muted colors - blues and off white to bring the dinosaurs to life - not what you would expect.  It makes the room looks more "grown up" which is exactly the look I was hoping for as he wraps up kindergarten and moves into first grade.


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Beyond the look, let's talk quality.  The bedding set included a full/queen duvet cover, knit throw, 2 shams, and a full sheet set including fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases.  All of the Morning Bird Home products are made with 100% organic cotton.  When I first unboxed, I was worried that the duvet cover and sheets may feel a little stiff, but after a quick wash they became so super soft, I wished I was crawling into that bed!  I'm so used to buying character bedding sets that quite frankly look nice, but feel cheap that having a quality made kids bedding set was a really nice change of pace.


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I have to say, this new room is simply amazing.  If Jurassic World isn't a popular choice for your kids, check out the full selection of character bedding over on Morning Bird Home's website for great options from PAW Patrol, Frozen, DC Comics, and more!  These bedding sets will delight kids and parents alike.  Drop your favorite character set in the comments below - or one that you'd like to see them do in the future! 

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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Get in the Christmas Spirit with Noelle

Who doesn't love a family friendly Christmas movie that gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be a Kringle?  For generations, movies have been made that pull back the curtain on the mystery of Santa Claus and his family, and Disney's Noelle puts an original twist on the family life of St. Nick.  Warning - I both laughed out loud and ugly cried in this movie far more than I expected which is the sign of an outstanding movie in my opinion!  Seriously, you'll want to keep reading this and then grab your yogurt pants (you'll get it when you see the movie!) and your hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and peppermint to watch this with the whole family.

Recap of the Movie


The movie begins introducing us to Santa's kids, Noelle and Nick.  When Santa passes away, it's everyone's expectation that Nick (Bill Hader) take over for his father.  Noelle (Anna Kendrick) is there to support her brother every step of the way as her Christmas cheer is infectious.  As his first Christmas nears, Nick is overwhelmed and questions his ability to handle the job.  Noelle encourages him to take a weekend getaway to clear his mind, but when Nick doesn't return, the North Pole goes into panic mode.  What happens when Santa goes missing and Christmas is just around the corner?  Panic sets in and Noelle's tech-savvy cousin, Gabriel (Billy Eichner), is named as the replacement Santa.  Realizing her duty to her brother, and really the world, to bring the real Santa back home, Noelle leaves the North Pole for the first time with her nanny, Elf Polly (Shirley MacLaine), and heads to Phoenix, Arizona.  What follows is a series of hilarious events that teach Noelle more about the true meaning of Christmas than she can even imagine.  Seriously, Anna Kendrick is delightfully jolly as Noelle Kringle and her enthusiasm for the holiday season will easily come across the screen to everyone who watches.

Why Families Will Love It


Where do I even begin with this?  Let's first talk about messages that you'll walk away with from the film.  There is a big overarching look at expectations - both from society and from your family.  Nick is expected to become Santa because he's Santa's son.  No one stops to ask Nick if that's what he wants.  I don't want to give any spoilers here, but I'll just throw it out there that Nick isn't the only one struggling with this battle of what he wants and what is expected of him.  Learning to stand up for what you want and what you believe is a hard thing for all of us.

Noelle also grapples with the fact that the holidays can be a hard time for some kids.  As an educator, I loved that a Christmas movie shows that the holiday season isn't always perfection and lots of gifts and big families gathered under the tree singing carols together.  In the film we follow a young boy going through his first Christmas following the divorce of his parents as well as a young girl is living in shelter with her mom over the holiday season because they've lost their house.  I'm a big proponent of movies that show kids they are not alone is struggling with hard things at home and I think this is also a great reminder for kids who may be tied up in wanting the latest and greatest gadgets to be reminded what some of these kids in the movie wish for as their "present" this Christmas.  The idea of Christmas traditions changing as families evolve is also present throughout the film.  Most of my ugly crying happened during these scenes by the way.

At the end of the day, this is a family holiday movie that will leave you feeling all the feels.  It's certainly one that kids of all ages can enjoy right alongside of their parents.  Even young children who would miss most of these bigger themes I've been talking about will delight in the bright colors, fun music, and jolly holiday spirit.  Thank garland that Disney+ has brought us this film for the holidays!!

About Disney's Noelle




In Disney+'s holiday comedy, "Noelle," Kris Kringle's daughter is full of Christmas spirit and holiday fun, but wishes she could do something "important" like her beloved brother Nick, who will take over for their father this Christmas.  When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away. . .but when he doesn't return, Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas.  The sudden disappearance of the new Santa (Bill Vader) leads to chaos in the North Pole, so Mrs. Kringle (Julie Hagerty) must step up to rein in the hi-tech replacement Santa, Cousin Gabs (Billy Eichner).  Meanwhile, Noelle and Elf Polly (Shirley MacLaine), the family's acerbic but good-hearted nanny, are down South on a search-and-recover mission, during which Noelle (Anna Kendrick) comes to realize she has much in common with her father and begins to understand the true meaning of Christmas.  Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, "Noelle" stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Vader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty and Shirley MacLaine.  The film is produced by Suzanne Todd with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer.

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Get in the holiday spirit as Disney's Noelle begin's streaming on Disney+ when the service goes live November 12, 2019!

Marvel Hero Project Celebrates Everyday Kid Heroes

So, you may notice a theme in my posts from The Geekly Retreat that talk about Disney+ shows and movies - and it's crying.  Seriously, by the end of Disney+ Day on the retreat, my face was puffy and my makeup had been completely washed off my face.  Many shows and movies will leave you feeling big emotions, and Marvel Hero Project is no different.

The Premise


During our screening, we had a chance to have the show introduced by Dan Silver, Disney+ Vice President of Non-Fiction Content.  The "origin story" of this series is just as sweet as the show itself.  The idea came from Silver's son while they were walking to see Spiderman: Homecoming.  His son was talking about kids that he knows as everyday heroes which brought the idea to Silver, who was working at Marvel at the time.  From there, the idea began taking shape.  The series selects a different kid in each episode who is doing incredible things.

This is definitely a show to watch with the whole family.  It's a perfect conversation starter on a number of topics - namely, to quote Walt himself, "it's kind of fun to do the impossible!" In the episode we saw, and others that I'm aware of, kids and their families have some definite challenges facing them, but they choose to not let anything hold them down.  Others highlight kids in tremendous acts of service to others.  They are stories of heart and perseverance with life lessons for all of us.  We have the ability to make the world a better place, one small act at a time!

At our screening, we were shown one of the episodes.  I'm not going to tell you which one or ruin any "plot points" for you so you can enjoy it with your family, but I will say to bring the tissues.  Maybe I'm just a big softie, or maybe it's being a mom, or maybe it's being an educator, but I love stories of incredible kids doing incredible things!  I cried along with the mom as she talked about coming to terms with her son's struggles and as she talked about his courage to overcome EVERY obstacle in front of him.  I cried with his coach as he talked about the inspiration he has been for the team.  And I cried as the gifted artists at Marvel turned his story into a one-of-a-kind comic book.  That's something cool they are doing for each story they feature on the series and families can read the comics online after watching each episode!

I can't wait to watch this with my kids.  While I think my 7 year old will enjoy it more than my 4 year old, I will certainly watch it with both of them so they can see the amazing stories of other kids!  Regardless of whether you are a Marvel fan or not, this is something you won't want to miss.

About Marvel Hero Project




In life, it doesn't take wearing a suit of iron, carrying a mythical hammer or swinging from spider webs to be a real hero.  Sometimes the person who can make a positive difference in the world is the person who simply sees a problem and has the passion to find a creative solution.  And in Marvel's Hero Project, the new Disney+ series, those people are kids.  Like the girl who helps loved ones  with Alzheimer's make connections through puzzles or a boy who grows an urban garden to feed the hungry, despite his family financial hardships.  The first non-scripted reality series from Marvel Entertainment takes an up close and personal look at the lives of twenty amazing kids from across the country, each of whom is doing remarkable things to help his or her community.  Each week, Marvel surprises these young heroes, who have dedicated themselves to performing selfless acts of bravery, kindness, and betterment, by welcoming them into Marvel's Hero Project, inspiring viewers of all ages.

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Marvel Hero Project springs into action on November 12th!  Don't miss an episode of this inspiring series!!

Lady and The Tramp Review

Disney+ is just about to make it's debut and already it has gone to the dogs!  We all know that Disney's live action remakes have been knocking it out of the park (check out my reviews of Disney's Aladdin and The Lion King which also released in 2019), and with the release of Disney+ we find yet another live action remake that is set to rekindle our love of these classics!

Disney's animated Lady and the Tramp was released in 1955 - long before many of us were even born!  But the iconic story of two dogs from opposite sides of the city who find love over a meatball and some spaghetti is a timeless story that has been entertaining audiences for decades. Fans of the original will be happy to know that there are few changes to the storyline, and those changes only add to the storyline.  Let's take a look. . .

How it Compares to Original


There are many scenes in this remake that pull directly from the original and will tug at your heartstrings as you see them recreated with actual dogs.  I felt a deeper connection with the dogs during this film - in both times of joy and times of sadness.  When you watch Lady climb the steps and hop in Jim Dear and Darling's bed, you can almost feel her wet nose and soft fun snuggling up against you.  And as you watch the dog catcher chase Tramp through the streets, you're heart will race with nervous worry - even though you know how it ends!  There are a few small "tweaks" to some of the scenes as Lady and Tramp explore the city together, but they really don't add or detract from the original storyline in my opinion.

Besides the obvious change of creating the movie in a live action rendition, viewers will also find a more diverse cast in this remake.  As Disney continues to reimagine their classics, we have seen this trend and I think it's wonderful for casting to be more representative of all fans and viewers.  We'll dive into this topic, along with others in my post recapping the interview with Yvette Nicole Brown and Adrian Martinez who play Aunt Sarah and the Dog Catcher respectively.

Overall, I had much stronger emotions during this remake than I had with the classic animation and found myself crying at a few points during the film.  I think fans of the original will enjoy this movie and those of you who maybe didn't enjoy the classic should also give this one a chance too - it's worth the watch!

Kid Friendliness


While there is certainly nothing inappropriate about Lady and the Tramp, I think it's meant to be enjoyed by a slightly older audience.  My 4 year old has grown up with a mom who loves Disney movies and has watched a lot of live action and animation Disney films in his short life.  He would probably enjoy the film, but I don't know that it would hold the attention of all young kids the same way.

The only other caution I would give to parents with young children about the movie is that emotional connection I felt was stronger in this film.  I think it's easier in a cartoon to distance yourselves from the characters and the situations, but it is much harder when you're watching a live action movie.  When Aunt Sarah takes Lady to get a muzzle, it's heartbreaking to watch as is the scene at the dog pound when you see the dogs locked in cages and sad.  Those very raw emotions can be a lot to process for some kids.  In fact, I think my 7 year old may have a harder time watching this film for that reason than my 4 year old who may not fully process what is happening with the animals.

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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Disney's Lady and the Tramp begins streaming on Disney+ November 12, 2019!  Be sure to check it out!