Movie Review: Dumbo

Last weekend I went to see Dumbo at the movies and it is in a word, FANTASTIC!

This movie is a must see and has been worth the long wait.

Tim Burton, (director of the 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), directs this live-action retelling of the original animated 1941 Disney classic.

 


Struggling circus owner Max Medici, enlists a former star , Holt Farrier and his two children, Milly and Joe, to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When Milly and Joe discover that Dumbo can fly, with the help of feathers as a good luck charm, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus.

image courtesy of flicks.co.nz

The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of villain, V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, however with less than honourable, and perhaps sinister intentions. And it’s up to Milly, Joe and the circus performers to save the day by rescuing Dumbo, and his Mum from the evil clutches of Vandevere.


 

Overall I feel Tim Burton did an amazing job with this live action retelling of Dumbo.

Dumbo steals the show with his cuteness, baby blue eyes, inquisitive nature and flying antics. I enjoyed the moments where Dumbo was able to confront and give his tormentors their just deserts by hose down, the tender moments he had with his mother, the warm and loving relationships he had with the children and circus performers who become his surrogate family and advocates, and even (spoiler), where he saves the day!

This movie encourages the characters of the film and viewers to look beyond the “oversized ears” and to be compassionate, kind, curious, humble, and generous. To be accepting and appreciating of the unique qualities that all people, animals and creatures possess.

All the other characters, Holt, Milly, Joe, the circus performers, and even the villain, brings the film to life, gives it depth and will keep you entertained from start to finish, and eager for the long awaited, well deserved and surprising happy ending that Dumbo gets.

As promised, the film delivered at being amazing, entertaining, heart warming, and definitely heart breaking where it is recommended to have tissues on stand by.

 

A well deserved 9/10… and highly recommended movie that the whole family can enjoy at the weekend and Easter break!

Three Disney Live Action film movie trailers!

The wonderful world of Disney comes to life, (literally) with the remake of three classic and entertaining animation movies to the big screen… and in live action. Three movies that I watched during my childhood and still remain favourite of mine to this day.

Warning: This blog post contains three movie trailers filmed in live action sequence, filled with cute baby animals, where there will be lots of “awwwwww’s” in unison, movies trailers filled with singing and dancing and a humanoid genie that grants wishes and at times acts as a surrogate parent.

Dumbo.

Release date: 28th March.

Tim Burton, (director of the 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory),  directs this live-action retelling of the original animated 1941 Disney classic. Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture. So far, looks like it’s going to be amazing, heart warming, and I suspect at times, heart breaking movie for the whole family to enjoy. Dumbo is the epitome of  cuteness. The song, “Baby of mine” is eerily beautiful, haunting and makes you want to cry. Maybe best to have tissues on stand by.

Aladdin.

Release Date: 23rd May.

Guy Ritchie directs this live-action retelling of the original animated 1992 Disney classic, with Will Smith the wish-granting Genie.

If this film is anything like the original, you will be taken on a journey of wonders, non stop laughs, thrills and magic carpet rides.  In the heart of an enchanted city, a commoner named Aladdin battle to save (and win the heart of)  the free-spirited Princess Jasmine from the schemes of the evil sorcerer Jafar. Aladdin’s whole life changes with one rub of a magic lamp as a fun-loving, shape shifting, humanoid Genie, played by Will Smith, appears and grants him three wishes, setting him on an incredible journey of discovery, love and true meaning of friendship. The trailer is in a word… AWESOME! Will Smith owns the role of the genie!

 

The Lion King.

Release Date: 18th July.

The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau helms this CG-animated re-imagining of the 1994 Walt Disney classic. Stars Donald Glover as Simba.

The Lion King, based on the original animated movie… and one of my favourite films! It is scheduled to be released on July 18th 2019, which marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film. Exciting! While you’re waiting, why not come on down to your local library and rent the original film! As a recap, The Lion King, tells the story of Simba, a delightful lion cub who is heir to the throne of the pride lands. However, when Simba’s father is killed… by Simba’s treacherous uncle, Scar, poor Simba, feeling guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile until the moment where he must confront his uncle and reclaim his identity , as well as destiny as the future King. Another movie trailer filled with (wild) animals and cute baby animals!!! (Spoiler: Simba as a baby in his Mum’s arms and being presented to the entire African animal population)

6 New Non Fiction to read before spring ends.

Hey Kids! Here is a selection of new junior non fiction to read in November. Check out new books from the Little People, Big dreams series, books full of Disney inspired ideas, how to cook healthy recipes designed for Kiwi kids and learn new languages.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of sydneticsDisney ideas Book.

“Let your imagination run wild with Disney arts and crafts, party games, puzzles, and papercraft. With magical projects for every level of ability and clear, step-by-step, illustrated instructions, you will never be bored again! Build Cinderella’s castle, take off with Buzz Lightyear’s wings, dress up in Moana’s flower crown, play Snow White bowling, race Lightning McQueen on your own racetrack, and much, much more.” Ideal for Disney themed parties!


image courtesy of syndeticsJane Goodall.

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Jane Goodall, the primatologist and anthropologist , in this true story of her life.


image courtesy of syndeticsSimone de Beauvoir.

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Simone de Beauvoir, the great French philosopher, in this true story of her life.


image courtesy of syndeticsL.M. Montgomery.

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the famous writer, in this true story of her life.

image courtesy of syndeticsGood from scratch : kids cookbook : healthy food for Kiwi kids!

A cookbook for kiwi kids that contains recipes for (healthy) breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school snacks, sweet treats and party food. Definitely a librarians choice all the way!

image courtesy of sydneticsMy first book of Japanese words : an ABC rhyming book of Japanese language and culture.

This delightfully illustrated preschool book  introduces the Japanese language in a playful and gentle way. Organized in a familiar ABC structure, everyday words and expressions as well as words that have special significance in Japanese culture offer even very young children an enticing glimpse into Japanese daily life.

 

Moana Reo Maori: Moana in Te Reo Maori!

Can’t get enough of the movie, Moana! Well, brace yourselves a special edition of Moana, (Moana Reo Maori) returns to movie theatres… again, completely redubbed in Te Reo!

To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo – Maori Language Week (11th to 17th of September) there will be free screenings of the film, Moana in Te Reo Maori at cinemas in Wellington during the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September.

 

 

 

Check out screening times at:

The Embassy.

Reading Cinemas Courtenay.

The Roxy Cinemas.

A great event to bring the whole family to enjoy a Disney Classic and learn, or brush up on your Te Reo Māori.

8 New Non Fiction to read during Autumn.

Summer has officially come to an end and we are already days into Autumn – Have you caught sight of any leaves falling from the trees yet? As you’re well aware, Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, so there’s the possibility of shorter and colder days, bringing an end to the warm sunny days at the beach. But have no fear, the library is always stocked full of books to keep you entertained. This blog post features books for girls and boys of all ages that will curb their gaming and sports fetish; channel their inner princess, sports hero, warrior and leader; extra resources to help with homework and get some insight as to what their parents do in the workforce all day.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsSkylanders Universe: : the complete collection : one book, 321 skylanders.

This is one book that all Skylanders fans must get their hands on! Read all about every single Skylander in this book featured from all three smash-hit video games. Includes information about character bios, battle cries and all 256 possible SWAP Force character combinations.

 

Cimage courtesy of syndetics ricket with Kane Williamson : a guide to batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy.

Why is it important to play the ball late? How do you play the perfect cover drive? What should you do to deliver a deadly in-swinger? Join New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, a superstar of the game, as he talks through his approach to batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Amazing Book of Disney Princess.

Dreams of Disney Princesses and books, come to life with the release of The Amazing Book of Disney Princess. Fans will get to discover more about their favourite fairytale princesses. With stunning pictures, fun facts and an exciting quiz, be transported to their kingdoms and discover their magical world. A must have read for budding fans to channel their inner Disney princess.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThis is a horrible book of foul facts.

This Horrible Book of Foul Facts serves up all the dreadful details of horrible history you’ll ever need to know – from rotten Roman graffiti to terrible teacher tortures and rude royal nicknames, the foul facts are all inside. Want to know: the crushing details about execution by elephant? How to soften your skin Georgian-style, using the skins of puppies? Whose idea of a top treat was mashed deer tongues? Whether you’re desperate to discover which famous rulers were left-handed, raring to read about the top ten dogs of all time, or just aching to ask about assassinating apes, then this book is for you. History has never been so horrible!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Princess and the warrior.

A very sad and tragic Mexican legend about a beautiful princess falling into a deep sleep and her brave warrior vowing to stay by her side, even if she never awakens, eventually turning into volcanoes known as Popocatépetl (“the Smoking Mountain”) and Iztaccíhuatl (“white woman” in Nahuatl, sometimes called the Mujer Dormida “sleeping woman” in Spanish), which overlook the Valley of Mexico. Prepare to have tissues on hand.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAnimal record breakers.

This book holds thousands of amazing facts and spectacular feats. A must have resource for the budding animal enthusiast.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of synedticsBe the change : a grandfather Gandhi story.

“At Grandfather Gandhi’s service village, each day is filled, from sunrise to sunset, with work that is done for the good of all. The villagers vow to live simply and non-violently. Arun Gandhi tries very hard to follow these vows, but he struggles with one of the most important rules: not to waste.”

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhat do grown-ups do all day?

Ever wondered what your Mum and Dad get up to during their day? Here’s your chance to find out. Read this book and explore fourteen diverse workplaces, then turn the page to find out what each grown-up does there. Features more than 100 jobs. Also a great resource to have on hand if you want to choose a profession and career.

 

Kids’ Club Review by Arav: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck : terror of the Beagle Boys

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck : terror of the Beagle Boys, by Carl Barks

One of the best of the comics I have read so far. This book includes the first appearance of the Beagle Boys, the first appearance of the Junior Woodchucks, Scrooge’s first dive into his money, and a terrific sea monster. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get tired of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge series. The short stories are fun too and the book was really colourful. I will recommend this book to all age group.

5 stars

Reviewed by Arav from Johnsonville and West Park School , 6 years old

Official Beauty and the Beast Trailer is here!

Believe it or not, the official trailer for the 2017 live action movie, Beauty and the Beast has been released and what you will see so far shows promise!

image courtesy of amazon.comThe animation and special effects are fantastic! The beast is monstrous on the outside, but perhaps a gentle soul inside and the Beauty in the story, well I think she has the potential to steal the show.

Based on the much loved classic fairy-tale, a monstrous prince is transformed into a beast.  In order to break the horrible enchantment, the beast must fall in love with a beautiful young woman named Belle, played by none other than Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movie), but to complicate things further he must earn her love in return.

Now is the time to pen in the date, 17th March 2017, to be a guest for one of the most highly anticipated Walt Disney movie releases of all time!

 

Dreamworks movies and… countdown to the release of Trolls!

As the year almost draws to a close, as well as concluding my blog posts on Walt Disney movies – for now at least, I have put together a list of must see Children’s DVDs produced by the animation company, DreamWorks, who released movies such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, which will be featured in future blog posts.

This is to celebrate the impending release and countdown to the release of the latest DreamWorks Animation picture: Trolls – featured previously in the upcoming movie release blog post. So why not check out this post and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and upcoming Christmas/Summer break! Stay tuned for more movies still come in future posts!

 

bee movie5_Bee Movie.

Having just graduated from college, Barry B. Benson finds himself disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice – honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human, a New York City florist named Vanessa. He is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bee’s honey for centuries. He ultimately realizes that his true calling in life is to set the world right by suing the human race. That is until the ensuing chaos upsets the very balance of nature. It is up to Barry to prove that even a little bee can spell big changes in the world.

 

croodsjpgThe Croods.

The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family aka Cave People as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and their outlook is changed forever. Probably one of the funniest films I have ver seen! Love the inventions that The Croods come up which ranges from a hug, a pet, a joke and shoes. I especially love the reaction from Eep, the teenage daughter she tries on a pair of shoes. Check out the clip here.

FACT: The cave people lived on a diet of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food, which is commonly known today as the paleo diet.

 

flushed awayFlushed Away.

Pampered pet mouse, Roddy thinks he’s got it made– until he’s literally flushed away, (down the toilet!) to a bustling underground world of ninja frogs, hench-rats and singing slugs. Funniest film I have ever seen! The slugs are definitely my favourite of this movie, especially when they shriek and sing. Check out the trailer for this movie here. Also I have added some preview clips that will hopefully entice you to watch this movie. Featured are scenes where the slugs sing Mr Lonely, and the chase scene where rats are using 1980 style kitchen mixers as speedboats, not to mention a malfunction with a toaster and go-go purple custard with Bohemian like you by The Dandy Warhols playing the background.

 

IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COMHome.

A lovable misfit from another planet meets a girl named Tip. The two unlikely friends embark on the greatest journey of all time.

Walt Disney DVD recommendations: All time classics and an upcoming movie release.

Term 4 has started and the countdown to the Christmas holidays has began!

The library is still  choc-a-block full of Walt Disney DVDs in the collection that you can get your hands on and may come handy for the Christmas holidays if you fancy a relaxing day of veging out in front the telly with your choice of favourite snacks.

This is the FINAL blog post for Walt Disney DVDs, for this year at least as I will be moving onto blogging about other cool movies and categories. Some I watched throughout my childhood that still remain favourites of mine today and some that I have only watched in the last few years.

In this blog post, you will encounter Walt Disney movie recommendations filled with heroes/heroines, sleeping princesses, animal friends and the odd bit romance.

So check out the following DVDs below and believe me… I think I have saved the best for last… and see further down below for an extra special treat!

(Click on the linked titles to find out which libraries you can find these DVDs at)

 

image courtesy of amazon.comLady and the Tramp.

Probably one of the best Walt Disney classics and romances to date! Join Lady, a pampered cocker spaniel and Tramp, a jaunty freedom loving mutt, with a heart of gold who share an enthralling romance and thrilling adventures.

The infamous Bella Notte Spaghetti/kissing Scene is always a favorite mine, as I’m sure it is with a lot of people. See the scene for yourself and decide if this is a movie you like to see, especially with your own canine pal!

 

image courtesy of smazon.comMulan.

In truly Shakespearian style, a brave young Chinese girl named Mulan fashions herself as a male solider in her aging father’s place and leads her fellow soldiers with remarkable courage and tactical brilliance in the battlefield – and a legend was born.

A truly magnificent film that showcases that not all heroes are born, but made. A great movie for girls and a true celebration of girl power! Check out this awesome music clip “True to your heart” from the movie soundtrack.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Princess and the frog.

This is truly a different take on classic fairy tale, The Frog Prince, where the story takes place in New Orleans, Lousiana, during the roaring 20s where jazz music, prohibition fine dining, flappers and social dance were on the rise.

Not to mention, both the prince – Arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen, and… the princess – hardworking, no nonsense waitress Tiana, are transformed into frogs!

With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator, a Cajun firefly, and an old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree, Naveen and Tiana must race to break the spell, and fulfil their dreams.

Overall a fantastic film! Absolutely loved it! This is a very entertaining girls movie and a celebration of the Creole culture that will make you want to get up and dance the foxtrot and the Charleston.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Little Mermaid.

Oh my goodness, this is the one movie I watched religiously throughout my childhood with my mates from school where we were continuously reciting lines and singing along to the songs!

Based on the all time classic by Hans Christian Anderson – the same guy who wrote The Snow Queen, which Disney adapted into the movie, Frozen… Anyway I am getting way ahead myself.

The Little Mermaid is about Ariel, a fun-loving and mischievous mermaid with a fiery personality – hmm, explains the red hair, who is enchanted with all things human and falls in love with Prince Eric, who also happens to be a human to the disgust and horror of her father.

Determined to be human, she strikes a bargain with the devious sea witch, Ursula, and trades her fins and beautiful voice for legs. However the catch is that in order for her to be a human forever, her prince has to kiss her. Always true love’s kiss to either break or hold a spell. Ah, the things we do for love.

So poor Ariel has a lot on her plate: become human, win the prince’s love and save her father’s kingdom and her love’s kingdom from Ursula, but luckily she has a few friends to aid her in the form of her best friend Flounder, and her reluctant chaperon aka singing crab, Sebastian at her side.

Not easy being a Disney princess and heroine. But overall a fun, enjoyable Disney classic to watch when having a night in with the family. You might enjoy this clip “Kiss the girl” sung by Sebastian where he tries to encourage Prince Eric to kiss Ariel to break the spell. Will it work? Watch, be entertained, laugh and find out.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comSnow White and the seven Dwarfs.

This was the very first movie I saw at the cinema at the tender age of 3 years old and nearly thirty years later, still remains a favourite and timeless classic to this day!

This The beautiful and kind-hearted princess Snow White must go on the run into the deep dark woods after she incurs the wrath of her jealous and wicked stepmother, the Queen by being fairest in the land. There, she befriends the lovable seven dwarfs, Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey.

However things go pear shaped when The Queen finds Snow White and tricks her with an enchanted apple. Only the magic of her true love aka Prince Charming’s kiss can save her.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comSleeping Beauty.

Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil fairy/witch/fire breathing dragon, Maleficent, into a deep sleep and can only be awakened by her true love’s kiss.

This is one of my favourite Walt Disney movies of all time. I loved it so much that my aunt ended up buying me the video for my seventh birthday, which was probably the most memorable birthdays ever! I loved everything about this movie! Loved the music by Tchaikovsky, which he originally composed for the ballet version of Sleeping Beauty; the playful banter and bickering between three good fairies, especially when they debate about the color of Aurora’s birthday dress, hmmm pink or blue? You decide. Not to mention, the chemistry between Aurora and her true love, Prince Philip.

A big spoiler and perhaps uncanny about Aurora and Philip is that they were betrothed when they were little and they end meeting and falling in love anyway, WHOA! Another favourite (probably more than Snow White) and timeless Walt Disney classic from childhood to the present day!

Also check out my review of Maleficent for an alternative interpretation of Sleeping Beauty and decide whether Maleficent is evil or misunderstood.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comUpcoming Walt Disney Movie release for next year: Beauty and the Beast.

If you are a fan of the Disney animated movie, Beauty and the Beast, then brace yourselves… next year Walt Disney is releasing a live action adaptation of the classic fairy-tale about a monstrous prince transformed into a beast.  In order to break the horrible enchantment, the beast must fall in love with a beautiful young woman, played by none other than Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movie), but to complicate things further he must earn her love in return.

Check out the official teaser trailer! So why not pen in the date: 17th March 2017 to be a guest for one of the most highly anticipated Walt Disney movie releases of all time!

 

 

Movie Review: Lilo and Stitch.

I think the tag line for this movie was “There’s one in every family.”

image courtesy of amazon.comThey certainly didn’t get that wrong in the wonderful world of Disney with regard to Stitch, a genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and journeys to the lush and tropical Hawaiian Islands. There he is adopted by a lonely tittle girl named Lilo, who thinks he is an innocent puppy.

Stitch’s only interest in Lilo is using her as a human shield to evade the alien bounty hunters who are bent on recapturing him. In the end, it is Lilo’s unwavering faith in “ohana”, the Hawaiian tradition of family, that unlocks Stitch’s heart and gives him the one thing he was never designed to have – the ability to care for someone else.

This movie is awesome! Awesome story! Awesome music!, (Lots of Elvis Presley tracks as well. Kids, if you don’t know by now who Elvis is, ask your grandparents! HAHA!), Awesome scenes (the one with Stitch ‘playing a record’ and the action alien battle scene with Hound Dog by Elvis Presley playing in the background are favourites of mine!) Awesome dialogue! (I always crack up at the phrases “Abomination”, “Stupid Head” and “Aloha!”) This is definitely a movie that the whole family will enjoy. 7/10 all the way!

As a extra special treat I have included some Walt Disney movies trailers where Stitch gate crashes classic Disney movies such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid! Man oh man, are they funny! A repetitive line throughout the trailers are “Get your own movie!” Hmmm irony?

Also check out songs featured in the movie soundtrack: Hawaiian Roller Coaster ride performed by Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu and New Zealand’s own North Shore Children’s Choir and a cover of Elvis Presley’s hit song, Can’t help falling in love by A-teens.