Top 10 Recommended Halloween movies for kids.

Hey kids! Halloween is just around the corner (AHHHWWOOOOOO!) Wellington City Libraries has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure and frightful night in. Let the scare fest begin!

Enjoy!… and Happy Halloween.

Casper.

Join Casper the friendly ghost is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state, but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles and their mischievous antics.

Frankenweenie.

What if you could bring your pets back to life? Young Victor successfully proves that theory when he revives his best friend back to life. However problems emerge when his class mates want follow suit in bringing their pets to life and ensues disastrous consequences. Overall a heart-warming and hilarious tale about how far a boy will go for his best friend. A must see movie for Halloween.

Coraline.

A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.

image courtesy of amazon.com

Shrek’s thrilling tales.

Join Shrek, Donkey, Puss and B.O.B. as they get the fright of their lives in five spooktacular stories the will keep you howling with laughter. It’s a Shrektastic halloween treat that’s ogre-the-top fun for the whole family.

 

Toy story of terror!

What starts out as an exciting road trip for the Toy Story gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse following a detour to a roadside motel. After Mr. Potato Head suddenly disappears, his friends find themselves caught up in a hilarious mystery that must be solved before they suffer the same fate in this thrilling story of TERROR!

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Goonies.

“From the imagination of Steven Spielberg, The Goonies plunges a band of small heroes into a swashbuckling, surprise-around-every-corner quest beyond their wildest dreams! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of bumbling bad guys… and a mild-mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. A family adventure classic from start to buccaneering finish, The Goonies is a cinematic treasure trove of breathtaking action, dazzling effects and shiver-yer-timber thrills!” –Container.

Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2.

The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis!  In the sequel, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire.

 

The Witches.

Nine-year-old Luke finds that saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy who has been turned into a mouse.

Monster High. Ghouls rule.

Ghouls Rule unearths an old conflict between ‘Normies’ and monsters – and things are about to get scary. For years, students at Monster High were warned that Halloween was a night to stay inside and avoid conflict at all costs. But Frankie and her friends discover that ghouls and ‘Normies’ once loved to spend the holiday together. The ghouls decide to turn back the clock and use the night to celebrate their individuality and show that it’s okay to ‘Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster’.

Room on the broom.

“The story of a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. When the gang saves the witch from a fearsome dragon she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone!”–Container. Based on the book by Julia Donaldson.

DVD Review: A Dog’s Purpose.

A Dog’s Purpose.

A heart-warming movie about the eight life journey of Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy and Bailey.. again as he tries to find himself and his purpose in life.


This movie will make you laugh, make you cry, feel warm and fuzzy, and will make you develop an appreciation, as well as respect for the aptly named man’s, as well as woman’s best friend, which Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy and Bailey proves time and time again throughout the movie, clearly staing his purpose and teaching a few lifelong lessons along the way. Be prepared to have tissues on hand. I haven’t seen a better movie dogs since Red Dog. A librarian’s choice all the way!

7/10!!!

Beauty and the Beast overload in the library!

This is a blog post that pays tribute to popular fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast. Beauty and the Beast  is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740 in La Jeune Américaine et les contes marins (The Young American and Marine Tales).

The story that a young woman named Beauty, who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, after stealing a rose from the beast’s garden, which was intended for Beauty as a gift. She discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise, who must find true love, despite his ugliness, to revert back to his former self. The question is can Beauty look beyond the beast’s ugly exterior and find true beauty within his heart?

Check out other versions and retellings of this classic fairy tale that the library holds:

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast, illustrated by Dan Taylor.

Beauty and the Beast is a perfect introduction to this classic fairytale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms bring the story to life and introduce all the main characters: Beauty, her father, and of course the Beast! This well-loved fairytale is beautifully imagined for a new generation by children’s illustrator Dan Taylor.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / retold by Michael Morpurgo ; illustrated by Loretta Schauer.

A captivating retelling of the nation’s favourite fairy tale, from the nation’s favourite storyteller, Michael Morpurgo. After encountering a fearsome beast at a mysterious palace, down-on-his-luck merchant Marco is forced to make a promise in exchange for his life: he must persuade one of his three daughters to return to the palace in his place – but she must come of her own free will. Beautiful, kind-hearted Belle agrees at once to return to the palace, and there she and the Beast exist companionably, with the Beast asking of Belle the same question at the end of each day: “Dearest Belle, will you marry me?” After a return home to consult with her father, Belle resolves to follow her heart and return to the Beast, but her plans are thwarted by the trickery of her jealous sisters. When, at last, Belle is able to find her way back to the palace, she finds her beloved Beast lying as still as death on the ground. As Belle’s tears fall on his face, the Beast is transformed into a handsome prince the ancient spell upon him broken by Belle’s tears of true love.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast / by Melissa Lagonegro ; illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team.

Belle is trapped in a castle, under a terrible curse. Can she break the spell?

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / [retold by] Berlie Doherty ; illustrated by Jane Ray.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / Ursula Jones ; Sarah Gibb.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast  retold by Max Eilenberg ; illustrated by Angela Barrett.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast by Geraldine McCaughrean ; illustrated by Gary Blythe.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty and the Beast by Abie Longstaff & Lauren Beard.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe beast within : a tale of beauty‘s prince  by Serena Valentino.

Presents an adaptation of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale from the perspective of the cursed prince who is transformed from a beloved and jovial ruler into a reclusive and bitter monster in search of true love.

Love to watch stories? Now we have Walt Disney’s Animated classic of Beauty and the Beast available on DVD at your local library!

image courtest of amazon.comWalt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

A Walt Disney movie about a tough no nonsense heroine, named Belle (French word for Beauty), who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, and discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise. While the situation is anything than ideal, this Beauty and the Beast must learn, in a very Pride and Prejudice-like way to overcome their pride and stubbornness, in the hopes of falling in love and breaking the beast’s enchantment. This film is beautifully constructed and made! Filled with lots of quirky characters, in the form of Lumiere (a candle stick), Cogsworth (a cynical clock), Mrs Potts (a mother-hen teapot) and many musical numbers. A film that the entire family can enjoy – especially on a Saturday night!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMovie Review: Beauty and the Beast.

Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, recognising the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

This film is beautifully constructed and made! Overall it was an interesting revamp of the original animated 1992 classic. Filled with the same musical numbers and dance sequences, there a few twists, turns and few surprises during the film. Sorry, no spoilers in this review. The ballroom scene where Belle and the beast are dancing is fantastic. Belle’s dress and the dance moves – WOW, could possibly put the previous Disney Princess, Cinderella to shame!

All the characters had a part to play, had more depth, personality and beautifully showcased their uniqueness on screen. Even actor, Luke Evans did a very good job at playing arrogant, vain and sadistic baddie, Gaston, who foolishly hopes to win Belle’s hand, who in turn politely, but firmly rejects him! He didn’t have a bad singing voice either.

The characters:  Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts were wonderful and entertaining. I particularly loved Lumiere’s number “Be Our Guest”, beautifully sung by Ewen McGregor.

Dan Stevens is phenomenal (and perhaps a tad bad tempered) as the beast. I always cracked up over his dry sense of humour. Overall he did the character of the beast justice to its original predecessor. I found there was more depth to the characters: Belle and the beast, and perhaps more of a back story as to how their background, experiences and personalities shaped the people that they came to be. I think in a sense these two are portrayed as mirror images of each other and have great, not to mention a unique chemistry.

I think Emma Watson plays Belle as more lady-like in this film. Not as openly stubborn and strong willed as the original Belle, but more quietly assertive and determined. Not to mention she is very polite in standing up to the beast and Gaston.

As always, the story encourages viewers to look beyond the superficial and to be compassionate, curious, humble, and generous. This movie is a must see and has been worth the long wait. A film that the entire family can enjoy on a night out on the town– especially on a Saturday night! 9/10 all the way!

Also check out the trailer and some musical numbers from the film.

 

 

 

Movie Review: Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale.

Rattle your dags, boys and girls and feast your eyes on an oldie but a goodie Kiwi Classic and childhood favourite of mine that comes to the small screen in the form of Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale. Featuring the characters from the late Murray Ball’s “Footrot Flats” – New Zealands most beloved local cartoon strip.

image couresty of Amazon.com

Join Dog, Jess, Wal, Cooch, Horse, Major, Rangi, Pongo, Cheeky and “those bloody Murphys” , where Dog goes on ‘a journey of a thousand miles’, and an epic adventure. You will bear witness to his first encounter with the sexy Jess, his loyal devotion to Wal Footrot, whom he saves from a fate worse than death; his adventures with Horse, the cat with the barracuda jaw and fishhook claws; his brilliant cowardice and mighty nose, pitted against the dastardly schemes of the villainous Murphys, their hell hounds and the Croco Pigs.

This film will also keep you entertained and glued to the small screen. Not to mention it’s jam packed full of Kiwi words, sayings and slang and references to Kiwi culture! The soundtrack, by Dave Dobbyn is mind blowing filled with famous popular Kiwi classics such as Slice of Heaven and You Oughta to be in love. Overall this film is VERY FUNNY! I laughed all the way through, especially during the part where Wal is serenading Cheeky with a love ballad  aka You Oughta to be in love, (see youtube clip down below!), Dog gets ambushed by an army of rats and the battle to the death with the deadly croco-pigs!

A film that can be enjoyed by all ages and a great film to watch with the family over fish and chips on a Saturday night. 6/10 all the way!

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs December 2016

Its summer holidays! But we all know Wellington is tricksy when it comes to beaching weather, so having a couple of DVDs up your sleeve for a wet day is a good plan.

Movies and TV programmes with your favourite characters are a great way to fill in a few hours and inspire imaginative play. Do you have dress ups as your favourite characters?

 

bananas in pajamas1. Octonauts

2. Fireman Sam

3. Thomas and Friends

4. My Little Pony, friendship is magic

5. Peter Rabbit

6. Bananas in pyjamas

kidsblog27. Zootopia

8. Chuggington

9. Inside Out

10. The Angry Birds Movie

 

Top 10 Childrens’ DVDs November 2016

kidsblog1Animal adventurers find themselves in and out of trouble in a number of November’s favourite animations.  Is your favourite among them?

The Octonauts, topped the charts in November.  The underwater explorers show us loads of exciting submarine creatures.  Sometimes we get to see them on our door step.  Did anyone see the Orcas in Wellington Harbour the other day? Here’s a quick video someone took of one them at Matiu/ Somes Island.

kidsblog21. Octonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Zootopia

4. Bananas in pyjamas

5. Peter Rabbit

6. Fireman Sam

cover image7. Strawberry Shortcake

8. Thomas & friends

9. Inside out

10. Hotel Transylvania

Dreamworks Children’s DVDs: Shrekfest!

The countdown to the release of movie, Trolls from Dreamworks Animation continues! Today we will pay tribute to that other amazing Dreamworks series – Shrek! Read on to check out all the movies…

 

Disclaimer: Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third are not available at Wellington City Libraries. But if you feel that the library should purchase these fantastic DVDs, you can fill in a suggestion to buy form.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek.

The movie that started it all! A bad tempered ogre becomes a reluctant hero when his swamp becomes overrun with banished fairy tales characters. So in order to get the fairy tale characters back to their land of Far, Far, Away and regain his peaceful and solitary life, Shrek signs a pact with the devil himself, known more commonly as Lord Farquaad to go on an epic quest, with an unlikely and perhaps annoying companion in the form of Donkey, to rescue a Princess named Fiona, who like Shrek is more than what she seems, which is… well let’s just say she’s no pampered princess. Perhaps even more remarkable is that Shrek may have met his match in the feisty kung fu fighting princess!

Check out my favourite scene from the movie that sets Shrek’s heroic quest in motion!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek forever after.

Shrek seems to have it made in this film: Beautiful wife, three adorable children, a famous celebrity among the residents of Far Far Away, a picket fence, all the trimmings of happy, suburban life. However being a family man and a celebrity does not agree with our favourite ogre hero. Longing for the days when he was a ‘real ogre’, Shrek signs a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to get his roar back, but turns his world upside down in the process. Donkey suddenly can’t remember his best friend, Fiona is now a tough warrior princess, and Puss in Boots is one fat cat! Together, they have just 24 hours to reverse the contract and restore happily forever after. Moral of the story kids: always read the fine print in a contract and never trust a short curly toed weirdo.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek’s thrilling tales.

Join Shrek, Donkey, Puss and B.O.B. as they get the fright of their lives in five spooktacular stories the will keep you howling with laughter. It’s a Shrektastic halloween treat that’s ogre-the-top fun for the whole family.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comPuss in Boots.

A spin off of the Shrek franchise, featuring sword fighting feline, Puss in Boots, who made his first appearance in Shrek 2A story about the events leading up to the sword fighting cat’s meeting with Shrek and his friends.

 

Dreamworks Children’s DVDs: Madagascar Extravaganza! and… special screening of the movie, Trolls!

It’s down a matter of days before the latest movie, Trolls  from DreamWorks Animation is released. Any believe it or not, there are special screenings of the movie coming up in Wellington on Sunday 13th of November at local theatres. Might pay to check what time they are on and where. But nonetheless, the DreamWorks theme continues with this post that pays tribute to the Madagascar franchise! Check out all the movies!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar.

The movie that started the franchise and the “I like to move it, move it” catch phrase! Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippopotamus from New York Central Zoo find themselves on route to Madagascar.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 2, Escape to Africa

Follow Central Park Zoo animals, including, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, along with the delusional King Julien, psychotic penguins, the monkeys, and the lemur leaders as they unexpectedly are now stranded in the middle of Africa in Survivor/Castaway style, while having to deal with the locals – some good, some not so good, and human castaways adapting into Survivor mode . While Alex, (Reuniting with Mum and Dad), Marty, (putting his potential to full use) Melman, (finding multiple kindred spirits) and Gloria (finding a potential life mate) are rather happy with their new environment, they quickly realize that it’s not all that it seems. Meanwhile, the penguins attempt to repair the plane that they accidentally destroyed and find themselves having to deal with a few problems all the way, mainly union strikes with the monkeys. Overall a pretty funny movie from start to finish!

Check out the trailer here. Barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 3, Europe’s most wanted.

Goodbye cruel world, I’m off to join the circus.” Such as the case with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria and the whole crew, as they run off to join the circus to escape Captain Dubois of Animal Control also known as “the fickle woman who turned their whole world upside down.” A barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe penguins of Madagascar. Operation: Antarctica.

The delightful and quirky penguins finally get their own staring role in the delightful  spinoff: The penguins of Madagascar. The penguins embark on their own covert missions in the heart of Antarctic and watch as the wacky Penguins discover it takes a lot more than cute and cuddly to pull off their coolest caper yet!

 

 

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.

Top 10 Children’s DVDs from October 2016

Rainy days and road trips mean time to catch up your favourite series on DVD. October’s top pick is the Octonauts! These guys have sooo many games on their web page.  As they are really popular at the moment you can always go online to borrow their eBooks. Overdrive have a great selection of children’s material that you can look up on the Easyfind catalogue or go through the app or webpage.

 

kids dvds11. Octonauts

2. Thomas & friends

3. My Little Pony, Friendship is magic

4. Fireman Sam

5. Bananas in pajamas

cover image16. Peter Rabbit

7. Zootopia

8. Strawberry Shortcake

9. Snoopy and Charlie Brown

10. Inside Out