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.

Top 10 Children’s DVDs September 2016

dvd cover

Unpredicatble weather predicted for the school holidays? Set yourself up with some great movies and favourite series incase you get stuck indoors!

The Disney movie Zootopia has placed soooo many different animals together in one city.  Rookie cop, Judy, is the first bunny on the force meeting a huge range of characters that have their own ideas of who Judy is.  The directors of Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph have created a movie that looks at how different people treat each other.  Worth a watch this holidays.

bananas in pajamas1. Octonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Peter Rabbit

4. Zootopia

5. Bananas in pyjamas

6. Fireman Sam

cover image7. Inside out

8. Minions

9. Thomas & friends

10. Strawberry Shortcake

Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from E to H

Continuing the list of must-see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order, this covering movies from E to H. Looking for A-D? Here it is! Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comEnchanted. Prepare to go on a journey where the world of animation and live action collides. Giselle (Amy Adams) finds herself in a bit of pickle when she torn away by the “love of her life”, Prince Edward and banished from the animated “fantasy” land of Andalasia by the evil queen into a “harsh reality” in the form of the gritty streets of the real, modern-day Manhattan that does not abide by the principles of happily ever after.

So now this pampered princess must rely on her wits alone, (no fairy god mother, fairy dust and enchantments to help her out of this one) survive in the real world and figure out how to get back home, but add further complication, Giselle begins to fall in love with the cynical, no-nonsense divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, making her question her choice of who Prince Charming is in her eyes.

What I love about this movie is the transition that Giselle under goes from pampered princess waiting for a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet to  a tough, no-nonsense heroine that must save the day, not to mention the world and her true love from the evil clutches of the wicked queen. I think girls will really enjoy this movie.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen. I never get sick of this movie, nor do I ever get sick of renditions of “Let It Go“.

Frozen takes you on magical and icy journey where fearless optimist Anna, teaming up with Kristoff, his reindeer Sven  and a hilarious snowman named Olaf must  find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.

I cannot stress enough how fantastic this film is! I absolutely loved it! This is a very entertaining girls movie and a celebration the bond of friendship, sisterhood and  the Scandinavian culture that is sure to thaw a frozen heart. I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since The Lion King.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Good Dinosaur. If you loved the movie, The Land Before Time, then this is the movie for you.

What if an asteroid never hit earth and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo, after being trapped and ridiculed by his guardian, the sinister Frollo, for the way he looks, finally ventures from his tower to take part in the joyous festival of fools.

However things go pear shaped when  the crowd cruelly rejects him because of the way he looks. But he finds a likely friend and ally in the equally persecuted, gypsy Esmeralda, who rescues him in knight in shining armour style. Together, as well as joining forces with dashing soldier and three comical gargoyle statues, named Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. They have to do battle with Frollo to save the people and the city of Paris.

This film is a reminder to see people as they are rather than how they appear and that sometimes beauty is held in the eye of the beholder. Another great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!

Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from A to D

Since the 1920’s. Walt Disney has brought some fantastic movies to for families’ enjoyment and entertainment, whether it is in a busy movie theatre or in the quiet comfort of your own home. I have put together a list of must see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order from A to D. Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.

 

A is for Aladdin

This movie will take you 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 Genie, voiced by the late Robin Williams, appears and grants him three wishes, setting him on an incredible journey of discovery, love and true meaning of friendship. This movie is 100% recommended! Robin Williams owns the role of Genie and brings a comical and warm hearted presence to the story and absolutely love Princess Jasmine, who is the embodiment of a tough, no nonsense free spirit feminist  who refuses to settle for less and abide by the traditions and expectations set out for her, I still recall when my best friend and I went to saw this in the movie theatre, then watched it home on video (Yes, in my day it was video cassettes instead of DVDs), singing along to the songs and wishing we too could soar away on a magical carpet ride.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comB is for Brave

Another movie about another tough no nonsense Scottish heroine, named Merida, who determined to be in control of her own destiny sets off a catastrophic chain events that could affect her destiny, as well as the destiny family forever. Now this brave beauty must keep her wits and rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Seriously, I don’t words can stress enough how much I love this film. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is one of my favourite Pixar/Walt Disney films and a tribute to my Scottish ancestry. Have a read of my review and my post of Pixar films to be furthered sold on why this is a great movie.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

image courtesy of amazon.co.uk

C is for Cinderella and… Cinderella

There’s a saying I am very fond of, courtesy of a wise Chinese philosopher, which is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In Walt Disney’s animated adaptation, originally released as a motion picture in 1950, the story of Cinderella is told in that context, where she undertakes a magical journey to the palace ball, taking her first step in glass slippers, to escape the life of servitude, the clutches of her abusive step-family and win the heart of the prince that begins all before the clock strikes midnight. Also you might want to check out the live-action reboot of the animated version, have a read of my review to get an idea on why this is a great DVD to watch.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comD is for Dumbo

A favourite childhood classic of mine, not to mention one that I cried buckets over! A baby elephant named Dumbo is ridiculed because of his enormous ears, despite his mother’s best efforts to protect him. However a guardian angel arrives in the form of Timothy the mouse, who puts Dumbo’s tormentors in their place and helps Dumbo achieve his full potential and soar to fame as the world’s only flying elephant. A great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!

 

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs for August 2016

dvd coverChildren’s animation has some really creative people doing fun stuff in this month’s Top 10.

The Octonauts are a great cross-over from screen to page with their puzzle books and picture books.  Beatrix Potter’s characters also have a to offer, stretching vocabulary in her classic Children’s tales.

Do you have a favourite book to screen character?  Let us know in the comments.

1. dvd coverOctonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Peter Rabbit

4. Fireman Sam

5. Bananas in pyjamas

dvd cover6. Strawberry Shortcake

7. Inside out

8. Minions

9. Legends of Chima

10. Hotel Transylvania

Children’s DVD Review: When Marnie was there

This movie, When Marnie was there, was screened at last week at the Thursday Night Film screening at the Central Library. If you missed out on the movie night, then have no fear, we have this DVD in the Children’s DVD collection, which you can watch for your own viewing pleasure, in the comfort of your own home, especially as we may be in for a few cold nights during this mid-winter season.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

This film tells the story of Anna, an introverted orphaned girl and a bit of a lost soul, who feels abandoned, unwanted and unlovable.

However, while on holiday, a chance encounter with a mysterious blonde girl, Marnie, who in many ways is a reflection of Anna, changes Anna’s life forever.

As the summer progresses, Anna spends more time with Marnie, and eventually Anna learns the truth about her family and foster care, which allows her to open up to possibilities all around her, mainly meaningful relationships with friends and her surrogate family.

This film is hauntingly beautiful and truly captures the essence and beauty, you would in find in most Japanese animated films produced by the Company, Studio Ghibli, who also brought such Japanese animated films to life, such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro.

Overall a great film that young girls will enjoy, that explores the true meaning of friendship and finding yourself.

Rating: 7/10.

Top 10 Childrens DVDs July 2016

Long winter evenings are a great time to catch up with the latest movies.

It’s not just the one off movies people love to borrow from the library, there are the DVD series where you can follow characters through their many adventures. Building adventures with lego is great for your imagination and construction skills.  These building blocks have inspired quite a few series – do you know them all?

There’s: Legends of Chima,  Justice League, Ninjago Masters of SpinjitsuLEGO friends, Star Wars, Nexo KnightsBionicle and there’s a LEGO Scooby-Doo! Try saying all that in one breath!  Have I missed any? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s your Top 10 for July 2016: 

1. My little pony, friendship is magic

2. Inside out

3. Legends of Chima

4. Minions

5. Snoopy and Charlie Brown 

6. The good dinosaur

7. Strawberry Shortcake

8. Goosebumps

9. Geronimo Stilton

10. Rabbids invasion

Children’s DVD Reviews: Meet the Robinsons and Maleficent

The school holidays are almost done. And while we have some pretty nice days so far, doesn’t mean good old Jack Frost isn’t going to pay Wellington a visit. So if are looking for some more DVDs to watch over the blistery cold periods, why not have a read of my latest reviews of Walt Disney’s  movies: Meet the Robinsons and Maleficent, (which aired on TV 2 last weekend),and see if they appeal to you. But you better get your hands on these DVDs quick … before someone else does! I promise you these movies deliver on what Disney does best: Excitement, adventure, action and… a happy ending! 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMeet The Robinsons

If you have seen and liked The Incredibles, then this is another Disney movie you must see.

Described as the ‘Back to the Future’ for kids, Meet the Robinsons takes you on a journey that the whole family can enjoy. Lewis is an orphan and brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy, who wants to destroy Lewis in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate that has a huge impact on Lewis’, Wilbur’s and even the Bowler Hat Guy’s future.

I found the film very funny and exciting. The Robinsons are an eccentric family headed by the mysterious patriarch and tech mogul genius, Cornelius Robinson, who Wilbur jokes looks like Tom Selleck. Everyone is strange and unique in their own way, from Frannie – Wilbur’s ‘no-nonsense’ Mum, who conducts frog band, Grandpa who wears his clothes backward, twins Dimitri and Spike who stay in flower pots and Carl a talking robot like C-3PO.  But what touched me most about this film the “keep moving forward” motto throughout the film.

I rate this movie: 7/10

 

Extra: The movie also features a fantastic quote from Walt Disney himself: “Around here we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney, Film Producer, Director, Animator, Entrepreneur

 

Maleficentimage courtesy of amazon.com

This is Sleeping Beauty as you have never seen it before.

The story of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” is different from its predecessor. But more importantly this story focuses on the evil fairy/villain in the original story, Maleficent. In this version, Maleficent, (Angelina Jolie), who was originally a good fairy and protector of the fairy lands called the Moors, becomes a vengeful, bad fairy, (or ‘turns to the dark side’ in tradition Darth Vader style), after she is betrayed by King Stefan.

To pay him back, she curses his daughter, the infant princess Aurora to a ‘sleep like death’ which she can only awaken from by ‘true love’s kiss’. However things become complicated when Maleficent realizes  that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well. To add more complication to the mix, Maleficent, acting as a surrogate mother, becomes fond of Aurora!

Throughout the film, Maleficent experiences conflict, similar to iconic Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, whether being trapped in the dark side is permanent or whether there is still good in her… and she will save the day.

Overall  I found the film very entertaining and without question, does it’s predecessor justice.  Lots of things you can expect from a Disney movie: Excitement, adventure, action and… a happy ending!

I rate this movie: 7/10

 

Extra: While you’re at it, why not grab Sleeping Beauty to watch alongside this movie:image courtesy of amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

Great children’s movies based on Roald Dahl’s books.

The wintery-est of school holidays have started. Are you still stumped on what DVDs to watch during the coldest and blistery of days? With the release of The BFG, based on the lovable story by Roald Dahl, why not go down to your local library and check out some other movies, based on his novels:

image courtesy of amazon.comFantastic Mr Fox.

An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers’ retaliation.

Trivia: Roald Dahl allegedly fashioned Mr Fox after himself.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comJames and the Giant Peach.

An orphan with terrible aunts for guardians, befriends human like bugs who live inside a giant peach, who take the boy on a journey to New York City.

Trivia: The lyrics for the song “Eating the Peach” were written by Roald Dahl.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

Matilda.

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Trivia: The picture of Miss Honey’s father, Magnus, is actually a portrait of Roald Dahl, the author of the book “Matilda,” upon which the film is based.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comDOUBLE TAKE ALERT!

Believe it or not, there are two versions of the same movie adapted from Roald Dahl’s novels. Which version tickles your fancy? Original vs. Remake? You decide!

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (2005)

Both DVDs are the same story, but made different years, which is about a young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is an afternoon-delight film that the whole family can enjoy and is indeed a classic, that follows the story roughly to a tee. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is also a brighter and more colourful film, though it still manages to show the darker side of the story.

Trivia: Roald was reportedly so angry with the treatment of his book (mainly stemming from the massive rewrite by David Seltzer) that he refused permission for the book’s sequel, “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”, to be filmed.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe BFG (Animated DVD) vs. The BFG (2016 film.)

*** Please be aware that the 2016 film version of The BFG is not yet available at Wellington City Libraries. The DVD release date is yet to be confirmed ***

A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.

bfg 2016Trivia: Roald Dahl has a granddaughter named Sophie,  who is an English author and former fashion model.

Trivia: Roald Dahl dedicated The BFG to his late daughter, Olivia, who died of measles at age seven in 1962.

 

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comExtra recommendation: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay to this fantastic movie, based on the novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, by Ian Fleming, the same guy, (believe it or not), who wrote the James Bond series! The movie is about a down-on-his-luck inventor, (played by Dick Van Dyke, who also played Bert in Mary Poppins), turns a broken-down car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Trivia: Roald Dahl also wrote the screenplay to the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice.