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!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a cosy family film night with a Disney classic

Sick of the cold weather? Snuggle up on the couch with one of these classic Disney flicks!

The Princess and the FrogThe Princess and the Frog (2009) rated PG

Discover what really happened after the princess kissed the frog! Enter Tiana’s world of talking frogs, singing alligators and lovesick fireflies as she embarks on an incredible journey through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. Spurred on by a little courage and a great big dream, these new friends come to realise what’s truly important in life.

 

The Lion King (1994) rated GThe Lion King

Simba is a lion cub who dreams of succeeding his father and becoming king of the Pride Lands. But tricked into thinking he is responsible for King Mufasa’s death, Simba runs away, leaving his cruel uncle Scar in charge. As he grows up, and with some good advice from his jungle friends, Simba realises he has to return to the Pride Lands. But will Simba be able to defeat Scar and take his rightful place on Pride Rock?

 

TangledTangled (2010) rated PG

When the kingdom’s most wanted (and most charming) bandit hides in a mysterious tower, the last thing he expects to find is Rapunzel, a spirited young woman with 20 meters of magical golden hair. Together, the unlikely duo sets off on a fantastic journey filled with unexpected heroes and lots of laughter!

 

Hercules (1997) rated GHercules

Bestowed with superhuman strength, a young mortal names Hercules sets out to prove himself a hero to his father, the great god Zeus. Tricked by Hades, the evil god of the underworld, Hercules is forced to choose between his legendary strength and his one true love, but in the process learns that it is the strength of your heart that matters most.

 

The Little MermaidThe Little Mermaid (1989) rated G

Ariel is a fun-loving and mischievous mermaid who loves all things human, including Prince Eric, the man of her dreams. Determined to become human, she makes a deal with the sea witch and trades her fins and beautiful voice for legs. With her best friends by her side, Ariel must win the prince’s love and save her father’s kingdom before it’s too late.

 

 

6 new children’s non fiction to read before the end of summer.

Looking for some great reads for the end of these long summer days. Look no further! Here’s are some books that are so new that you might be the very first to read them – wouldn’t that be cool!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHairy Tales and Nursery Crimes + Arabian Frights and other Gories.

A classic and an absolute favourite from childhood, Hairy Tales and Nursery Crimes + Arabian Frights and other Gories is a hilarious and sometimes twisted parodies of well-known fairy tales and nursery rhymes. A book where you will be guaranteed to laugh yourself silly.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHello Ruby: Adventures in Coding.

Meet Ruby–a small girl with a huge imagination. In Ruby’s world, anything is possible if you set your mind to it. As Ruby embarks on her adventure, kids will be introduced through storytelling to the basic concepts of coding. With activities included in every chapter, future kid coders will be thrilled to put their own imaginations to work.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsA sky of Diamonds.

A story for children about loss, grief and hope.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDia De Los Muertos.

Join the fun and festivities of Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)  and learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsYou rule! : create your own country.

A fantastic, innovative book that allows you  to design your very own nation, completely from scratch. Believe it or not, this is a book where you get to choose where it is, who can live there and what the rules are, establish your borders, design your flag and take charge. You can be king, queen, big chief, emperor or president. Because right here, right now, you rule!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsI Made That! The Kids’ BIG Book of Craft Idea.

This book is in a word… AWESOME! Not to mention the only craft book you will ever need! You will get ideas on how to  make natural beauty products, (I’m still tickled pink that this book can tell you how to make hair gel!), how to give your room a makeover? and giving your wardrobe a fashion revamp. Plus, for the eco-conscious girl there is lots of information on ethical fashion and cosmetics, sustainable shopping and fair trade. Overall you will have a lot of fun with this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs December 2015

There are some great new movies in December’s popular DVDs. Paper Planes is an Australian production that shows the joys of invention and team work (and how to make a cool paper aeroplane). Minions – the movie – shows the great and terrible journey the Minions had to follow to find their evil master mind Gru. Want to find your own Minion? Take a look at the seek and find book based on the movie

  1. My little pony, friendship is magic series
  2. Minions
  3. Strawberry Shortcake series
  4. Home
  5. Legends of Chima series
  6. Dragons 
  7. Inside out
  8. Cinderella
  9. Paper planes
  10. Scooby-Doo! 13 spooky tales series

Movie Review: Cinderella.

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThis is Cinderella as you have never seen it before.

The story of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” is different from its predecessor.

Directed by award winning actor, Kenneth Branagh, This version follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James). After Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her ugly-in-nature daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera), and is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella.

Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

Ella’s fortunes seem to turn for the better in the form of a dashing stranger named Kit aka The Prince (Richard Madden) and a quirky fairy godmother, (brilliantly played by Helena Bonham Carter) that will change Ella’s life for the better.

Overall a fantastic film that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Rating: 9/10

3 new non fiction: Inventions, quiz whizzes and a fairy tale as you have never seen it before

Walt Disney’s Cinderella.

This is Cinderella as you have never seen it before. The story of Cinderella has been told over and over, but has never been touched by the magic found in this book. This book captures the essence of Cinderella perfectly. The story is beautifully told, with equally beautiful and eye catching illustrations.

 

Quiz whiz. 4, 1,000 super fun mind-bending totally awesome trivia questions.

Ready to absorb mind blowing facts and test your intellect? Then check out this amazing book jam-packed full of brain tickling multiple choice and true or false questions. This book also presents one thousand trivia questions and answers on various subjects, from biology and technology to mathematics, history, and popular culture, including innovative map, photographic, and game show quizzes.

 

Genius! The Most Astonishing Inventions of All Time.

Read this book and check out all you need to know about the great (and sometimes surprising) inventions that created our 21st-century world, and the brilliant, and often brave, inventors who dared to think the unthinkable and do the impossible. From Archimedes machine for carrying water up hill, to Edisons electric light bulb; from the Wright brothers first powered flight to the Saturn V space rocket; from Gutenbergs printing press to Tim Berners-Lees creation of the worldwide web each gripping story of invention, struggle and perseverance is told in fascinating detail. Great for kids around the age of 9+ with an interest in technology, science and history.

 

 

4 new children’s non fiction to curb those winter blues

The Oxford Treasury of Fairy Tales.

Relive your favourite fairy tales time and time again by reading this amazing book. Escape into a world of knights and princesses, wicked witches and talking frogs. A must have book!

 

 

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: a visual history of modern transportation featuring 100 iconic designs.

Depicts one hundred iconic vehicles and innovative examples from transportation history presented in a timeline that can be read back to front, top to bottom, and right to left. Illustrated in stunning detail by the talented Mike Lemanski, this book beautifully captures the evolution of transportation design in a single shot. Overall this book is fantastic!

 

 

Motiti Blue and the oil spill.

This book tells the story  of a little blue penguin named Motiti Blue, who was covered in oil as a result of the oil spill from the Rena shipwreck. Also goes into detail about his rescue, the treatment he had at the Te Maunga Oiled Wildlife Response Unit and his release back into the wild. Overall a very fantastic book jam packed with amazing photos, especially of cute little blue penguins.

 

 

Rachel Carson and her book that changed the world.

Retells the story of Rachel Carson, a pioneering environmentalist who wrote and published “Silent Spring,” the revolutionary book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. A great book to read if you are interested in conservation, biology and marine life

6 new New Zealand and fairy tale non fiction just in time for winter.

Operation Nest Egg Chick.

“Deep down in a dark burrow, a father kiwi snorts and snuffles in his sleep. Underneath him , a large creamy egg lies snug and safe from pilfering predators.” Read more in Operation Nest Egg Chick, a creative non-fiction story about a BNZ Operation Nest Egg chick. Each page features beautiful illustrations, photographs and text boxes about how kiwis are being saved. A must have read!

 

Snow White : 4 beloved tales.

Retells the classic German version of Snow White, together with three similar tales–Marigo of the Forty Dragons from Albania, The unnatural mother and the girl with a star on her forehead from Mozambique, and The magic needle from Turkey

 

 

Rapunzel : 3 beloved tales.

Retells the classic German tale of Rapunzel in the tower, along with the similar tales of Clotilde from the Philippines, and Petrosinella from Italy.

 

 

 

Little Red Riding Hood Stories Around the World: 3 Beloved Tales.

Retells the classic German version of the fairy tale of a girl and a wolf, along with similar tales from Italy and Taiwan.

 

 

 

Alices food A-Z : edible adventures.

Written by Alice Zaslavsky – one-time Masterchef contestant and the host of TV quiz show Kitchen Whizz, this book contains information about all the things you ever wanted to know about food… and some things you probably didn’t. Packed to the brim with funny food facts, clever cooking tips and kidfriendly recipes, this is a book for the fact-hungry, food-obsessed or those who like to mess about in the kitchen. A great book to have on hand, especially with winter around the corner.

 

 

New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame : 25 Kiwi champions.

This book features information about 25 famous New Zealand sportspeople across a wide range of different sporting disciplines. Includes a caricature, an action photograph, a profile of the person, timeline, inspirational quote, description of the sport, training regime and trophy board. One book you must read!

Kids’ Club Review by Kimberley: The Frog Prince

The Frog PrinceThe Frog Prince, by Edith Tarcov

The frog was actually a person, but the wicked witch changed him into a frog. I didn’t actually see that bit. I only heard it from the frog. The frog got out from the well. The princess took him to her room and the frog was turned into a person. This look is interesting to me.

5 stars

Reviewed by Kimberley from Central City, 6 years old