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: Moana

Around the Christmas break, I went to see the movie, Moana on the big screen and it is in a word… AMAZING!

image courtesy of amazon.comA tribute to the Polynesian culture and mythology, and full of heroic exploits of the heroes and heroines that Kiwis will be familiar with, namely Maui, the demigod. The plot follows the adventure and journey of Moana , a spirited teenager, who like most Disney princesses has a lot on her plate. This involves sailing out on a daring mission to save her island, restore the heart of Te Fiti – the island goddess, fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest and save the world. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures against impossible odds. Once again, Disney has put together a movie of epic proportions filled with quirky and memorable characters, as well as an amazing cast, including Kiwi actors, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement and Oscar Kightley. Kids, if those names don’t ring a bell, ask your parents and a Disney Princess in the form of Moana who embodies the qualities of an adventurous, headstrong, practically fearless, and physically capable heroine. An 8/10 all the way!

Also check out these youtube clips from the movie soundtrack: “How far I’ll go” and “You’re Welcome!”

Enjoy!

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.

 

Beauty and the Beast – US Official Final Trailer.

The final trailer for the 2017 live action movie, Beauty and the Beast has been released and this trailer definitely illustrates the potential for this film to be one of the greatest and highly anticipated films for 2017. The characters and CGI effects are fantastic! Emma Watson owns the role of Belle and as for the beast, well he is monstrous on the outside, but a real softie underneath, not to mention has a very dry sense of humour.  So save the date, March 17, where you will get to rediscover one of the classic fairy tales as old as time in your local cinema. Enjoy!

8 new children’s non fiction summer entertainment guide – Part Two!

The countdown to Christmas and the end of 2016 continues.  And the new children’s non fiction summer entertainment guide theme continues!

So for your reading pleasure, the library has some new non fiction available from your local library.

Check out books about what DreamWorks characters  like to eat for supper, fantastic guide on popular film and TV characters,  famous children’s authors and even more about Star Wars.

Also Kiwi Christmas song, Summer Wonderland by Ronan Keating  is now available to stream and download from all your favourite music streaming flavours. But you can’t bothered, check out the clip right here, complete so you can sing along and take part in the festive cheer while  strolling through a summer wonderland.

To recap, Summer Wonderland is a Kiwi spin on a much beloved classic Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, with a lyrical twist for the Southern Hemisphere and recorded for Air New Zealand.  This Christmas carol really showcases and beautifully captures the sprit and essence of a Kiwi Christmas of tucking into ham and pavlova, playing cricket, mozzie spray and tan marks. Check it out!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Ultimate DreamWorks Cookbook.

Trolls has finally been released in theatres and to continue the celebration, check out the ultimate DreamWorks cookbook. Have you ever wondered about the secret ingredient in Mr. Ping’s noodles? Do you know how the Croods cook their dinner or how the penguins get their bellies filled? In the Ultimate DreamWorks Cookbook you can find the answers to all of these questions, and many more. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts, all are featured in this fun and nutritious cookbook from DreamWorks.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDoctor Who: A History of Humankind.

History and Doctor Who all rolled into one, Imagine that?! The doctor has corrected this Coal Hill School Hisotry textbook with his own notes and illustrations that is jammed packed full of the real history about our very special planet.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Usborne Official Spy’s Handbook.

This one book that every potential spy needs to get it’s hands on. Covers everything that a good spy needs to know about secret codes, spy rings, dead drops, disguises, tracking, shadowing, hiding, sending message, decoding signal and observation skills.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsJeff Kinney.

Read all about the man who brought Diary of a Wimpy Kid to life! Simple text and full-color photographs introduce readers to Jeff Kinney.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDr. Seuss.

Read all about the man who brought The Cat in the Hat, Horton hears a who and The Lorax to life! Simple text and full-color photography introduce beginning readers to Dr. Seuss.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMoana.

Find out everything you need to know about the newest Disney heroine, Moana, and her hero Maui, on their incredible journey across the South Pacific. Discover the beautiful locations of Oceania, including breathtaking underworlds along with frightening sea creatures! This book is packed with stunning images of Moana’s quest and provides a fascinating, in-depth look at the most thrilling moments from the movie.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsTop 10 of everything 2017.

Move over, Guinness World Records, Top 10 of everything 2017, that ranges from video games, insects, movies, sports and so on, will enthral and amaze you for hours… not days… not weeks… but all year long!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars Galactic Atlas.

Calling all Star Wars fans, here is you chance to explore a galaxy far, far away in this stunning guide to the worlds of Star Wars. This book is jam packed full of  superb full colour, covers everything from Alderaan and Naboo to Tatooine and Yavin 4, taking in the epic stories, strange creatures and glorious vistas of the entire saga. Check out the official trailer for the latest release from the Star Wars franchise: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. Exciting!

 

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year!  See you in 2017!

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

5 Pixar Movies to watch these school holidays

Just in time for the wintery-est of school holidays. With the release of Finding Dory, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, why not go down to your local library and check out some other DVDs released by the same companies:

image courtesy of amazon.com

Finding Nemo (2003)

Go back to where it all began where Marlin goes on an epic quest from the great barrier reef to Sydney in order to find and save his son, Nemo, while meeting and encountering new friends on the way such as surfer turtles that live to 150 years old, vegetarian sharks who have regular meetings and of course, Dory herself!, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

The Incredibles (2004)

Looking for a DVD where action, Superheroes and Disney are combined? Look no further, Check out The Incredibles, a movie that follows a family of superheroes who are forced to hide their powers and live a quiet suburban life. Mr. Incredible’s desire to help people draws the entire family into a battle with a villain and his killer robot.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

Cars (2006)

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. This is a movies that boys will enjoy, especially boys into cars and formula one racing.

 

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

WALL-E (2008)

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot named WALL-E, inadvertently embarks on a space journey, to reunite with new found friend, fellow robot named EVE, that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

Up (2009)

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway named Russell. This is the movie that came up with sayings and references such as ‘Adventure is out there!”, “the cone of shame.”, and where Kevin can be a girl’s name and Dogs can talk, not meaning woof, woof but actual words like: “My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you.”