Review – Disney’s PETE’S DRAGON (2016)

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I grew up loving that vivid, magical and somewhat crazy 1977 Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, so when I heard they were re-releasing the movie I just rolled my eyes. I mean good old zany cartoon Elliot was awesome.  I protested (in my own head) it should not be done, a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, but why?

Last night I found out why.  Though I came to the theater with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and stressed from my day, I was almost immediately swept away in this very reimagined tale.  This 2016 Disney version of Pete’s Dragon is another Disney success.  It had me laughing, crying (yes, tears running down my cheeks) and captivated.

The Plot:
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father (and Grace’s Fiance) Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.

Disney, in my humble opinion, has done it again. Pete’s Dragon 2016 is a delight to the imagination, wholesome entertainment that reinforces family and American values.  As a mom, I keep a close eye out on what my children watch and the sub stories that many don’t normally pay attention to. I found it refreshing to see that Grace had her own home to return to at night since her and Jack are only engaged. It maybe a bit of old fashion thinking on my part, but it was a comfortable throwback to dependable family values we were used to seeing.  Grace’s love for the forest brings a whole different “green” aspect to the film bringing light to the endangered species that are suffering their habitats being destroyed.   Another subtext to the movie that I found wonderful.

Pete’s Dragon (2016) brings to the screen another future family favorite.  I had an 8 year old, 9 year old and a 13 year old with me last night and barely heard a word out of them that wasn’t a gasp of surprise, “Awe, poor Elliott” or “Elliott is so cute”.  They didn’t wiggle, whine, ask for snacks or try to leave for a potty break, this is a big deal.  The relationship between Pete and Elliott (who looks a lot like Falkor from the “The Neverending Story”) is as heart warming as the original.  Pete is desperate for love and family as in the original, even if the plot is completely different.  They play together, dream together and provide just what the other needs without any actual conversation…wouldn’t that be nice. Directory David Lowery – takes you on a lighthearted playful 3D ride above the clouds, through the forest and directly into your heart.  It may not be as whimsical, bright and colorful as the original, but this heart-warming reimagined tale will give you the big warm GREEN fuzzies all over.

Official Trailer:

 

Check out the Disney Pete’s Dragon site for this great activity packet, videos, image and tickets

 

Activity Sheets : Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave

Kids will love these fun activities abot the movie Land Before time. Crossword puzzles, mazes and dot-to-dots will keep kids entertained for a long time!

Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave

Stomping back on the screen are the world’s most beloved dinosaurs in the new classic film, The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave landing on Digital HD and exclusively on DVD at Walmart February 2nd! In this exciting and heartwarming adventure, young Apatosaurus Littlefoot and his four dinosaur pals, Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike, embark on an ambitious quest to find Littlefoot’s missing dad, making new friends and learning valuable life lessons along the way. The new animated movie also features voices of Reba McEntire as Etta and Damon Wayans Jr. as Wild Arms. We’re excited to share these awesome activity sheets and film clips to get you excited for the all-new adventure! Come join the fun and please feel free to share with your readers.

Clips

Dawn of the Croods is arriving on Netflix!

Tomorrow, 12/24 is the world premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s Dawn of the Croods arriving on Netflix! These hilarious clips paint a portrait of what to expect in the prequel to the popular film. 

Veggie-eatians, are they plant or people eaters? What is the true origin of a veggie-eatian, aka, vegetarian? Find out on an all-new series Dawn of the Croods coming to Netflix, December 24th. 

Everyone has that one clingy friend. Meet Lerk, the world’s first “best friend” in an all-new series Dawn of the Croods on Netflix, December 24th.

Home- Friendship comes in all shape, sizes and species

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Coming to theaters this Friday – March 27th, way before all the summer blockbusters is Dreamworks HOME. Not only is it a delightful, funny and entertaining movie, it also has a big heart.  Director Tim Johnshon calls it “the first post-apocalypitc alien innovation buddy comedy, road trip and animated movie.”  I think it is much more than that. HOME explores culture clashes, being different, making mistakes and friendship all rolled into a 94 minute 3D around the world heartwarming adventure.  HOME had this mom and her kids laughing and even tearing up at times.  You fall instantly in love with Oh, Tip and Pig.  Pig stole my kids heart so much they asked if we could get another cat named Pig or change our current cat’s name. Children, Moms and Dads will find their toes tapping to the music by artists like Rihanna (the voice of Tip), Kiesza, Charli XCX + Stargate, Ester Dean and the talented Jennifer Lopez.

We got a sneek peek at the new movie last week in L.A. and we give it two hands up!

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Synopsis:

When Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest to of her own.  Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistake is all part of being human and together they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.

Click below for the trailer:

We give HOME two big and four little thumbs up!  We’ll definitely recommend HOME to our friends and will be picking this Bluray/DVD up when it is released later this year.

Cast:
Jim Parsons … Oh (voice)
Rihanna Rihanna … Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci (voice)
Steve Martin … Captain Smek (voice)
Jennifer Lopez … Lucy (voice)
Matt Jones … Kyle (voice)
Brian Stepanek … Gorg Commander / Father / Boov
April Lawrence … Boov Announcer (voice)

Moms’ Night Out Red Carpet Movie Premier

Last Tuesday I attended an event that was a very exciting first for me. I went to a red carpet premier in Hollywood of a new movie coming out May 9th called “Moms’ Night Out“. It stars Sean Astin, Sarah Drew, Patricia Heaton and Trace Adkins. It was the first time I had ever been so close to so many celebrities all at once and wow was it fun! It took place at the Chinese Theatre at Hollywood and Highland and if you have never see n a viewing there I highly suggest it. The venue is absolutely beautiful. The lovely Sondra from Happy Healthy Hip Parenting met me at our hotel before the premier so we could get all dolled up and ready for the event.

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It was so much fun putting on a dress and high heels because as a mom to three kids it is not often I get to do that. Rather than driving ourselves to the Theater and fighting LA traffic we decided to use a car service called uber and save ourselves some stress. They pick you up in a nice black suburban that is clean and comfortable. Much better than a taxi.

We arrived a few hours before the premier so we could have dinner with some friends from ENMN, including Genevieve Goings from Disney’s Choo Choo Soul. After finding our way to the mall and escaping a few characters (I mean grown adults dressed as superheros)  we sat down to dine at the Grill On Hollywood. It is a gorgeous restaurant with  a terrific happy hour menu. They had these blue cheese french fries that were to die for. While we ate we also had a chance to look through our incredibly awesome swag bags. There was everything from jewelry, to fans, to DVD’s to cake! One of my favorites was a bracelet from a company called Mint and Lolly.

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When we got to the premier the red carpet was all laid out and all of the stars started showing up. They were all so friendly and answered a lot of questions. This was my second time seeing this movie so it was neat to see Patricia and Sean outside of their roles. Actually, they even started the movie without Sean Astin because he was so nice taking time to talk to everyone. Sondra and I saw him getting the last tub of popcorn for his kids after they ran out! It was so cute.

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While we were in the theater everyone would clap for the stars when they would show up on the screen. It was such a great vibe in there and everyone was laughing and smiling. I have said this many times over the past few weeks and I will say it again. I cannot recommend this movie enough. I really felt like I was able to connect with the movie and Sara as her role as a mom.  I walked away feeling uplifted and inspired and I hope you will too. Moms’ Night Out comes to theaters on May 9th, just in time for Mother’s Day.

After the event we attended an after party at Lucky Strike. They had a DJ, a photo booth, a burger bar, an ice cream bar, an OPEN bar and endless pizzas that were coming out. I had so much fun! We watched some of the kids from the movie bowl with their parents and even took some pictures with them. I would love to host a party there sometime. What an amazing experience.

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I am part of the Entertainment New Media Network and was invited to the red carpet premier of  Moms Night Out as well as the after party at Lucky Strike.