Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Inside Out is NOW Out!!

Inside Out is NOW Available
on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD!

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what’s going on inside their head? Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes an exciting and hilarious journey into the mind to find the answer. Based in Headquarters, the control center of 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy. She strives to make sure Riley stays happy as she operates alongside fellow emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. It’s “an instant classic,” raves Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times. Experience it like never before on Disney Blu-ray!

Amy Poehler (“Freebirds,” TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) as Joy; Bill Hader (Monsters University, TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) as Fear; Phyllis Smith (“Bad Teacher,” TV’s “The Office”) as Sadness; Lewis Black (“The Aristocrats,” TV’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) as Anger; Mindy Kaling (“Wreck-It Ralph,” TV’s “The Office”) as Disgust; Richard Kind (A Bug’s Life, TV’s “Spin City”) as Bing Bong; Kaitlyn Dias (voice acting debut) as the voice of Riley

Digital HD*, Blu-ray Combo Pack & Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA)
·     Riley's First Date? (In-Home Exclusive Animated Short Film) - Riley, now 12, is hanging out at home with her parents in San Francisco when potential trouble comes knocking: a boy shows up at the door. Can Mom and Dad's emotions handle “Riley's First Date?”

·     LAVA (Theatrical Short Film) - Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, LAVA is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.

·     Story of the Story - Director Pete Docter talks about the evolution of Inside Out, from the ideas and memories that inspired the story through the hurdles, explorations and experiences that helped shape it into the film it is today.

·     Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out - Inside Out filmmakers, from voice actors to animators to production crew, talk about their paths, their goals, the challenges they've faced and the lessons they've learned along the way

·     Mixed Emotions - Inside Out's filmmakers talk about how they decided which emotions to focus on in the story and how they went about creating each one's distinct personality and visual identity

·     Mapping the Mind - Inside Out's artists take you through the years-long process of designing and creating a world everyone knows, but no one has ever seen - the human mind.

·     Our Dads, the Filmmakers - Elie Docter (daughter of director, Pete Docter) and Grace Giacchino (daughter of composer, Michael Giacchino) bring you behind the scenes for an inside look at the making of the film.

·     Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out - What is the sound of a memory forming? Sound designer Ren Klyce describes the challenges - and the unique solutions - involved in creating the aural world of Inside Out.

·     The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing - Learn more about the crucial role of an animation film editor, who helps take     the story from its earliest, most exploratory versions, to the final, polished film you see onscreen.

·     Deleted Scenes

Riley Grows Up - In this scene from a version of the film where the primary relationship was between Joy and Fear (then named Freddie), the emotions begin to notice a change in Riley.

Joy's Decline - Joy's struggles to make sense of the limitations on Riley's behavior that seem to be springing up at every turn.

Misdirection -Joy and Freddie encounter a group of Riley's "retired" imaginary friends, including an early version of Big Bong.

Construction - Joy is guided through Riley's mind by a radical non-conformist, Bing Bong, outraged by the demolition of older areas like Imagination Park.

·       Commentary - Commentary includes participation from directors Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, and producer Jonas Rivera.

·       Mind Candy – A montage of toolkit and interstitials produced for Inside Out.

·       Inside Out Trailers - A collection of domestic and international trailers made for Inside Out.

*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer              

Blu-ray 3D
·       LAVA

·       LAVA
·       Commentary
DMA Exclusives:
·     Designing Abstract Thought - Inside Out character designer Albert Lozano describes the challenging, exciting and appropriately nonlinear process of designing the films "Abstract Thought" sequence.

·       Deleted Scenes
Joy Alone - Pursuing a lost memory underneath the ocean, Joy is given a chance to fulfill her heart's desire.

Imagination Park - Joy is chased through a reactivated Imagination Park by an antagonistic Freddie.

We have been waiting anxiously for this movie to come out on Blu-ray! Ever since we saw it in theaters, the entire family has been excited to see it again. The movie is so full of emotion. As a mom, I found it to be eye opening to get a look into how a kid might be feeling without fully letting you in. Even my daughter found some sadness in the movie and cuddled closer to me at some touching moments. It was great to see it together and be able to talk about it after. I loved having that opening to tell her that it's ok to feel sad.

But aside from being moving and heartwarming, it was also fun and funny! The characters are incredible. My daughter really was drawn to sadness. She loves to lay down on the floor and pretend to be her. I personally love Bing-Bong. I mean really, he cries candy! I would love to see him reappear in his own little short!

I feel like this movie has so much to offer. It has an incredibly interesting concept. I love the idea of the islands that make up who you are. Riley's islands were made up of all the important people and things in her life that made her who she is. There were just so many awesome little concepts that just all pulled together to make a brilliant story, like long term memory and the train of thought. Cute plays on words. It's the perfect movie for families to watch together. To laugh and cry together. And to take the opportunity to talk about feelings and how ever feeling is important and valid. It's a fun family movie night for sure!!

The Bonus features of this film are also outstanding. We really enjoyed LAVA when we saw it in the theater. The music was beautiful and the tale of true love was so beautifully illustrated. So it was a lot of fun to be able to relive that moment again.

I also really enjoy getting a peak into how these films come to life. An amazing amount if time and work goes into creating something so magical. And the human mind is truly a fascinating place that these artists have created!

But my absolute favorite feature was the all new short, Riley's First Date? I love how the emotions are carried over to the different characters and they take on a whole new persona! It is so clever and well done. And it's very humorous to see how everyone reacts to this new journey in Riley's life!

I would highly recommend you check this movie out! And here are some fun coloring sheets to help make the most of your fun family movie night!

Download Inside Out Colors & Emotions

Thursday, October 29, 2015

See An All New Pixar Short - "Riley's First Date?"

"Riley's First Date?"

Synopsis: Do you ever look at someone and wonder what’s going on inside their head? Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes an exciting and hilarious journey into the mind to find the answer. Based in Headquarters, the control center of 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy. She strives to make sure Riley stays happy as she operates alongside fellow emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. It’s “an instant classic,” raves Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times. Experience it like never before on Disney Blu-ray!  

Stay connected with the latest news and information about ”Inside Out”:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Fun with Inside Out!

As we all wait patiently for Inside Out to be released on 
Blu-ray Combo Pack on November 3rd... 
here are some fun Halloween activities to keep the little ones busy!

Download Inside Out Halloween Fun Activities

Friday, October 16, 2015

Advanced Biobanking with LifebankUSA

When I had my daughter, six years ago, cord blood banking was mentioned to me in passing. I wasn't provided with too much information and it wasn't brought up again after that first and only mention. It wasn't something I heard other moms talking about and wasn't on my list of things to research as an overwhelmed new mom-to-be. But it should have been.

Over the years I have learned so much more about it. Perhaps it's because I am now aware, but I see advertisements and have noticed fliers in doctor's offices. But the information needs to be easily available. Someone needs to be informing new moms about the choices they have for cord blood banking.

Knowing your options when it comes to cord blood banking is so important. I think it is something every mom-to-be should be informed about and given enough information to make the best decision for their family. It is something that is so easy to do, and could potentially save your child's life.

Cord blood banking is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect, process and preserve your baby’s stem cells for future medical use. Collecting your baby’s cord blood is a simple and safe procedure that happens immediately after the birth and usually takes the healthcare provider about 5 minutes to collect and package for shipment to our state-of-the-art facility located in New Jersey.
Cord blood is an important source of rich stem cells, and has been proven in treatments to help replace and rebuild diseased blood cells. Today, cord blood stem cells are used in the treatment of more than 80 diseases, 1 including various types of blood disorders and cancers such as leukemia.

Advanced Biobanking
A New Generation of Proactive Life-Banking Services: Advanced Biobanking

Ongoing medical research is showing that the stem cells in cord blood have transformative potential and are used to treat more than 80 different diseases and are being studied for the treatment of dozens more.1 But cord blood is only the beginning.

Advanced Biobanking. Their Future is Here.
You want the best for your baby and family. So do we. That’s why we’re combining our years of experience and leadership in stem cell research and development to deliver a new generation of advanced, first-in-class biobanking services.

There is a lot to learn about the possibilities of Advanced Biobanking, from placental blood banking to complete placenta banking to cord vessels and cord platelet rich plasma. The LifeBankUSA website has everything you need to know to make an informed decision for your family on cord blood banking.

I wish our family had been provided with more information, and I hope that this reaches some new moms-to-be out there who will at least take a few minutes to look over LifeBankUSA's website. A little information can go a long way!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Disney's Cinderella

“Believe in Magic” – Claudia Puig, USA Today

DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE on September 15, 2015

Over 12 Minutes of Additional Scenes, Including an Alternate Opening,
 Plus the “Frozen Fever” Theatrical Short!

Celebrate Disney’s “Cinderella,” a modern classic that shines with beauty, imagination…and magic! Despite being mistreated by her stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, a spirited Ella (Lily James) resolves to take charge of her fate. Add a royal ball, a Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham-Carter) and a glass slipper, and suddenly – magic becomes reality!

My Thoughts:
For as long as I can remember, Cinderella has been my favorite Disney movie. When my daughter was three years old I was so excited to share the classic story with her, and was thrilled when she fell in love with it... just like I did. She is now 6 years old.... and taking her to see this new movie in the theater was beyond magical! Her uncle also came with us, and after the movie he said his favorite part was watching her watch the movie. He saw excitement and magic in her eyes throughout!

Now if you ask my daughter her favorite part she will tell you two things.... when the pumpkin grows too big for the green house and when the Fairy Godmother gives her the gown. Oh the gown! Every girls dream... no matter how old... is to wear a gown that beautiful!

I am so excited to have this now on DVD so that my daughter and I can relive the magic any time we want. It is filled with magic and laughter, as well as a little sadness and tears. My daughter cried when Cinderella's mother died, which made me cry! But the movie is filled with so much goodness.  The words, "Have courage and be kind," are words I want my daughter to live by. Cinderella is a beautiful, kind, caring girl who rises above life's greatest challenges and heartaches. And she comes out stronger and even more beautiful for it. Inside and out.

This movie is a classic brought to life. It is a must see for all princesses... no matter their age!

Download Cinderella Host A Royal Ball

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sloth Slept On

Sloth Slept On
written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Who's that sleeping in our tree?!

When a group of children find a mysterious animal napping in their backyard, they set out to learn what it is and where it’s from. They search and search, never noticing all the posters and news articles about a sloth that's broken out of the zoo…

When the kids finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature, they hatch a plan to get it home… boy, will this sloth be surprised when he wakes up!

Frann Preston-Gannon has created an endearing, adorable, and huggable title character; a group of intrepid children; and a wildly humorous situation in SLOTH SLEPT ON (Sterling Children’s Books, September 2015)!

Frann Preston-Gannon is the author and illustrator of The Journey Home (Pavilion Press), as well as How to Lose a Lemur and Dinosaur Farm (both Sterling). In 2011, Frann became the first UK recipient of a Sendak Fellowship and spent a month living with and learning from the great master of illustration, Maurice Sendak. She lives in London.

My Thoughts:
I have always had a love for the slow moving, adorable sloths. And the sleepy sloth in this story is definitely adorable! I love how the kids in this story have such creative imaginations. They want to know who this sloth is and where he is from. A pirate? An astronaut? While they may not notice all the posters looking for this sloth, they do figure out a way to learn all about him.

I think it's fabulous how the author combined imagination and fact to make this story so interesting. From outrageous ideas like a sloth knight to all of the interesting facts about sloths, it's a great way to encourage imagination and learning about animals and what makes them who they are. It was a fun story that both of my kids enjoyed!

Space Boy and His Dog

Space Boy and His Dog
by Dian Curtis Regan
illustrated by Robert Neubecker

Niko may live on boring old Earth with his family, but he’s always finding a new adventure. Using the spaceship that he built from a box in his backyard and a little imagination, he flies off into space with his robot, Radar, and his dog, Tag. The only one NOT invited is his sister Posh who keeps trying to insert herself into Niko’s story. In this first mission, Niko and crew (and maybe also pesky Posh) fly to the moon in search of a lost cat. Illustrated in comic–book style and featuring easy–to–read text packed with humor, Space Boy and His Dog is Niko’s first adventure, with two more books planned in the series.

My Thoughts:
This book was a hit in my household for so many reasons! The number one reason is probably because my kids and Niko have so much in common. Every time a box comes into our house it quickly becomes some amazing new adventure. From turning boxes into houses to trains to airplanes to rockets. Kids imaginations are absolutely amazing!

The next reason my kids liked the book so much was they could relate to the characters. Yes, we have the lovely brother-sister relationship where someone is always "not invited" or being left on the moon. I loved that Niko felt compelled to go back and rescue his sister...even if she didn't need rescuing. It was a great conversation for us to talk about including each other when they play and always being there for each other.

I love Niko's imagination and the adventures it takes him on! This is a great book to inspire kids and get them back into reading as we jump into a new school year!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Seventh Dwarf

Join All the Characters You Love in a Delightful New Adventure!

Featuring All-Star Voice Cast of Peyton List, Norm Macdonald, Nina Hagen and Joshua Green



This summer, venture into the wondrous world of Fantabularasa Castle and be spellbound by the exciting adventures of your favorite storybook characters in THE SEVENTH DWARF. With an exceptional voice cast of Peyton List (Disney Channel series BUNK’D, Jessie and Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Norm Macdonald (The Middle, Saturday Night Live), internationally renowned singer and actress Nina Hagen and newcomer Joshua Graham, this new CG-animated motion picture is a hilarious mash-up of the best classic fairytales, packed with beloved storybook characters, non-stop laughs and toe-tapping songs!  Directed by Harald Siepermann (Tarzan, Enchanted) and Boris Aljinovic, THE SEVENTH DWARF is a wonderfully magical movie adventure for the whole family.    

On August 18, 2015, Shout! Factory is proud to present THE SEVENTH DWARF on two-disc BLU-RAY™ 3D Combo Pack, on DVD and available on VOD. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack allows viewers to enjoy THE SEVENTH DWARF on the platform of their choice and includes spectacular movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a digital copy of the movie.  Enhancing both editions of the film are sing-alongs, character profiles and a downloadable Royal Birthday invitation as bonus features.   THE SEVENTH DWARF can also be seen in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York on July 31, 2015.

Join all seven dwarfs for an adventure as big as they are small! It’s the eve of Princess Rose’s 18th birthday. Everyone in the kingdom has come to Fantabularasa Castle to celebrate including Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. But just before the stroke of midnight Bobo, the youngest dwarf, accidentally pricks the finger of Princess Rose (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) with a cursed needle and sends the kingdom into a century-long slumber! To find Rose’s true love Jack to save her with a kiss, Bobo and the other six dwarfs must go on a treacherous journey, face a fiery dragon and outwit the jealous, scheming and evil witch, Dellamorta!

Movie Runtime is 88 minutes.  MPAA Rating: PG. For more information on The Seventh Dwarf, please visit

My Thoughts:
My daughter, age 6, thought that this movie was great! I liked that it brought together a bunch of different fairy tales with a bit of a modern day twist. The characters all interacted together and their stories intermixed.

She was a fan of the magic and music. She liked the characters and thought the dwarfs were funny. She liked to point out all of the things that she recognized; characters and story lines. I liked that there were important lessons throughout the story. Never underestimate the underdog, be true to your word, and the importance of friendship.

This movie was a nice mix of adventure, love, and humor. With just the right mix of villains, princesses, and goofy guys. It was a hit with my daughter and she has asked to watch it again!

* I received a copy of this DVD in order to provide an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Descendants on DVD!

A New Epic Universe Featuring the Untold Story of Disney Classic Characters Re-Imagined From Emmy Award-Winning Director and Producer Kenny Ortega!

Get Ready for Disney’s Newest Movie Event Available on DVD July 31st 

Starring Tony and Emmy Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as the Classic Villain Maleficent
Includes Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features and a Free Bracelet!

From the Emmy Award-winning director and choreographer Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical” franchise) comes this original contemporary story of classic Disney characters reinvented and the introduction of modern Disney lore.  Enter this new epic universe of relatable tween characters on a journey of self-discovery.  New on Disney DVD, and complete with never-before-seen bonus and a FREE bracelet!

In a present day idyllic kingdom, the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s iconic “Beauty and the Beast”) is poised to take the throne.  His first proclamation:  offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella de Vil, Maleficent the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters.  These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes, including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan.  However, the evil teens face a dilemma.  Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom?

Download Descendants Activity Sheets

My Thoughts:
My daughter has been so excited to see this new movie. The day it arrived she wanted to watch it right away. And since then we have watched it two more times! That should tell you it was a huge hit with my 6 year old!

I loved that this was a movie our whole family could sit down and enjoy. We are bog Disney fanatics, so this was a fun film that brought back some of our favorite villains. It's definitely geared toward the younger generation, but it didn't stop us from having some toe-tapping fun. I mean, who doesn't want to dance to an even peppier version of "Be Our Guest"?

While I was excited to see some off spring of classic characters... Dopey's son!... my daughter was all about Mal. From her clothes, to her singing, to her romance with Belle's Son, Ben.  We are now on the hunt for a Mal costume for Halloween!

I was impressed with this fun film. It's a great family movie night flick. And one that my daughter is going to be asking for again and again! Time to start buying some dolls and clothes to keep the party going!

Download Descendants Party Package

Download Descendants Your Magical Story