Moana

Moana facing Te Kā

Disney has done it again! I’m never really surprised at how they continue to impress me. From the classics to the modern ones, Disney rolls with the times. Three years ago they brought us Frozen. With its powerful message about being who you are and amazing songs, it was also nice to have romance take the back burner.

Moana is the story of a girl from an island who dreams of the sea. When her island is in danger because of the actions of a demigod one thousand years before, she seeks out Maui, the demigod who caused the trouble. Chosen by the ocean fot this task, she plans to force him to replace the heart of Te Fiti, the mother island, because his theft of it is causing other islands to die.

Moana has no love story, just a friendship that builds, fantastic music, and more important messages for kids. The music carries the story in this movie. Songs such as How Far I’ll go, with powerful lines like 

I can lead with pride, I can make us strong. I’ll be satisfied if I play along, but the voice inside sings a different song. What is wrong with me?”

It is sometimes easier to go along with what is expected, but we all need to do what’s best for us.
My favorite song from this movie is I Am Moana. When Moana thinks that she’s failed, her grandmother’s spirit shows up for support. The end of the song:

I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me
It’s like the tide; always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart you’ll remind me
That come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!


It’s just such a powerful moment. Spirits of her ancestors, the ocean around her, and most importantly, she realizes the power to do what she needs to is within her.


There is the obligatory song of silliness, brought to you by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, You’re Welcome. This quickly became my husband’s favorite song just for the sheer ridiculous nature of the song.


My kids love this movie, I love this movie, you should love this movie. Why don’t you watch it and find out….

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Hotel Transylvania 2

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This past weekend was a full one for us. I love busy weekends, almost as much as the lazy ones. They’re fairly rare for us, so it’s easier to appreciate them.

One of the things that we fid this weekend was go to the Auto-Rama Drive-In in Valley City, OH, our first trip to the Drive-Ins since Harry Potter 5 and The Order of the Phoenix was released. We used to go all the time when we lived in NY, but had yet to attend one in OH.
This weekend we finally went, mainly because they finally played two movies on one screen that we wanted to see: Hotel Transylvania 2 and Pixels.

Normally I get a little nervous with sequels, they always have that potential to go horribly wrong, but thankfully, this did not.

For those who didn’t see the previews, the movie starts at Mavis and Johnny’s wedding. Then we get to see Mavis pregnant, which I was a little shocked they put in the movie, but definitely enjoyed. Then we meet little Dennis, the spitting image of his human daddy.

Dracula is a doting vamp-pa, and I love seeing his character act just as goofy as he was in the first movie. It’s always funny seeing a character that takes themselves so serious, acting like a goofball. Watching him interact, really watching all of the monsters interact, with the humans is amusing after the total fear and hatred of said humans in the first movie.

The plot thickens, as Mavis considers moving to CA, near Johnny’s family, because Dennis is showing no monster tendencies, and the hotel is too dangerous for a human child. Dracula convinces Johnny to take Mavis to CA for a visit, a trial run almost, while Dracula tries to fix the the situation. Fixing it, in this case, meaning getting Dennis to show his monster side.

While Mavis is off enjoying CA, much hilarity here, Dracula enlists the aid of his friends to force Dennis into monster – hood so he doesn’t lose his grandson. A lot of these moments were in the preview, like throwing him off the tower, but that whole camp sequence had me rolling!

There were some unexpected sweet moments in this movie, for instance the adorable way Dennis and Winny, Wolfman’s daughter, love on each other. If you have a toddler, you’ve probably seen this kind of love and hug bit going on, and it’s made even cuter by them referring to each other as “zing”.

Also shown in the previews, Dracula’s father gets involved, but shockingly he’s not the villain of the end. The actual villain and final confrontation was a little more intense than I expected.

Can’t wait for this to come out on DVD and digital (remember when it was VHS and DVD, or DVD and Blu Ray. This is getting complicated!) because I’m ready to see it again! Definitely recommend seeing this one.

Happy family viewing all!

Minions Movie

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Summer fun continues with the release of the Minions movie. Well, at least it was an enjoyable morning with my kids. The movie wasn’t as great as I had hoped. I loved Despicable Me and I loved the sequel, so I had high expectations for Minions. The previews led me to believe it would be hilarious, and Sandra Bullock voicing Scarlett Overkill was just icing.

The previews tell us that this is the story of how the Minions evolved and continued seeking out the biggest baddie to serve. Scarlett becomes their new leader, until she turns on them. Well, if you have seen the preview, you’ve seen the movie. I hate when the movie trailer gives away the whole movie. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few surprises, but no shocking twists, in fact we know the whole plot already.

I do love the Minions, the merchandise, the clothing and so on, after all, they are adorable! The movie is definitely worth seeing, but I don’t think it’s worth going to the theater to see. Wait for the DVD and rent it!

For those who haven’t seen the previews, a basic storyline:

The minions evolved from single cell organisms, always following the biggest baddie they could find. Sadly, they’re unable to keep a boss. Dinosaurs fall into lava pits, vampires turn to ash in sunlight, cavemen get eaten by bear. Eventually, our three favorite minions, Bob, Stuart and Kevin, go out into the world looking for a new leader. They find Scarlett and it seems perfect. She sends them on a mission to steal the crown from the queen. When that goes awry, she turns on them.

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SPOILERS
Of course our heroes save the day, but they turn quickly back to a life of crime when they meet a young Gru.

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Did you notice how short the spoiler section was? Spoilers on a movie should be longer!

I do have to end on this note:

Ba-na-na!!

Inside Out

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Unsurprisingly, Pixar has done it again. They’ve created a world inside our own that is funny, entertaining and pulls at the heartstrings. My family and I went to see Inside Out today, opening day, as the kids and I were very excited to see it!

The story begins when Riley is born. A cute baby girl, and inside her head, we’re introduced to Joy, an emotion. Joy lives in Headquarters, inside Riley’s head. Joy sees what Riley sees and, when pressing a button on the console, allows Riley to feel joy. Joy is immediately joined by Sadness, who, when pressing the button in the console, causes Riley to feel, you guessed it, sad.

As Riley grows, other emotions move into Headquarters, Anger, Fear and Disgust. All of the emotions are important to a person, Fear helping to keep Riley safe, Anger helping Riley be assertive and Disgust helps to keep Riley healthy (you don’t want to eat food off the floor, eew!) Joy has come to realize that all the emotions are important, but she doesn’t understand the point of Sadness.

Shortly after the movie starts, Riley’s family is moving across the country to San Francisco. All of the emotions are upset, except for Joy, who is determined to stay positive.

Sadness begins to touch memories that were once happy, like Riley playing with her best friend, causing a happy memory to turn sad. Joy doesn’t understand why they stay sad and begins limiting Sadness’s access to different parts of Headquarters. As usual, when limits are placed, they have to be broken. Sadness tries to access the Core Memories, specific memories that power Riley’s Islands of Personality. Some of Riley’s Islands include Family Island, Friendship Island and Goofball Island. These Islands help shape Riley’s personality, making Riley Riley. When Joy tries to stop Sadness, Joy, Sadness and all of the Core Memories are sucked out of Headquarters and into a different part of Riley’s mind.

This leaves Joy in charge of getting them back to Headquarters before Fear, Anger and Disgust can cause too much damage. As they’re trying to make their way back to Headquarters, they’re forced to watch as the Islands of Personality begin crumbling into the Memory Dump, where forgotten things go.

They enlist the help of Riley’s former imaginary friend Bing Bong, and Joy tries to leave Sadness behind, still not understanding her purpose. Joy and Bing Bong end up in the Memory Dump and nothing comes back from the Memory Dump.

This movie had a great deal more feeling (ha) than I was expecting. I found tears forming when Joy begins to understand the importance of Sadness. None of us can only exist with one emotion ruling us. Without Sadness, would we really appreciate the Joy?

The kids enjoyed the movie and Tony even admitted that it was a good movie. He is a little more discerning than I am. Don’t think it’s all sad either, especially at the end, we’re allowed a look inside other people’s Headquarters. If that doesn’t make you laugh, you may actually be dead inside.

Happy viewing all!

Disney’s Frozen

Disney's Frozen

Wow, so it’s almost been three weeks since I’ve seen this movie, but I am still loving on the music, plot-line and characters from it, so what to do, what to do, oh yeah, blog about it! The movie is still in theatres so I feel this blog could still be helpful to some people. Even once it’s on DVD, this may give people a heads up about the movie.
I want to start by saying how amazing the movie was! The previews showed that it was going to be another cute Disney movie about siblings, an adventure and magic. There will be spoilers in this blog, because to tell you about the best part of the plot, I will have to tell how it ends. It’s just so great, I can’t keep it to myself!
I’ve been told by my husband, family and friends that I am too easy when it comes to movies, but Frozen hit me out of left field with how deep some of the story lines went. Let’s be honest, the first several Disney princesses were kind of wimpy! Snow White, accomplished nothing, ran away from her problems and had to be saved by a prince. Cinderella just went along with the status quo, not expecting better, until fate intervened. Sleeping Beauty, well her name kind of says it all, slept through her story and needed a prince to save her.
I was happy all around when Disney princesses got bolder and braver. Ariel wanted something different, so she defied her father to go after her heart’s desire. Esmerelda had a fiery spirit and defied all authority to do what was right. Jasmine ran away from home because she didn’t like the status quo anymore! I could go on and on about the evolution of the Disney female characters, but why don’t I tell you why Frozen has the best ones?
We start with Elsa and Anna, two sisters from the kingdom of Arendelle. They are best friends in the beginning, both enjoying Elsa’s power to create snow and ice. An accident leads to Anna getting hurt and her memories of Elsa’s powers are taken from her during the healing.
The girls grow up, not playing together anymore, because of their parents decision to keep them apart to keep Anna safe. The parents still clearly love both of their girls, but I can’t help but think that hiding Elsa’s powers from everyone and keeping them apart wasn’t the best choice.
When the girls are left on their own, Elsa is eventually crowned as the new queen. Anna, who is so desperately lonely falls for the first guy who gives her attention. This is pretty common in Disney movies, and you start by thinking, oh how sweet and typical!
Elsa’s power is shown to everyone during an altercation between the sisters and Elsa is so worried about what will happen that she runs away. This is the scene of my favorite song in the movie, and possibly one of my favorite Disney songs ever!

Let it go is all about letting go of the past so you can embrace things you didn’t think you could have. Just a really powerful song!
Anna decides to go after her sister to bring her home. She leaves her new fiancé in charge of Arendelle while she is away. She eventually meets Kristoff and his reindeer Sven and they help her combat the elements to find Elsa. Did I mention that Elsa created an unending winter as she ran away?
Once the sisters are reunited, Anna wants her sister to come back home, finally realizing why they were kept apart, but now she thinks they can be friends. Elsa is so worried about hurting her sister again, which of course makes her powers unstable and she hurts her even worse than when they were children.
Kristoff rushes her back home to her fiancé after their troll friends tell them only true love can stop her heart from freezing. After all, in Disney movies, true love breaks all the spells! The biggest shock in my life, came when her fiancé turned out to be a complete tool who was using her for her kingdom. He left her for dead, planning to have Elsa killed for her crimes against her sister, leaving him free to rule the kingdom! I was shocked that Disney had a plot line this serious!
Anna, still worried about her sister, manages to fight off the freezing heart long enough to try and save her sister. Elsa is destroyed, thinking she killed her sister, but when the evil fiancé tries to kill her, Anna uses the last moments of her life to save her sister. Of course, what is this? An act of true love!
Disney has finally made an entire movie about strong female characters! There is a love story, both fake and real, but they take the back seat in this movie compared to the relationship between these sisters. It shows young girls that true love doesn’t solve all problems, love is important, but please don’t wait for your ‘prince’ to come along!
There are characters that I didn’t delve into, really just wanted to touch on the highlights of the movie. We have Olaf the Snowman, the Rock Trolls. It’s just all good. The music is amazing! I downloaded the soundtrack when we got home from the movie. Chiara, my three year old, has fallen as in love with the music as I did! We sing these songs constantly! This movie can’t come out on Blu-Ray soon enough to suit me!