Book Review “Build My Own: A Magical Christmas”

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Series: Build My Own (Book 3)
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Firstly, let’s just clear the air that this is not a LEGO book. It looks like LEGO pieces for it is “building bricks”. I am a sucker for Christmas. This book contains 86 bricks that allow you to read with the book and assemble Christmas themed models, including a little tree. Being a 30+ year old man, I still love LEGO, I mean “building bricks”. The book though, I can’t seem to shake that bargain bin feel.

Official Premise: Ho! Ho! Ho! Youngsters will love getting into the holiday spirit by exploring this super fun treasury filled with stories, songs, crafts, and more, and using the 86 building bricks to make their very own tree, presents and Santa! Specially designed to help reinforce engineering concepts, this magical building block set will make the perfect Christmas (or pre-Christmas) gift for a wide range of ages.

Book Reviews “Disney Poster-A-Page – Disney Junior: Let’s Play & Frozen: Magical Moments”

Series: Disney Poster-a-Page
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Disney
Release Date: September 2, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Time Home Entertainment Inc has been behind a great Poster-A-Page series featuring some of the most popular Disney franchise characters recently. They feature not only our favorite character but also key story points, and memorable moments. It is what it says it is, this is literally a poster on every page along with nine supersize pull-out posters. that can function as fantastic door signs, room decorations, or background for their fantasy worlds.

Official Premise: “Disney Frozen Poster-A-Page”: Magical Moments relives the magic of the second highest grossing Disney movie of all time. With wintry scenes and cherished characters, this book follows Anna and Kristoff as they encounter Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman, in their epic journey to find Elsa.

Official Premise: “Disney Junior Poster-A-Page: Let’s Play” features the lovable characters from one of the highest rated children’s TV series. This new book introduces us again to the whole Disney Junior team: six-year-old Doc McStuffins; Mickey Mouse and his lovable clubhouse friends Goofy, Donald, Minnie, Daisy, & Pluto; Jake and his faithful Never Land Pirates crew; and Sofia the First along with her family and friends.

“Frozen” has won over everyone in the world with its lovable characters. These are great posters. My daughter already has asked us to hang up at least five different ones. If your kids love Disney Junior, they will love seeing all their favorite characters as well. We get posters of Doc McStuffins, the gang from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the crew of Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Sofia the First.

Bring on the Magical Mischief – Stitch and Tinker Bell Join “Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition)”

Fans asked for more Disney…and we heard you! Today, Disney Interactive announced that Stitch and Tinker Bell will join Merida, Maleficent and all of the characters from Disney Infinity and Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes in Toy Box 2.0 this fall.

As two of the most requested characters by the Disney Infinity fan community, Stitch and Tinker Bell will deliver their unique brand of magical, mischievous fun to Toy Box 2.0. Players will be able to create all-new adventures featuring the entire collection of characters from across the Disney Infinity universe, along with hundreds of Disney and Marvel-themed items, locations, props and vehicles.

Key highlights include: 

  • Stitch: The lovable “experiment 626″ from the popular “Lilo & Stitch” films comes to the Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 along with his trusty cosmic blaster and the ability to super jump to galactic new heights.
  • Tinker Bell: One of Disney’s most iconic characters, Tinker Bell enters the world of Disney Infinity with her magical healing Pixie Dust and the ability to glide to the stratosphere for fast-flying action.

In addition to the trailer, the new asset pack includes Stitch and Tinker Bell’s character images and screenshots.

The Stitch and Tinker Bell Toy Box figures will be available in retail stores this fall. Additional Play Sets and characters will be announced in the coming months.

About Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity is an interactive gaming platform where players have unprecedented freedom and endless opportunity to create stories and play experiences starring the beloved characters from across the worlds of Disney. Building on the success of last year’s initial launch, Disney Interactive announced that Disney Infinity’s next chapter, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, will hit stores this fall. In the all new game, players use real-world interactive figures to activate original storylines (Play Sets) in the virtual game worlds of popular Marvel franchises and create new adventures with other Disney Infinity characters in the Toy Box mode. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes is rated E-10+ by the ESRB. For more information, visit Disney.com/Infinity.

Dreamworks Animation’s Magical and Critically-acclaimed Adventure, "Rise of the Guardians, Debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD

**FROM THE CREATORS OF HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON**

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION’S MAGICAL AND CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED ADVENTURE, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, DEBUTS ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD 

Perfect For Easter Baskets, Gift Pack Arrives March 12th With The Heartwarming Film AND Two Hopping Toy Eggs! 

HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 13, 2013) – Praised by critics and moviegoers of all ages, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) spectacular and heartfelt adventure RISE OF THE GUARDIANS soars onto  Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D™ and DVD on March 12, 2013.  Hailed as “brilliant” and “the best family film of the year” (Joel Amos, MovieFanatic.com) with “spellbinding power” (James Verniere,Boston Herald) and “dazzling animation” (Tom Long, Detroit News), RISE OF THE GUARDIANS received outstanding audience reactions and a coveted ‘A’ Cinemascore.  DreamWorks Animation’s newest animated adventure has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide with a fun-filled and magical story about the legendary guardians—Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman—together for the first time!  When the evil Pitch threatens to take over the world, it’s up to our beloved heroes to protect the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.  Filled with non-stop action and laughs, it’s a dazzling family film that’s being hailed as “an instant classic” (Nancy Jay, Daybreak USA).

Just in time for Easter, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack with UltraViolet™ or single-disc DVD, each of which includes two delightful hopping toy eggs inspired by the ones seen in the film (while supplies last—quantities are limited).  The combo pack and single-disc DVD also include special features that take viewers behind-the-scenes to learn more about the magic used to bring the story to life.

Featuring an all-star cast of voice talent including Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS delivers humor, adventure and exceptional entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.  The film will also be available on March 12th in a three-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack with UltraViolet and for digital download on February 26th.

 

DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray Combo Pack

The Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack includes two hopping toy eggs, plus almost an hour of bonus features:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

Feature film in high definition

 

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features:

  • Jack Frost Snowball Showdown!—Use your remote to duck and dodge snowballs!
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy—See if you can beat the Sandman in this classic game.

 

Additional Bonus Features:

  • Behind the Magic—Explore the filmmakers’ journey to create Rise of the Guardians’ enthralling look, characters, effects and music:
    • Dreaming Up the Look
    • Naughty & Nice: Designing Memorable Characters
    • Enchanting Effects
    • Creating an Epic Score
  • The Man Behind the Guardians—Learn how DreamWorks Animation worked with author William Joyce to bring his novels to life.
  • Dreamers and Believers—A look at the cast and characters of Rise of the Guardians.
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide—The Sandman helps interpret your dreams in this interactive guide.
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary—With director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein.

 

Disc 2 (DVD):

Feature film in standard definition

Bonus features:

  • Dreamers and Believers
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide
  • More Magic (DVD-ROM)—Printable egg holders, coloring sheets and more—perfect for Easter fun!
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Previews

 

DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians  Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack

The Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack includes the following:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray 3D):

Feature film in high definition and 3D

 

Disc 2 (Blu-ray):

Same as Blu-ray contents listed above

 

Disc 3 (DVD):

Same as DVD contents listed above

 

DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians  DVD

The single-disc DVD includes two hopping toy eggs, plus the following:

Feature film in standard definition

Bonus features:

  • Dreamers and Believers
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide
  • More Magic (DVD-ROM)
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Previews

UltraViolet is a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

About DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list.  All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 25 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Puss in Boots. The Company’s theatrical releases for 2013 are The Croods on March 22, Turbo on July 19 and Mr. Peabody & Sherman on November 1.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution

Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

DVD Review "Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer"

Starring: Justin Gregg, Pail Tylak, Nicola Coughlan, Alan Stanford, Liz Lloyd, Paul Tylak
Directors: Oskar Jonasson
Distributed by: Arc Entertainment
Release Date: 01/15/2013
MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 83 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

After the success of “The Avengers”, you have to imagine that there will be tons of copycats trying to cash in on its success. “Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer” though is a pretty well done CG animated film. The story is very silly and not the sharpest but still fun, especially for kids. This film includes a few firsts This is a Walmart exclusive and is the first full-length animated film to come out of Iceland, thanks to the studio CAOZ. For that being said, it is really well done. The animation is quite impressive, if you can over the way Thor looks. Kids who are fans of superheros should definitely enjoy this.

Official Premise: Thor, the son of the mighty god Odin, battles the evil Ice Queen and her army of vicious giants in this exciting animated adventure! Thor is a village blacksmith who dreams of being a mighty warrior, practicing with a broomstick as his mother laughs at him. When a talking hammer falls from the sky, he realizes he may truly have a way to fulfill his dreams.  Soon after, the Ice Queen kidnaps his mother and the rest of the villagers, and he must reach deep inside himself to unleash his full powers to fight the queen and her army.  Will Thor and his magical hammer be enough to save the world from destruction?

On thing I just need to point out is that the Ice Queen reminded me so much like Izma from Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove”, she is decent baddie but no Loki. Arc Entertainment is the distributor and they have yet to cross over into 3D Blu-ray, as they barely release many Blu-ray but this film was made in 3D.  It includes many over-the-top 3D gimmicks, though would have been fun to see but remain unavailable. There are no special features besides a trailer included.  Lastly there is a Vudu digital copy of the film included.

DVD Review “The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure”

DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011
Number of discs: 2
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Extras: None

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Gearing up for their first feature film in theaters July 29th, this “super-Smurfy” collection features 10 episodes from the hit ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon series. If you ever watched Smurfs they you will love this “best of” compilation which everyone’s favorite Smurfs, including Lazy, Brainy, Smurfette, Hefty, Clumsy and of course, Papa Smurf. I grew up watching this show and it is great to see it on DVD. Hopefully this is only part one of many since I would love to see more best of collections releases.

The 10 “Smurftastic” episodes included are: “Smurf Van Winkle” – Lazy is tricked into believing he’s slept his life away, “Revenge of the Smurfs” – The Smurfs try to get even with an army that’s stormed their village, “Magic Fountain” – The Smurfs search for a magic fountain, “Smurf Me No Flowers – Lazy is led to believe he has only a few days to live, “The Cursed Country” – An evil master captures Smurfs to work in his diamond mine, “The Blue Plague” – Brainy gives the Smurfs a meal that makes them feel like chickens, “The Ring of Castellac” – The Smurfs return a drugged duke to his rightful place, “A Mere Truffle” – Tracker loses his memory while leading the Smurfs on a truffle hunt, “Gormandizing Greedy” – Greedy gains weight after a diet of sweets and desserts and lastly, “Sister Smurf” – Smurfette and a young girl are held captive by an old hag.

It would have been nice to see some extras on this set. Since it is not really a complete season and it is getting released to time with “The Smurfs” movie, it makes sense why it is bare.  It would have been cool to get some commentary as to what the “smurf” they were saying having all the time…or maybe some Smurf subtitles. Overall, if you are feeling nostalgic then this is a must.

Available on DVD: July 19th
Click here to purchase “The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure”

Synopsis: Get your Smurf on with this 2-disc set of 10 Smurftacular Episodes! In a hidden village dwells a clan of magical creatures, living in mushroom houses and taking showers with dewdrops. They’re those international celebrities known far and wide as the Smurfs — and they’re back on DVD. This itty-bitty powder-blue crew, including Brainy, Lazy, Vanity and Smurfette, is led by the wise, gentle and 542-year-old Papa Smurf. Gargamel, the local evil wizard, is forever scheming against the tiny team but our little friends outsmurf him every time! The Smurfs may only be three apples high, but they left miles of smiles on the faces of Saturday morning cartoon fans from 1981 to 1989!  Smurf it up again with this colorful collection of superior Smurftainment!

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” Sets Sail on Blu-Ray


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES: The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Films are proud to present the #1 worldwide box office success of 2011 – making over $1 billion globally – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, in stunning high definition Blu-ray™, eye popping Blu-ray 3D™ (a first for the legendary franchise) and Movie Download on October 18, 2011.

Setting sail on an ocean full of hi-def adventures, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will debut in a Limited Edition 5-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray 3D + 2-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD + 1- Disc Digital Copy), a 2-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD), and for the ultimate fan a 15- Disc Four Movie Collection. Additionally the movie will be available in 3D and High-Definition Movie Download.

The Limited Edition 5-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack includes hours of bonus materials offering fans a deeper dive inside Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides including immersive Disney Second Screen technology, exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences, Fountain of Youth mythology, an extensive look at mermaids, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, and much more.

In addition, the Pirates of the Caribbean 15-Disc Four Movie Collection offers fans more adventures than ever before. The Collection is packaged in an authentic replica Pirate’s Chest, and includes a collectible map and an iconic skull disc case that holds the Blu-ray™ discs and digital copies of ALL four Pirates of the Caribbean movies, along with the Blu-ray 3D™ disc and DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Rob Marshall (Nine, Chicago), and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, National Treasure 2Mask of Zorro), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the latest addition to the incredibly successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that has for years entertained audiences of all ages with its thrilling adventures, hi-tech special effects and unique storylines.

Back as Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp (Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Alice in Wonderland) returns leading a sensational cast of talents that includes Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech), Ian McShane (HBO’s“Deadwood”) and more.

The visually stunning film shot in high-definition 3D invites viewers to embark on an adventure-filled ride with Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the breathtaking Fountain of Youth. Along the turbulent trip, fans are forced to re-think their knowledge of fairytale creatures when they are introduced to a group of alluring yet precarious mermaids, traverse isolated islands and fight international enemies.

Film Synopsis:
From Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer comes all the fun, epic adventure and humor that ignited the original. Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. A tale of truth, betrayal, youth, demise — and mermaids! When Jack crosses paths with a woman from his past (Penélope Cruz), he’s not sure if it’s love or if she’s a ruthless con artist using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. Forced aboard the ship of the most feared pirate ever, Jack doesn’t know who to fear more —Blackbeard (Ian McShane) or the woman from his past. Directed by Rob Marshall, it’s filled with eye-popping battle scenes, mystery and all-out wit.