DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Monster Musical”

Actors: Bret Iwan, Tony Anselmo, Russi Taylor, Tress MacNeille, Bill Farmer
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2015
Run Time: 115 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Mickey’s Monster Musical” is the latest special released out of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. This combined two of my daughters favorite things “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and Halloween. This DVD includes four very fun episodes that work great getting you into the Fall mood. My daughter has already been singing the songs from this special and has watched it numerous times already. I know that “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is not in production any more, which is sad, but I hope they continue to release DVD sets like this one for a while. Hopefully they have them stored up somewhere. A must for any fan of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and Halloween.

Official Premise: Put on your favorite Halloween costume and get set for a spooktacular full-length adventure! Visit the creaky castle of kindly “Count Mickula” and help your Clubhouse pals solve a puzzling riddle: Who, or what, is making a curious clanging, banging noise? With the right Monster Mouseketools and help from YOU, this mystery will soon be history! Then, enjoy two more exciting episodes as you search for pirate treasure with Captain Mickey and don your dungarees for delightful fun down on the farm. Packed with singing, dancing, laughter and surprises, MICKEY’S MONSTER MUSICAL is a high-spirited treat that can’t be beat!

The four episodes included are the main showcase special “Mickey’s Monster Musical”. The premise for this one is that Clubhouse gang visits Count Mickula and his friends, who are full of mystery and fun spooks. Next up is “Mickey’s Pirate Adventure”, where Goofy gets a letter from his Grandpappy, Captain Goof-Beard (voiced by Dick Van Dyke) taking the gang on a fun pirate adventure. “Mickey’s Farm Fun Fair” follows the gang as they enjoy a fun farm celebration. Lastly “Minnie’s Bow-Tooons Tricky Treats” is a bonus included with Minnie and Daisy handing out sticky treats for Halloween.

Product Review: Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse

The brand new Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse has been billed as the “Most Advanced Portable Mouse…Designed to Work Anywhere You Do”. Being an IT guy, I love new tech. If you use computers you also realize how important mice are to your job. You need to have a good one if you want to make your life each. The Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse hits stores this month with a very reasonable retail price of $79.99.

We all know what a mouse is used for (hopefully), so I will discuss some of the neat features that this new “advanced” mouse has. Firstly it has an advanced Darkfield™ Laser Sensor is made to be used on physically ANY surface…that includes glass..yes GLASS!! No more mouse bad needed for those with a glass table. It has a nice compact size , a contoured shape and a rubber surface that makes it use very user friendly.

If you are a fan of Logitech mice then you will realize that the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse is actually a more mobile version of their award-winning MX Master Wireless Mouse. A real important feature of the mouse is that it has dual-connectivity and connects easily to easiy Windows or Mac computers through the Pico Unifying Receiver (included) or through Bluetooth Smart technology. Either one works great and is extremely easily to connect. Another awesome feature is that you can pair the MX Anywhere 2 with up to three devices at once, this is an awesome feature if you are taking this mouse on the go and moving it from machine to machine.  With the touch of the Logitech Easy-Switch button you can easily switch.

If you are on the computer all day like myself, then you are used to scrolling non-stop through your Facebook page or through ending websites. This mouse’s scroll wheel is equipped with hyper-fast scrolling, so you can easily browse your sites easily and then shift to click-­to-­click mode for precise navigation. Lastly the most important part for a wireless mouse is do I need batteries? or does it charge? The Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse has a rechargeable battery lasts up to two months elimating the new for replacing batteries often. It if you need quick results only one single minute of USB-cord charging actually ends up giving you up to two hours of usage. I recommend this for sure.

DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Pet Salon”

Number of discs: 1
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2015
Run Time: 120 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” has always been one of my favorite shows to watch with my daughter ever since she was born. Now that she is three years old, I am able to enjoy it even more. One thing she loves about this show is Minnie Mouse, she has always been her favorite. “Minnie’s Pet Salon” is the latest DVD release for this series and features her favorite character, so this is an instant winner.

Official Premise: Minnie’s sparkling new Pet Salon is open for business… and adventure! All your Clubhouse pals are bringing their animal friends to get spruced up for Pluto’s All-Star Pet Show. With so many pets to bathe, groom and train, Minnie needs help. Luckily, Mickey and the gang are there to lend a hand. But when three adorable little kittens go missing, it will take the right Mouseketools — and help from YOU — to find them in time for the big show.

There are five episodes includes with this DVD. The first is “Minnie’s Pet Salon” (of course), which features the gang getting ready for Pluto’s All-Star Pet Show. The second is “Daisy’s Pet Project, which has Daisy finding a pet for the Pet Parade. The third is “Pluto’s Puppy-Sitting Adventure” with Mickey puppy sitting for Clarabelle’s puppy, Bella. Fourth is “Donald’s Ducks”, which has Donald helping fellow little ducks in getting to the beach. The last one is “Pluto Lends a Paw” has the gang looking for Minnie’s cat Figaro.

Book Reviews “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse/Sofia the First: Board Book Box Sets”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse / Sofia the First
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Dates: June 16, 2015

Our Scores: 4 out of 5 stars

Personally, I am big fan of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, as is my three year old daughter. “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Meeska Mooska-tales” is the latest collection of board books in a nice box set. This contains four board books within the slipcase that showcases all your favorite characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Includes are “Goofy Takes a Vacation”; “On the Go!”; “Perfect Pets”; “Snap Goes the Camera”. If you love “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, these are a must. My daughter got extremely excited when opening this box set and screamed “FOUR BOOKS!, REALLY?” when going through it and since then these have become a must read (during potty time, more on that below).

Next up is another one of my daughters favorite “Sofia the First” in her latest board book collection called “Sofia’s Princess Adventures”. Within this slipcase, there are also four board books that feature Sofia and friends in brand-new stories fit only for your little princess. The stories include “Best Friends”; “Good Sports”; “Magic Class” and “Sofia’s Amulet”. Both of these sets have easily earned themselves as the “go-to” books for potty time. One set is in the upstairs bathroom and the other is in the downstairs bathroom and during every visit these are taken out and read. So they are getting plenty of use from our family! So, I highly recommend.

Modest Mouse Set to Headline Tampa’s Gasparilla Music Festival 2015

Mutemath & The Abyssinians Join Growing Line-Up
Festival Confirmed for Spring Break weekend- March 7 & 8

Tampa, FL — The Gasparilla Music Festival presented by SYKES (“GMF”) has named MODEST MOUSE as this year’s Festival headliner. Also announced today are main-stage performers, Mutemath and The Abyssinians, who join previously announced performers: Gogol Bordello, The Gaslight Anthem, Trampled by Turtles, The Budos Band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Dumpstaphunk, Hiss Golden Messenger, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Hot 8 Brass Band, Margo & the Pricetags, and Packway Handle Band. Local Florida favorites include The Hip Abduction, Miggs, Selwyn Birchwood, Suenalo, Thomas Wynn & the Believers, RedFeather, Amber Lynn Nicol, UNRB and Mt. Zion Gospel Choir with more acts to be added.

Headliner Modest Mouse will release their new studio album, Strangers to Ourselves, via Epic Records on March 3 just prior to their appearance at GMF making this their first studio album since 2007’s “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.” Modest Mouse gained mainstream attention when their 2004 single, “Float On” became the band’s first #1 song on Billboard’s Modern Rock Chart and was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The band’s first new single “Lampshades on Fire,” can be heard via Pitchfork: http://goo.gl/zT9g1M

New Orleans favorite Mutemath, whose sound fuses elements from psychedelia to traditional gospel to modern electronica yet still firmly rooted in New Orleans rhythm and blues, will also be releasing a new recording later this year. While Jamaican roots reggae trio, The Abyssinians, are famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement within their lyrics. Formed in 1968, the band has gone through a number of lineup changes with the current trio touring since 1997 including dates at Reggae on the River, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and The Bob Marley Day Festival in 1998. The group was also nominated for a 1999 Tamika Award.

GMF, now in its fourth year of showcasing a wide variety of musical acts, incredible local cuisine and unique children’s music exhibits, kicks off the highly anticipated spring break and outdoor music festival season. The Festival promises its most eclectic and impressive musical line-up to date with more acts and local favorites to be announced in the upcoming weeks. GMF is organized by a not for profit corporation and takes place March 7-8 in the unique and picturesque Tampa, FL location of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Kiley Garden.

Tickets are available now at: http://www.gmftickets.com/

$60 – General Admission 2-Day
$40 – General Admission Saturday Only
$30 – General Admission Sunday Only
$150 – VIP 2-Day
$100 – VIP Saturday Only
$75 – VIP Sunday Only

More Artists & Vendors will be announced in the coming weeks so check out http://gasparillamusic.com for the latest updates and additions.

DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World”

Series: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Run Time: 126 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Around the Clubhouse World” is the latest full-length feature from the Disney Junior series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. I have searched the internet and I have not see any mention of this episode airing on Disney Junior yet, so this DVD looks to be the premiere and only place to see this as of right now. It is yet another great full-length feature after the last one “Minnie-rella”, which my 2 year old daughter still watches at least one a week. This special takes us exploring through France, Italy, China and more with Mickey and gang on a global adventure packed with song-filled fun. As an added bonus this DVD releases also comes with a passport activity book for any young explorer! If you kids love “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, this is a yet another amazing themed release for the show.

Official Premise: Pack your bags and grab your passport. Join Mickey, Minnie and pals on a whirlwind trip Around The Clubhouse World! Climb the Eiffel Tower in France and say “bonjour” to Mademoiselle Daisy and Monsieur Donald Duck. Then, rescue Gondolier Goofy when he goes adrift in Italy’s Grand Canal; solve the mysterious riddle of Pharaoh Pete’s pyramid in Egypt, and meet a dancing dragon at the Great Wall of China. With your help – and the right Mouseketools – your Clubhouse friends can get their special passport stamped at each wonderful location. Featuring over two hours of song-filled fun, including four additional episodes, this global adventure proves it’s a small world after all!

Along with the full-length episode, there are four additional bonus episodes includes from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. “Donald And The Beanstalk” goes back all the way to the first season and is the sixth episode ever aired for this series. Funny enough “Goofy On Mars” is also from the first season and was the seventh episode aired. “Mickey’s Handy Helpers” comes from the second season and was the twenty ninth episode. Lastly “Pluto’s Dinosaur Romp” is a little more recent from the end of season three and in fact the ninety fourth episode in the series.  According to the trend of DVD releases, we should be getting another in December of 2014, so curious anxiously waiting for that.

Book Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Colors All Around”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Flap ‘n Tab
Board book: 10 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: February 18, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you ever come over our house, you will notice that “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” has quite taken over most of it. My 20 month old daughter cannot get enough of this show. She absolutely loves it and thanks to Disney Junior, they air the show non-stop. “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Colors All Around” is a very educational book much more than I actually expected. It is a little too advanced for a 20 month old but she still loves it. She sees the characters and loves naming them and which color they are.

These are tabs for five of the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” crew including Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, Daisy and Donald. Poor Goofy is left out but he still has a page in the book. On each of the pages, there is a lift-the-flap with information about colors and even blending and creating different colors. What I love about this book the most is the potential that it has for my daughter to work with her as she grows up. She might be too little now but I know that it is going to help her learn in the near future. Another great release Disney!

DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie-rella”

Actors: Russi Taylor, Bret Iwan, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer
Directors: Donovan Cook
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
Run Time: 102 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Minnie-rella” is the latest special episode for the long running Disney Junior series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. The episode is set to air on February 14th on Disney Junior but fans can get it early with this DVD release. Disney Junior has been already showing commercials for this special and my 20 month old daughter has been eating them up. She recently discovered “Cinderella”, also courtesy of Disney Junior and she has since fallen in love with it. This is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a very sweet classic story told with the  “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” twist. A must own for any parent who would like to invites their little princess to the ball!

Official Premise: Mouseke-magic meets storybook enchantment in a charming Clubhouse adventure inspired by your favorite fairy tale! To surprise Minnie with a special present, Mickey and the gang keep her busy with loads of chores until they pick out the perfect gift. Tired from so much work, Minnie falls asleep. and her dreamy fantasy begins. With a “Mouseke-doodle-lee-do,” Fairy Godmother Clarabelle waves her wand and sets the magic in motion. Will Minnie-Rella make it to Prince Mickey’s castle in time? What will happen at midnight? Will the slipper fit? With help from YOU – and the right Mouseketools – happily ever after is just a wish away!

Disney did a great job of also include three additional episodes from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” as a bonus feature to this release. Included are the following: “Pluto’s Tale”, “Mickey and the Enchanted Egg” and “Daisy’s Pony Tale”. These are all great episodes and fit in well with the fairy tale theme as well. Also there is still more with ten additional bonus “Minnie’s Bow-Toons” from season two of the short series. Lastly included with the DVD as an extra bonus for kids is a castle pop-up play set.

Book Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Animal ABCs”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Board book: 10 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have an 18-month old daughter and I love her being able to have fun and yet still learn. “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is such an amazing TV to get the best of both world in that department. This new book “Animal ABCs” is such a blast, it not only teaches the ABCs but also relates then to animals. My daughter is such a sponge right now and she literally has not put this book down. I see this being her favorite for quite a while! Highly Recommend!

Official Premise: Join Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as they explore the jungle to discover all the animals of the alphabet, from Alligator to Zebra. This awesome lenticular novelty format makes learning the alphabet fun, as preschoolers can tilt the book to see a letter of the alphabet transform into a beautiful full-color photo of an animal.

What I like about this book is that it has some weight to it, it is not a flimsy book. It is high quality and looks to holds up again the little one. I also love the lenticular images since it is one animal looking one way and another the other way. I stood back and watched by daughter realize that and it really blew her mind. I can’t wait to see the next installment in this series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Colors All Around”, which streets February 18, 2014. I will be first in line for sure…if I can pry this book from my daughters hands.

DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s The Wizard of Dizz”

Voices of Bret Iwan, Russi Taylor, Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo and Tress MacNeille
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating: TV-Y
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013
Run Time: 101 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Just when you think Disney Junior’s “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” cannot get any cuter we get the latest special episode from the show’s fourth season “Minnie’s The Wizard of Dizz”.  This is a new double episode musical version of “The Wizard of Oz”, which aired on June 7th on Disney Junior.  I have to admit it is one of my favorite episodes of the show in recent years. I love the mash-up with “The Wizard of Oz”, it is very fun and…did I mention cute.  My daughter is already a big fan of this new special, especially for the fantastic special features (more on that below).  If you have a baby to pre-schooler this is a must purchase for sure! Disney Junior keep these coming please!

Official Premise: Journey to a wondrous land of enchantment and surprises! The classic tale gets a brand-new twist in Minnie’s new full-length adventure: The Wizard Of Dizz. Before you can say, “pink tornado,” Minnie and Pluto end up in the silly but spectacular land of Dizz. It’s an amazing place, with rainbow trees, butterfly bows, and friendly “Chipmunchkins,” but what Minnie wants most is to get home. Together, Minnie and her new friends Scarecrow Goofy, Mickey the Tin Mouse, and Donald the Lion,set off to ask the wonderful Wizard of Dizz to make their dreams come true. But look out! Bad Witch Pete wants Minnie’s magical, sparkly green shoes, and he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.

This DVD includes a free downloadable “Minnie Bow-Maker” app for your smartphones.  This will go right on the iPad for my daughter to enjoy.  The special features are excellent includes two additional episodes: “The Golden House”  (Episode 88, Season 3)and “Goofy’s Gone” (Episode 93, Season 3).  But wait there is more with the first ten bonus Minnie’s Bow-Toons mini-episodes from its first season including “Leaky Pipes”, “The Pom Pom Problem”, “Trouble Times Two”, “Figaro’s Friend”, “A Shop in the Dark”, “Flower Fix”, “Dance Lessons”, “In Plane Sight”, “Bow-Bot” and “Fashion Emergency”. These episodes are great and I hope they include more of these on future releases.

“Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s the Wizard of Dizz” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the DVD release of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s the Wizard of Dizz”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a DVD of the new release! If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite character on the show. This giveaway will remain open until July 5th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Journey to a wondrous land of enchantment and surprises! The classic tale gets a brand-new twist in Minnie’s new full-length adventure: The Wizard Of Dizz. Before you can say, “pink tornado,” Minnie and Pluto end up in the silly but spectacular land of Dizz. It’s an amazing place, with rainbow trees, butterfly bows, and friendly “Chipmunchkins,” but what Minnie wants most is to get home. Together, Minnie and her new friends Scarecrow Goofy, Mickey the Tin Mouse, and Donald the Lion,?set off to ask the wonderful Wizard of Dizz to make their dreams come true. But look out! Bad Witch Pete wants Minnie’s magical, sparkly green shoes, and he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve. Overflowing with music and laughter – plus two extra episodes, and ten bonus Minnie’s Bow-Toons – this song-filled celebration of fun and friendship proves there’s no place like the clubhouse!

“Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the DVD release of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey!”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a DVD of the new release! If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite character on the show. This giveaway will remain open until May 31st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Official Synopsis: Join Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and all their pals in the newest Clubhouse crusade. When the legendary Crystal Mickey goes missing, Mickey and friends go on an adventure to save the Clubhouse from losing its magic. Grab your hat, buckle your seatbelt, and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure in “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey!” There’s no time to lose after greedy Plunderin’ Pete snatches the legendary Crystal Mickey statue from the Clubhouse. Without this sparkly statue’s magic, the Clubhouse will disappear forever! Can the world’s most extraordinary hero “Kansas City Mickey,” get the magical statue back in time? Only with help from young viewers at home…and the right Mouseketools can Mickey journey across the Sandy Desert, brave the Rushing River and make his way through the Hidden Jungle. But watch out for Pete’s trickiest traps!

DVD Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Quest for the Crystal Mickey”

Voices of Bret Iwan, Russi Taylor, Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo and Tress MacNeille
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
MPAA Rating: TV-Y
Run Time: 126 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When I first saw the commercials of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Quest for the Crystal Mickey”, I laughed at loud since I am a huge fan of Indiana Jones.  I thought that this was a super cute idea both for the kiddies and also their parents. The episode is very clever and includes at a lot of great odes to the adventure genre.  Mickey Mouse takes the role of Kansas City Mickey as he and his friends chase down Plunderin’ Pete ( I just love that name BTW). There is some great music included as well. That darn theme song for Kansas City Mickey has been stuck in my head.  Like with all episodes of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, there is also some great morals and lessons learned through the show. This is a must have for any fan!

Official Synopsis: Join Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and all their pals in the newest Clubhouse crusade. When the legendary Crystal Mickey goes missing, Mickey and friends go on an adventure to save the Clubhouse from losing its magic. Grab your hat, buckle your seatbelt, and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure in “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey!” There’s no time to lose after greedy Plunderin’ Pete snatches the legendary Crystal Mickey statue from the Clubhouse. Without this sparkly statue’s magic, the Clubhouse will disappear forever! Can the world’s most extraordinary hero “Kansas City Mickey,” get the magical statue back in time? Only with help from young viewers at home…and the right Mouseketools can Mickey journey across the Sandy Desert, brave the Rushing River and make his way through the Hidden Jungle. But watch out for Pete’s trickiest traps!

I have seen some places note that this DVD also comes with “Mickey’s Treasure Map Game with Stickers but that was not included with my package, so I am not sure if it is still happening. What is included though as a bonus are some great episodes of the show for kids (and their parents) besides “The Quest for the Crystal Mickey”. The additional episodes are “Donald Of The Desert,” “Donald The Genie,” “Goofy’s Coconutty Monkey,” and “Goofy’s Giant Adventure.” They stick with the theme of the adventure like “Crystal Mickey” and are really fun episodes.  I mean who doesn’t love to call out for Toodles or doung the Hot Dog dance! Parents you know you do! BTW if you don’t have kids you are probably shaking you head right now but trust me they are catchy and you WILL be doing the same thing if you watch this show every single day!  So fans of Disney Junior and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, this is another great release and I highly recommend it!

Book Review “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”

Author/Illustrator: Helen Ward
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Templar
Release Date: September 11, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” is such a wonderful story for kids and should be a must have in every household. It is gorgeously illustrated and poetically written and perfectly set in a 1930s-era city at Christmastime.  It is a great way to get in the festive mood for the holidays. It one of those book that you just want to read again the minute you finish it and tell everyone to do the same. It is a wonderful retelling of one of Aesop’s Fables and in such a unique way.

Premise: “Rediscover the tale of the simple country mouse, magically retold by Helen Ward. Beguiled by his cousin’s amazing tales, the country mouse visits the electric city. Unfortunately the town mouse forgot to mention that the city has a lot of noise, tall buildings . . . and dangerous dogs! Helen Ward’s 1930s New York at Christmas is at once gorgeous and frighteningly busy. In the end the reader understands both why the town mouse loves his exciting life and why the country mouse is content with his peaceful home.”

The watercolor illustrations are very eye-catching and really enhance the 1930s-era city at Christmas-time.  It is very stunning.  Simple yet very elegant. I can’t wait to share this book with my daughter. I have a feeling that we will be keeping this book very close to the bed since I think it will be a must-read. As wife and myself have grown up with this story, I think it is only write that we continue the trend.  I hope others will do the same, not just during Christmas but throughout the year, as I am sure we will.

Blu-ray Review “The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition”

Actors: Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Basil Rathbone, Val Bettin, Susanne Pollatschek
Directors: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, John Musker
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 74 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“The Great Mouse Detective” is one of Disney under-appreciated animated titles. It was originally released theatrically in 198 and is a play on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and is based on Eve Titus’s book “Basil of Baker Street”. I have always been a fan of this film since I was a kid but it never really got the respect it deserves. This film packs some great voice talent as well, I mean Vincent Price playing the villain. Can you ask for anything better? Like all Disney releases, this release comes in a combo pack with a Blu-ray and DVD discs of the film. This is a must for Disney fans to add to their collections!

Official Premise: When the diabolical Professor Ratigan – voiced by the late Vincent Price – kidnaps London’s master toymaker, the brilliant Basil of Baker Street and his trusted sidekick Dawson – voiced by Barrie Ingham and Val Bettin respectively – try to elude the ultimate trap and foil the perfect crime. This family classic on Disney Blu-ray proves big heroes come in small packages.

The film looks stunning on Blu-ray.  Disney has been releasing a bunch of archive titles and this one is among the best. It’s 1080p transfer looks fantastic and is framed at 1.78:1.  The colors are very sharp and I love seeing the drawing lines on the characters.  I really watched this film on Disney Junior and let me tell you, it looks like VHS compared to this amazing HD upgrade.  The audio on this release included an DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  It delivers for the most part like past Disney archive releases and works wel with the songs.

The special features are really nothing special.  “So You Think You Can Sleuth?” is a short 5 minute look into the history of the detective. “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” includes sing-along lyrics to sing along with Vincent Price. Lastly there is “The Making of The Great Mouse Detective” is another short behind the scenes look into the film’s production and how it used computers to assist in the animation.