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DisneyNature Presents Bears #MeetTheCubs #DisneyNatureBears

Today was a wonderful, beautiful day and where else would you rather spend a hot day? At the movies (at least I would)! So I grabbed Midge (8 years old) and drove down to our local Carmike movie theater to watch Disney Nature’s new movie “Bears“.  This movie takes you through a year in the life of mamma bear’s (Sky) journey with her two amazing young cubs (Amber & Scout). These little guys are taught life’s most important lessons and still enjoy a little playing along the way. As a parent, you will be able to relate to Sky as you see how tough it is to raise her cubs in the wild, and finding the time to still express her love multiple times throughout the movie.

 

The movie was wonderful, and having a narrator (Actor John C. Reillywith a great personality is a must with a ‘documentary’ like this.  The movie will take you through the wilderness of Alaska where each bear has their own personality and even though they face some ups and downs, you will fall in love with each one of them (not to mention just about every animal they come across).

The best part of the movie is watching my 8 year old learn what goes on in the wild. She learned so much about them from the way they hibernate, how their instinct takes over in different situations to how they travel to find salmon to eat in order to prepare for next winter. The beautiful scenery and vibrant colors are amazing to watch on the big screen. I wasn’t sure watching a pair of bear cubs would keep my attention, but I find out quickly that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen once the movie started. I am certain everyone who gets to watch this movie will not only enjoy the film but will relate with the bears and their human like qualities displayed on the big screen.

Bonus Treat!

Disney Nature is offering a wonderful Free Educator’s Guide on the BEARS website. You can find it here
The free  Educator’s Guide includes nearly 100 pages of lessons and activities targeted to grades 2 through 6. The lessons are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, National Science Standards, and common core Language Art and Math Standards.

 ~Mike


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Sitting Down With The Pirate Fairy Filmmakers

So the last part of the trip to LA included a sit down with the filmmakers of Disney’s new Fairies movie – The Pirate Fairy.  These two ladies were so nice and so personable – it’s no wonder they are in charge of the Fairies – it fits them well.

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It was neat to get to sit down with the ladies who wrote the film to learn more details of why things are the way they are – and how things fit together.  As someone who wasnt as familiar with the Disney Fairies as some of the ladies with me, it was neat to get to fill in the blanks that I was missing. Like I have said before, I fell just completely in love with the other Fairies as much as I did Zarina, and it was neat hearing how each one of them came to have their personalities.

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The story for The Pirate Fairy stemmed from the filmmakers wanting to show that even the Fairies can “make mistakes” – but that you can always right a wrong if you are willing to admit that you were wrong and work to fix it. Zarina “runs away from home” in the story and gets mixed up with a bad crowd – but with a little help from her friends – and some other adorable characters – she is able to find her way back home to where she belongs.

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The Pirate Fairy – Sitting Down With The Animation Team

Ok I promise I am almost finished telling you all about my trip to LA last month – we just crammed so much stuff in to those three days! Like I’ve told you we got to see a private screening of Disney’s new fairy movie – The Pirate Fairy.  Well, we also got to sit down the the film makers (more on that later) and the animation team! It was neat to see a different side of the animation – especially after seeing the rigging software for Frozen. The animation team members were just awesome – so funny – one guy even showed up in full pirate gear. Talk about getting in to character.

One of my favorite features of Zarina is her beautiful little birthmark.  As someone who has.. well .. a LOT of those, it made me fall in love with her immediately.  I was delighted to see that one of the animators has the exact same birthmark!  How cool is it that she got to give her character a little piece of HER!??! Love it. And I didn’t ask – but to me Zarina looks an awful lot like actress Sophia Bush… coincidence maybe?

sophia bush pirate fairy

Another neat little animation tidbit is that Zarina’s pirate outfit is actually crafted from a pirates jacket cuff. I never would have thought of that – I just figured she sewed her own little outfit… clearly I am not big on details. It was neat though when I watched the movie after learning that little tidbit – and saw what great detail the animators took to make the outfit perfect.

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Guest Post: Draft Day Movie – Kevin Costner

On that one special day, in a few hours, a few minutes, even a few seconds a NFL prospect’s life can change.

I recently got invited to watch a early showing of the new movie Draft Day staring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary (not to mention a ton of NFL Players, Analyst, ESPN, NFL Network… oh boy sports overload!) The main story line begins with Sonny Weaver Jr, (Costner) the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, having to make a ‘few’ important decisions on one of the most important days to his franchise. He decides to trade for the #1 pick and now must try to balance business as well as his personal life. The clock is always ticking and you can’t stop it, but only hope to slow it down.

Draft Day will take you inside the minds, the offices and into team facilities as they prepare to make choices that not only put their jobs on the line but possibly their franchise future as well. We get to see what not only the player has to deal with, but their agents and the multi-million dollar choices NFL teams go through, just hours before they make the most important decisions of their lives. Do you take the easy sure shot top prospect? Do you take a chance on the speedy running back with a little off the field trouble? Do you play it safe and go with the fan favorite? Draft Day is a must see for any sport fan and NFL Fanatic. With many scenes being filmed during the actual 2013 draft, you get the same goose bumps and nerves that the players do while you sit there waiting to see who will be picked next! Costner often reminds the players that ‘You only get drafted once”.

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Guest Post: Divergent Movie Review

I recently took my two daughters to see Divergent at the movies. Divergent is a new movie based on the trilogy book series written by Veronica Roth. The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic future where society has been separated into 5 factions, to me this was similar to the Hunger Games and how they were setup by ‘Districts’. Beatrice “Tris” Prior is forced to choose which faction she will live in and what way of life she will follow. Society in this time follows a code of “Faction over Blood” where faction is first and family comes second, while human nature (ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally) is outcasted and illegal. In this future society there is no chaos, no rebellions, no fighting back (Ha! Ttry raising a teenage girl, clearly this is a sci-fiction idea) where everyone works together to provide and do their part.

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One of the first things I noticed when the movie started was the music by Hans Zimmer. I feel he is one of the all time top film composer and music producers, and can keep you on the edge of your seat with your eyes closed. The cast is a young, energetic group featuring Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz and still features roles played by key names such as  Ashley Judd (one of my favorite actresses), Mekhi Phifer (ER),  Kate Winslet (Titanic), Tony Goldwyn (Ghost) and more.

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