Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

Ok so I braved a movie screening with three kids solo. Including our three month old baby. Thankfully our screening wasn’t jam packed and we came out unscathed. Also, because of the screening time of the movie my kids were the ONLY kids in the theater. So that made for an interesting experience.

Anyway. We all had varying opinions of the movie and today are giving you a spoiler-free review and answering some questions about if it’s scary or intense for little ones.

ralph breaks the internet kids review

Are Disney Sequels Making a Comeback?

I owe you a blog post I literally started years ago about my top 10 Disney sequels. I’m not talking Pixar sequels (those are really good) but good ‘ol Disney Animation sequels, most of which were direct to DVD. I was so anxious to see how Ralph Breaks the Internet (essentially Wreck it Ralph 2) would compare. And with Frozen 2 set to come out next year, this could be a Disney comeback trend.

I’m happy to say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is worth the theatrical release, and you should totally see it over the holidays. It’s a great family flick, and if you loved the original, you’ll likely enjoy this one too. As good as the original? Well, keep reading to see what we think.

What I thought

I was a little more distracted than usual at this screening. There are at least three parts of the film that got audience chuckles that went over my head either because my son was asking a question or I was trying to nurse my baby. But there are several other funny parts to laugh at. Especially the Disney Princess scene which you get glimpses of in the previews.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

The new characters are great. I loved the new hip gamers, especially Shank. Sergeant Calhoun was my favorite character in the first one, and while we got to see her it isn’t nearly enough for me.

Admittedly Wreck it Ralph isn’t one of my favorite Disney movies to begin with, so I’m not blown away by the sequel. But there are some gems that made the movie for me. From an unexpected song, to so many social media references. It is entertaining and I’ll be looking for all of the easter eggs (hidden characters) for years and years I’m sure.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

There were some funny parts, but a lot of the humor is for people who know and understand the internet (social media, ebay, etc) and a lot of that went over my kids’ heads. I feel like the first movie had more silly kid humor they would understand. Still, the film has a sweet message about friendship, insecurities and following your own path.

What makes or breaks movies most for me though are how much my children enjoy them.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

Every time I looked over at Lil’ J (8 years) she was grinning from ear to ear. Loving every second. My son (5 years) loved whenever there was racing, and the climax near the end, but he lost interest multiple times and even asked me about three times if the movie was almost over.

Before you ask if it’s his age or personality let me add, he sat through Cars 3 and Incredibles 2 multiple times with barely a peep, so I think that speaks to something. It may seem like a slower or confusing movie for some younger kiddos.

Is it scary?

The only part that may be considered scary, or at least kinda creepy was my son’s favorite part and it involves overcoming the problem in the end. It’s not as scary or as creepy as the bug part with Turbo at the end of the first movie. My daughter gets easily creeped out and she thought the whole movie was great. As usual, use your discretion when taking your kids. Movies in theaters are are usually louder, darker and feel more intense.

What they thought

Big T

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

Did you like Ralph Breaks the Internet?: Yes
What was your favorite part?: I liked the BIG Wreck it Ralph!
Were you scared?: No
Did you think the movie was funny?: No.
Do you think the movie was scary?: No.
Would your baby sister be scared?: No.
What did you like about the movie?: I liked the racing. When they went REALLY fast!
Did you like Wreck it Ralph 1 or 2 more?: I liked 2 more because there’s a bigger Wreck it Ralph.
Would you friends like Wreck it Ralph 2?: I don’t know.
Do you want to see it again?: Yes

Lil’ J

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

What did you think of the movie?: It was very good. It made me think of my friends and how I need to treat them.
Did you think it was funny?: Yes! The movie was very funny, one of the funniest movies I’ve watched.
What was your favorite part?: I loved when Vanellope met the Disney princesses.
What do you think about it compared to the first movie?: They had a new adventure!
Did you like it more?: Yes, because they were very different. They plugged in the internet and they explored it.
Who were your favorite characters?: Vanellope and Shank
Did you think it was scary? (SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD, SKIP TO THE NEXT Q IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW): Not at all. A little when they made a big Ralph monster. It wasn’t scary, but maybe for three and under I’d think it’s a little scary.
What else did you like about the movie?: It was about friendship being one of the most important things.
Would you recommend this movie?: Yes, because I think they’ll like it as much as I did.
Were you a big Wreck it Ralph fan?: Yes, it was one of my favorites. Ralph Breaks the internet is my new favorite because it was funny.
Do you want to see it again?: Yes! Of course! Why wouldn’t I?
What would you like to add?: I think ages 3 months to 100 could watch this. It was one of the best movies in the world.

So there you have it! Our honest review. Ralph Breaks the Internet wrecks into theaters nationwide Wednesday November 21st! We hope you’ll go see it too then come let us know what you think!

Ralph breaks the internet coloring pages

Images via Disney.

Alright, I have been writing a lot about my experience at the premiere and interviewing cast from the movie, but I know THIS is the post you have been waiting for. A Wrinkle in Time review.

Full disclosure. I always try my very best to give my full honest review despite being a huge Disney fan. Naturally I want to go on and on raving about this movie because of how connected I feel to the cast but I’m still going to give it to you straight (but spoiler-free).

I’ve now seen the movie three times. Once in a screening before interviewing the cast, once at the Red Carpet Premiere, and last night at another screening with my 7-year-old daughter. Hands down, the best experience was seeing it with her, because I got to watch her light up and really see it more from a child’s perspective. It’s not my favorite Disney movie, but right now, it’s hers. Actually, and I quote “It’s the best best best BEST movie EVER!” according to her, and it’ll forever have a special place in our home.

As adults we can be so cynical and harsh with judgements, but seeing it this time took me back to being a kid watching classic films like The Goonies, E.T. or The Neverending Story. I watch these now like “Was I high?” but as a kid. WOW! That was some magical stuff.

I absolutely believe A Wrinkle in Time will go down as a beautiful classic kids love like those–Except, maybe without the weird feeling of being on something.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

Disney

Movies based on books, especially classic books, are always up for steep criticism. As an adult, if you haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time, or haven’t read it in a long time I would suggest you check it out from the library or listen to it on audiobook to get up to speed. When it comes to kids and the book, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal if they aren’t familiar with the story because kids have big imaginations and can just go with it. But if your child likes to understand everything that’s going on and tends to ask a lot of questions during the movie (this is my daughter), he or she may enjoy it better knowing more about the story.

I was excited to read it with my kids so we could create venn diagrams and compare similarities and differences. We finished the book about three weeks ago and surprisingly she didn’t notice nearly as many differences as I did, but I’ll go into that later. First let me break down the film.

Summary

Meg Murry is a middle school student who just wants to fit in. She is the brilliant daughter of two world-renowned physicists. Four years ago, her father, Mr. Murry disappeared, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Meg’s little brother Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father. Together they embark on their quest across the universe to try to save him. Like the book, it takes you on an adventure through time and space and carries a thoughtful message of light vs dark, good versus evil and the hope that love can triumph.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

Disney

Ava DuVernay brought this books to life in a visually stunning adaptation I really enjoyed and my daughter LOVED. Even watching it through a third time I heard new things I’d missed before, noticed details I overlooked, and messages sunk in even deeper. I asked my daughter if she’ll want to buy this movie and she corrected me saying she wants to see it at the movies at least a few more times first, then yes, of course we’ll add it to our collection.

Oh, and the soundtrack is off the chain. I’ll be buying that too.

Important Messages and Morals

You guys, aside from watching her laugh and smile through the movie, my absolute favorite part were the conversations we had about the movie after. We had a conversation about bullies and how they sometimes treat people mean because of their own insecurities. From friendships, how to handle bullies, self worth, and good vs evil. She pulled things out of the movie and asked questions that made me realize how much she’s growing up.

The book and the movie are both excellent conversation starters about all of these things.

Book vs Movie

wrinkle in time homeschool unit study

Look, I always think the books are better. My daughter really enjoyed the book but she says she likes the movie more. I missed one particular character on a particular planet that was my personal favorite part of the book. But when I asked my daughter to compare the two she didn’t mention missing that. The story is brought to life in such a colorful way that makes me wonder what kid wouldn’t love it. Not to mention that Meg was rockin some curls and beautiful brown skin that had my daughter seeing herself up on the big screen.That fact alone was priceless to our family.

The Mrs. weren’t the old witch-looking ladies we imagined while reading the book, but beautiful beings each with their own personality, look and style.

Some of our favorite lines from the book were still in the movie, some parts I loved were missing, but the most important thing–The message, remained the same.

Is Wrinkle in Time Scary?

When a new Disney movie comes out a lot of parents want to know if it’s appropriate for their child’s age. Like most movies I’d say it’s not an age thing as much as a maturity thing, and what your children are already exposed to.

Like in the book there are a couple of scenes that may be a little frightening to kids. A couple characters with red eyes, a tornado storm, and there are a few scenes that are dark and loud, particularly when they reach IT at Central Central Intelligence. That could be scary for small children. My 4, almost 5-year-old son wouldn’t have been scared during that part but he likely would have been bored long before then not understanding the conversations or what was going on.

My daughter and I both think content wise, it’s best for kids 6 and up, but if you’ve got a kid who just loves movies by all means, bring them too!

Ok now let me get to my 7-year-old’s review.

Wrinkle in Time Review from a 7-year-old

I liked Wrinkle in Time a lot because it was magical and exciting. I think it’s the best movie ever because there are a lot of smart kids like Meg and Calvin and Charles Wallace. It made me feel like “woah, that’s cool!”

My favorite part was when they were flying. And there was a lot of cool dresses with the Mrs. Mrs. Whatsit was really fully. I don’t want to spoil it but besides Meg, she’s my favorite character because she’s really funny. The whole movie isn’t funny like The Lion King or something, there are a few funny parts, but it’s also serious and has some magical stuff and adventures.

The movie is about light fighting darkness.

It reminds me of Martin Luther King Jr. because he said hate can’t defeat hate, only love can do that. And that’s the same as darkness can’t defeat darkness, only light can do that. I think that was the moral of the story and also that you are fine however you are. And even though somebody looks different it doesn’t mean that they have a better life, it juts changes how you look. You might have it even worse than you used to.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

The first thing I noticed that was different than the book was that Calvin’s dad was the one yelling at him in the movie but in the book it was his mom. Oh yea, the twins weren’t in it, but they weren’t really in the book that much anyway. Sometimes movies are different than the books so that’s why I wasn’t expecting I knew what was going to happen. I was paying attention so I could notice the details that were different.

It wasn’t scary, it didn’t seem scary, some little kids may be scared by the storm because it’s loud. IT was more scary in the movie than the book, but it wasn’t too scary. I was really excited to see what was going to happen next.

6 to anything is a good age to see it. Cause they said 8 to anything and I thought I couldn’t watch it, and I don’t want others to think they can’t watch it, so I wanted to say younger but I also want them to understand it. I don’t think my brother would understand it because he’s half dinosaur. If you just love Disney movies and you think you’ll understand them, you should come to this movie.

Conclusion

Take your mature kids and enjoy watching this beautiful film through their eyes. Be ready for important conversations about brining goodness and light to the world, how our pain can make us stronger and that we should love ourselves the way we are.

Hope you found our review helpful. After you see it come back and let us know what you think!

A Wrinkle in Time hits theaters everywhere Friday March 9th.

Ok I’ve been slacking on my movie review game. We got busy with Thanksgiving and then we all got really sick so I didn’t get around to posting this. But Coco was a fantastic movie and definitely deserves it’s own review.

We went as a whole family to see it and though I’d only really watched one trailer I did get to screen the first 30 minutes of the film a couple months ago and that got me really excited for the movie. I thought my kids would enjoy it, but I wasn’t sure how much. My son is an avid Cars 3 watcher, my daughter is only watching the crappy Percy Jackson movies over and over right now. So who knows.

We didn’t get to screen the Olaf short, so I can’t say how that was, we’ll have to update this when we go see Coco again. But so far I haven’t heard the greatest things about it so maybe we didn’t miss much.

Ok so let’s dive into our Coco movie review.

Coco is a family film to celebrate families

Pixar movies rarely disappoint and Coco definitely is up there with some of the best. There were plenty of laughs for both kids and adults, and so much beauty and meaning, It also didn’t hurt that the movie totally keeps you on your toes with twists and turns you don’t expect. Add in the fact that the movie has a great moral to follow your passions and celebrate generations of family and love and you’ve got a home run in my book.

I was watching the movie I kept thinking LDS people, or others who are really into family history will especially love this movie. It ties in the importance of the living to remember their ancestors. Coco isn’t the name of the little boy who stars in the film, that’s Miguel. And Coco is his great-grandmother, who lives with them. The movie really made me stop and think how lucky my kids are to know their great-great grandpa, who will be 99 next month!

Rich in culture

I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Dia De Los Muertos going in to see this movie. I knew it meant day of the dead and that it was a day to celebrate ancestors. I knew it was mostly a Mexican celebration, but from my understanding many Latin countries and cultures have their own version and adaptations.

Coco laid out the celebration pretty openly, but not overly obvious. In other words, it didn’t take away from the story telling. A mom explained the ofrendas, and how the marigold petals are meant to help guide the spirits to their altars.  And that Dia De Los Muertos is the one night a year their ancestors can come from the Land of the Dead to visit them.

Beautiful culture was infused with the food, clothing, bright colors and music. Fun fact… All the guitar playing you see in the film is using real guitar chords and fingering.

Another point I’d make about the culture throughout the film… I’d be curious to hear opinions of people who have family from Mexico/ are from Mexico/ know the culture and/or language. Being in Texas we have a large Hispanic population and our audience was hooting and hollering, some at parts where I felt like maybe I missed a joke. Like the grandma who likes to hit people with the shoe, you may have seen clips of that in the previews. It was funny to me, but I’m sure people who are in on that inside joke would probably understand it more. There were also occasional Spanish phrases here and there woven in with English which I thought was pretty cool. With context you can still follow along. I mean, you don’t need years of Spanish lessons to know what cacas means.

Is Coco too scary for kids?

Both of mine say no. But the big colorful part Jaguar part eagle part ram part five other things alebrije might be frightening to some small kids. The skeletons are all friendly but could be startling at first for some little kids in a dark loud theater. We watched it in 3D and I never for a moment worried about my kids being scared. But if yours have seen Zootopia or The Good Dinosaur, or even Moana and were fine, I’d say they’ll do fine for this movie as well.

Kids Review

So you might be wondering if Coco is appropriate for a 4-year-old. My son sat and watched the entire movie without one complaint. The skeletons didn’t scare him. I didn’t notice him laughing much but it sometimes takes him watching a movie a couple times to give me a reaction. My daughter however, was laughing several times throughout, and that always warms my heart.

From 7-year-old Lil’ J: Coco is a good movie for families to see because it’s about family. Miguel goes into the dead world to discover why his family doesn’t like music. They just wanted to make shoes, boring old shoes.

I think my friends would like it because it’s funny. It’s not scary, I think it’s good for kids 4 and up because my brother liked it too.

My favorite part was when Miguel was explaining to his great grandma how he used to run slow and how he learned to use his arms and run faster. It’s really funny.

I would like to see it again! It’s my new favorite Disney movie.

From 4-year-old Big T: 

Q: Did you like the movie Coco?
A: Yea!
Q: Why?
A: Because I liked it!
Q: Is Coco a scary movie?
A: No, it’s not scary.

He’s still a man of few words but I imagine this will be another movie we have on repeat once (if ever) he tires of Cars 3 (because the rest of us already have).

Overall I loved the movie. My husband came with us too and enjoyed it. It’s personally not my favorite Disney Pixar film, I think a couple of the Toy Story movies and Finding Dory are still up there for me. But I’d say this is in my top 10 for sure, and I’m excited to see it again! So if you were on the fence about seeing this one, hop over! You won’t regret it.

Did you see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend? What did you think?

Read our other recent Disney movie reviews:

Cars 3 kids review

Beauty and the Beast live action kids review

Zootopia kids review

Moana kids review

Finding Dory kids review

Pete’s Dragon kids review

*UPDATE*: My 5-year-old saw it!! Here’s her review: 5-year-old Alice Through The Looking Glass Review

I’ve been dying to share my review for this Disney movie because my opinion on it is quite different from any of the others I’ve reviewed in a while.

To be honest I wasn’t even planning to see this movie. I didn’t see the first one, and I’m just not a big Tim Burton fan. Actually, I take that back. I love Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and some of his Batman movies. But Tim Burton’s “kids’” movies just haven’t been my thing.

That said, I got to screen the movie a few weeks back when I was at Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. I’d heard conference attendees got to screen movies and I was really crossing my fingers we’d be seeing Finding Dory or (I knew it was a long shot) Moana. We did see the first 33 minutes of Finding Dory (OMG it was great!) but were told we’d get to see Alice Through the Looking Glass in its entirety.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

At first I was sort of groaning inside, but then I got to hear from one of the creators of the film and see all that went into the making of the movie and it gave me a new appreciate for it. I took this as a challenge to break out of my Disney Animation and Disney Pixar movie reviews and analyze something else.

I had my 10-year-old sister with me on this trip and she’d seen the first live action Alice in Wonderland movie and said it was okay. So I decided I’d go into this film with an open mind and decide if I’d be willing to take Lil’ J to see it, and then write an honest review about whether or not I think it’s too scary for young kids.

I’m going to leave out spoilers but talk a little about the plot a bit to give you an idea if you’d like to take your little ones. The movie is rated PG which means parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be appropriate for children. So is Alice Through the Looking Glass scary for kids? Especially younger ones?

First off, I mean, when you look at the movie poster it’s a little freaky. I mean, really let’s just be honest. The Queen of Hearts has a giant head and if your kid is afraid of clowns it’s just hard not to mistake the Mad Hatter as one. Again, Tim Burton’s adaptations of these movies twist them in a way that isn’t the most little kid-friendly in my opinion. Once you get past that? Well…

The movie opens up with Alice leading her ship crew through a storm. It’s obvious off the bat that this film is going to hold a tone of female empowerment, which I love.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

Alice makes her way back to Wonderland and goes on an adventure to help her sick friend. There’s a lot of action, a frightening dragon, a scary witch (the Queen) whose head grows when she gets angry and in a flashback, when she’s injured. All of these scenes I think are frightening for young kids and would probably scare my daughter, not to mention the frightening appearance of some of the characters loud scenes and startling imagery.

There were other kids in the theater watching the movie, my friend’s 6-year-old daughter did get scared at a few parts but I didn’t see anyone leave or hear any kids crying. Personally I’d recommend this movie to kids 9+, but you know your kids best.

The English accents are a bit thick–similar to those in the live action adaptation of Cinderella. So if your children had a hard time understanding characters in that film, they may face a similar challenge with this one.

There are a ton of funny puns and humor that adults and older children will enjoy, but most of which I think would go over my daughter’s head. UPDATE: It didn’t, here’s what she thought: My daughter’s review.

I told Lil’ J about the movie and she’s said she wants to see it, despite me telling her it’s a little scary. I basically told her the whole movie because I think it’ll help her to be prepared. We’re going to see it tomorrow night together so I’ll come back and update this post with her official reaction to continue in our mother/daughter review tradition.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

Now that all the harsh stuff is out of the way, I must say that I LOVED it. So did my 10-year-old sister. I’m a sucker for a good time-travel plot and this movie did it well. The visual effects are absolutely stunning, and the message of friendship, family and girl power is undeniable. I think I’ll even buy it, which is saying a lot because I don’t buy most of the live action Disney movies (but I own every animated one).

If you haven’t seen the first movie I don’t think that will be a problem as I didn’t and I didn’t feel like I was missing any part of the story. My little sister (and everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen both) said they enjoyed it more than the first movie. So if you hated the first one, maybe it’s worth giving this one a shot. And if you liked the first one, well maybe you’ll love Alice Through the Looking Glass.

It opens in theaters everywhere this Friday May 27th.

Come back Wednesday for Lil’ J’s review! UPDATE: Here’s her review (spoiler alert: she loved it!)

Our other recent Disney Movie Reviews:

The Jungle Book
Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 55th feature, Zootopia hits theaters everywhere tonight! I’ve been so excited for this since they didn’t release a movie all last year! Now we get Zootopia and Moana both in one year! (Excuse my momentary Disney film geek-out).

My mini Disney movie critic, Lil’ J and I screened it last Thursday and as we walked out she told me she wanted to see it again, and that it is her new FAVORITE movie (I’m noticing a trend every time we see a new Disney movie). I feel like I have so many things to say about Zootopia, but don’t worry, I’m leaving out the spoilers.

Mother-daughter Zootopia review

What’s it about in a paragraph? Well, the walking, talking, career-driven and clothed animals replace humans in this story of Zootopia. Rookie officer Judy Hopps is the first bunny to join the police force and she jumps at the chance to crack a case and needs help from a sly fox. The movie gives adults a heavy dose of action and humor, and the kids are laughing right along at some jokes even they understand.

The animals basically act as humans in this movie, a lot like they do in Robin Hood (and Nick Wilde–the fox in this film actually resembles him, right?!).

Zootopia is a compelling movie that both adults and children will love. A lot of the humor (some of it a little off-color) went over my 5-year-old’s head, but there were enough little funny scenes that she still enjoyed and laughed at.

There are a few things I think are important to consider before seeing this movie.

Skip the trailers

I’m noticing Disney is giving away all of the goods in the previews lately. What’s up with that? Remember the trailer for Princess and the Frog? I thought Tiana was going to be a Princess in blue not be a frog for half the movie! Talk about keeping the suspense hidden. They don’t do too much of that anymore.

I was grasping at every new trailer before Inside Out and when I saw that movie I felt like I’d seen all of the funny parts. I purposely skipped the trailers this time so I could go in blind. I did see one with the sloths because it aired before The Good Dinosaur in theaters. It’s still funny (and a little different), I just knew it was coming.

I’ve watched the Zootopia trailers a few times since seeing the movie and the handful of jokes I thought were funniest were all in the trailers. So skip those if you haven’t seen them yet so you can enjoy it and be surprised. If you want another way to build up your excitement with your kids try printing these fun coloring sheets or this activity page.

zootopia review picture

It’s a little scary!

I don’t really know how else to put it. For a little kid’s movie it was pretty darn scary. Or perhaps a better word is startling. I’m trying to think of another animated Disney movie with I can deem in the same category for action, suspense and surprises. Maybe similar to parts of Big Hero 6 or The Good Dinosaur if looking at recent films, or Lady and the Tramp (remember that rat scene?). This is the first Disney Movie where I remember actually being startled, as in jumping in my seat. Lil’ J was too, but she laughed about it. She’s afraid of A LOT but this movie didn’t make her cry or cover her eyes, so I guess that says something; however, that night she did want to sleep in our room because she was afraid of animals jumping out at her.

You’re the best judge for your kids, if they startle easily you may want to prep them, see it first, hold off until DVD, or just email me and I’ll tell you when you can cover their ears/eyes.

Lil’ J wanted me to tell you what she thinks about that: “My brother is 2, and it would be too scary for him. But for me, and other kids that are 5-and-a-half, or 6 it’s not too scary.” So there’s you have it from my proud 5-and-a-half year old.

There’s a strong captivating message

I noticed two strong awesome messages in the movie. One being to not give up on your dreams, and another to not judge a book by it’s cover. Both important takeaways that are great conversation-starters with our kids. I can’t help but feel like Disney animators are trying to change the world with this movie. We’ll MUST discuss this more after you’ve had a chance to see this! Just thinking about it makes me love this movie even more.

Zootopia movie poster

Where does it rank for Disney?

Overall we both loved the movie. We’re going to see it again as a family (well, minus Big T unless he convinces me he can sit still) because I actually think even my husband would get a kick out of it (I mean come on! There’s a bunny cop!).

So where does it rank on my Disney movie list? I’m partial to the movies from Disney Renaissance era and musical features (counting down to Moana!) but Zootopia has a great story. I’d say it could be in my top 15, but once I get over the shock of it not being the cutesy kiddie movie I expected and I’ve seen it a few more times I’ll be able to more accurately place it for what it is.

Regardless, I can’t wait to add it to our collection later this year!

zootopia picture

My 5-year-old’s Zootopia review

What did you think of Zootopia?: “It was SUPERSTAR Awesome!”

What did you like about the movie?: “The fox and the bunny weren’t friends, and then they learned how to be friends.”

What was the message of the movie?: “The bunny dreamed big! Because she always wanted to be a police officer and then she became a police officer, and that was good.”

Anything else you’d like to say about the movie?: “Yea! [SPOILERS]”

Is it too scary for kids?: “No, it’s awesome! So at the beginning [of the post], say it’s superstar and at the end say it’s awesome! I want to see it again and again!”

Recommended ages

I’d recommend it for families with kids ages 7+, but Lil’ J says all of her 5 and 6 year old friends should see it. So take it as you will!

Let me know when you see it! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

If you’re thinking of taking your family to see The Good Dinosaur over Thanksgiving weekend there are a few things you should be aware of first.

Lil’ J and I had the chance to screen it Monday night before it’s officially in theaters everywhere on the 25th. Here’s more info on advanced movie screenings in case you ever want to try to make one of these!

First of all I feel like I need to introduce you to this movie because it hasn’t been nearly as publicized as Pixar’s Inside Out was earlier this year. I’m telling you that merchandise, the previews, the promotions. It was SO hyped up. And I totally bought into it.

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

This movie, on the other hand, I feel like many have hardly heard a peep. I keep my eye on all of the Disney Animation and Pixar films but I worried since Disney seemingly wasn’t spending as much effort promoting this film, that it was going to be a big letdown.

Even the local screening was set for RIGHT before the movie release, versus a week or two before, and I only saw one listed when normally there are at least two, sometimes more. All of these signals to me screamed potential flop.

I didn’t watch the extended trailer. I felt like that was a mistake I made before Inside Out. I’d seen most of the good parts before hitting the theater. What little I did watch before this movie made me think there would be more dinosaurs and more people than we saw.

Lil’ J and I went into this mostly unaware of what to expect. But it was still great!

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

Coming out, I have some questions you should ask yourself in case you’re debating whether or not to take your family.

1. Do you like dinosaurs? If yes, then it’s a no brainer, you must see this movie. It’s lightyears better than the 2000 Disney animated movie ‘Dinosaur’ (which would most definitely be in my top 5 LEAST favorite Disney animated movies). Although the animals looked more realistic in Dinosaur, The Good Dinosaur is much more cuddly, and it should still be appealing to young dinosaur enthusiasts, and definitely not frightening to those who typically have dinosaur aversions. So if your answer is no, there’s a really good chance you’ll still like this movie.

2. Do you like cowboys? Cowboys? I thought this movie was about dinosaurs! Yes, well, if your answer is yes, I have a feeling you will LOVE this movie. Or at least Pixar’s attempt to give some of the characters a wild west flavor.

3. Have you gone to the bathroom recently? You’ll definitely want to make sure you have before sitting down to watch this movie. For one, you don’t want to have to get up and miss any part of this movie! It held my 5-year-old daughter’s attention longer than any movie on the first-run through. I didn’t see her get bored at all (this is rare). And secondly, you are going to laugh so hard you may pee your pants. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much in a movie. The best part was my daughter was laughing too! In true Pixar fashion there was plenty of humor for the adults as well as the kids.

4. Do you or your kids startle easily? This movie is pretty intense. There were SEVERAL times I kept saying “ouch!” Maybe it was the fact that we saw it in 3D, and that the images felt so real, but I was literally gasping and clutching at parts. You know your kids best, if they’re extremely sensitive, or startle easily, you may want to watch it first. The scariest part of the whole movie experience for Lil’ J was the short film that aired before The Good Dinosaur. Edited to add (SPOILER skip to #5 if you want to be surprised): There is death involved (not a huge surprise) but some kids could find this really sad, or scary).

5. Does it take much to make you cry? Happy tears, sad tears, you may want a tissue for both. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise when it comes to Disney/ Pixar.

Lil’ J and I just did our top 5 Pixar Picks a few weeks ago. She now claims The Good Dinosaur takes the top spot from Monsters Inc and pushes UP out of her top 5.

It’s always hard for me to try to rank a film after seeing it just once. I have to try it on over and over a few times to see if it still feels good. But as of now I’d say it’s definitely up there, probably knocking Finding Nemo out of my #4 spot.

Speaking of which… Like Finding Nemo, the animation quality of The Good Dinosaur was amazing. Something that–looking back now–I feel like Inside Out was missing a bit of.

All this to say, I feel like this movie was greatly underrated in it’s pre-release stage, and I hope it does well over Thanksgiving weekend. We enjoyed it so much we’re going to see it again tonight with grandma for opening night.

Alright, enough of my opinion. Here’s what Lil’ J has to say.

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

The Good Dinosaur: A 5-year-old’s review:

Q: What did you think of The Good Dinosaur?
A: It’s one of my new favorite Pixar movies because it’s funny, and a rock star movie.
Q: What does a rock star movie mean?
A: That it’s so cool.
Q: Should kids who are afraid of dinosaurs see this movie?
A: Yes, because it’s a nice dinosaur and he won’t scare them.
Q: Advice for people going to see it?
A: When you try a movie you get to decide if you like it or not, and I like this movie.

One word to describe the movie:
Lil’ J: Family
Mom: Adventure

Rating:
Lil’ J: Two thumbs up.
Mom: A+

Will you be going to see The Good Dinosaur this weekend? Or what did you think?

Last week Lil’ J and I went to see Disney Pixar’s Inside Out at a press screening. She’s my little review sidekick and now that it’s out we’re finally sharing our thoughts!

I won’t be posting any spoilers so don’t worry about that. She had been counting down for over a week to see it. The commercials just draw kids in I tell ya. It had her wanting some of the Inside Out merchandise that’s been on the shelves for months.

We had some of the magnets on our fridge and yesterday her grandma got her this Disney Inside Out Inside Out 5 In 1 Puzzle at the Disney Store outlet. I interviewed Lil’ J about the movie while she worked on it to give you her perspective.

inside-out-puzzle_0010-copy

There was an adorable short film before the movie called Lava. I loved it but Lil’ J wasn’t impressed “because volcanoes scare me,” she said.

Here’s what she said about the main feature:

Mom: What was the movie about?

Lil’ J: They’re creature things, and they make a kid a kid, and her name is Riley. So one feeling that’s like ‘eew yuck’ and one’s joy, she’s happy, and ones scared and ones sad. Want to hear about grumpy? He’s the one that when he gets angry he gets fire on top of his head. Oh, and there’s an elephant one and he sings. Ok?

(The elephant actually isn’t an emotion but an imaginary friend)

Mom: What was your favorite part?

Lil’ J: When they were singing Who’s the friend you like to see? Bing Bong Bing Bong!’

Mom: What didn’t you like about the movie?

Lil’ J: I didn’t like the parts where everyone was laughing and I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand parts of it but I did laugh at some parts.

Mom: Do you think it’s a movie for grownups, that little kids should see it too?

Lil’ J: I think little kids too, because I’m a little kid, and I saw it, and I think little kids would like it too.

Mom: How old?

Lil’ J: Three, or maybe four or five, ok? But no one [year-olds], no babies. Two is ok if he’s not a squiggly worm or anything.–I mean if they are hyper and don’t sit still–If they aren’t like a squiggly worm, that’s ok with me.

Lil’ J ranks Inside Out over Cars, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and even Brave. She however still likes Cinderella, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen and Frozen Fever (she wanted to be sure I put that in there) more.

inside out characters

I should preface and say that I’m super critical of Disney Animated Movies because I always set the bar SO HIGH. When I expect too much I’m often let down. I’d heard so many high-praise reviews that I was expecting my mind to be blown by this movie. Kinda like that red guy in the middle, but in a happy way.

Since I’ve been keeping up with the trailers for so long, many of the funny scenes I had already seen, however there was still a lot of humor I didn’t expect that had me and the rest of the audience laughing hysterically. A lot of the jokes were geared for an older audience. I’d say maybe 7 and up.

I had an idea of the storyline from the previews but the movie ended up being even better and way more complex than I had imagined. Lil’ J was able to follow along for the most part, but like any other movie we see together, it sometimes takes a couple viewings to catch things she missed before.

We plan to see it again in theaters next week during the day, and of course we’ll be buying it on DVD.

One thing I really thought was awesome about the movie–Like many movies Disney Pixar produces, this film has a deeper meaning within the storyline. It’s been fun to use the characters from the movie to talk about our emotions when we’re working through them. Others have said it’s a great movie to bring awareness to mental illness and depression.

Having heard that before I watched it I think I went into it taking it a bit too seriously, but in the end I was laughing and tearing up anyway. Lil’ J was completely connected and concerned for Riley throughout the movie, and I loved every second of the film. It was awesome, nothing like we’ve seen before, and one I’m excited to see again and again.

Like Lil’ J I’d rank it above Cars, and Monsters Inc. probably even Finding Nemo. I wouldn’t rank it above Wall-E, Toy Story 3, or The Incredibles, but I suspect it’ll grow on me through the years like these have, and if you ask us, it’s definitely worth seeing, especially with your kids!

Do you plan on seeing Inside Out?

If your kiddos want some fun before or after seeing the movie, here are some activity sheets from Disney that I’ve uploaded for you!: Spot the difference game, coloring page, emotional door hangers and my personal favorite: Inside Out inspired nail art tutorials.

I don’t get out much, and when I do, going to see a movie is not usually my first choice of things to do. Unless it’s of a particular genre. Specifically animated Disney movies. The last movie I saw in theaters was Big Hero 6 and this year that meant I was planning to see Inside Out in June, and The Good Dinosaur in November.

I was invited to a screening of Cinderella and decided to take my daughter to see it because it was a great opportunity for a mother-daughter date. And partly because (dare I admit) Frozen Fever– A short film featuring Anna and Elsa would premiere before the movie.

Cinderella live-action movie review

Lil’ J got dressed up in her Cinderella gown (the only way to do this ladies!) and off we went to watch the live action version.

Now I’m a big fan of the Cinderella story. We love the 1950s animated feature, and I adore the TV musical version with Brandy and Whitney Houston. I even love Ever After with Drew Barrymore (I have to watch it every time I catch it on TV).

Part of me was like Really? Another Cinderella movie? When I first heard about it over a year ago. But despite having the classic storyline memorized, we had to see this one too. Here’s a preview if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

I think Disney is doing a fantastic job taking movies we grew up on in animated form and bringing them back as live-action films with a twist. Maleficent is a great example of that (if you haven’t seen it, just buy it now, you won’t regret it!). Next spring they’ll add Jungle Book to the mix.

So how was Cinderella? We enjoyed it. Despite the “Old English” accents that were a little difficult for Lil’ J to follow, it had plenty of funny parts that held my 4-year-old daughter’s attention and kept her laughing. The costumes were beautiful and I loved the time the film took to delve into parts of the story we haven’t heard before.

Cinderella live-action movie review

I asked her review and she said it was “Awesome and cool” and when I asked her her favorite part she said it was the part with Elsa and Anna…

So if you have a Frozen fanatic in your family, he or she may be happy before Cinderella even starts. Here’s a preview of Frozen Fever:

I however happened to notice my daughter perking up the most when the fairy godmother was working her magic. I think they had her at “Elsa.” Add in the candy and lemonade, and she was in preschooler heaven before the show began.

Personally, I did miss the music and singing in this live-action film, but it just wasn’t that kind of movie. At times it seemed a little slow, and difficult for my preschooler to understand. Certainly a cute take on the classic though, and a perfect feature for our mommy-daughter date.

You can catch Cinderella in theaters NOW! Friday March 13th!

Cinderella Glass Slipper Craft Cinderella Clock Activity
 

And if you love it so much, or need something to do in anticipation before your outing, here are some fun activity sheets. A clock craft  glass slipper! Click the links to download! A Disney Cinderella clock craft to make using paper plates, and an origami-like Cinderella glass slipper craft. Click the links to download!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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