Under Wraps

This movie was a definite schocker! I’m not usually into zombies, mummies or science fiction, but this really wasn’t like that.  It was totally different than anything I have seen before, but I really enjoyed watching it with my daughter. It kept my interest, the acting and the animation was good and the moral was very family oriented. It has a clever story line and in the end the family of four learns a lot about each other and becomes closer. It is a great movie to watch around Halloween, but it’s not really a Halloween movie so it is perfect to add to your family’s DVD collection for any time of year. It would definitely appeal to boys, but my daughter really, really likes it too. She is only four and it didn’t scare her, so you don’t have to worry about that factor either. It is a well made animated movie by ARC Entertainment and I recommend it to any family with young kids!
under wrapsAVAILABLE ON DVD: October 14, 2014
DIRECTOR: Gordon Crum

WRITER: Allison Ross

CAST: Brooke Shields, Drake Bell, Matthew Lillard

SYNOPSIS: Danny and older sister Eleanor fall into an adventure of a lifetime when Danny accidentally unleashes a centuries old curse involving mummies, phaoroahs and nefarious villains! When their archeologist parents go on an expedition to an ancient Pharoah’s last resting place, Danny sneaks into the tomb and finds a sacred amulet, which he takes home. When he accidentally breaks the amulet, all sorts of chaos follows, starting with his parents turning into mummies! Eleanor and Danny frantically look for clues to solve this nightmare but the police, an evil assistant, and a mysterious visitor from the past are suddenly getting too close for comfort.

DISTRIBUTOR: ARC Entertainment

Iesodo

Iesodo-LoveTotally impressed. And obsessed. My 4 year old, my husband and I all agree on the Iesodo DVDs. They are very well made and tell Biblical stories in a truly captivating way for children. My daughter asks to watch them (then re-watch them) over and over and over…

Iesodo (YAY-sa-doe) is a highly acclaimed Telly and Accolade Award winning series featuring a cast of animated birds who live in a Cypress Tree on the shores of Galilee.  Iesodo, which means “The way of Jesus”, is a wise and gentle dove that gives an allegory to the stories and messages of Jesus.

All of the stories are simple for young ones to understand with very compelling characters, animation and music. The quality of the animation and the music is impressive! They currently have 3 DVDs in the series and each DVD has 2 episodes (see synopsis below). This is a great way to teach your children about Jesus and Biblical stories. I highly recommend these DVDs to any Christian family with young children. You can find them at Amazon (Faith, Believe and Love) and Wal-Mart (Faith), among other Christian stores.

You can see the trailer here at http://www.iesodo.com/

IESODO DVD SYNOPSIS

Believe Episodes:

“The Gathering– It’s a beautiful day in the Holy Land and Iesodo is gathering all the birds to hear his message of hope.  Rocky takes us back to the day the flock first believed in this amazing dove who would change their lives forever.

“Believing is Seeing” Luke, a blind finch with no gift of flight or sight, seeks help from Iesodo.  The group is amazed when Iesodo not only helps him fly, but also helps him believe, so that he sees what’s truly important.

 

Love Episodes:

“Birds of a Feather, Fish Together”– The wedding of Freddie and Fiona finch is headed for disaster!  Iesodo steps in to calm everyone’s ruffled feathers and make the event a success.

“Love Your Enemies”– Zack, the tax collector, doesn’t play by the rules.  Iesodo shows the flock that treating those who are mean to you with kindness really does make a big difference.

 

Faith Episodes:

“Miracles are Everywhere”– A big event is happening!  Thousands of birds from all over the world have gathered to meet Iesodo, but food is scarce and the flocks are getting hungry.  Iesodo provides in a way no one could have expected.

“The Wind and the Rain”– The flock is soaring through the sky on their way back to the Cypress Tree when a sudden storm approaches out of nowhere!  Trapped at sea and frightened, they learn that when you have faith, anything is possible.

Step Dogs

Step Dogs is a cute movie for animal loving kids. It is full of slapstick humor that children find hilarious and the story is very easy to follow. It is safe for kids and even the “violence” with the thieves is silly and ok for kids. It totally reminds me of a pet version of “Home Alone” with the adorable talking dogs saving the day. The teen actors do a nice job and are enjoyable to watch, but for our family the dogs were the stars!
stepdogsStep Dogs

Available on DVD on December 3, 2013 by Image Entertainment

Synopsis: Meatball is a carefree, wisecracking country dog. Cassie is Hollywood’s most pampered pet They couldn’t be more different, and when their owners marry and move the entire blended family to the rural north, the claws come out It’s only when two bumbling thieves scheme to break into their house, that these four-legged foes must team up to defend their home. This riotously funny and heartwarming comedy proves that it takes all breeds to make a family.

http://www.us.rljentertainment.com/product/step-dogs/2b51ff71-f11d-e211-baaf-020045490004

New Christmas Movies: The Naughty List & Journey To The Christmas Star

It’s time for Christmas movies! My favorite! I got to check out two very cute movies for the family. They are both safe, with good humor and no foul language.

The animated, The Naughty List is fun and something even the little ones will love. My three year old has watched it more than 10 times already. It has a story that is easy to follow, adorable characters and a sweet message about putting others before yourself. This is an excellent addition to your Christmas movie stash.

The non-animated Journey To The Christmas Star is a great movie for slightly older children (around 7+). It has the classic elements of a good fairy tale-a princess, king, witch, talking bear, a gnome and, of course Father Christmas (Santa). It has a story line that is simple for children. It is a Norwegian story, dubbed in English, brought here from The Walt Disney Company Nordic.
naughty listThe Naughty List

Available on DVD and VOD on November 12, 2013 by ARC Entertainment

Cast:  Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo), Drake Bell (Drake & Josh), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Kyle Chandler, Naya Rivera (Glee)
Synopsis:  Two young elves, WINTER and SNOWFLAKE (It’s a boy elf name!!!) have a hard time following the rules and are prone to sneaking off for some good elf playtime. But after wrecking the North Pole’s official Christmas tree, the two elf brothers along with a rebellious reindeer named SPARKLE find themselves on the dreaded Naughty List.  They are forced to do mundane horrible tasks like washing windows, cleaning bathrooms and more but seem to always make a bigger mess than they had to begin with. After the group is regulated to kitchen duty, they somehow manage to give the whole North Pole food poisoning including Santa!  Now with only hours to go before Christmas, they are the only ones left to help save Christmas.

 

Journey to the Christmas Star Cover Art Journey To The Christmas Star

Available on DVD on November 5, 2013 by Vertical Entertainment

Cast:  Agnes Kittelsen, Jakob Oftebro
 
Synopsis: A courageous girl sets out on a hazardous journey to find the Christmas Star in order to free the kingdom from a curse and bring back a long lost princess, but some mighty foes try to stop her.  A Christmas adventure for the whole family set in a magnificent winter

The Dragon Pearl

This family friendly movie is one for the kids only. It is best suited for school-age kids (not preschoolers), although my 3 year old was interested when the dragon was on the screen. There are a few fight/action scenes that are probably ok for most school-age children to watch and the language is fine. The story line might be hard for younger kids to follow but nothing is really scary. The dragon doesn’t talk, it only “growls,” but my 3 year old quickly recognized it was friendly.  The dragon doesn’t have as much screen time as I thought it would, but the focus is definitely on the child characters. The acting is not impressive but I don’t think kids will really care. The dragon and the flying/floating effects are sub-par, but again children shouldn’t be bothered by it. When I asked my daughter what she thought of the dragon she said it was “cool.” I can see boys that are into dragons liking the movie and even the big “fight scene” near the end.

The Dragon PearlThe Dragon Pearl

Available on DVD June 18, 2013

Synopsis: Josh (Louis Corbett) and Ling (Li Lin Jin) thought they were in for a boring vacation with each of their parents (Sam Neill and Wang Ji) at an archaeological dig in China. It turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they discover a mournful dragon trapped deep inside a mystical temple. According to ancient legend, the dragon is missing its life force, a sacred pearl that is hidden away in a secret chamber. Josh and Ling must battle evil forces (and some very skeptical parents) in their heart-stopping journey to return the magical pearl to its rightful owner.

Delhi Safari

This movie has some pretty big names on the box art along with adorable animals. I thought instantly my now 3 year old daughter would like it, which she did. The message of the movie is to protect animal habitat, a lesson that is great for kids to learn. The earlier children can understand their impact on the world, the better!

I did, however think this movie was more appropriate for kids that are a bit older. I didn’t love the weapons that the naughty monkey carried around and some of the violence between the animals bothered me. While there are not “bad” words it did use words like “stupid” which I don’t want my kids to use. I prefer children’s movies to be more “safe” although I imagine some parents wouldn’t think much of my complaints.

One other criticism I had was that because it was dubbed in English (it was made in India), the mouth/speaking animation doesn’t match the words coming out of the animals mouths. I found it distracting although my daughter didn’t seem to notice (or care anyway).

So, animal loving kids will probably like the movie, but parents are likely to be unimpressed. We have a lot of animal movies in our collection and I don’t think I will let my daughter watch this one again…at least for a while.
Delhi SafariDELHI SAFARI 
Available on DVD on April 16th, 2013

SYNOPSIS: A wacky pack of mismatched animals takes on the human race as they travel to the big city to protest the destruction of their jungle. How can a leopard cub and his mother, a peace-loving bear, a mischievous monkey, and a wisecracking parrot present their ideas to a bunch of humans? You’ll find out in this hilarious and heart-warming adventure that will have you cheering at the end.

Film stars Jane Lynch (TV’S Glee, Wreck-It Ralph), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Pirahna 3D, Snowmen), Vanessa Williams (TV’s 666 Park Avenue, TV’s Desperate Housewives, TV’s Ugly Betty), Cary Elwes (No Strings Attached, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter), Brad Garrett (Hoodwinked Too!, Tangled, Night at the Museum films), Jason Alexander (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld).
Check out the trailer:

My Lucky Elephant

I admit that some days I let my daughter watch more TV/movies than I probably should. But, some moods (hers and mine) and some amounts of work to catch up on make it an easy solution that Cora loves. When I got sent this movie to check out I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since our family loves animals I figured we would think it was cute, but I wasn’t sure how cheesy it would be or how interested Cora (2.5 years) would stay in it since its not animated. Well, it turns out I was pleasantly surprised and the whole family truly enjoyed it.

There is not a lot of dialogue or a complicated story line, which makes it easy for younger kids to follow and I think that helps you appreciate the beauty of the elephants. It starts off with adorable footage of a sweet baby elephant that sucks you into the cuteness of the entire movie. You get to watch a wonderful relationship develop between the elephant and an orphan boy, which is relatable to any relationship between an animal and a child. The ultimate destination of these two, an art academy where the elephant learns to paint, was the best part of the movie to me. I was seriously blown away by how incredible these elephants can paint in real life! In fact, I was so intrigued that as soon as the movie was over I had to get online to see where I could purchase art done by elephants. Elephant art is now on my wish list!

This movie really is great for families with kids of many ages and even mom and dad can enjoy it. It is totally cute and completely safe!  Definitely worth checking out!

My Lucky Elephant DVDMY LUCKY ELEPHANT 

Available on DVD on February 26, 2013

Synopsis:  In a far away land of jungles and wild animals, there lived a little orphan boy who was all alone in the world. But he knew that no matter how hard life can be, it’s always better if you can share it with a friend. This is the story of how he found one, an elephant named Lucky. Together they face a changing world, but always manage to triumph. After a series of humorous challenges, they discover the Academy of Art, where elephants learn to paint. And Lucky becomes the star painter, a famous artist and celebrity. Finally, life is good for them, with money and food aplenty. But when Lucky falls in love with another elephant, Candy, and starts his own family, what will the boy do? My Lucky Elephant is an exotic adventure in a magical and beautiful place, and yet it’s about what everyone is looking for in life – a true friend, a home, family.