Ballerina DVD

Ballerina was one film that the twins saw at the cinema and said immediately they wanted to see again, they adored it. I knew that when it came out on DVD it would be worth purchasing as the girls could watch and re-watch as many times as they liked. They do three dance lessons a week including tap, modern and ballet so, Ballerina really speaks to them and inspires them to improve and follow their own dreams.

The story is centred around Felicie, a young orphan with the single passion of becoming a prima ballerina. Felicie doesn’t walk anywhere, she dances and leaps and twirls and springs. Tables and chairs don’t get in her way, she glides over them, slides across them or pirouettes around them. Felicie is obsessed with dancing. Her best friend in the orphanage is Victor. Victor is an aspiring inventor, he is always making machines or objects, some work out but most don’t. However, this doesn’t deter Victor in his mission to become a famous inventor. He is also a tiny bit in love with Felicie. Together the children hatch a plan to escape the orphanage and run away to Paris where their dreams can come true.

Ballerina follows the children and watches how they do everything in their power to make their dreams come true, including the odd lie here and there (Felicie).

It is a very enjoyable film and one I shall enjoy watching again with them too.

In case you want to add it to your home viewing bookcase then today – 17th April you can, Ballerina is available for Digital Download and also in Blu-ray and DVD versions courtesy of Entertainment One.

Cast includes:-

Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Super 8) as aspiring young dancer, Félicie;
Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lawless) as Félicie’s best friend and aspiring inventor, Victor;
Carly Rae Jepsen (Castle, Grease Live!) as former prima ballerina, Odette;
Maddie Ziegler (Pretty Little Liars, Dance Moms) as a snobby trained ballerina, Camille Le Haut.

Download the free activity sheet below for the Ballerinas in your home.

Ballerina activity sheet

Disclosure: We were sent a DVD to review – all opinions are our own and we really do love this film!

sing film review

The twins are super excited as this weekend they have been invited to a birthday outing where a group of friends are going to the cinema to see Sing and then on to eat together to celebrate the momentous occasion of turning 9 years old.

The girls got the chance to see a screening in Leicester Square back in December and they absolutely adored the film. In fact I sent Tommy and Oana up with the grandkids too and the first thing I want to make clear is that this film is suitable for all ages, from Sophie who is 3 to my son Tommy who is 29.

It’s a creation from the same guys who made Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets. Fantastic illustrations, the perfect music choices to run alongside and an amusing storyline to go with it.

Sing – the story

sing the film review

We all know of a community theatre that has fallen on hard times and needs a bit of tlc to bring it back to life, Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides on such a theatre that, in it’s heyday was the best theatre for miles around. Dapper loves his theatre and wants to save it and comes up with one final idea to try and restore the theatre back to its former glory – Producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Now everyone loves to sing and dreams of hitting the big time, it is no different in Sing, five contestants emerge from the trials, a timid elephant, a mouse, a pig, a gorilla and a punk-rock porcupine and we follow their individual stories as the film develops.

There is an excellent soundtrack to the film including some of my favourite songs, ‘Oh my god, will you look at her but.’ has become a favourite between me and the girls too.

Universal Studios

Sing film review

Written and directed for Universal Studios by Garth Jennings with a fabulous line up of actors including Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson. The story, animated by animals will keep everyone’s attention throughout, lighthearted with some excellent storylines running through it and some great focus on morals and for pushing yourself to follow the dream.

This film gives viewers 1 hour 48 minutes of fun entertainment and you will come out with a great feel good factor.

Officially in cinemas as of Friday 27th January, keep an eye out for it.

Disclosure: We were given tickets to see the film for the purpose of this post.

Sing film review

stranger things

On set of Stranger Things at the Netflix Christmas event.

Now that Christmas and New Year has been well and truly celebrated and is all packed up and put away we can start turning our eye to the new year, new goals and what to watch on the telebox of an evening whilst the evenings are cold, dark and miserable.

Luckily Netflix has it covered with a huge selection to choose from and some very exciting stuff coming up.

Whats on Netflix for kids

A Series of Unfortunate Events

a series of unfortunate events

Firstly, just before Christmas Netflix sent us through a book to read, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket – The Bad Beginning. I passed it to Alice who was between novel 3 and 4 of the Harry Potter series and she devoured it in a couple of sittings. She loved it and when I told her that Netflix were showing the series in January she was very excited. In fact we all are and it’s going to be one we all watch together.

Look out for A Series of Unfortunate Events on 13th January.

Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 2

If you have a fan of Voltron at home then they will be delighted to hear that a second series is coming up on Netflix, watch out for the next 13 episodes as of January 20th.

Trollhunters

trollhunters

From 23/12 there are 13 hours to watch. Here’s the lowdown –

From the master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes a tale of two worlds set to collide in the epic saga DreamWorks Trollhunters. When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Strong-willed and seeking adventure but wholly unprepared for the responsibilities thrust upon him, Jim is forced to take on the exalted mantle of Trollhunter, sworn to protect the good trolls from powerful enemies bent on revenge. The first human ever to hold the honor, Jim abruptly goes from fighting his way through the daily mayhem of high school to joining a war that has raged for centuries, a conflict that now threatens all of mankind and troll-kind alike. Accompanied by his closest human friends and a few key troll allies, the courageous fifteen-year-old must plunge headlong into a fantastical world of astonishing creatures, glorious cities, and fierce enemies desperate to destroy him. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil with stakes that couldn’t be higher, Jim is determined to save the world — right after gym class.

Whats on Netflix for adults

January is the perfect month for cosying up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a some good films. Netflix have some great movies and series to watch out for including:-

Coin Heist
Out on 06/01/17. An exciting film about four teens that hatch a daring plan to raise $10,000,000 when a crisis threatens to destroy their high school. Their first step is to break into the US Mint. 

Clinical

13/01/17 – A pretty female psychiatrist who, when treating a patient who has been horribly disfigured in an accident, is plagued by her own flashbacks to a terrifying attack

Have a great January

We are members of the Netflix Stream Team and receive free Netflix programming for the purposes of sharing reviews with our readers. 

moana film review

Two days into our Christmas holiday break I took the twins to see Moana the new Disney movie. I had watched the trailers at another recent movie trip and it looked good, plus who doesn’t like a Disney film?

Following the box office success of Frozen I was curious to see how Moana could possibly come even close to that success, after all Frozen is still as big today as it was when it first appeared.

The setting for the latest story is in the south Pacific, so the backdrop is breathtaking. We are taken onto an island, Motunui where a Polynesian tribe live and introduced to the chief’s daughter Moana who we first meet as a delightful toddler learning the tribe’s history from her grandmother as she tells their history in story form.

In the beginning, when there was only ocean, Te Fiti, an island goddess, emerged. Te Fiti’s heart, a small pounamu stone, possessed the power to create life and raise islands. But it also attracted monsters who tried to steal it for its creative power. It was stolen by the demigod Maui, who planned to give it to humanity as a gift. Upon removing the stone, Te Fiti was enveloped in darkness. As Maui made his escape, he was attacked by the lava demon Te K?, causing the heart to become lost in the ocean along with his magical fishhook.

Moana the toddler, searching for shells by the edge of the sea, is chosen by the ocean to receive the heart which her grandmother keeps safe for her. A few years later the fish becomes scarce, the vegetation starts to perish and the coconuts begin to spoil, Moana is urged by her dying grandmother to leave the island and reunite Te Fiti with her heart, by doing this she will save her tribe’s future.

Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demi God, in the hope of saving her people.

Moana the princess

moana film review

‘Im not a princess, I’m the chief’s daughter!’

Thank you Disney for finally creating a princess that isn’t waifer thin, white skinned and just sitting around waiting for her prince to come. Moana is a feisty, intelligent young girl who plays a great role in the day to day running of the island, learning everything from her father for the day she will one day take over. Moana has thick calves and a body that represents far more young girls out there. Moana is also trying to find her place in the world and the story focuses on her search to discover who she is.

‘The Gods aren’t the ones who make you Maui, you are!’

Her search takes her on a fabulous journey across the ocean with the demi God Maui and together they learn a lot from each other. For once there is no love interest at all, simply a story between two characters who meet, get to know one another and become great friends.

Moana meets many challenges and difficulties on her journey to restore Te Fiti with her heart but she is strong and determined, showing viewers that it can be done even if it takes a couple of times to achieve your goal.

Maui the demi God

moana film reveiw

The male main character also steps away from the usual Disney characters, Maui is huge, he is also covered in tattoos which tell his life story. He has made a huge mistake in the past, at first he doesn’t want to admit it and justifies his wrong saying it was done to help others, however, we watch him come to terms with the fact and then put the past right with Moana’s help.

I really enjoyed this film and hope it gives the twins the knowledge that they don’t need a man in their life. They don’t have to stay home, behave and wait for a man to appear but they can grow and discover themselves. They can experience life by themselves before thinking of marriage and princes. Having spent the past five years watching the girls play marriage I really hope this gives them another role play, a better role play to follow.

Netflix twins

It’s time to talk about Netflix again and what we have been watching because although it’s the summer holidays and there is lots going on there is still time for Netflix. Everyone needs some chill out time and that’s where Netflix comes in to being for us.

So what have been watching?

Beat Bugs

The twins turned their nose up when our box of goodies came through, they are going through a ‘That’s too young for us!’ stage with very clear boundaries of what is right for them and what isn’t, they are 8 *raises eyes skywards*. However I persisted, I chose a day when they were sitting on the sofa, tired from a lot of running around. I had a massive pile of ironing to catch up on, as is frequently the case, and I started to play episode 1 of Beat Bug.

What you need to know:  The cute Beat Bugs tell uplifting and life-affirming stories filled with hope and melody. They are a group of five friends who discover life’s most important lessons in their garden. The Beat Bugs live out their childhood adventures to the words and music of The Beatles. Created by Josh Wakely, Beat Bugs incorporates more than 50 songs from the Lennon/McCartney ‘Northern Songs’ catalogue and features covers by world-leading music artists.

What did we think? Well the ‘big girls’ watched the entire episode and went on to watch another straight afterwards! The stories are well told, the illustrations are gorgeous and the music fits perfectly. I think this is ideal for youngsters and although my 8 year olds watched it I think they are at the stage they want something a bit older.

Project Mc2

Project Mc2 is perfect for them, it’s about a group of school girls who dress fashionably but at the same time are a bit geeky and know how to handle themselves. A kind of girl power in the classroom taking all the best bits about girls.

I really love this program as I find it inspirational for the twins who are on the lookout for good role models, any girl who is happy to let everyone know she is intelligent is a good role model in my book. It also makes school more exciting.

The Little Prince

I have a very fond place in my heart for The Little Prince as it is one of the books I read with Thomas my eldest back in the day. We both loved it and read it more than once together. So I was very pleased to see it was on Netflix too.

What you need to know: The story is about a Little Girl and her mother who are preparing her for the world we live in, only they hadn’t bargained on The Aviator, their eccentric and kind hearted neighbour becoming part of their plans. The Aviator introduces the Little Girl to his friend The Little Prince and she discovers with them a world where anything is possible. The film features voice work by Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, and Ricky Gervais.

What did we think? LOVED IT and I will certainly be watching this again. I may even go and buy the book again just for old times sake, thank you Netflix for bringing this beautiful story back into my life.

The Good Wife

One last shout out for mums (and dads) on another of my mammoth ironing sessions I chose to start watching the series The Good Wife and I have fallen in love with it. It’s utterly superb. It’s an American legal and political drama series. The show revolves around Alicia Florrick, whose husband and former Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney, Peter Florrick has been jailed after being found guilty of corruption and sex scandal. She returns back to her job as a litigator in a law firm in order to provide for her two children. It’s gripping.

Netflix mari

What’s next on my list?

Tallulah

Tallulah, was written and directed by Sian Heder (Orange is the New Black) and tells the story of a young homeless girl, Lu who lives in a van and is very independent living day by day.  A chance meeting convinces her to ‘save’ a baby from the drunken mother and she turns to the only person she thinks can help, Margo who is led to believe she is the girl’s grandmother. I have only watched the trailer below and I just know this is going to be brilliant.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam 2016