Family Friendly Films and Events

Disney+ and Pixar Brings Us the Charming LUCA

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Disney+ from writer/director Enrico Casarosa, Simon Stephenson, Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones comes the story of an unusual young boy named LUCA.

Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay) is a young man living with father Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan), mother Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and grandma Paguro (Sandy Martin). Let us be clear, they actually live under the sea! Luca and his family are sea monsters living int the waters off the Italian Riviera.

The young sea monster looks up daily and wonders what is on the surface but has been raised to be afraid of humans. One day, while discovering more unusual objects on the sea floor, Luca meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer) who just happens to also be a sea monster. He also shares with Luca a secret that changes his life.

On dry land, Luca and Alberto become amazing friends with a goal, to get on a Vespa and see the world. When his parents discover what their son has been up to, they make arrangements for him to go stay the summer with an uncle and that makes Luca even more determined to find his own two feet.

Deciding they need to win the Portorosso race to buy their own Vespa, they meet Giulia (Emma Berman) who agrees to train the boys and discovers they need a lot of help. Massimo (Marco Barricelli) is the town bully that tries to stand in the way of three friends reaching their dreams. In a matter of seconds, a friendship is tested, and secrets do not stay secrets for long. 

It is a whirlwind above and below the sea!

Tremblay as Luca is a young boy who is finally discovering that the world is a much larger place than he could ever have imagined. He is so charming, endearing and full of wonderment. It is characters like Luca that make sitting together as a family and watching a story unfold so enjoyable. Tremblay vocals bring delight from start to finish.

Grazer as Alberto is a character filled with fun and a bit of mischief that Luca finds so enjoyable. Having a friend who wants the same things he does; Alberto is even more determined to expand his travels. Berman as Giulia is a young girl who has been part of the Portorosso race before but sees more of a chance to win with her new friends Luca and Alberto. She also opens up an educational world to Luca that she loves sharing with him. 

Rudolph as mom Daniela is not going to let her son become part of the dry land world. Rudolph gives us the worried mother with a sense of humor mixed in. Gaffigan as dad Lorenzo is so funny in the way he is perfectly imperfect as a dad who pays attention in short spurts and is silly. 

Barricelli as Massimo is the town bully that will stop anything or anyone from getting in the way of his winning a race or taking away his thunder. 

Other cast include Saverio Raimondo as Ercole Visconti, Peter Sohn as Ciccio, Lorenzo Crisci as Guido, Marina Massironi as Signora Marsignliese, Gino La Monica as Tommaso, Giacomo Gianniotti as Giacomo, Elisa Gabrielli as Concetta Aragosta and Mimi Maynard as Pinuccia Aragosta. 

Disney+ is the subscription home streaming entertainment with Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. There are exclusive originals with new feature films, shows, short form content, documentaries, and actions series such as THE MANDALORIAN. For more information, please visit www.disneyplus.com.

Pixar is responsible for some of the most amazing, animated stories and films from the TOY STORY franchise, FINDING DORY, THE INCREDIBLES, MONSTERS INC., CARS, BRAVE and this year’s newest film SOUL. For more information, please visit www.pixar.com. 

Once again, the combination of Disney and Pixar have taken a story that is heartwarming, funny and full of life lessons and given it something even more special – heart. The animation is spectacular and colorful which is a like another character that adds such richness to every frame. 

The wonderful Italian songs, the celebration of Italian food and a wonderful sense of the Italian community is so lovely to see. By the end of the film there is an understanding by all once they push past the fear mongering and it is a lesson for us all.

There is an amazing friendship between Luca, Alberto and Guila that is filled with everything we would want for these three. Being brought together once they cemented their friendship – each of them would do anything for the other. Make sure you keep the tissue handy as with all Disney and Pixar films, a tear might happen to find its way out.

In the end – above or below it is all about friendship, understanding and love!


BOSS BABY 2: Family Business Bring Brothers Back Together

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Tom McGrath and DreamWorks animation is the story of two brothers who might just have to be reminded about family in BOSS BABY 2: Family Business.

Tim Templeton (James Marsden) is a grown-up family man with wife Carol (Eva Longoria) and daughters Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and baby Tina (Amy Sedaris). Also, a stay-at-home Dad, he makes sure that his family is happy and filled with fun. Missing from his life is brother Theodore (Alec Baldwin) who has grown into a very rich CEO hedge fund businessman.

Recently daughter Tabitha seems to be growing apart from Dad Tim and he can not understand why. Going to the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood run by Dr. Erin Armstrong who teaches the kids to be free thinkers. Tabitha is also preparing to take part in the school performance and does not want any help from Dad.

As the holidays approach, an unexpected visitor bursts into the Templeton home. Uncle Ted has come believing that something is wrong with Tabitha. That is when the brothers and Tina spend some alone time and they realize that she is on a mission for BabyCorp. Tina tells the brothers that they must infiltrate the Acorn Center because something is not right and to do that – that is right – they need to work together. 

The brothers make a plan that turns their world upside down, but it is all done in the name of family!

Marsden as Timothy has grown up and being the father that not only loves his family but wants them to be happy in any way possible. Missing his brother, he buries that feeling and dedicates his life to Tabitha and Tina. Yet, the time has come for brothers to work together again and help BabyCorp keep their work going for all babies. 

Baldwin as Ted is back with his usual amazing sarcasm, stunning wit and perfect delivery. Okay, so I am thrilled that Baldwin gets to have such a character that is so hysterically memorable with a script that gave this actor the opportunity to entertain. As the older Ted it is grand to see that some things never change – and happily so!

Sedaris as Tina makes a surprise entrance letting her father know that things have not changed much in the baby world. Getting Tim and Ted together for a mission is like trying to round up penguins on ice – difficult but not impossible. Greenblatt as Tabitha is a young girl trying to find her way. Her changes affect the relationship with her father, but Tim is not about to give up what he loves.

Let us talk Goldblum as Dr. Armstrong, first of all – I laughed so hard watching his character on the screen with the matching wit of Ted and disguised sticky sweet sarcasm. Goldblum lends his recognizable vocals to a character that has plans of his own. He has his own secret to share and once exposed, it is up to Ted and Tim to do what they do best, be brothers!


Other cast include Jimmy Kimmel as Grandpa Ted Templeton Sr. and Lisa Kudrow as Grandma Janice Templeton.

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing, animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

BOSS BABY 2: Family Business is such a fun film for everyone, and I plan to watch it again and again. I love that DreamWorks makes their animated film with humor that reaches everyone. The story is about family and the disconnect that sometimes happens, but it is also wrapped up in adventure and humor with the end result of remembering who we love and why.

The film is brightly animated, fast paced and just a giggle fest from start to finish. Baldwin, Marsden and Goldblum keep us on our mental toes while Greenblatt and Sedaris give us a look at the next generation that will deal with BabyCorp. Showing us a side of a stay-at-home Dad and the pressures of a pre-teen invite us into the Templeton family and my family hopes they will come again.

Get the entire family together and see what the Templeton gang are up to bringing laughs, adventure and pure enjoyment in a time where we welcome them with open arms. 

In the end – playtime is over!


Sony and Netflix Bring us the Story of Friendship with WISH DRAGON

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Netflix from Sony Animation, writer/director Chris Appelhans and Jackie Chan comes the heartwarming story of friendship and understanding with WISH DRAGON.

Din (voiced by Jimmy Wong) and Lina (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) discover in elementary school that they have so much in common. From their love of mischief comes a friendship so deep that when Lina moves away with her father, it is a sad day for Din. As the city grows around him, Din still finds a bit of trouble missing school and keeping up with his delivery job.

Making a delivery, he is given a teapot for no reason at all but is told all the answers he needs is with the teapot. There is someone who is equally interested in the teapot and that’s the slightly villainous looking Mr. Wong (Will Yun Lee) who will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.  

After a chastising from Mom (Constance Wu) about his schoolwork, Din is more interested in who he is excited to see. The teapot has other plans when it opens up and he meets Long (John Cho), a dragon who let him know that he gets three wishes. After trying to get to know one another, Din lets Long the Dragon know he wants to see his friend Lina again.

That can be kind of difficult as Lina is now living a big life. Din crashes her birthday party only to discover that the change from childhood to adulthood can be painful. Trying to explain things to Long is difficult but the very colorful dragon has another take on how humans behave and there is a very good reason for it. It is time for each of their stories to be told and friendship to find them once again and not just the two-legged friendships! 

All that glitters is not gold. 

Wong as Din is a young man who has hung onto his childhood memory and the belief that one day he will see Nina again. When Long enters his life, things become more complicated than Din could ever have imagined. Wong gives his character a wonderful sense of life, love, friendship, loyalty and a bit of comedy thanks to his dragon friend. 

Bordizzo as Nina is as mischievous as Din when they are children. As the years go by, Nina’s father is part of the business world, and it affects her life in ways she could not have imagined. Bordizzo gives her character such a lovely and fun aspect but also a sense of responsibility that keeps her away from the people she truly wants to be with.

Wu as Mom only wants the best for her son and works hard to make sure he is taken care of. There is a sense of community and family that are there with her and it is something that Nina gets to experience. 

Other cast include Bobby Lee as Tall Goon, Jimmy O. Yang as Small Goon, Ian Chem as Young Din, Alyssa Abiera as Young Lina, and Gabriel Lee as Wen. 

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The visually groundbreaking and critically acclaimed SPIDER-MAN: Into the Spider-Verse is the studio’s latest release, and the winner of the 2019 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Other amazing films include THE SMURFS, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.sonypicturesanimation.com.

WISH DRAGON is a colorful, beautiful, loving story of friendships and loyalty surrounded by community. It is also the story of Din and Lina and, with a little push of faith, remembering what is important in life once you tear down the materialistic things that become traps.

There is also the story of Long and his journey of being a dragon which is equally important. Watching Long experience the modern world is entertaining to be sure, but it is also rediscovering his connection with people that is sweet, caring and sometimes very funny. 

The animation is stunning and brilliant which lends to the enjoyment of the film in so many ways. So gather the family and prepare to make a few wishes of your own when the WISH DRAGON comes into your home for a visit. 

In the end – three magical wishes and one life changing adventure!

SPIRIT UNTAMED is Filled with Family and Horses

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Elaine Bogan and DreamWorks comes the story of family, friendship and being SPIRIT UNTAMED.

Lucky Prescott (voiced by Isabela Merced) is a young girl raised with her grandfather and Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) after an accident took the life of her mother. Father Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal) felt that sending Lucky to live with his family would keep her safe. The problem is Lucky seems to be just a little too much now for the Prescotts.

Aunt Cora packs Lucky a bag and off they go into the West to see Jim in the town of Miradero. Looking for a little excitement, she gets her first taste when a horse runs next to the train and Lucky is thrilled. Getting to Miradero, there is an odd reunion between Lucky and her father but she takes the opportunity to get to know the town.

She meets Abigail (Mckenna Grace) who is just a ball of song and Pru (Marsai Martin) the amazing horse rider whose father Al (Andre Braugher) owns the local coral. In the coral she is surprised to find the horse that was chasing the train! She wants so much to make a connection with him, but her father warns her to stay away!

Well, he does not know that Lucky is determined to bond with the horse she names Spirit and is appalled when she sees an underhanded wrangler (Walton Coggins) treating him so badly. A few apples later, Lucky has made a friend and wants to help Spirit. 

With the help of her friends and a long perilous journey, Lucky and Spirit will reunite and create a friendship that will last them both a lifetime. 

Merced voicing Lucky gives her animated character a unique personality. She is feisty, curious and a bit wild but that is what makes her amazingly wonderful. At a young age Lucky thinks she knows who she is until that all changes learning who her mother was to so many people. Fighting for the right thing is never wrong but can be a little dangerous for Lucky without the help of friends and a horse named Spirit.

Moore as Aunt Cora is actually quite hilarious to me. She seems to have the water on a ducks back mentality because nothing gets to her. It might grab her attention for a second, but she always adjusts. She sees a need for Lucky to be with her father and also to straighten out Jim’s household for Lucky’s sake. Gyllenhaal as Jim is a man that has not come to terms with his wife’s passing or how to handle a young daughter that is growing up quickly. Trying to be a father is not easy and Lucky does not exactly make it easy either!

Grace as Abigail is too lively, spirited and knows how to handle little brothers. Give her a horse and a rope and its all good and together. Seeing the relationship grow between Lucky and Spirit, she encourages it along with friend Pru. Martin as Pru is a young lady made for a horse and loves every moment of it with the support of her dad. She also sees how patient Lucky is with Spirit and helps her learn how to be a friend to the wild mustang.

Coggins as the wrangler is as evil as he wants to be but that is the best part of being in an animated film. He gives us the face of someone you would never want to meet in a dark alley and just as stubborn as Lucky – and they both want Spirit.

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

SPIRIT UNTAMED is the story of friendship, love, loyalty and justice all wrapped up in a young girl discovering her heritage and a horse that knows exactly who he is and where he belongs. Finding each other began a test of patience and trust for both Lucky and Spirit that grows into something extremely special.

Having friends like Abigail and Pru who also see the injustice caused by the wrangler, are just as determined to help Lucky and Spirit make things right again. Lucky is learning that you can know true friends from both the two legged and four legged creatures of the world. 

The film is also about family for both Lucky and Spirit. In Lucky’s case, she is learning about her mother and the heritage shared in Miradero. Meeting so many people who not only remember Lucky’s mother but see the same fire in the young girl. Spirit learns to trust the humans learning what they are about but also holds fierce to his herd as their leader.

Lucky and Spirit come to understand one another and that is everything. 

In the end – nothing will break their spirit!

SESAME STREET: Cool Counting Collection 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD and Digital from Shout! Kids and the Sesame Street Workshop is family fun and learning with SESAME STREET: Cool Counting Collection. 

Sesame Street brings the favorite character of counting with the Count. Starting out with learning about the number 0 with a superhero and celebrating the number of the day which is still a tune we sing in this family. Also being part of a lot of teaching moments is Elmo, the Grouch, Abby and enjoying the numbers with a little bit of dancing and singing.

Feist shares counting to four with many of the Sesame Street gang with penguins and chickens who visited the local shore. Continuing with the number four are adults who are a band of unique sounds that makes four fun! The group Train joins the Count in being excited about being a song group of five.

The Count now has us all stomping our feet because the number of the day is 6! But nothing can prepare use for the seven dancing chickens who are clucking to represent the number 7. Leave it to our favorite vampire to remind us that 8 is great followed by 9 dancing dinosaurs which is always cool. 

Count decides to hang out in space to count to the number 10 along with Elmo and Abby. It is an adventure to count ten unusual space creatures! He also brings good friend Dale to show us an interesting way to reach the number 11. Cookie Monster is more than willing to help with the counting of 12 because, of course, there are cookies involved.

The numbers are getting bigger and bigger as we see how many it takes to represent 13 with jumps, pears, silly muddy dogs, and lovely bees. Down on the farm the twin monsters learn about 14. On to the supermarket, the question of how many ingredients does it take to make a dinner comes to 15. The aliens are back to give us a look into the magical 16. 

The number of the day brings Snuffy and Big Bird to talk about 17. Nothing is better than visiting a garden and counting the garden to find that there are 18 lovely blooms to admire. Count decides he wants to give a popular 80’s song a face lift all the way to 19. Finally (and perhaps the best) is when the Count makes the emotional count to 20 with the help of actor Liam Neeson. 

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street and the amazing television show. Teaching children since 1969, Sesame Workshop is a force for change and a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Reaching over 150 countries, Sesame Workshop tailors to the needs of the culture and communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org. 

The Bonus Features include Street Story: Numeric-Con, Street Story: Elmo and Zoe’s Hat Contest, Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Sheepytime and Elmo’s World: Counting. 

There is never a need to tell anybody about the importance and fun of what Sesame Street has brought to families worldwide. Everyone knows Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch, Abby and, of course, the Count.

My own granddaughter spent the first three years of her life living off of Sesame Street and singing along to the songs that, at the age of six, she remembers and still sings to. That is the impact that this program has brought to my own family, can you imagine the other children in this country and the other 149 countries? That is a stellar accomplishment of being a part of educating and reaching children through song, fun, humor and loveable characters.

There is always something new, informative, in the way they teach they basics of numbers. It is every changing to fit the needs of children because learning is constantly changing, and Sesame Street knows that. It is colorful and reaches a level that children understand and want to know more about. Let’s admit it adults, we still get a kick out of watching as well.

Sesame Street is currently celebrating its 51st season on television and is the country’s longest running children’s television program receiving more Emmy Awards than any other television show in history – and it is more than well deserved.

In the end – you can count on your friend and count with them too!

There is Charm and Learning with STILLWATER

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Apple TV+ from directors Jun Falkenstein, Amber Hollinger, Roy Burdine and Gary Hartle is a friendship with STILLWATER.  

Karl (voiced by Judah Mackey), Abby (Eva Binder) and Michael (Tucker chandler) are sister and brothers who spend their days looking and creating adventures. Living next door is Stillwater, a panda (voiced by James Sie) who enjoys their children’s company. 

The youngest Karl wants to fly into space and begins building a rocket. Michael and Abby are not very supportive, and it hurts Karl’s feelings. Stillwater takes the time to listen to Karl and because of that, Abby and Michael are in for a big surprise.

Having a little brother can sometimes be a testing proposition as Abby finds out. Karl has taken charge of a game that she wants to play. Trying to be patient with him, Abby becomes frustrated and runs into Stillwater. Telling him the problem, it is Stillwater that offers support and perhaps another way to handle her sibling.

Apple TV+ is a streaming service featuring Apple Originals, award-winning series, compelling dramas, groundbreaking documentaries, kids’ entertainment, comedies, and more with new Apple Originals added every month. To see more of what they have to offer please visit www.appletvplus.com. 

Stillwater is based on Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. His other art works include Moonshadow by J.M. DeMatteis and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The Wake. Muth is a comic artist and children’s book illustrator and studied brush calligraphy called shodo in Japan. 

STILLWATER is such a charming series for children to watch with their families. The relationship between siblings is filled with believability for any family who has a household of children. There are disagreements and misunderstandings between the youngsters as they try to navigate growing up.

Their neighbor Stillwater has a beautiful garden that is, well, zen in its look and feel. It as well as Stillwater invite the children to take a moment to think about their situation and find a solution that is loving for everyone and that is worth every moment of watching. 

Each episode brings 30 minutes of wonder, beauty and a calm that, especially in the last year, is a welcome treat. Listening to Stillwater’s words and huge amount of patience is a reminder of what we need to do for children who have had their lives change as well through this pandemic.

So it is time for the family to get together and get cuddly on the sofa and enjoy the creativity and the adventures with the help of STILLWATER. 


RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

Jeri Jacquin


Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Don Hall, Carlos Estrada, Paul Briggs, John Ripa and Walt Disney Animated Studios is the story of RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON.

Raya (Kelly Tran) is a young girl learning the culture, that of Sisu and traditions of her people being taught by her father Benja (Daniel Dae Kim). Showing her the lessons of getting along with the other tribes, he believes in peaceful means and shareable solutions. The problem is the other clans do not seem to share his beliefs.

Namaari (Gemma Chan) and Raya meet and show the adults how friendship is done. While sharing their stories, Namaari tells Raya that Sisu (Awkwafina) is still around. But not is all that it seems. Chief Virana’s (Sandra Oh) clan attempts to cause a rift but Benja tries to appeal to their humanity. One move causes everything to scatter, as well as the dragon gem the Heart clan has been protecting.

As Raya escapes, a new journey begins for the young girl who is left on her own. Following a map, she and her trusty animal friend Tuk Tuk are hoping to find the pieces of the dragon gem once again. Six years later, Raya finds the final place to try and bring Sisu back to set the world right.

What she does not expect is a beautiful blue dragon with a unique sense of humor and a story of her own to tell. They can not take to long for this because Raya is being hunted by Namaari who is vengeful and focused on one thing – getting what she wants. Thanks to young captain and chef Boun (Izaac Wang). Sisu and Raya escape to get to the next place and the next piece of the dragon gem. 

Now the gang is almost complete as Little Noi (Thalia Tran) and Ton (Benedict Wong) joins the group of those who only want their families back.

Tran gives her Raya a gentle heart with a warrior’s glare. Joining her father in the responsibility for the Heart clan, she is quick to learn, and the lessons are about to become harsh. Thinking she is alone in finding the Dragon gem, she not only finds Sisu but a whole group of different characters and people who believe in what she is doing. Tran lends her voice to give Raya strength and its lovely.

Awkwafina as Sisu is flighty (both literally and figuratively) and is the humor of the duo. The journey with Sisu and Raya is one of learning, trusting and love. Awkwafina is funny, charming and when the time comes, pulls on the heartstrings of trust to help her new-found friend. Her silliness reminds me a bit of Robin Williams in ALADDIN and there certainly is not anything wrong with that!

Kim as Benja wants his daughter to understand why they are protecting the Dragon gem and at the same time teach her how to do things differently, less battles and more understanding. Chan as Naamari is raised differently than Raya with the eyes on a prize that is not hers to have. Time and time again she proves to Raya that the trust between them is misguided. Oh as her mother Virana continues to guide her daughter on the wrong path. 

Wong as Ton has a huge heart and its hidden by a huge personage that gives people the wrong impression of him. He also believes in Raya and is about to put his weapon to the test on her behalf. What brings out his softer side is Little Noi voiced by Tran to give us the ‘awwwwwww’ factor until you realize this is not your normal little helpless tyke roaming around! 

Other cast include Lucille Soong as Dang Hu, Dichen Lachman as General Atitaya, Patti Harrison as Tail Chief, Jon Park as Chai, Sung Kang as Dang Hai, Ross Butler as Spine Chief, and Francois Chau as Wahn.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bluray Bonus Extras Include: Us Again – Theatrical Short Film, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Taste of RAYA – Tune into a virtual dinner roundtable with Kelly Marie Tran and the filmmakers, RAYA: Bringing it Home – See how the film was made from over 450 homes, Martial Artists – Learn about the film’s martial arts and more, We are Kumandra – Discover the cultural influences that inspired the film, Fun Facts & Easter Eggs and more! 

Raya is a young woman who believes in her family, culture and the stories that are shared. When it all is taken away, she still holds strong to everything. That is an amazing story to share with not only kids who are taken with Disney films, but to the adults. There is something to be said for the greed of those who want to possess something that either is not theirs or just because they do not want anyone else to have it.

The story being told through RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is not only believable but speaks on many levels. The ideal that sharing and working together in times of difficult adversity is something that has been sadly lacking, especially in the last year. Like many Disney films, Raya takes on bringing back those she loves through no fault of her own. 

She believes in the good of others and continues to trust those that perhaps she should not, but Raya also has the Anne Frank philosophy that “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart”. But Raya also learns a valuable lesson in letting others help her when she realizes they want the very same thing – and oh what a group it is!

In the end – it is time to come together! 

It is the Return of our Favorite Ogre SHREK

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack from directors Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is our, well, kinda loveable ogre SHREK.

Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow) has taken over the fairytale kingdom and ruining the lives of the creatures who live there. Shrek (voiced by Mike Meyers) is an ogre who loves his muddy swamp and needs nothing more except being left alone. Well, that starts to change when the displaced creatures start placing themselves in his home.

Done with the madness and irritated with a particular Donkey (Eddie Murphy) who has attached himself to Shrek, he decides to visit this Lord. Interrupting the games, Farquaad makes a deal with Shrek – bring him the lovely Princess Fiona who is trapped in a castle and Shrek can have his swamp back creature free. 

Shrek agrees and Donkey goes along for the adventure. They finally come to a castle that is being guarded by a dragon! Shrek goes in and finds the lovely Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) but she is not happy with how the rescue goes. Starting out these two are not exactly seeing eye to eye and Donkey thinks there is something more between them.

On the road back, Shrek and Fiona actually start talking to one another, but the Princess has a secret that she is trying to keep from everyone! Can she make it to the wedding day without being, well, herself?

Meyers as Shrek has made a place for himself in the ogre, swamp, jokes, loveable world of animation. DreamWorks found themselves a total winner in 2001 and that can be attributed to how Meyers made his Ogre amazing and hilarious. Using his ability to create voices, Shrek’s voice is unique and memorable even twenty years later. 

Murphy as Donkey is totally in his element. There is not much that gets to Donkey as he seems to always fly by the seat of his furry animal rear end, and it works for him. Murphy gives Donkey everything and more to include being loveable, understanding, sweet and takes a hit and keeps on going. I can not imagine any other voice coming out of a donkey’s mouth than Murphy’s.

Diaz as Princess Fiona is probably our first glimpse at a Princess being a total bad ass. From the moment Shrek ‘rescues’ her, she makes it plain that she is not one to be trifled with. She has skills of her own and Shrek is about to discover them. Diaz also gives her princess a soft side filled with everything a young girl goes through with insecurities, uncertainties and unaccepting of her circumstances yet, does not know how to change it – until she meets Shrek.

Lithgow as Lord Farquaad is HILARIOUS, his statue does not match his ego that is for sure. He is full of himself and has managed to make everyone else forget he is as big as a keg of ale. Farquaad has more insecurities than anyone else running around in the fairytale world. Thinking he is going to get everything in the world is his first mistake.

Other wonderful characters include Vincent Cassel as Monsieur Hood, Chris Miller as Gepetto, Cody Cameron as Pinocchio, Michael Galasso as Peter Pan and Christopher Knight and Simon Smith as the Blind Mice. I have to give a shout out to Conrad Vernon as the Gingerbread Man!  

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The 4K Ultra HD and Bluray Bonus Features include The Animators Corner, Shrek’s Interactive Journey, Spotlight on Donkey, Secrets of SHREK, Deleted Scenes, Music Videos and Filmmakers’ Commentary. Plus, Bluray Bonus Disc with over 4 hours of fun Shrek In The Swam Karoke Party, Far Far Away Idol, Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos, The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, Scared Shrekless, Thriller Night, The Pig Who Cried Wolf, Shrek the Halls, Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-Tacular, Shrek’s Yule Log, and 5 Episodes from THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS TV Series.

SHREK is a staple in our home video library because it is not just for kids but also for kids at heart who want to have fun. It is a mixture of fairy tales but with a kick as each of the characters begin to find their voice in a world that has kept them boxed up for so long.

Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are the three most impressive and silly characters we have ever seen but in that is also the flaws we all seem to have. Not just in personal appearance but in the way we see one another. SHREK has always pushed us past those differences and did so in a way that makes us smile as well as think more about the world we live in.

In the end – it’s the greatest fairytale never told!


SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE GREAT ESCAPE

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on DVD from directors Toe Yuen, Matthew Chow and Shout Factory Kids is the wonderful story of heroes in fur with SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE GREAT ESCAPE. 

It is England in the 19th Century and Sherlock Holmes is a little different than we are use to seeing him. In this world of animal crime, only Holmes can be counted on to find the answers. 

Holmes and companion Dr. Watson are visiting an orphanage and they learn there is a mysterious benefactor that is keeping them afloat. The children asked Holmes to reunite the young girl Katy with her father who has been missing for some time. In the process, he catches infamous Mack in front of his daughter and not many are happy about it.

Holmes is devastated about seeing Katy so sad so he goes to prison to speak with Mack and learn the true story of this master criminal. As Katy grows, she begins a relationship with her father that makes her as happy as it can for their separation. 

One day Mack receives a letter that upsets him, and Holmes discovers that the prisoner has escaped! Detectives Gordon Gorilla Riller and Carlson Fox try to keep up with Holmes in the investigation, but the escape is not the only thing they will have to deal with. Also escaping prison is Scarface who is upset with Mack and has a score he wants to settle!

Holmes has so much to unravel and he is just the canine to do it!

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Other characters include Alice, Little Rabbit, and Skinny Monkey. 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE GREAT ESCAPE is a wonderful family film that is colorful in its telling, the characters are delightful, and the story is filled with fun. All of that would be enough but added to it is Holmes’ way of explaining his deductions that are smart and easy for everyone to follow (and a few are even very funny). 

The animation is absolute genius filled with the color and vibrancy that will keep viewers focused and delighted at the same time. The story if one of family, loyalty, friendship and a few broken rules along the way and bicycle thievery. Well, what do you expect from a great mystery solver like Sherlock Holmes!

In the end – Holmes is about to solve an emotional crime!

Our Favorite Cave Family Return with THE CROODS: A New Age on Bluray 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Joel Crawford and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes THE CROODS: A New Age.

The Croods are a family consisting of Dad Grug (Nicolas Cage), Mom Ugga (Catherine Keener), older daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke), Gran (Cloris Leachman) and baby Sandy (Kailey Crawford) as well as Eep’s love Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and they are looking for a safe harbor in the caveman world. 

Being an overprotective Dad, Grug is not happy about the romance between Guy and Eep mainly because he thinks his daughter will leave the pack. To his surprise on their continued walk, Grug finds a wall calling everyone over to see it. Guy seems to have a remembrance of it but can not seem to place it until seeing Phil (Peter Dinklage), Hope (Leslie Mann) and daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran) Betterman (emphasis on ‘better’)! This couple are friends of Guy’s parents.  

Thrilled to see them again, the Betterman’s are interested in the Crood family and surprised to learn they can even speak believing cave people were gone. Almost immediately Grug is irritated with Phil and Ugga is not to thrilled with Hope. The only ones that seem thrilled are Eep and Dawn discovering that they get to be besties!

The only rule that Phil asked of the Croods was to leave the bananas but as the irritation of the Croods begins to build and they realize that they are being treated as, well, simpletons, Grug fights back eating the bananas. Well, there was a reason for those bananas, and they are now pounding at the gate.

Either the Croods and Bettermans work together to survive or they might all become bananas!

Cage as Grug is still overprotective, wary of Guy and easily manipulated but such a loveable guy with great intentions. He truly loves his family and would do anything for them, and Cage uses his vocals to bring all of that front and center to this big lug headed character. Keener as Ugga tries to make friends with the Bettermans but something is nagging at her and embraces her daughters desire to want more out of life. Keener is totally the nurturer of this clan and keeps them in check.

Stone as Eep is still strong willed, opinionated, and not about to be told what to do by anyone – even if she has heart thumps over him. I just love Eep and love even more that Stone has given her a strong personality through words (even if she is a little hostile at times) and it is so enjoyable. Reynolds as Guy is clearly heart struck on Eep but does not seem to know how to handle her way of handling things. That does not mean he is not hung up on her but now must decide what home means to him.

Dinklage as Phil is a stone aged hippie trying to find the most natural way to live, the problem is he is a little like Grug without wanting to admit it. Having Guy back in the fold means he can expand his pack and will stop at nothing to make that happen – even manipulating Grug. Mann as Hope is a woman who has issues with the Croods and looks down at their ways instead of trying to understand them. She is about to get a lesson in manners!

Tran as Dawn is just happy to have another girl to talk to because her parents are getting to be to much. Having Eep teach her about the outside world means exploring and deciding what she likes about it all. Clark as Thunk gets to be his usual unusual self when discovering stone age television and Crawford as Sandy has something new and she wants to share.

Leachman as Gran gives one heck of a performance as her story is loud, large and needing to be shared. I laughed hard when that story is told and Leachman gives it her all and deserves to be applauded. She made her mark as Frau Blucher and cemented that mark becoming Gran for the Croods. What a career, what an actress!

Other cast includes Chris Sanders as Belt, James Ryan as Sash, and Gabriel Jack as little Guy. 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bonus Features include Two All New Exclusive Shorts, Family Movie Night: Little Red Bronana Bread, Dear Diary: World’s First Pranks, Deleted Scenes, How to Draw: Caveman Style, Stone Age Snack Attack, Family Album and more! 

THE CROODS: A New Age is colorful, hilarious and everything that a family film should have to make it a movie night at home. The Croods are a family we already knew had charming issues and being a cave family is only one of many so having them return for a second installment is everything we could ask for and more.

This film tells a little more of the Guy’s story, how the Croods manage to continue being a loving family, adding the Betterman’s and giving Gran an amazing story as well. There are new creatures and returning creatures that are just as fun and crazy as both families. 

Pop the popcorn and prepare for the fun because that is what the THE CROODS: A New Age brings.

In the end – work together or go extinct!

Disney+ Brings SOUL

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Disney+ from directors Peter Docter, Kemp Powers is the musical life that reaches down to the SOUL.

Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is a high school music teacher that is still trying to bring his love of jazz into a profession. When former student Dez (Donnell Rawlings) calls to let him know that sax player Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett) is looking for a piano man, Joe is beyond thrilled. 

Making his way to the club, Joe plays his heart out and Dorothea tells him to come back in a suit to play with her quartet that very night. Believing his world is about to change forever, he has no idea how right he is. After a little accident, Joe opens his eyes to discover he is not quite sure where he is!

On a long ramp leading toward the light and the Great Beyond, Joe comes to understand that he is not part of the world any longer and he is not about to take that lightly. After another tumble, he finds himself surrounded but giggles and cuteness. Learning from the Counselor’s Jerry (Alice Braga), Jerry (Richard Ayoade), Jerry (Fortune Feimster), and Jerry (Zenobia Shroff) and Jerry (Wes Studi) that he has landed in the Great Before, they think Joe is there to train souls and given 22 (Tina Fey), a soul that has had no luck in learning anything from anyone. 

Joe’s job is to help 22 find her spark that will get Joe an Earth badge so he can return. After trying again and again, Joe is wondering if maybe there is a good reason 22 never made it to Earth. That is when Joe and 22 meet Moonwind (Graham Norton), who has the ability to be both on earth and in the Great Before to rescue lost souls. 

Agreeing to help, Joe and 22 make a jump back to Earth where 22 becomes Joe and Joe becomes a cat! About this time, the soul accountant Terry (Rachel House) realizes that the soul count is off, and he is not about to have that! Now the race is on for Terry to correct the count, Joe and 22 to find their way back to themselves and Joe to make it to the performance by nightfall.

This soul thing is pretty complicated!

Foxx as Joe plays an endearing man who has a unique love of jazz but can only find a job as a high school music teacher. When given the chance to do what he has always wanted, he takes it and finally sees his musical future. Foxx gives Joe lovability, humor, an outlook that transcends his Before and After and the something we can all relate to – dealing with a Mom we are afraid to say “this is what I want for my life” without chickening out. 

Fey as 22 is as hyper as a soul can get! This soul is not as different from Joe as she would like to think. There are fears here as well but covered up sass and pride in never having been sucked into the vortex to Earth. Fey is charming, funny and a stubbornness that keeps her from joining the human race. Once she has a chance to experience life on Earth, there is a change in both 22 and Joe that is so very sweet. 

Shout out to Phylicia Rashad as Mom Libba who wants the best for her son and believes the life her husband had was a hard one and does not want it for her son. Basset as Dorothea sees the potential in Joe, but she just does not have the time to deal with him in a hospital gown on the city streets. Norton as Moonwind just had me cracking up from start to finish but if I was a lost soul, I’d be thrilled to have his ship pull up and rescue me.

Shout out to all the Jerry’s for being compassionate, understanding and gentle spirits in the midst of Joe and 22’s madness. House as Terry is another character that I just love with the spirit to seek out the missing soul because one slot open on the abacas just won’t do! 

Other cast include Questlove as Curley, Cora Champommier as Connie, Margo Hall as Melba, Daveed Diggs as Paul, Rhodessa Jones as Lulu, Peggy Flood as Marge, June Squibb as Gerel, Cathy Cavadini as Dreamerwind, Dorian Lockett as Dorian, Esther Chae as Miho, Elisapie Isaac as Miali, and Marcus Shelby as Ray Gardner.

Disney+ is the subscription home streaming entertainment with Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. There are exclusive originals with new feature films, shows, short form content, documentaries and actions series such as THE MANDALORIAN. For more information please visit www.disneyplus.com.

SOUL is everything we have come to expect from Disney and so much more. During this time of anxiety, this film gives us all a chance to cuddle up with our family and be taken away into a story of love, life, family and how we all need to be true to ourselves.

The film is hilarious, heartwarming, lovely, and vivid in color. The story is complex but not in a way that is hard for children to follow. My granddaughter was riveted the moment SOUL came on the screen because she also has a love of music. She, along with the entire family, felt for Joe and just love 22 and the antics she manages to cause.

That is what a Disney film does, transports us all into another realm of possibilities with hope, love, and the continual belief that we need to try to do the things that bring us joy – and right now that is top on my family’s list. As we all look forward to this new year, it is my hope we all can do it with a little bit of SOUL.

In the end – everybody has a soul and Joe is about to find his!

THE LITTLE PENGUIN PORORO’S DINOSAUR ISLAND ADVENTURE Comes to DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the animated story of friendship and the past with THE LITTLE PENGUIN PORORO’S DINOSAUR ISLAND ADVENTURE.

Pororo, Patty, Eddie and friends take a walk through the forest and discover a ship broken down in the woods. Inside the ship is a baby dinosaur named Alo. Taking him to their home for a meal and a good night’s sleep. The next morning Eddie takes a moment to work on the ship and discovers it could be started again. 

Once it does, it grabs Alo and Crong and returns it to a large space craft. Cursor (Jon Heder) tells the evil Mr. Y (Pauly Shore) that there are more coming as Pororo, Eddie and the gang go to rescue their friends. Once aboard the ship they realize that Mr. Y is not about making friends as they are chased through the corridors by robots. The evil blue dude only wants the dinosaurs to profit from them. 

Escaping, the gang returns to the forest to ask the larger dinosaurs for help and Alo finds the tribe he knows. From Bri the Longneck to Peter the Pterodactyl, they all come together to stop Mr. Y from taking what is not his! Their leader King is not as keen to help Pororo get his friends back. Then Alo remembers how all the dinosaurs came to be in the woods. 

Now that they have everything they need to know, Pororo, Alo and the gang decide that it is up to them to get their friends and make it right. 

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

THE LITTLE PENGUIN PORORO’S DINOSAUR ISLAND ADVENTURE is such a delightful story about making new friends, loyalty and doing the right thing – even if others do not want to help. That is an important lesson for kids who see this film as mixing fun with meaning impacts them even more in their own decision-making process. 

The animation is stunningly colorful and the characters each have their own unique personality. They also bring their own set of unique talents allowing each one to help in their own special way. That is important when kids watch to know that we all have our own talent and pooling resources for good can never be bad.

Of course, it does not hurt that the characters are cute, charming, sweet and head strong and that is a bonus we can all enjoy! Pauly Shore brings a lot of fun with his attempt to be evil as Mr. Y! The action is fast and will entertain the entire family during the times we are together looking for snuggle movie time. 

In the end – it is bravery verses high tech!

She Finds Peace and THE SECRET GARDEN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Marc Munden, STX Films and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the struggle for beauty until they find THE SECRET GARDEN.

Mary (Dixie Egerickx) is living in India during their revolutions. After losing her parents, she is found alone in her home and sent to Uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) in England. Arriving, she is met by Mrs. Medlock (Julie Walters) and told that the life she once knew is not going to be the same. Given instructions about where she can and cannot go in the house, Mary is left alone in a very depressing room.

The next day she meets Martha (Isis Davis) and learns she has a younger brother Dickon (Amir Wilson) who roams the moors. Staying out of the way of everyone in the house, Mary finds solace in walking through the woods, especially when she meets Jemima - a stray who befriends the young girl. Meeting her uncle, Mary sees a very sad and angry man who hasn't gotten over the death of his beloved wife.

Following Jemima one day, Mary discovers a wall and behind it is a wonderful garden. She takes Dickon there and it becomes their special place. Roaming the house, Mary also discovers Cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurt) who is bedridden and believes he is ill. The one thing she has in common with her cousin is feeling unloved by their parents.

But Mary wants to help her cousin by taking him to the garden introducing him to the beauty and the history between their mothers. Mrs. Medlock is not happy about what Mary has been doing and sets it up to anger Mr. Craven enough to send Mary away to boarding school. It all turns into chaos when a fire changes everything.

But not the secret garden!

Egerickx as Mary goes through a traumatic experience with the passing of her parents. Building up her own personal wall, she is not moved by her new home and its curious rules. Egerickx gives us the curiosity with her exploring the grounds as we all would at that age. When she finds the garden, it becomes her refuge from all the trauma and gives this character a chance to bloom like the plants around her. It’s a beautiful portrayal.

Firth as Craven is a man living with the painful memories all around him yet he shuts them up in rooms and drowns them in drink. Not wanting contact with those under his own roof, he takes isolation to the extreme. Firth is amazing at portraying this sadness as with many of the roles he has done especially with period pieces such as this film.

Walters as Mrs. Medlock is straight forward and a stickler for the rules. Clearly, she isn't happy with having Mary around and makes every attempt to find a reason to send her away. Walters is just a wonderful actress who I have been following ever since seeing her in the 1983 film EDUCATING RITA. After that I have watched everything she has done and have experienced a career that is outstanding.

Wilson as Dickon is the most non-judgemental person in Mary's life. He sees her pain and instead of making it worse, he silently teachers her to enjoy the garden as she experiences what he can do as well. Hayhurt as Colin is wild in a different way than Mary but just as uninformed about the truth regarding his parents. Once called out on his behavior, he becomes more aware of life and its possibilities. Davis as Martha sees that Mary is different but knows more about what has gone on in the house than she lets on.

Other cast include David Verrey as Jeremy, Maeve Dermody as Alice, Anne Lacy as Mrs. Pitcher, Richard Hansell as George, Tommy Surridge as Billy, Rupert Young as Marcus, Jemma Powell as Grace and Sonia Goswami Ayah.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

STX Films and Entertainment is a global next-generation company who has taken on the mission to unlock the value of direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, production and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises. To experience more please visit www.stxfilms.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bonus Features on Bluray, DVD and Digital are Characters - Learn more more about the beloved characters of THE SECRET GARDEN and how the actors who played them brought them to life in a new and imaginative way, Concepts to Reality - From the majestic design of Misselthwaite Manor, to the creation of the enchanting garden, see how the filmmakers created the most immersive telling of THE SECRET GARDEN yet, full of vivid and magical realism, Page to Screen - A look behind the scenes of THE SECRET GARDEN and how the timeless, best-selling novel was brought to life in a modern, vivid and magical way and The Official Trailer.

THE SECRET GARDEN is a story from the classic novel The Secret Garden by author Frances Hodgson Burnett. It has been made and remade several times, but the heart of the story doesn't change. The duality of the world being cold and gray and finding a world of beauty and tranquility transfer from page to screen.

The trauma of Mary is tragic, but she discovers that there are so many different kinds of tragedy and that others experience it in different ways. The one thing they all share is the heavy sadness of trying to go through each day without letting it rule them. Mary does this by becoming the explorer of the estate and the garden which allows her to help Colin as well.

The cinematography is another character of the film because the estate and its initial surroundings are grey, dull and feel lifeless. When the garden is introduced to us, it becomes a place of color, beauty and imagination that all feels like hope. That is important in telling this particular story and works extremely well.

Gather the family and join in the adventure of finding happiness with THE SECRET GARDEN.

In the end - unlock your imagination!

SEA LEVEL Brings Double Underwater Adventure

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Aun Hoe Goh, Grindstone and Lionsgate is the double feature adventures below SEA LEVEL and SEA LEVEL 2: Magic Arch.

SEA LEVEL tells the story of under the sea, Pup is a bamboo shark who finds eggs on the ocean floor. When he discovers that humans are taking the eggs from the reef, he wants to find a way to save them. His best friend Julius the shark is worried that he might do something outrageous but there are even more problems happening below the reef.

Trying to keep a secret from Pup is Myrtle the Turtle who only wants to stop him from making a decision that could hurt him. Octo is the inventing octopus that knows Pups secret and swears to Myrtle that he is not going to tell even if he is a little hesitant and grumpy about it. 

Still, Pup learns that he can breathe on land! Deciding to go onto land and find the others, Julius wants to go after Pup and bring him home. Turning back to Octo, there is a contraption that can help Julius do just that.

Pup takes the bold step and walks across the land searching and finds exactly who he is looking for. What he does not know is that Julius is in a contraption that lets him walk on land, but the land-dwelling animals have another plan.

When Pup explains what happened, his new land-dwelling friends want to make everything right. Hopefully they can do that before the ones from the deep led by and evil eel, try to take over below and ruin the reef home. Pup and Julius fight the two-legged problems while Octo and Myrtle fight the eight-legged problems.

Its time ocean life and land animals come together to make everything right again!

SEA LEVEL 2: Magic Arch, there is a young inventor dolphin named Delphi. He visits with Uncle Ray who makes the comment on that hurts his feelings about his ideas. Alpha the Dolphin gets a lot of attention that irritates him, but he only has eyes for the lovely dolphin Mia. Alpha eggs Delphi on about a secret punch but everyone loses interest.

Octavian is the mayor of the town and rules everything and wants Fishtown to get a new leader, meaning him. The angler fish have come to call out the mayor on how his promises have been broken and there is disorder all around.

Delphi also tries to deal with his father being gone so long. Deep under the water something has happened, the evil eels are back, and no one trust them. Even stranger is as Delphi finds an under the ocean city and goes through a magic arch, he comes out the other side as a turtle. They discover that whatever they say before going in, they come out as that on the other side.

Wanting to tell Octavian what they found, Delphi believes it will help Fishtown be more protected. When Alpha makes fun of him, Delphi decides that he is going to use the magic arch to show everyone. The eels have changed as well and plan to conqueror Fishtown with their huge size change. When Delphi tries to explain to Octavian about it all, he does not believe.

Mia goes after Delphi and sees the beauty of the underwater city and finds the magic arch that Delphi talked about. The problem is the eels are after Mia as he tries to rescue her and the chase is on! That is when Delphi discovers what really happened to his father and it has to do with another arch and time travel!

Someone has to stop the eels before they all change, find Mia and get Delphi's dad home and we know who that is!

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000-motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

SEA LEVEL and SEA LEVEL 2: Magic Arch are beautiful family fun films that tell the story of life under the sea. The first film brings all the animals together against a couple of humans who need a good fin slap while the second film deals with time travel and bringing safety to Fishtown.

The animation is beautifully done and so very colorful! The characters are adorable and full of fun which is important for the whole family to enjoy. Each film has a unique story to tell but the underlying theme is friendship, family, community and doing what is right for all. These are wonderful themes to have swimming through both films.

It is wonderful to have both films on one DVD as well so that one film flows into the other and families can stay under the sea for as long as possible. There is so much fun and humor in both of these films so plan on giggling plenty. There is not anything like swimming with friends who only want the best for you and are pretty cool to be around as well.

In the end - dive twice as deep into these funny fish features!

ILLUMINATION Presents 10-Movie Collection on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from ILLUMINATION and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is an amazing 10-Movie Collection filled with some of the most creative films for family fun.

In 2010, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) are three orphaned girls who introduce us to Gru (Steve Carell) in DESPICABLE ME. He has a plan that will bring about the biggest heist in history by stealing the moon. Getting in his way is his nemesis Vectro (Jason Segel) and with the help of the three orphans he takes in, his plan is on its way. One slight problem is this – he did not plan to have his head turned by the love of these three little girls who see only the good in him. Getting irritated by it all is Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) who only wants one thing, to be an evil scientist with the help of the Minions. 

The saga of Gru and the family continued with DESPICABLE ME 2 in 2012. Gru is now working with Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and the Anti Villain League looking for El Macho (Benjamin Bratt). Margo, Agnes and Edith are happy with their family life and with dad Gru. Taking the assignment, Gru and Lucy open a shop in the mall to find out if that is where El Macho is hiding. That is where Margo has her first crush which drives Gru insane but more than that, the Minions have been taken which is adding insult to his migraine of it all. Together they find the bad guy(s) and add an addition to the family!

But that is not the only addition to the Gru household as explained in the 2017 DESPICABLE ME 3 as Gru discovers that he has a brother Dru. In the middle of that is finding 80s child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) bringing even more problems to Lucy, Margo, Edith and Agnes (as well as the minions). Dru embraces his new family with a show of wealth that shocks even Gru but all he really wants is to be part of his brother’s life and help him find the bad guys. Maybe even be a little bad once again is something Gru might enjoy with Dru.

Illumination, in 2015, gave MINIONS their own film and after a series of historical screw ups, find themselves gathered in a cave getting a little depressed with their life of no action or no leader. When Kevin, Stuart and Bob leave the cave to find a new master, it is 1968 and they are headed to Villain-Con. Once their they meet Scarlet Overkill, a lady supervillain to takes them to England telling her new recruits that she wants to steal the crown from the Queen. Of course the supervillain turns on her trio and they now know they have to get away from her but not before restoring, in their own unique way, order to the true Queen. 

There is a new bunny in town and with the 2011 film HOP we learn that E.B. (Russell Brand), the Easter Bunny’s son living on Easter Island, wants to be a famous drummer. He certainly does not want to be part of the family business. This is good news to chick Carlos (Hank Azaria), the Easter Bunny’s assistant who wants the top spot on the Island. Getting away to Hollywood, E.B. meets out of work Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) hits the bunny on his way to house sit. Talking his way into staying with Fred, E.B. wants to audition for David Hasselhoff and get on his show. Dad sends out the Pink Berets bunnies to find E.B. and bring him home. So, who will become the Easter Bunny now?

Dr. Seuss is going to get a double dip from Illumination with the 2012 film DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX. Young Ted (Zac Efron) lives in a walled city and after falling for a girl decides he needs a real tree to get her attention. Finding one, he meets the Once-ler Lorax (Danny DeVito) who lets the young boy know he speaks for the trees. He convinces him to not cut down any more trees, but it is when he is given the last Truffula seed, it is his hope that he can find a way to make everyone care about the trees. That is not what happens once he gets home and finds that O’Hare (Rob Riggle) is trying to get the town to turn against him. But Tim has once way of making everyone see the truth and see his friend the Lorax once again. 

Adding a musical animated film to their slate in 2016 with SING telling the story of Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a koala who is about to lose the theatre he loves. Deciding to host a singing competition, a poster is accidentally sent out on the wind with a $100,000 prize when all Moon has is $1,000. Going forward, he holds auditions as he chooses pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) and partners her with pig Gunter (Nick Kroll), rock porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), and mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane). Elephant Meena (Tori Kelly) fails to audition but gets a chance to work with Moon. Still worried about the money, Moon asks friend Eddie (John C. Reilly) if grandma Nana (Jennifer Saunders) can help. When they have to come together it is music to everyone’s ears!

Also, in 2016 we all got a peek into THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS as Jack Russell Max (Louis C.K.) lives with his human Katie (Ellie Kemper) in Manhattan and is perfectly content. Hanging out during the day with friends Chloe the cat (Lake Bell), pug Mel (Bobby Moynihan), guinea pig Norman (Chris Renaud), budgerigar Sweet Pea (Tara Strong), Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) and dachshund Buddy (Hannibal Buress) is the good life. One day Katie comes home with an exceptionally large Newfoundland named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and Max is shocked. Trying to find a way to get rid of him they end up in an alley with Snowball (Kevin Hart), a leader of pets that have been abandoned by their owners. Gidget sends out their friend Tiberius the hawk to find Max and Duke but Snowball has other plans. During all the chaos Max and Duke find a friendship that just might last.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 arrived in 2019 and if having big brother Duke is not enough, more changes are on the way. Katie finds love with Chuck (Peter Holmes) and soon there have baby boy Liam (Henry Lynch). Max doesn’t want to care to much about Liam but the tyke wins him and he becomes uber worried about him which brings medical issues and a cone. Visiting Chuck’s uncle, Max and Duke meet Rooster (Harrison Ford), a straight-shooting dog who tries to teach Max how to stiffen up. Back at home Gidget was to be babysitting Max’s toy Busy Bee and when it becomes lost, he turns to Chloe, Mel Buddy and Sweet Pea to find it before Max gets back. Snowball has become domesticated but still dreams of being a superhero and tries to make that happen when rescuing a white tiger. Using what Rooster told him, Max is going to do everything to help his friends!

What would December be without DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH to bring in celebrating the holidays in 2018. In Whoville the Whos are about to celebrate Christmas, and like the rest of us it is a special time of year except for one person. Up on the mountain living alone with his dog Max is the Grinch. Cindy Lou Who meets the Grinch as he tells her that if talking to Santa means too much to her she should go talk to him in person. His grumpiness comes from memories of being alone in an orphanage and that is when he decides to steal Christmas from the Whovillians. Getting a sleigh together and making a suit, he takes Max along and puts his plan in action with stealing everything Christmas. Seeing Cindy Lou again they have a talk about her Mother working so hard. The Grinch does not stop his plan and the all in Whoville wake up Christmas morning with nothing. After seeing their reaction of still celebrating Christmas, Cindy invites him to celebrate Christmas with her family which makes all the difference in the world!

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bonus Feature of this collection include: Loaded with Mini-Movies, Music and Sing-Alongs, Interactive Content, Games and More!

Illumination has put together 10 of the most memorable, delightful and funny films with such different stories, characters and fun. Without saying a word all they would have to do is hold up a picture of one of the characters and it would bring huge smiles and shouts of what movie they are from. That is how successful these films have been in family’s lives.

Directors, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda, Tim Hill, Garth Jennings, Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney should feel so proud of what they have accomplished with these films. Always giving us more to love about them and a perfect reason to spend family time together in a movie theatre. Now, with this 10-movie collection, you can spend quality family fun time whenever the mood strikes. In my house that would be all the time!

From the Minions, to Pets, to the Easter Bunny, Dr. Seuss’ characters and the song of SING, these films bring families together to share in the experience of fun. 

In the end – get ready to get your fun on!


DREAMWORKS Starts the Fall with Fun

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from DreamWorks and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is an amazing collection of beloved films that will have the family snuggling up on the sofa for the beginning of a fun fall with DREAMWORKS 10-MOVIE COLLECTION.

Beginning in 2001, audiences were introduced to SHREK, the swamp dwelling ogre who only wanted to be left alone. When the kingdom is turned upside down by a pint size ruler, Shrek (voiced by Mike Meyers) begrudgingly agrees to bring the king Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) along with Shrek’s irritatingly delightful sidekick Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy). 

SPIRIT: Stallion of Cimarron arrives in theates in 2002 with Matt Damon as the voice of Spirit, a wild stallion that begins an adventure learning about humans. Captured and experiencing the world, his one goal is to return home to the herd he loves. 

In 2005, the animated film MADAGASCAR introduces us to animals living the good life at the New York zoo. Star attraction Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller) is a lion enjoying his home and all the attention. Best friend Marty (voiced by Chris Rock) is a zebra who wants to see more of the world. Friends Melman (David Schwimmer) the hypochondriac giraffe and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) is the luscious hippo who is not ashamed of who she is join them on the trip. Ending up in Madagascar, they must learn to adjust to a new life and King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen)! 

The world has always had a soft spot for pandas, well, in 2008 we had more of a reason for that when DreamWorks brought KUNG FU PANDA. Po (Jack Black) is a panda being raised by Mr. Ping (James Hong) in the family noodle business, but he wants more. Obsessed with the group known as the Furious Five that included Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Crane (David Cross), a twist of fate has Po crowned the Dragon Warrior. Much to the dismay of Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), the group has no choice but to train him in preparation for the arrival of the evil Tai Lung (Ian McShane). They can do it but only if they do it together!

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON enchanted audiences in 2010 with the story of a young Viking boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) who can’t seem to find his place which is more difficult when your father is Stoick (Gerard Butler), leader of the Vikings. Known for taking down dragons, imagine how his life changed when he meets Toothless! Trying to explain the sudden switch to caring about dragons, Astrid (America Ferrera) must be shown why they are so great (although I could have told her THAT). Hiccup must find out what is happening to the dragons before his dad makes things more difficult!

If you think your family has it hard, trying being part of THE CROODS! Brought to us in 2013, this family led by very protective dad Grug (Nicolas Cage) also includes Mom Ugga (Catherine Keener), Gran (Cloris Leachman), son Thunk (Clark Duke) and teenager with a dream for more in the world Eep (Emma Stone). As their world literally starts falling down around them, they run into Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who is a tad different than they are but has great ideas for surviving. Trying to reach a safer place to live, Grug is not happy that Eep has taken to Guy and that Guy is taking away the trust the family has always turned to him for. It is survival mixed with creatures and intense humor but, most importantly, the love of family – especially this family.

Turning to outer space that takes over our space, the 2015 DreamWorks film introduced us to the Boov and Oh (Jim Parsons) in HOME. Removing humans from their homes, the young Tip (Rihanna) is separated from her Mom Lucy (Jennifer Lopez). After accidentally sending an invited to the universe for every Boov to join them on Earth, it also is received by the Boov enemy and Gorg. Now Tip and Boov must learn from one another about how to become friends and save the world!

The year 2016 became the year of the TROLLS as we meet Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) who spend their time trying to avoid the Bergens. Especially since there is a belief that the only way Bergens can be happy is by tasting a Troll! Escaping, the unhappy Chef (Chrstine Baranski) spends her life trying to find them. In the meantime, the kingdom is taken over by King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who waits for the day he can taste a troll and be happy. Watching his every move is Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) who basically is crushing on the King. When Bridget meets Poppy, Branch and the gang, she sees there is more to them than a tasty treat – its song and friendship. 

A year later, DreamWorks brings us an unexpected little package of fun with the 2017 film BOSS BABY. Tim (Miles Bakshi) is surprised when Dad (Jimmy Kimmel) and Mom (Lisa Kudrow) bring home a bundle of boy (Alec Baldwin). But there is something a little different about this particular bundle when Tim discovers his baby brother is a suit wearing talking (Alec Baldwin) affection robber! They must put that aside when they learn that the company their parents work for, Puppy Co., is about to unleash animals that are not as adorable as they look. The brothers are about to show how it is done!

The last film in the collection is the 2019 animated ABOMINABLE. It is the story of young Yi (Chloe Bennet) who spends her time finding ways to make a few dollars to someday make a trip to anywhere. On the rooftop of her building, she sneaks away to play the violin to remember her father. One night she discovers a hurt abominable and there is almost an immediate connection between the two. Wanting to get him home, Yi names her friend Everest and along with Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Trainor), they must get their big fluffy friend back home before Mr. Burnish (Eddie Izzard) and Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) capture him for their own purposes. On their travels, Yi begins to release the hurt she carries to see the beauty of the world and the amazing things her friend Everest can do!

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Collection also includes Bonus Features of Animated Shorts + Music Videos + How-Tos + Trivia + Deleted Scenes + so much more!

DREAMWORKS 10-MOVIE COLLECTION is stunning, charming, endearing, fun, hilarious, life lessons, friendship, personal responsibility, protecting family and creating a new family and everything else wonderful. The colorful animation is something that DreamWorks started so many years ago and each film brings it better, sharper and more amazing. 

The storytelling for each of these films is based in creativity that is rich and deserving of applause for each of the directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Tim Johnson, Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook, Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois, Kirk DeMicco, John Stevenson, Mark Osborne, Jill Culton and Mike Mitchell.

Time to break out the popcorn and make a floor bed enough for the entire family because once you get started with these films you may not want to stop. It is fantastic to have all 10 of these films in one place for easy access and, in my case with a big entertainment library, makes them easier to find to watch again and again. 

In this time of us all being together, what more could you ask for then sharing it with the films we have come to love. 

In the end – family night is going to be every night with DreamWorks!


RED SHOES and the SEVEN DWARFS is a Delightful Adventure

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD, Digital and On Demand from directors Sung-ho Hong, Moo-Hyun Jang and Lionsgate is the delightful adventure of a classic fairy tale with a twist with RED SHOES and the SEVEN DWARFS.

There is a place called Fairy Tale Island and living there are a group called the Fearless Seven including Merlin (Sam Claflin), Arthur (Simon Kassianides), Jack (Frederik Hamel), Hans (Nolan North) and Pino (Frank Tadaro), Noki and Kio – the triplets. Their job is to jump in when people need it and they did save a princess from a dragon. The problem is she had a green face, so they hollered “witch!”. Not happy with that, the woman changed them into green dwarfs and the only way to change it is, of course, with a kiss.

Thinking that no girl would ever kiss them, they go about their lives. Time passes and in the kingdom of King White, oddly the beautiful Regina (Gina Gershon) shows up and woo’s the king right off his feet. His daughter Snow White (Chloe Grace Moretz) wants to find her father who has disappear and get away from the apple tree create magical red shoes. Regina needs these to remain beautiful so imagine her seeing Snow White wearing the shoes!

Now Snow White is a kind and loving daughter who also happens to be a little chubby. Finding the shoes, they transform her into a thin, ‘beautiful’ princess. Escaping her wrath, Snow White finds a message from her father and begins her search for the Fearless 7 (we will call them F7 now). When the F7 see her they all fall madly in infatuation with her, but they do not realize they aren’t seeing the real her!

Agreeing to help the now named Red Shoes find her father, they all secretly hope they get the magical kiss that will bring them back to their former selves. Meantime, Regina hires a very selfish and self-absorbed Prince Average (Jim Rash) who agrees to find Snow White and the red shoes if he can have her for arm candy for his birthday party. 

Mayhem ensues and the F7 see Snow White and her true self and do not recognize her. That helps her get away from the wanted posters being passed around. Merlin finds himself having feelings for Snow White but cannot get past the others who are trying to charm the girl. After a run in with Prince Average, Snow White comes clean with the truth about who she is, her father and the evil Regina. 

Soon after Regina captures Snow White and Merlin must now gather the troops to save her. Trying to force Snow White to eat an apple, Regina uses a ruse to get her to agree. Now, more than ever before, the Fearless Seven must do things they never thought possible to save Snow White but are also in for the surprise of their lives.

Being a hero comes in all forms!

Moretz as Snow White is a different character than the story most of us grew up with. That means this version is a young woman is not how most of us have been brought up seeing her. Still beautiful, this version challenges what we have come to know and realize that she is still the same fierce, kind, loving and loyal Snow White. Moretz gives us that in every moment her character is on screen.

Claflin as Merlin is just so dang adorable. From a tall, lanky young man to a short, green dwarf trying to keep the F7 intact, he sees something in Snow White he thought was not possible. He has the same issues as Snow White, thinking his appearance is everything and that no girl would give him a second notice. Imagine his surprise in being wrong! Claflin gives Merlin charm and daring.

Kassianides as Arthur is quite the charmer although a bit too obvious. I give him points for jumping right in to get that elusive kiss and cracking me up at the same time. Hamel, North and Tadaro are a fantastic addition to the F7 with big personalities, talents of their own, not to mention their own brand of charm and just being delightful.

Gershon as the evil Regina has serious issues of her own which should make her more relatable to Snow White, instead, makes her angry and determined to destroy everyone around her. Rash as Prince Average – that’s Av-rrrr-aaaaage to you – is hilarious, spoiled, a little evil, self-centered and needing a time out. If you are looking for every character like this Prince, he’s right here embodied in Rash’s portrayal.

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000-motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

The Bluray/DVD and Digital Special Features include The Making of RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS Featurette, From Storyboard to Animation: Creating RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS Featurette, Start of Something Right Music Video, and Something So Beautiful Music Video. 

RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS is just what the family ordered during this period where we all have to spend a lot more time together. It’s fun, colorful, full of adventure, friendship, loyalty and all those crazy images we have about ourselves and how people see us. 

What makes this film equally important is that besides the awesome entertainment, this film is a great way to teach the lesson about how we all look says nothing about who we truly are. The fears each of these characters face, and yes, even Arthur has a moment or two of doubt, is an important lesson about the loss of time with those we love when overwhelmed with self-doubt.

Plan a movie night at home and make sure that RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS are ready for your big screen!

In the end – your true self is the fairest of them all!


TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Jeri Jacquin

Currently available On Demand from directors Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith and DreamWorks Animation comes the next journey of fun and adventure with TROLLS WORLD TOUR.

Now, Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are keeping busy having fun in their little town of trolls. Poppy is still beloved by everyone, especially Branch who is having difficulty telling her so. But all that is going to have to wait because trouble is in the air and their world is about to get much bigger.

Poppy learns from her father that there are different musical troll lands. The reason this has come up is because Barb (Rachel Bloom) is a rocker who wants the strings of each musical troll world to take over them all. Barb promises her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne) that it will happen, and she is going to capture Poppy to do it.

At first Poppy thinks that love, huge and glitter will change Barb’s mind. That is until she, Branch and Biggie (James Corden) along with Mr. Dinkles find other lands that have been damaged by Barb. While they are gone, Cooper (Ron Funches) decides to strike out on his own to find other trolls like himself. 

With a new map of the other troll lands, Poppy and the gang find the country music trolls led by Delta Dawn (Kelly Clarkson) and they aren’t rightly happy to see them. It is Hickory (Sam Rockwell) who takes a shine to the group and wants to help them. Riding down the river to their next destination, they are taken and are shocked to discover Cooper.

He has found his twin brother Prince D (Paak Anderson), mother Queen Essence (Mary J. Blige) and father King Quincy (George Clinton). But they must get back to stopping Barb and it’s going to take all trolls on deck to make it happen. They still have to save Techno, Funk Country and Classical if they are going to keep their Pop.

Music is their world and they aren’t about to give it all up because that just isn’t their way!

Kendrick as Poppy is back as her usual cheery self. Singing and dancing is the order of the day and hugging is mandatory even if it isn’t time. She loves being a good Queen and thinks the best way to make that happen is by going to Barb with glitter. Realizing that not everyone thinks like she does and when Biggie brings that to her attention, perhaps its time to re-think things.

Timberlake as Branch is having a difficult time saying the words to Poppy that he has been wanting to say. Every time the chance comes up, the words get stuck. Feeling like he is constantly being put in the friend zone, the time has come to brave up Branch because nobody deserves it more than you! Timberlake’s timing and attitude just make me love Branch all the more. 

Bloom as Barb has a serious attitude problem mixed in with a tad of anger. She is definetly the opposite of Poppy which makes their showdown one for the books. Having Ozzy Osbourne for a father is hilarious but its so cool that he gets a chance to be fun. Bloom keeps her sarcasm sharp and her make up even sharper. Getting those strings is what she is all about and strong arming everyone is where she makes her big mistake.

Corden as Biggie is back for a little pinky swearing time but has a moment where he feels that Poppy isn’t doing what’s best for their troll group. Funches as Cooper is clearly looking for something that has been missing in his life and it’s not music, it’s people that look like he does. 

Clarkson as Delta Dawn has the big country hair, the big country voice and the big country attitude. Her first meet song is lovely, and I have a feeling my granddaughter will catch on to it in a flash. Rockwell as Hickory is charming, sweet and has a glint in his eye that Branch doesn’t trust. 

Having Clinton and Blige in on the act is fun. Having Nayyar’s Guy Diamond bring in a small shiny diamond in Kenan Thompson had me laughing. 

Other cast include Caroline Hjelt as Chenille, Aino Jawo as Satin, J. Balvin as Tresillo, Kunal Nayyar as Guy Dimaond, Anthony Ramos as King Trollex, Soo-Young Park as Ari,Ye-rim Kim as Kim-Petit, Joo-Hyun Bae as Baby Bun, Seul-gi Kang as Gomdori, Son Seung-Wan as Wani, Karan Soni as Riff, Charlyne Yi as Pennywhistle, Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond and Walt Dohrn as Cloud Guy. 

TROLLS WORLD TOUR is seriously full of music in many genres which is the idea. That there is not just one kind of music one has to like but instead liking them all. The film is so full of life and color that my kids, their kids and friends’ kids have watched the film over and over and over again. 

There are some pretty funny tag lines meaning there is something for everyone. The songs are fun, catchy and the rewording is so much fun.

So, if you’re going to be inside with your family, why not be inside with your family having love, life, color and music join you! TROLLS WORLD TOUR has something for everyone but most of all it has laughs galore. It is fantastic that DreamWorks has brought the film straight into our home during a time when we need family fun the most.

In the end – this is going to be fun, pinky promise!


ONWARD is Brilliant, Heartwarming and Hilarious

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Dan Scanlon, Pixar and Disney comes the story of family and the fight to always move ONWARD.

Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is turning 16 and older brother Barley (Chris Pratt) and Mom Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) aren’t about to let him forget it. Trying to find ways to make the day fun, what they don’t know is that all Ian really wants is his Dad, Wilden, who passed years earlier.

You see, Ian is more the quiet and shy of the two elf brothers whereas Barley is outgoing and loves to play a game that is based on the folklore of their unusual town. Trying to be more outgoing, Ian decides to ask some of his classmates over for cake to celebrate his birthday, but Barley has other ideas.

To cheer Ian up a little, Mom gives her sons a gift left to them by their father. It is a staff and instructions on how to bring Dad back for 24 hours. Barley tries and tries but can not seem to make it happen. When Ian is alone, he picks up the staff and it takes no time for magic to happen. Barley walks in and sees what is happening and realizes baby bro has the magic calling.

He explains that once all of the people of their town had abilities and magic of some kind, but they forgot it all after time. Ian tries again to bring their Dad back with only half of the result they expected when the crystal breaks. Barley explains that they must go on a quest to find another stone and gets Ian to jump inside the van he lovingly calls Guinevere.

There first stop is to find the Manticore (Octavia Spencer) who has a map they need. Not to far behind them is Laurel who believes her sons are in danger and asks boyfriend Officer Bronco (Mel Rodriguez) to join the search. But nothing is going to stop Barley from getting Ian to the gem that will help Ian get his birthday wish.

Holland as Ian is such a sweet young man who believes that a moment with the Dad he didn’t get a chance to know would mean everything to him. It would also be a chance to see what everyone else seemed to know, that his Dad was a good man. Lending his voice, Holland is endearing in his insecurity and has moments of boldness that make you want to cheer.

Pratt as Barley is the fun loving, not afraid of anything and smarter than he knows older brother. He adores Ian and always wants him to be happy and will do anything to make that happen. Seeing that Ian sometimes needs a boost, Barley is there and has answers that might not always seem right but turn out just the same. I love Pratt’s voice in Barley!

Louis-Dreyfus as Mom Laurel is keeping their family together and loves her boys. I’d like to think she secretly hoped to see her husband as much as the boys wanted to see their Dad. I give her points for moving on with her life in the form of Colt Bronco voiced by Mel Rodriguez.

Spencer as The Manticore is hilarious in the way her life has gone from a warrior to serving chicken wings. Given the chance to be useful once again in the warrior she was born to be, I like the change (minus the caffeine of course) and loads of moxy. Shout out to Grey Griffin as Dewdrop, the leader of the Pixie’s because she is tough, doesn’t take any guff and I’d fly with her anytime, if I could. Prepare to giggle a lot with the flying group of pixies!

Other cast include Ali Wong as Officer Gore, Tracey Ullman as Grecklin, Lena Waithe as Officer Spector, Wilmer Valderrama as Gaxton, George Psarras as Officer Avel, Kyle Bornheimer as Wilden Lightfoot and John Ratzenberger as the Construction Worker. 

ONWARD is a triumph for Pixar and Disney for its amazing story, fantastic animation and cast that lends itself to every heartwarming, fun and silly moment. Holland and Pratt embrace their characters as brothers’, and it shows through their voices. Yes it is animated but their voices just give their characters such life and emotion. 

Recently on Kimmel, Pratt says, “What is so moving to me is that director Dan Scanlon went through this same storyline with his own brother. This is a love letter to his older brother, and it chokes me up to think about it. Just like UP and any of the other Pixar movies, it is full of action, love and very emotional”. 

He is absolutely right as ONWARD is not just a journey of two elf brothers on a quest in a boss van called Guinevere, it is a story of what they learn about each other. Their bond as brothers is questioned, yelled about, misunderstood and a reason for celebration. It is the story of big brother versus little brother, about family memories, the sadness of losing a parent, the insecurities of just being a teenager and discovering that their world is bigger than they could ever have imagined.

There are silly moments, fun characters and a dog-dragon that I would love to have running around my house! Pixar has once again brought characters that are going to stay with us because, no matter how pointy their ears or blue their hair – they are us when it comes to family and the story’s we all share.

I’m keeping this as spoiler free as possible because this is going to be such a joy for family’s that I want everyone to experience it all. For me and my family…. you had us at ONWARD.

In the end – the quest is bigger than either of them can imagine!


STAR WARS: The Rise of Skywalker Brings an End to an Era on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilms and Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment is the conclusion of a saga that began over 40 years ago with STAR WARS: The Rise of Skywalker.

It was 1977 At the Valley Circle theatre in San Diego with my bff and life sister Ellen that STAR WARS came into my life. The first time I saw the film I was transported into a world that I have embraced through the years. My summer was filled with weekly visits to the theatre so I could watch the storyline again and again.

Thus, began my crush on Luke (Mark Hamill) that continues today in my much older and less cute form. The early scene of the original STAR WARS where Luke is on the hill lamenting as the two suns of Tatooine are setting and the rise of emotion from John Williams music begins moved me. It moved me because I knew that look, I understood wanting to know what was out in the world waiting for me. I also saw the suns radiating on his face with a look that was the handsomest I'd ever seen. Hey, I was 16!

Then, the buddy 'friendship' with Han (Harrison Ford) that always made me laugh with his antics or feeling protective anytime no one understood him. He was rough and tough yet I knew that he would never leave the two people that had become his friends by not judging to harshly the way he handled things. These two guys also showed me how pensive friendships can be brought together with the glue of a very tall and very hairy Wookie and to Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) I say a humble and grateful thank you.

My lesson to be a stronger person came from Princess Leia to whom I continue to be eternally grateful on a daily basis. She was my first female role model who showed me courage, loyalty and laid the foundation of fighting for what is right no matter what is thrown at you. Fisher may not have known what she was accomplishing early on taking the role of Leia but I hope through the years she came to know there were thousands of girls who learned the same lessons I did.

Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) became the voice of reason for those of us watching Star Wars again and again in 1977. He kept us all levelheaded when we wanted to jump into the battle with Luke, Han and Leia. The calm explainer of the force and how it works, he introduced us all to 'use the force' as it became an iconic phrase that you'd have to be locked in a cave somewhere to not know. Trust me, tears fell when he allowed Vadar to swing that saber helping Luke and the gang to escape, something I never got over.

So here we are, in 2019 and I couldn't sleep Monday night knowing that I was hours away from seeing how this would all end. Don't expect spoilers because I would be furious if anyone told me anything before seeing the film (Remember Han Solo?) so I'm keeping it light and reminiscent.

On a remote planet, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is working with General Organa (Carrie Fisher) on earning Luke Skywalkers light saber but there seems to be a feeling stopping her. Resistance friends Poe (Oscar Isaac. Finn (John Boyega) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) are struggling to get back to Rey after retrieving what are the next step plans for the First Order. Also, out in the galaxy is Supreme Leader of the First Order Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who is knocking down anyone who gets in his way.

Now called the Final Order, it is Rey, Finn, Poe and all those who follow that must pull out all the stops to bring balance back to the force. Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant) knows how this is going to play out. There is one fiercely evil entity who is going to do his diabolical best to stop them all as secrets are revealed and choices are made!

There are others along the way who decide that it might be time to help and that includes Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell). There are those who have come before that let it be known they are with them all. 

Yes, that's all you are going to get in the plot department! So, let's move on to the characters who make their appearance in this final installment. 

Ridley as Rey is still dealing with the unknown of her past. It is hard to let the force flow through you when there are those mushed up memories and a Supreme Leader who is constantly cutting into your thought process. Ridley has done everything asked of her in the three installments of the Star Wars saga she has been in. At times I wasn't always sure where she was taking this character but clearly, now, it was on a path that I didn't even see coming.

Driver as Ben/Kylo Ren has been on quite a journey! He has pretty cool parents but chooses to follow the destructive path of grandpa Vadar. Even with that there is something that connects him to Rey as she tries to convince him to put down his very angry saber and be true to himself. That's hard to do when rage seems to be the only thing that motivates Ren. Driver has put every bit of that on the screen and when the moments where Ben shows through, this actor melts and takes everyone along with him. 

Boyega as Finn has always seemed to be Rey's protector whether that was his intention or not. Being a former storm trooper, he has truly embraced his role as being part of the Resistance and constantly surprised where it has led him. Although his relationship with Poe hasn't always been the best, it is reminiscent of another galaxy duo who didn't start out on the best of terms. 

Isaac as Poe continues to be reckless but there comes a moment where he has to decide what his place is in the Resistance. It turns out to be the most difficult decision he has ever made (and you will know when that hits him the hardest). Isaac's Poe is the comedy of the trio because of his casual nature and finding humor when he should be panicking.

Williams as Lando gets the chance to once again fly the Millennium Falcon with Chewy at his side. He knows that the new trio faces the same tribulations and he has one last chance to do right by Leia and help in any way he can. Lando was a wild card before and trust me when I say he doesn't disappoint now either. 

This is where I get a little choked up - when Carrie Fisher as Leia comes up on my television screen I am overcome with a wave of intense emotion. There couldn't have been a finale without her, and I am happy to take it in any form. It is even more difficult to watch Gen. Organa make a motherly choice which is something her character didn't have a chance to do before. Yes, more quiet tears dropped but Princess Leia will always be a part of this writer’s life.

Other cast include everyone who could get in the film with Philicia Saunders as Tabala Zo, Simon Day as General Engell, Amir El-Masry as Commander Trach, Denis Lawson as Wedge Antiles, Naomi Ackie as Jannah, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kannan Jarus, Dominic Monaghan as Beaumont Kin, Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix and Domnhall Gleeson as General Hux. 

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bluray Bonus Extras include The Skywalker Legacy Documentary: The Story That Lives Forever in This Feature Length Look at the Making of the Movie, Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chases, D-O: Key to the Past and more! 

Also Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 who always had my heart as well as a humor of squeaks and blips that have always been totally understandable, and the amazing Anthony Daniels as C-3PO who always managed to be properly annoying but in such a way that I personally would never want to be without him.

Look, I'm just going to throw it out there. Not everyone will be happy with how Abrams brings this nine-film saga to its conclusion and personally - I don't care about the not-happy people and here's why. STAR WARS: The Rise of Skywalker is seen by me in a way that is part of my being. I don't think all the Star Wars films were successful and I don't hide my feelings about it, but I still embrace it as part of the storyline that began in 1977.

Not everything in life is going to be wrapped up neatly to please every person (I mean seriously, the Game of Thrones finale almost threw people into fits!) and that's okay. Not being neat means, we all have something to talk about and share after seeing the film. 

We get to reminisce about more than one film, about more than one theory and about more than one character. That's what Star Wars has done for us; it has kept the conversation going longer than any other films (maybe Harry Potter gets to be part of the club in its own way).

I hope that everyone who gets the Bluray remembers that the experiences are yours, each unique, each with its own memories and each with its own chance to say the words - goodbye friends! Yes, there are already stories like The Mandalorian (big fan by the way) giving us a new world but I'm speaking of the story that began with Luke, Leia, Chewy, C3PO, R2D2 and Obi-Wan. 

It is time to say good-bye to seeing them on the big screen, that being said I still can see them on the screen in my home thanks for Bluray. Oh, I won't be removing Yoda and Darth from my desk any time soon, but instead of giggling with anticipation for the next story installment in other ways. I will smile at the story for sharing the last forty-two years of my life in such an impactful way. I saw these characters through 16-year-old eyes from 1977 to 2019 and that is pretty cool to my way of thinking. 

So, prepare yourself and just enjoy the ride over and over again - there isn't a tub of popcorn big enough for what's to come because that's how I started and that's how it's going to finish. 

In the end - it started in a galaxy far, far away!


SPIES IN DISGUISE is Family Fun


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital bringing family fun from directors Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Home Entertainment is an unlikely team for SPIES IN DISGUISE.

Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) is a well-dressed spy who is keeping the world safe. Well-liked by everyone at work, one person who wants to impress him is Walter Beckett (Tom Holland). He has so many inventions that he believes are an alternative to blowing things up and finding a peaceful solution, including his glitter cat bomb.

But there is evil afoot in the villain Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) who has created drones that are the worst seen in the agency. Joy Jenkins (Reba McEntire) informs Sterling that he is going to have to do whatever is necessary to find him before the agent data is stolen. In the process, Killian has set up Sterling to take the fall for everything that has happened.

Now hunting for Sterling is Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones) who is tough as nails and just as focused as her target. The only person he can run to is Walter to get his invention that will make him disappear. Not paying attention he accidentally drinks Walter's disappearing potion but instead of becoming invisible, Sterling becomes a pigeon.

Angry, he doesn't understand that being a pigeon will help him do more than he could even have imagined. Along to help Sterling clear his name and get the agent data base, Walter not only shares his other inventions but must make a remedy to Sterling's feathered problem.

Smith as Sterling has no trouble playing the agent who likes himself a whole lot and isn't use to not being in control. Smith gets a chance to rap a little in a 'Fresh Prince' style but it's fun for the kids. This seems an easy voice role for him to play but it also seems as if he is having a bit of fun doing it.

Holland as Walter is a young man who was raised with a supportive mother and working with the agency, he gets the chance to perfect some inventions and create new ones. Especially the one that changes Agent Sterling into a flying agent! Holland is endearing but then again, this young actor has been one to watch for years. He gets a chance to be on the other side of Spiderman for sure.

Jones as Marcy is like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding Sterling believing him to be a traitor to the agency. Always one step behind, she begins to understand what is truly happening and isn't about to let evil win. McEntire as Jenkins knows that Sterling does things his own way but when it comes from being a traitor to the agency, she knows that is just not true.

Mendelsohn as Killian is a man on his own mission and believes he has every reason to be as evil as he wants to be. Keep his identity a secret, he also uses his high tech to put the blame on Sterling and keep anyone who might be interested looking for him. Mendelsohn give his character all the right moods to stay a step ahead of Smith's character.

Other cast includes Karen Gillan as Eyes, Rachel Brosnahan as Wendy Beckett, Masi Oka as Kimura, Carla Jiminez as Geraldine, DJ Khaled as Ears and Peter Kim as Joon.

Twentieth Century Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bluray Special Features include Super Secret Spy Mode, Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios Top-Secret Guide to Gadgets, Music Videos, Gallery and so much more!

SPIES IN DISGUISE is a fun family film that is fast paced, colorful, inventive and funny. Seeing Smith try to fit in with his new pigeon friends is one laugh after another and there is a twist on that as well but no spoilers here. He isn't happy with being a pigeon, but it makes for one interesting premise of a spy story. 

The film has just the right mixture of action and fun to make it a popcorn fun film and if I needed a thumbs up from anyone it would be my four-year-old granddaughter. She gave me a thumbs up during the film without a word because she was too busy laughing and eating popcorn. Now that's how you know it’s a fun time so get your family together and have your own home fun together. 

In the end - super spy to super fly!


Disney Delights to Bring Home FROZEN 2 on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Walt Disney Home Entertainment is the return to Arendelle and FROZEN 2.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), Sven and Queen Elsa (Indina Menzel) are enjoying life in their city. Since their adventure it is nice for them all to just enjoy each other's company and the people. That is until Elsa starts to hear this strange call that no one else seems to hear.

Putting it out of her mind, the city prepares for a gathering but is suddenly interrupted by strange winds driving the towns people to a safe cliff outside Arendelle. Confused by what is happening, Queen Elsa feels as if the problems are caused by the voice that is calling out to her. Deciding that she must go and find answers, Anna and Kristoff make it clear she isn't going alone.

Loading up into the sled on wheels, Sven takes them to a place that both Anna and Elsa believed was only a tale their father told. A wall of mist blocks them from going forward but when Elsa touches it, a door is opened wide revealing people living on the other side. That's when the girls discover that there is truth to the tale and that there are still more questions to be answered.

With each step they take, more and more of their parent’s life become clearer. But there comes a moment when Elsa realizes that she can no longer put Anna's life in danger and takes the final steps of the journey alone were all is revealed - but will it be too late for Arendelle!

Bell as Anna shows a lot more maturity in this film in that she feels even more protective over her sister Queen Elsa. Still googly eyed over love Kristoff, she is back in her happy place. When the wind changes in Arendelle and she sees that something is wrong with Elsa, Anna makes it very clear from the onset that whatever it is they will face it together. Bell brings her pipes back with song, love and a whole lot of fun.

Menzel as Queen Elsa is having a difficult time concentrating on Arendelle because of the mysterious voice. Still feeling a little out of place in life, she feels there is something in the wind that is calling to her. Fight as she may, the voice is too strong to ignore. Menzel brings her voice to belt out more than one song and it is with that voice that we are with Elsa every step of this next journey.

Groff as Kristoff is very happy with his life in Arendelle and even happier with Anna. Now ready to try something a little different, he seems to have great difficulty making it happen. Groff once again brings his charm that oozes through his voice to a character that is strong for those around him yet still has that goofiness I enjoy about this character. Oh, let us not forget Sven, he is back and just as hoppingly endearing as ever with his extended family.

Gad as Olaf is still the lovable snowman who loves everyone around him and yet still maintains that bit of innocence that makes him unforgettable. That's what Gad brings to this character, a memorable giggle, a heart that runs over with love for Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and his good buddy Sven. He is the snowman we all wanted growing up, at least I did all those times building a snowman in Chicago. Thank Gad for bringing life to such an sweet, gentle and loving character.

Shout out to Hinds for returning as the wise and round stone Pabbie. He gave out the first warning of what was to come for Arendelle and the royal family. Brown as Mattias has his own story to tell of what lies beyond the mist and it is a story worth hearing. 

Other cast include Sterling K. Brown as Mattias, Evan Rachel Wood as Iduna, Jason Ritter as Ryder, Alan Tudyk as Northuldra, Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren, Ciaran Hinds as Pabbie and Martha Plimpton as Yelana, Alfred Molina as Agnarr and Jeremy Sisto as King Runeard. 

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bluray and Bonus Extras include over an hour of bonuses including A Sing-Along Version of the Movie, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Deleted Songs, Do You Know ????, Music Videos and more! The soundtrack to FROZEN II have been in our car since the day of its release so now it will be fun to sing along with the film.

FROZEN II brings songs, fun, giggles, color and a re-connection with characters that have stayed with us all since 2013. The song "Let It Go" became an anthem for anyone who wanted to do just that even though my personal favorite was "In Summer" and who doesn't love a lovable dreaming snowman? In FROZEN II we are asked to go “Into the Unknown” and Olaf brings his delightful “When I am Older”. 

It is such a precarious thing to make a sequel to such a highly successful animated film. It doesn't always work and sometimes it works badly. Some of it might be because I always feel slightly cheated by sequels like the idea is a second thought thrown on a screen hoping it will stick with viewers.

This film is not that in the slightest. What FROZEN 2 brings is a delightful return to embraced characters that doesn't feel like six years has even passed. It is a visually stunning feast for the eyes with rich colors which are completely dazzling. The story may have a few hiccups but seriously, let it go (and I said that).

The entire cast returns (which always is a great thing) with 8 new songs that are as powerful as the original film. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez returned to write the new songs for the film. Composer Christophe Beck also returned to bring his magic to the score.

I am hardly about to tell every detail of the film because it's FROZEN 2 and no one, and I mean no one has the right to ruin it. This is a film about family and community, wanting to understand where we come from, learning who we are and what we are made of, protecting those we love and, of course, loving each other unconditionally.

Disney has been on a very cool winning streak with their animated films and FROZEN 2 seals the 2019 deal for them. The launch of Disney+ this week means that you can enjoy Disney films all year long which I know my granddaughter intends to do. 

FROZEN 2 is a time for families to have a wonderful holiday beginning together. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf are part of our own families now and to spend 104 minutes together feels like home in many ways. Now, FROZEN can take a well-deserved Bluray break from the player and FROZEN 2 can step up to continue the joys of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven as well as new friends!

At home we can embrace our children and grandchildren as the story unfolds because we share a connection with our friends in the film. We understand the struggles, the love, friendship and caring and that makes FROZEN 2 just about everything we need in family time.

In the end - they are going into the unknown!


Disney+ Rolls Out its First Hit with THE MANDALORIAN

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on the new streaming service Disney+ from characters based on George Lucas' STAR WARS and creator Jon Favreau is a continuing story in the galaxy far, far away with THE MANDALORIAN.

It has been five years since the Galactic Empire's defeat and life has gone on. For a Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) it means working hard for very little. When the need for a hunter slows down, there is one job that needs doing and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) offers it up with what seems a veil of mystery.

The job is to go to Arvala-7 and find the bounty who happens to be fifty years old. Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) makes it very clear that the bounty be brought back alive. The Mandalorian doesn't seem to care in the slightest as long as he can change a bar of Beskar into armorer.

Crashing onto Arvala-7, the Mandalorian is attacked by large creatures called Blurgg's and is saved by Kuiil (Nick Nolte) who wants only one thing in return. Kuill wants those who have invaded his planet to be removed so peace will return, oh, and the Blurgg! Taking him to the place where bounty hunters have gone previously, a quick showdown ensues with the help of a IG-11 droid. Finding the bounty, The Mandalorian isn't going to let anyone get near him.

A fifty year old infant is now in his hands but there are other mercenaries who want the kid. Trying to get away quickly, The Mandalorian discovers his ship has been stripped down by Jawas. Kuiil knows how to get it all back and with his help, plus a trip to get an egg, provides the parts to get off the ground again.

Pascal as The Mandalorian has already thrilled audiences in only two episodes. There is a mystery behind the helmet that he (so far) hasn't made an attempt to remove. This character obviously has a story to tell about his people, the Beskar, how he became a bounty hunter and why he is keeping his bounty safer than expected. Pascal seemed to have a steep road ahead of him but I'm thinking it's leveled off a lot more since the first episode. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Weather as Greef is a business man and his business is bounties. It is clear he has no problem stiffing The Mandalorian for his work but I always say what goes around comes around so Greef better be prepared. Nice to see Weathers again! Abhati as Dr. Pershing has me creeped out in that he is going to be the guy who wants to do things that is going to upset everyone. Nothing wrong with playing a bad guy as long as you do it extremely well.

Nolte as Kuiil is a character that has a lot of emotions but keeps them in check. Then again if Nick Nolte says, "I have spoken" you tend to believe him. I am hoping that we see more of this character because he certainly has something to offer.

Other cast include Werner Herzog as The Client, Taika Waititi as IG-11, Gina Carano as Cara Dune, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon with Horatio Sanz as Mythrol, Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand, and Julia Jones as Omera.

It was announced in 2018 that Jon Favreau would serve as a writer and executive producer of the series. Adding to that list is Dave Filoni, Colin Wilson, and Kathleen Kennedy to complete the producers list. When it comes to directors the line includes Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.

With that line up and the success of Disney+ and only two episodes airing to a hungry Star Wars audience, it is no surprise that the green light has been given to the second season. To be honest I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the film having been disappointed by a few films in the Star Wars franchise.

That being said, by the end of the first episode I was squealing with delight and thrilled that the second episode wasn't so far behind. Telling anyone who will listen to watch THE MANDALORIAN immediately is probably wearing my friends out. It's true though, this is going to be a series that has such potential and the main reason is that it feels like Star Wars, and that above all is what will keep me coming back each week. 

This is out of the park for Disney+ in that they have everything Star Wars on their streaming service so while I'm introducing my granddaughter to the Star Wars saga, I can enjoy the continuation of that world. Mainly because the kid in me is totally geeking out over THE MANDALORIAN!

Thanks Disney+!


AWAY is Visually Stunning and Artfully Told


Jeri Jacquin

Wanting to experience something truly spectacular? Coming from animator Gints Zilbalodis and Subliminal Films is the upcoming film AWAY.

A young boy finds himself hanging from a tree in the desert still attached to his parachute when he sees a huge dark figure coming towards him. In moments he feels enveloped by something he doesn't understand and manages to break free of it. Running away towards the mountains he is followed slowly by the figure but when he crosses under a half round sculpture, the figure stops outside of it.

The boy decides to continue away from the figure into a beautiful green, lush and relaxing forest. Discovering fresh water he revives himself from the desert and even finds fruit. He also finds a small bird who is unable to fly and grateful for any morsels the boy cares to share. 

Exploring further he discovers a motorcycle and teaches himself to ride, a backpack that holds the key to where he needs to go and the figure still standing outside the half round sculpture. To his surprise he also finds something in the caves that motivates him to leave even more. Loading up and preparing, the boy knows that he has to be swift to get away from the figure.

Food, water and a feathered passenger flies past and begins to follow the other half round sculptures that are the visual road to where he needs to be. Along the way the boy finds challenges, nature and the ability to survive more than he ever thought possible. 

It is a journey of wonder to be sure!

Writer/director Zilbalodis is responsible for such short films as Aqua (2012), Priorities (2014), Followers (2014), Inaudible (2015) and Oasis (2017), the last of which was developed further into the feature version of AWAY. He worked on AWAY for over three years single handedly before it premiered in 2019 in such festivals as Annecy, Fantasia, Animafest, Shanghai, Anima Mundi, Strasbourg, Sitges and Tokyo. 

In the three years it took Zilbalodis to bring AWAY to the screen let me say that every single solitary moment of that time is breathtaking to behold. The most amazing part of it is that not a single word is spoken, not - a - single -word! It doesn't need any to understand everything that is happening. In fact, had I heard a word I honestly believe I would have been taken out of the spell I was completely under.

There are so many things to take away from this film (no pun intended) but for me it was a combination of the will to take life into your own hands, respect fear but don't let it rule you, look at the stunning beauty around you, explore everything even if you can only do it in your own back yard and, above all, embrace the little feathery things in this life because they won't be around forever.

I know that might seem too simplistic of a list but that's just my personal take. Let's talk about the animation because even though I am a huge animation film fan, this is so much more than that. I loved the foliage, the birds, lake, elephants, elements and the cats. I loved the colors, the imagery, the voids and everything in between.

To be honest I wasn't sure what I would be seeing with this film but something tremendous drew me to it and whatever that something was - I thank it from the bottom of my film loving heart. Sharing every emotion with the boy, catching my breath here and there, cheering him on and yet a little sad when it was over - that is what AWAY did to me and for me.

The music and sounds are everything to the imagery we are shown on the screen and it is nothing short of stellar and spectacular. A triumph of life with whimsy and hope, it is a powerful film that I will see again and again.

In the end - he is going home!