Family Friendly Films and Events

The Singing and Music of CINDERELLA

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from writer/director Kay Cannon and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the musical event of CINDERELLA.

Cinderella (Camila Cabello) lives in a kingdom that is very patriarchal which gets in the way of her big dream of opening a shop called ‘Dresses by Ella’. Living at home with step-mother Vivian (Idina Menzel) and two step-sisters Malvolia (Maddie Baillio) and Narissa (Charlotte Spencer), her room is in the basement where she creates her dress visions.

During an outing to the changing of the guard at the palace, she captures the eye of Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) on the balcony with Queen Beatrice (Minnie Driver) and Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive) but not before annoying King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan). In an effort to reel his son in, the King wants to have a ball allowing Prince Robert to choose a bride.

What Prince Robert really wants is to see more of Cindrella! During an outing in town, he met the young girl and even bought one of her dresses but she does not know he is royalty. Excited to meet the young man once again, Cinderella makes a stunning gown to go to the ball. The problem is Vivian sees her as competition for her daughters and ruins Cinderella’s chance to go to the ball.

Except, Vivian could not have counted on Cinderella’s Fabulous Godmother (Billy Porter) who makes sure the young girl gets to the ball with the help of three mice James (James Corden), John (James Acaster) and Romesh (Romesh Ranganathan). Before she leaves, Fabulous Godmother gives Cinderella the warning that she must leave before midnight. 

At the ball, no one but Prince Robert recognizes her and that’s fantastic for her. What she didn’t expect was everyone noticing her dress, especially Queen Tatiana. She wants to see more of what Cinderella has created and perhaps go with her to travel the world. 

As the time gets closer, the magic starts to unravel as Cinderella literally throws her glass slipper to get away. The King is furious now that his plan to find a wife for his son has gone wrong and decides that he will choose. That causes Prince Robert to finally tell his father everything he had been holding in emotionally and caught Queen Beatrices’ way of thinking as well.

Now the chase is on to find Cinderella before step-mother Vivian figures it out and makes her life even more difficult. Love will find a way!

Cabello as Cinderella is charming and sassy which is a different outlook on this character. She has a mind of her own and sees the injustices of the kingdom for her to succeed on her own. Cabello belts out one song after another and looks to be having a blast doing it. Galitzine as Prince Robert is equally as charming and sassy and knows what he does not want for his life. Unfortunately it goes completely against his father the ruler but, Cinderella gives him the courage to say what needs saying to have his own life.

Brosnan as King Rowan is loud, demanding and a bit of a narcissist wanting what he wants when he wants it. Having been allowed to be this way for so long, the strain of his behavior is starting to break his family. Driver as Queen Beatrice has kept her silence even when she thinks her husband is wrong because, well, he is King. Yet, once again, Cinderella is working her magic to show others how to find their voice.

Menzel as step-mother Vivian is not as evil as we have seen step-mothers for Cinderella be but she does not like to be told no, especially by Cinderella. Her vocals are still on point and as beautiful as we have come to know. Porter as Fabulous Godmother gets his moment in the sun to shine and look, well, fabulous.

Baillio and Spencer as Malvolia and Narissa are also not as mean as previous step-sisters but they are not outwardly nice either. They sort of just go along to get along but they look marvelous doing it. Greive as Princess Gwen wants to change the kingdom doing good for everyone and, as she says, “I have ideas!”

Corden, Acaster and Ranganathan as the footmen mice are charming and always there for Cinderella – in one form or another. They want what is best for Cinderella and do look good in gold!

Other cast include Rob Beckett as Thomas Cecil, Beverley Knight as Queen Tatiana, Jenet Le Lacheur as Wilbur, Fra Fee as Hench, Luke Latchman as Griff, Mary Higgins as Princess Laura, Nakai Warikandwa as Princess Nakai. 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.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.

A Special Feature includes a Gag Reel.

CINDERELLA is an updated musical with characters that are classic but have more to say, or sing if you will. The musical numbers use songs that have been very popular and choreography that is snappy and fun.

The cast has done a very good job at bringing characters that have been in households for generations and keeping the feel wrapped around the updated changes. The costuming is still stunning but then again I am always thrilled to see beautiful dresses and the ballroom scene does not disappoint.

So, prepare to go to the ball!

In the end – the legend you know and the story you don’t!






MINIONS: The Rise of Gru

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this Friday from director Kyle Balda, Illumination and Universal Pictures comes the story behind MINIONS: The Rise of Gru.

Twelve-year-old Gru (Steve Carell) is not your average kid growing up in the 70’s. While all other children want to be doctors and teachers when they grow up, Gru wants to become a member of the supervillains Vicious 6. What he does not know is that the Vicious 6 have just ousted their glorious leader Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin).

So now interviews are being held by the remaining members Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), Jean Clawed (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Nunchuck (Lucy Lawless), Svengeance (Dolph Lundgren) and Stronghold (Danny Trejo). Gru can not believe he is actually going into interview and must tell his beloved Minions, especially Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto (Pierre Coffin) that he must now go alone.

Trying to prove himself, Gru takes a medallion that has powers and once the Vicious 6 realize it has been taken, they are on the hunt for the kid. That is until Kevin sees Gru being kidnapped by Wild Knuckles and with Stuart and Bob, they are off to find him in San Francisco but so are the Vicious 6. 

Finding it difficult to navigate the streets of San Fran, the minions meet Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh) who teaches them a bit of the martial arts to help them rescue Gru! In a sort of change of heart, Wild Knuckles has taken a shine to young Gru and puts his skills to the test. 

All of this leads to a smack down in San Francisco’s Chinatown!

Carell as Gru manages to take an older Gru’s voice and bring it down to a twelve-year-old’s size. As usual, his vocals bring fun and giggles to the character he has made so famous since DESPICABLE ME in 2010.  

Henson as Belle Bottom is a funky 70’s supervillain that wants so much more. Seemed quite easy for her to turn on her own mentor because absolute power corrupts absolutely. Arkin as Wild Knuckles is an aged supervillain who didn’t see betrayal coming. Well, now he wants revenge and he will use Gru to get it. Typical bad guy but well-done Mr. Arkin.

Yeoh as Master Chow was very funny but then again, I enjoy everything Michelle Yeoh does so welcome to the animated world. Van Damme, Lawless, Lundgren and Trejo as the other pieces of the Vicious 6 get a chance to show a little of their own evilness along with their fantastic gadgetry. I wonder who had a part in that?  

Brand gives us a look at a young Dr. Nefario and his part in Gru’s history as well. I was thrilled to hear Julie Andrews again as Gru’s mother. There is a look at her interesting side as well.

Other cast include RZA as the biker, Will Arnett as Mr. Perkins, Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario and the beloved and iconic Ms. Julie Andrews as Marlena Gru.

Illumination, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the industry’s leading producers of event animated films. Bringing the DESPICABLE ME franchise, to include Minions, features some of the world’s most renowned talent. To read more please visit www.illumination.com. 

Universal Pictures has films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films that have entertained generations such as the recent JURASSIC PARK: Dominion. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MINIONS: The Rise of Gru is a film that is great for family’s this holiday weekend and I’m sure it will do well. Coming in at one hour and twenty-seven minutes everyone has a chance to have a good giggle.

The story itself, I have to say, felt a bit disconnected. In the sense of why didn’t they call it DESPICABLE ME: The Rise of Gru instead of MINIONS: The Rise of Gru. Honestly, Gru got more screen time than the Minions in the plot of the story. So, yes, I was expecting more Minion-ness.

That being said the film is fun, charming and entertaining. The music was definetly 70’s and THAT I liked a lot. It’s always a treat when a film truly knows how to use music to its advantage and MINIONS: The Rise of Gru plays that funky music well.

In the end – it’s kung fu fighting time! 

​Bluray Brings Generations Together in TURNING RED

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and DVD from director Domee Shi, Pixar Animated Studios and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes the story of growing up with tradition in TURNING RED.

Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) is a thirteen-year-old girl living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with father Jin Lee (Orion Lee) and Mother Ming Lee (Sandra Oh). She excels at school, is a bit bossy but loved by her friends Miriam (Ava Morse), Abby (Hyein Park) and Priya (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). She has two worries in life, pleasing a very overprotective mother and Tyler (Tristan Chen), the school pain in the behind!

What she is not prepared for is to add to those worries but some things just come when they are ready. After a powerful storm in the night, Mei wakes us and looking in the mirror staring back at her is a big red panda. Freaking out, her mother immediately goes into panic mode as well believing her little girl has started having a period. Learning that it is her panic that keeps her covered in fur, Mei calms down and returns to normal.

In class, she sees mom out the window and it sends her back into red panda mode. Trying to get away as fast as she can there is no escaping Mom. Once home, Meilin learns that generations ago, a woman named Sun Yee could transform into a red panda to fight battles and since then every woman in the family could do it as well. 

The only way to stop it is a ritual that sends the red panda spirit back on the night of the Red Moon. The problem is that is also the same night that Meilin and her friends are supposed to see their favorite band 4* Town in concert and, the girls have all been raising money to pay for the concert tickets. Meilin even uses her red panda persona to make the final bit of money they need.

Agreeing to appear at Tyler’s birthday, everything goes horribly wrong when Mom shows up and learns that Meilin has been doing things she cannot believe! Now, Grandma (Wai Ching Ho) and the Aunts have shown up to help put the red panda back in the box as it were. There is only one place Meilin wants to be and that is with her gal-gang at the SkyDome to see 4* Town. 

What happens next is a red panda revolution between Mom, Meilin and all the women in the family who know what needs to be done – and they better do it quickly!

Chiang as Meilin offers up her vocals giving us a thirteen-year-old girl who wants to just be as wild (as wild as a thirteen-year-old can be) and enjoy friends and life. There is a delightfulness that she brings to a character going through so many changes. Oh as mom Ming is a bit scary with her overprotective and a bit overbearing ways. She pushes her daughter into a corner and a red panda emerges to push back wanting to change their future together.

Ramakrishnan, Morse and Park are as energetic as Meilin’s friends as Mei herself. Even when their friend turns her back on them when they need her the most, forgiveness and friendship always win out.
Chen as Tyler is a young man who, believe it or not, is trying to find a way to have friends. It is his approach to it that needs some help. He is going through his own growing up issues and, like Meilin, has no one to reach out to about it. 

Other cast includes Lori Chinn as Auntie Chen, Mia Tagano as Lily, Sherry Cola as Helen, Lillian Lim as Auntie Ping, Jordan Fisher as Robaire and Finneas O’Connell as Jesse and Topher Ngo as Aaron T and Grayson Villanueva as Tae Young and Josh Levi as Aaron Z of 4* Town, and James Hong as Mr. Gao. 

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 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!

The Bonus Features include Audio Commentary, Featurettes with Life of a Shot, Build Your Own Boy Band, Ani-Mei-Tion, Deleted Scenes with Intro Meilin, Taming the Panda, The Debate, Fei and Christina Hang, 4*Town Dilemma, Roping in Leo and Easter Egg Robutton Deleted Scenes. 

TURNING RED has so many different issues that are wonderfully wrapped in a red panda. First, this is a generational film in that history repeats itself from mother to daughter but, Meilin is about to make some serious changes. As each confrontation with Mom happens, the young girl has to find it within herself to be herself.

The film also addresses the expectations for Meilin but she lives a double life. Once away from Mom, she has friends, interests and is getting to that age where boy watching is a friend gathering sport. I have to admit, watching her with the gal-gang reminded me so much of how it was, and my granddaughter wanted to know if its going to be that fun when she gets that age (talk to me again in seven years!).

There is also the traditional story of a woman warrior that is reminiscent of the film MULAN. Another young lady who lives with the struggle of wanting to be what her parents see as a daughter yet wants to break away. The film also carries the same wonderful stories of ancestors and their importance to the Asian culture. 

TURNING RED is just delightful, funny, charming and chocked full of life lessons and the importance of knowing a family past yet embracing the potential of the future. 

In the end – growing up is a beast!





Rescuing Us All is the Charming MY SWEET MONSTER

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from directors Viktor Blukhushin, Maksim Volkov, Grindstone and Lionsgate is the animated story of a wild adventure for MY SWEET MONSTER.

Princess Barbara (Haylie Duff) is growing up in a palace with a father who does not seem to want her to grow up. As the castle prepares for her birthday, the princess can be found in the clock tower waiting for a letter from her prince. When her father discovers that she is reading romance novels, he seals up the room and tells her to ready herself for the party.

But the princess has been waiting patiently for a letter from Prince Edward who has been writing her. Weasel (Pauly Shore), the local postal clerk, decides to deliver a letter but he has a weasel-ish plan of his own for the princess. The King is not happy when he reads the letter where Prince Edward professes his love for the princess. 

When Weasel finds something in the palace that could ruin everything, he makes a deal with the King, a deal that the Princess is not going to stand for. Calling her trusted steed Fireball, she takes off for the woods with Weasel not far behind. Thinking he finally has the princess, Weasel could never have expected a talking rabbit and a very large, well, monster name Bogey.

As Weasel returns to the palace, he wants to know what the blue liquid is that he is bribing the King with, and the story unfolds about a mystical place in the kingdom where he got ‘the spark’. Back in the forest, the Princess and Bogey get to know one another even though it is a rough relationship. Bogey explains that it is not the King who owns the land, but it in fact belongs to Mother Nature. 

Discovering the truth about her father and who she is, the princess asks Bogey for help as Weasel uses the spark to try and create destruction taking over the palace. He only wants one thing, to be all powerful and get the princess back.

The rabbit tells the princess the story of Bogey and how he came to be with the help of Mother Nature and the truth of why rabbit can speak. Now that she knows the story, it is just in time as Weasel sends out his metal arm to wreak havoc over the kingdom. As the Princess looks for help from Prince Edward, she is shocked to discover that their kingdom is not the only place where deceit lives.

Now, the Princess, Bogey, and Rabbit must come to terms with the choices that have to be made to save them all!

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.

MY SWEET MONSTER is a charming and very colorful film for the entire family. It is a story of friendship, love, loyalty, secrets, and learning not to judge a book by its cover. There is music and song which gives the story even more charm. It is the characters that are intriguing and even delightful as each of their stories are told.

When evil and deception try to ruin a family, kingdom and friendships, it is loyalty and love that bring the best dreams alive! This is a chance to plan a family night and gather around the big screen for an adventure that will take us all away. 

In the end – it is Cutie and the Beast!

THE BAD GUYS Try Another Tactic

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Pierre Perifel, DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures comes the story of change from the most unlikely group of THE BAD GUYS. 

In a world of two legged and four legged creatures living together in Los Angeles, there is a group called The Bad Guys who are leading a life of crime! Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell) is the head of the gang who loves being cool and driving fast. His friends include the sarcastic Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), the hot-headed Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), loves his disguises Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson) and technology expert Ms. ‘Webs’ Tarantula (Awkwafina).

Always managing to escape infuriates Chief of Police Luggins (Alex Borstein) and the foxy Governor Diane (Zazie Beetz). Looking for their next score, Mr. Wolf has his eyes on the Golden Dolphin, an award to be given to guinea pig Professor Marmalade for his good works. Getting the gang on board means enticing Mr. Snake but the heist is on.

When it goes a bit haywire, Governor Diane and Chief Luggins are ready to lock them up and throw away the key, yet Professor Marmalade has another idea. What if it is possible to show the criminal element how good it can be to be…well…good! When everyone sort of agrees, the gang goes through the motions except that Wolf knows something they do not. Good is not all that bad.

Mr. Snake, however, is not happy and decides he would rather go it alone than deal with the batch of goodie goodies. At the next planned celebration, the new feel-good gang are loving the new attention but is about to get a jolt of reality when everything turns upside down.

That’s when Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula get some unexpected help in proving who is really responsible for the mayhem all along!

Rockwell as Mr. Wolf gives us an animated smooth talking and well-dressed Wolf who has lived a life of crime. It is when he meets a little old lady does he realize that he never really considered any other life. Maron as Mr. Snake is sarcastic and has a bite in the way he handles things. Not believing that any good is possible, he sees it more of a betrayal than a new way of life. 

Beetz as Governor Diane thinks that the Bad Guys gang have deep rooted issues that are absolutely no excuse for their behavior. Giving them another chance does not seem like a good idea, but she wants to believe Professor Marmalade knows what he is doing. Awkwafina as ‘Webs’ is the tech-savvy eight-legged magician of the bunch and cracked me up absolutely.

Ramos as Mr. Piranha may be small but all you have to do it confront him in the wrong way and the teeth come out fighting. Robinson as Mr. Shark is the big lug of the bunch who, given the chance, loves to dress up and wing a character. Borstein as Chief of Police Luggins has spent years trying to capture the Bad Guys and every time she gets her hands on them, begins to question what she will do with her life once they are behind bars.
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.

The characters are based on Aaron Blabey’s book series The Bad Guys. Etan Cohen wrote the screenplay for the film and both Blabey and Cohen have done a terrific job. 

THE BAD GUYS is a wonderfully animated film that tests friendships, is full of surprised and makes you forget that the film is about both humans and animals co-existing. There is action, a cute kitty, lots of guinea pigs, and twists in the story. It is also a story of redemption from the most unlikely of characters who have lived their lives always being the villains. 

There were so many laughs, enough for the adults and silliness for the kids (or even kids at heart). This is an excellent chance for the family to get together and spend quality time with a film that is just enjoyable for everyone. 

In the end – good is no fun at times!


BIRDS LIKE US

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director Faruk Sabanovic and Lionsgate comes the story of fear but belief in the possible when you see BIRDS LIKE US.

In this bird world where birds do not fly, several species live together in Birdabad and are protected by Kondor (Jeremy Irons) from what they call ‘the horror’. Once a year they all gather and one egg per bird is given to condor to continue the protection given and to help feed the group. 

One young mother bird is Huppu (Alicia Vikander) who lives in fear but is protected by her love Hassan (Kevin Bishop). She can only lay one egg per season and fears for her hatchling. Watching them from afar is a group of birds who do not understand why they do not all fly away but agree that it is time for her to see beyond the tree. 

When a seed falls to the ground and grows a fruit tree, Huppu begins to question why they do not let the sun in and grow more. Kondor is furious about it, so Huppu and Hassan go on the run to escape a bird attack. In the process, Kondor and Gavra (Sheridan Smith) are caught up in a world wind to a place that is mysterious. 

Kondor and Hassan battle and fall into a deep dark pit and in that pit of darkness she meets Bat (Khalid Abdalla). He sleeps during the day and flies by night and a deal is struck that they will search together. When they wake up from their searching, they are stunned to see light and a large world.

Hassan creates a vehicle that allows them to take a sleeping bat away from the city towards the setting sun. What they encounter is a very busy and very fast-moving world! Traveling by day and night, the world brings challenges for the group, especially with Huppu expecting!

Vikander as Huppu is not ready to have her egg taken by anyone, especially Kondor and will do everything possible to make sure of its protection. Once she sees the world outside, Huppu is able to think for herself and make decisions not based on anyone else. That is another freedom. Vikander offers her voice as a compassionate and protective mother.

Irons as Kondor is just a big blowhard dictator who only sees what the birds in Birdabad can do for him. The funny thing is, he has more fear than the rest of the birds, he is just good at hiding it from them all. Once outside the tree life, his ‘king’-ship means nothing to Huppu, Hassan and Gavra. 

Abdalla as Bat is wise, beautiful looking and tries to share what he knows with the bird bunch because they still live in constant fear. Trying to show them another way to feel and to be, his wisdom is met with mixed reaction from the group. Abdalla gives us such a calm presence in a film full of chaos. Smith as Gavra is a very jumpy and excitable and seems to have found a friend in Bat. He really is cute. 

Other cast include Christopher Villiers as Craven, Michele Austin as Jula and Ella Smith as Tifa. 

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.

BIRDS LIKE US is a beautiful and colorful look at the world of birds but the more important lesson lies in the story. Kondor, the ‘king’, rules the other birds in such a way that is demanding and dangerous. Taking the first egg from the female birds is a huge lesson in itself and Huppu is the one bird questioning. 

In that questioning comes the belief that there is something different, something freeing and another way to live. Once their journey begins, the world opens up wide and Huppu, Hassan and Gavra see that Kondor is not a ‘king’ but instead a ruler who is losing his powers. It also brings into question as to what ‘the horror’ really is.

It must be said, Bat’s story is one of wonderment, beauty and the truth about how we tend to see the world. Going in a circle without taking a moment to see truths – and not necessarily with our own eyes. 

I am all for the adventure that Huppu and Hassan are on because they both see the possibilities of a better life and, even though a little afraid of change, want it for their family. The story is lovely and the colorful and effects within the film are stunning and strange which adds a richness to it all.

In the end – it is time for a change. 

It is a Wonderful World in ENCANTO

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Disney+ from directors Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Charise Castro Smith is the lovely family story set in ENCANTO.

Abuela Alma (Maria Cecilia Botero) begins with the story of how their family casita was created by magic and each of her three received the gift of a special power. The tradition continued to Abuela Alma’s grandchildren. Well, almost all as granddaughter Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is known by to have been skipped in getting a gift.

Fifty years later, Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) will be given his gift and Mirabel supports her little cousin in every way. Trying to control her disappointment, something angry has come to Encanto. The house starts to crack and trying to explain it to Abuela Alma became difficult when they all come to look, and nothing is wrong. Mirabela discovers that she is right but needs to find out what is truly happening with the magic.

Asking Luisa (Jessica Darrow), Mirabel learns she must go to a place that the magic can not help her. Joining her in the dark caves is Cousin Antonio’s feathered friend. She also finds out that no one wants to talk about Bruno (John Leguizamo) and sister Isabel (Diane Guerrero) warns Mirabel to stop. Ruining Isabel’s proposal by Mariano (Maluma) just adds to the trouble Mirabel finds herself in.

When Mirabel discovers what is really happening with Bruno, she asks for his help only to discover that what will fix the casita is not as simple as it should be. It is time for the truths to be told and the faith to be restored when it comes to family. 

Beatriz as Mirabel is a young girl dealing with the fact that she was, for some reason, not given the same gifts as the rest of her family. She is a loving, sweet and positive person until the night she sees what might happen to the casita. Beatriz gives her animated character a bravery and strength she will need to understand where she comes from and what is possible.

Botero as Abuela Alma is the matriarch of a family that continues to grow. With each celebration she sets up celebrations and leads the best she can. The problem is, she has forgotten that her family loves her but need to understand where the family started. Cabot-Conyers as Antonio just loves his cousin Mirabel and would do anything for her, he is such a good soul in a very young body.

Darrow as Luisa has always gone along to get along but has her own issues that Mirabel did not realize was inside her. Always relying on her physical strength, Luisa forgets that she has spiritual strength as well. Guerrero as Isabel is seen as the ‘good girl’ of the family and is planning to get married. As Mirabel comes to know, being the good girl and always doing what she is told is the thing that weights her lovely sister down. 

Other cast include Rose Portillo as Senora Guzman, Adassa as Dolores, Mauro Castillo as Felix, Angie Cepeda as Julieta, Wilmer Valderrama as Agustin, Rhenzy Feliz as Camilo, Noemi Flores as Young Mirabel, Juan Castano as Osvaldo, Sarah-Nicole Robles as Senora Ozman and Hector Elias as Old Arturo. 

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.

ENCANTO is a very colorful and animated film about the generational story of family. Once Abuela Alma is given the gift of magic and a safe place to live, the family grows by leaps and bounds with the magic still all around them. They take their celebrations seriously but, as families tend to do, hide the things that make them uncomfortable like the story of Uncle Bruno!

Mirabel is a young girl who is seen as ‘the girl with no gift’ and she tries to deal with that in the most positive way possible. When the house begins to tell her things no one else can see, she becomes the casita super-sleuth to discover so much about her family. Learning to accept herself, those around her, understanding her place in it all and the history becomes the beginning of an even more beautiful life!

In the end – it is a magical house with a magical family!

HOTEL TRANSLVANIA: Tranformania

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Prime Video from directors Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska is the return to our favorite monster destination with HOTEL TRANSLVANIA: Transformania.

Dracula (Brian Hull) is throwing a bit of a gathering for family and friends. He has made a decision that affects Mavis (Selena Gomez) and husband Johnny (Andy Samberg). When Johnny discovers what it is, he gets carried away which spooks Dracula. Changing his mind about the decision, Mavis and Johnny are surprised. 

Johnny decides he will fix everything and goes to Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) to become a monster and fix everything. Dracula freaks out and in the process of trying to stop Johnny showing Mavin his new monster-ness, he turns into a human! But Dracula is not the only one that gets to see the other side of being a monster.

Frankenstein (Brad Abrell) gets to see how the other half lives, Wayne (Steve Buscemi) becomes a bit seen, an un-wrapped Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) and Griffin (David Spade) is howling a new song and the machine that did the damage ends up broken. Dracula panics, as he tends to do, and asks Van Helsing how to fix it. Well, that’s where things get interesting. There is a place in the middle of a jungle that has the mysterious crystal needed to change everybody back!

Dracula convinces the guys to stay away from anyone that would see them, especially Mavis, while he and Johnny go on a mission. Then again, telling the group not to tell Mavis is like asking them to tell Mavis and when Eunice (Fran Drescher) finds out what’s happening – all monsterness breaks loose!

With the help of Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) and her monster hunting skills, they find Johnny and Dracula to help them finds the crystal – especially since Johnny is becoming more and more of a monster they cannot control!

It is a family thing!

Hull as Dracula takes up the mantle and gives his character the insanity and chaos of the scary hotel owner. When he makes the decision regarding Johnny and Mavis, the panick sets in quickly and as Dracula tends to do, tries to find a way out of it bringing mayhem. Gomez as Mavis is raising her young son and aware that Johnny can be a handful but would not change anything. Realizing what is happening between her dad and Johnny, Gomez gives her character the get up and go to try and fix what they messed up.

Samberg as Johnny is, what I consider, a hot mess kind of person. He is emotionally unable to act like an adult which is how it all starts but his heart is in the right place. Trying to make it right with Mavis, Samberg gives Johnny the faith in family and his father-in-law. 

Hahn as Ericka is still happy with Dracula and will do what ever it takes to keep him from doing something silly. It also gives her a chance to relive a little of her monster hunter days. Drescher as Eunice is also all about doing whatever it takes to keep her family and friends safe.

Gaffigan, Abrell, Buscemi, Key and Spade are a barrel of fun and silliness. Trying to keep their word to Dracula, it does not work when Mavis, Eunice and Erika make it clear they are not going to take any nonsense. Let’s face it, the gang is hilarious no matter what!

Other cast includes Molly Shannon as Wanda, Asher Blinkoff as Dennis, Zoe Berri as Winnie, Asher Bishop as Wesley, Tyler Blevins as Tyler, Victoria Comez as Young Mavis, Aaron LaPlante as the Gremlin Pilot. 

Amazon Prime offers television shows and original content included in its Amazon Prime subscription. Original programs such as CARNIVAL ROW, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL are hit shows. Coming soon is the next series with GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton and it promises to another successful and intense series.

HOTEL TRANSLVANIA: Tranformania is a fun family film that means one thing – get the family together, pop that huge bag of popcorn, fuzzy blanket on the sofa at the ready and prepare to giggle like crazy. From the HOTEL TRANSLYVANIA family to yours, get ready for a bit of Transformania! 

In the end – change can be scary!

ELMO’S WORLD All Around the Neighborhood Comes to DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from the wonderful world of the Sesame Street Workshop and Shout! Factory Kids is a look at what is in ELMO’S WORLD: All Around the Neighborhood.

Elmo shows Grover what it is that doctors do. From checking heartbeats to how to use a stethoscope and a tongue depressor letting us all know how important doctors are. They ask Ms. Noodle all sorts of questions about what a doctor is and how they dress. 

Then Elmo explores what is a newspaper and wonders if Mr. Noodle reads the newspaper. In it he finds the news, stories and what the weather is going to be like. Mr. Noodle shows Elmo what else he can do with a newspaper and although it is fun, he would rather see how one reads the newspaper. Learning always makes Elmo want to dance.

Looking up more things to learn about, Elmo learns about machines and what they do – like cars, lawn mowers, excavators and even a can opener. Calling on Mr. Noodles again, they talk about machines and what they do. Elmo also discovers ramps that help people get from place to place and even building a ramp at home with your own toys and joining him is Cookie Monster.

It is time to gear up with Smartie and learn about sports and with so many different kinds of sports, Elmo is surprised. Learning about the different uniforms and things needed to play like a basketball, hockey stick and even goggles for swimming. He plays a game learning what sports equipment is needed to play the right game.

Elmo learns what it means to get dressed properly by wearing clothes that go along with the weather, but it can be tricky. Wearing the right clothes is very important and Elmo wants to make sure we all know what is best. 

Maps are really helpful for learning where places are, and Elmo wants to place a game that will teach his friend how to get around at the fair. Looking at the map helps his friend get where he wants to go. Photography teaches Elmo how to get the picture just right and so much more

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.

Elmo brings the Bonus’ of Grover’s Jobs Through the Years Mash-Up because Grover is one of the hardest working monsters. The journey takes us through Grover’s time as a taxi driver to a meteorologist. It is guaranteed a fun time remembering everything Grover was brave enough to try.

This is a family time DVD where everyone can learn about doctors, newspapers, machines, factories, ramps, sports, getting dressed, bowling, veterinarians, nighttime, transportation, maps, blocks, measuring and photographers.

ELMO’S WORLD: All Around the Neighborhood is an amazing way for children to learn about the world around them. Understanding what is it that makes the world go around is very important of course, but having Elmo show us all more than we thought is always such a delight.

This is the time families should get together and watch Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster and friends show what they are learning as well. It is always a joy to watch our favorite Sesame Street character stretch our imaginations and give information in such a delightful and colorful way – and we would expect nothing less.

Put on your adventure hat and prepare to see the world through Elmo’s eyes because nothing could be more amazing!

In the end – it is Elmo’s World!


RON’S GONE WRONG is a Delight

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine and Octavio E. Rodriguez along with 20th Century Home Entertainment comes the technological friendship even when RON’S GONE WRONG.

Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) is a young man who is finding middle school a big challenging. All the friends he had in elementary school seem to have gone on with their lives because of technology. Each of them has technology friends called B-Bots who get to know everything about their young users and allow them a wider scope of social media. Created by CEO Marc Weidell (Justice Smith), there is an algorithm in every B-Bot to make them buddies with humans. 

Everyone has one, except for Barney who hopes he will get one for his birthday. Dad Graham (Ed Helms) who sells novelties online and Grandma Donka (Olivia Colman) try to give Barney a party hoping he will invite his school friends. When they realize that is not going to happen and what Barney really wanted for his day – Dad and grandma kick into gear – well, sort of.

Speeding across town to the Bubble store where the B-Bots are sold, it is a little side deal that has Barney waking up to a new friend. Thinking this is the best thing ever, it takes only a bit of time before its clear that something is wrong with this particular B-Bot. Taking him back and knowing what will happen, Barney decides he will teach everything his B-Bot, now named Ron (Zak Galifianakis) will need to know.

An amazing friendship begins between Barney and Ron, but it does not stop childhood friend Rich (Ricardo Hurtado) gets into it with Ron. Now a social media fire storm. CEO Marc wonders what is happening and while he is not looking, maniacal Andrew (Rob Delaney) tries to take his company and goes looking for Ron and Barney. Trying to get away, Barney runs into Savannah (Kylie Cantrall) making her promise not to tell that he is running with his B-Bot friend.

The chase is on, and old friends decide its time to reacquaint themselves with Barney and the very interesting and very loveable Ron. Coming together, Barney, Ron, Savannah, Marc, Rich, Dad, Grandma and Ava (Ava Morse) take on the Bubble to find Ron. There comes a moment when Barney must make a decision about what friendship really means to him.

Grazer who voices Barney is delightful and gives so much understanding to situations that he knows can not be easily fixed. He misses his friends, mother and a father who is trying to do what is best for his family. Once he meets Ron, he has someone to teach and care for – even if Ron is very different from the other B-Bots. Grazer lends his voice to a friendship that is endearing and that means everything.

Galifianakis voicing Ron is so sweet, naïve, full of wonder, hilarious and it is worth every smile watching him learn all that is learnable in Barney’s world. Giving everyone who watches a journey through Ron’s world, and it is Galifianakis who shows us what friendship means to this little B-Bot.

Helms as Graham is a Dad who is trying to provide for his family and forgets that sometime providing means missing things. Ron does not make his feelings clear and when Dad figures it out, he starts to question how to make it better for his boy. Colman as Donka is a grandma who loves her family, loves the history of her family and taking care of both Graham and Barney. She is also amazing at fixing the weirdest things in such a way that it always works out, but that’s what grandma’s do right?

Smith as Weidell just wanted to create a friend for kids but when he sees that someone is taking advantage of it, he sides with Barney and Ron. It is amazing that Weidell does not see dollar signs but instead sees the power of friendship. Delaney as Andrew wants everything Weidell has, including the CEO position and the potential to make billions. 

Cantrall as Savannah was once best friends with Barney but with the introduction of B-Bots, she has become a social media butterfly. She sees what Barney goes through but it to busy with her own life to care about a friendship, until she experiences the other side with Barney. Hurtado as Rich is also a social media kid influencer who records everything, that is everything but the bullying he does to Graham. The saddest part is he was also once Barney’s best friend. 

Other cast include Marcus Scribner as Alex, Cullen McCarthy as Noah, Thomas Barbusca as Jayden, Liam Payne as Bob, Ruby Wax as Ms. Hartley and Flula Borg as Sarah. 

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.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 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!

Bonus Features include A Boy and His B*Bot: When Jack Met Zach – Zach Galifianakis and Jack Dylan Grazer, the voices behind Ron and Barney, sit down to chat about a fun assortment of topics. From social media to skateboarding, the two actors from two very different generations tell us all about when Jack met Zach. Making Ron Right – Join cast and crew behind the scenes as they reveal the skill, dedication and friendship it took to bring this film to life. From writing the script to the voice-over booth, Locksmith’s artisans’ detail how they made Ron right. “Sunshine” Music Video – Song from the motion picture Ron’s Gone Wrong, performed by Liam Payne.

RON’S GONE WRONG is a delightful film that comes out at a time where that is so wonderful. The film introduces us to friendship based on technology and to remind us of how cool it is to put it aside occasionally and get out into the real world. Barney wants a B-Bot so badly but quickly learns the responsibility.

It is not just the responsibility of a B-Bot but in teaching Ron what friendship means, how it is interpreted by an innocent and what the word ‘literally’ means. Because, literally, Ron takes Barney at his word and there are consequences to the 6 ft. of friendship rule. That being said, there are so many lessons here for kids and my granddaughter’s eye lit up every time the characters talked about things she was learning herself.

Now THAT, is something simply wonderful for us all. 

In the end – it is time to get your bot on!

Family Fun is Here with SING 2

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres for the holiday week from writer/director Garth Jennings, Illumination and Universal Pictures is the joy of song with SING 2.

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is making a hit out of the rebuilt theatre and has invited talent scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti) to come and see what his troupe could do. After being told that they could not make it in the entertainment capital of Redshore City, it is Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders) who tells him to go for it or go home. 

Moon decides that he needs to gather the team to see mogul Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale). Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Johnny (Taron Egerton), Ash (Scarlett Johansson), Gunter (Nick Kroll), Meena (Tori Kelly) jump on a bus and follow their musical leader all the way to Redshore City. Sneaking in to see Crystal, they wow him, and the group has three weeks to get the show going.

There is one hitch, the star of the show, Rosita, is replaces by Crystal’s daughter Porsha (Halsey). Moon also promises them that the legendary and reclusive Clay Calloway (Bono) will take to the stage. Now, with the help of Gunter, everyone has to work on the space adventure on stage. Johnny is dancing but gets serious lessons from street wise Nooshy (Letitia Wright), Meena is being romantic for the first time in her life, Rosita is a little different and Ash is determined to get Calloway!

It is Crystal who misunderstands an incident with Porsha that sets in motion chaos but that will not stop the gang from banding together and show off what they are truly made of – together.

McConaughey is back as the theatre owner who dreams larger than life. Wanting more for himself and the group, he reaches for the stars and although he hits bumps along the way, with the back of friends – they will all find their way into space! Cannavale as Crystal is a wolf of a man who finds humor in scaring everyone. Giving Moon a chance to create a show that will make him more money than he needs, it also comes with scary strings attached.

Witherspoon as Rosita is back to find herself challenged but still surrounded by loving friends and an always expanding family who love her so much. Kelly as Meena is back on the stage but this time has to come face to face with a romantic role that gives her pause and a bit of fear. Kroll as Gunter has his chance to shine in this film coming up with a stage theme that shoots off like a rocket.

Egerton as Johnny gets the chance to do something he really has not done before – dance with his musical number. Wright as Nooshy gets the chance to show Johnny that it is the music that will make his feet move in amazing ways. Peretti as Suki does not think Moon and the gang can make the impossible possible, that is her first mistake. 

Johansson as Ash never forgets who she is and what she is capable of. Once she decides to make sure Calloway shows up, she is in it until the end. Bono as Calloway is, dare I say, awesome getting his paws wet in the animation world. Halsey as Porsha is a spoiled little girl who has a fit that had the potential to ruin everything, until she gets a wake-up call. 

Shout out to Saunders as Nana Noodleman – she is the heart and soul of the group whether they know it or not. Tough but supportive and elegant as all get out. I just love this character. 

Other cast include Adam Buxton as Klaus Kickenklober, Nick Offerman as Norman, Eric Andre as Darius, Julia Davis as Linda Le Bon, Spike Jonze as Jerry, Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy, Pharrell Williams as Alfonso and Garth Jennings as Mrs. Crawley. 

SING 2 is exactly what you would expect from Illumination; colorful, musical, lively, adventuresome, friendship, loyalty, creative and most of all absolute fun to watch. The characters have a chance to work through things in a productive way that is a lesson to the younger (and young at heart) kids watching.

We all embraced the gang in the first film SING released in 2016 and watched their antics and loved the music. Here it is five years later, and nothing has changed (in a good way) and it feels wonderful to catch up with old friends. 

The holiday season is a time to get together and celebrate everything that is good so gather up the family, extended family and friends to have a wonderful time. Prepare to find yourself singing, toe tapping and enjoying every moment of SING 2. 

In the end – where will your dreams take you?


THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 Brings the Giggles

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from directors Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon, Laura Brousseau and MGM is the return of the most beloved characters with THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2.

Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) have noticed that Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) seems more out of sorts than usual. Upset that her parents are so supportive and that winners are never truly winners, Wednesday just want find her proper level of miserable.

Knocking on their door one afternoon is a man named Rupert (Wallace Shawn) who informs the Addams that there might have been a mix up at the hospital when their daughter was born. Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) admits that there might have been an issue that night but Gomez and Morticia see it as ridiculousness.

To bring the family back together, Gomez decides it is time for a family vacation! Packing up the family along with Pugsley (Javon Walton) and Lurch (Conrad Vernon), they go across country together. But nothing is making Wednesday happy until she sees Rupert again and discovers that it is scientist Cyrus Strange (Bill Hader) who wants to join forces with her.

When she disappears, Gomez, Morticia and the family decide that no one takes an Addams without a fight!

Issac as the animated Gomez is loving, charming and clearly is the ultimate unusual family man. He clearly loves his wife and the family they have and wants to show them, but Wednesday is the one who puts limits on affection. Theron as Morticia is an equally loving wife and mother and tries her best to give Wednesday a wide berth to be herself. What neither parent realizes is that Wednesday does not know who 'herself' is.

Moretz as Wednesday gives us her usual teenage angst but with a bit of unique sass as an added bonus. When not trying to find new ways to destroy her brother, Wednesday wants to be unusually and uniquely more than any Addams ever has been before. Walton as Pugsley is starting to wonder why girls are not flocking around him, I mean being a dashing Addams and all right? This kid obviously loves his sister because he just lets her get out her angst on him.

Hader as Strange has an evil plan (and leave it to Hader to give voice to it) and he does not care about the consequences or the family that is being hurt. Strange is thinking money and power when all Wednesday is thinking is creativity and intelligence - these two are about to clash.

Shout out to Vernon as the grumbly Lurch, Shawn as Rupert, Snoop Dogg as Cousin Itt and Ms. Midler as Grandmama Addams!

MGM is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television across all platforms. Owning one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content and is home to two of the longest-running and most successful film franchise in cinematic history with JAMES BOND and ROCKY. For more please visit www.mgm.com.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 is a continuation of Wednesdays struggles to find herself in the Addams clan. Gomez and Morticia are such doting parents with their own styles. Gomez wants to give hugs and Morticia wants to give space but neither of these methods are working. It does not help that Rupert knocking on the door with his story does not help in the slightest.

The family adventure is filled with laughs, adventure, color and Uncle Fester going through his own, well let us say unique changes. The one thing about the Addams Family which has made fans come back again and again is that eventually you see past their visual differences and start to see that they are genuine, loving and a family.

They never make excuses for who they are and their love of people. Finding 'us' a bit unusual as well, it does not stop them from embracing it and they do not hold grudges when things go against them. That being said, each of the Addams will protect the other with every fiber of their being and that, my friends makes them so very special and, to be honest - I would hang with them anytime!

In the end - a sequel, how original.

It is the return of CORALINE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD, writer/director Henry Selick, Laika Studios and Shout! Factory is the return of the beloved story of a young girl named CORALINE.

Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) and her family mom Mel (Teri Hatcher) and dad Charlie (John Hodgman) have moved into an old mansion called the Pink Palace Apartments. Also in the mansion are Mister Bobinsky (Ian McShane) and Misses Spink (Jennifer Saunders) and Forcible (Dawn French). Her parents are attempting to write about gardening and sometimes they forget about Coraline. 

She meets Wybie (Robert Bailey Jr.) and as a token of friendship, he gives her a button-eyed doll from his grandmother Lovat (Carolyn Crawford) that resembles Coraline. One night she is woken up by a mouse who takes her through a secret door into another world. There she meets her mother and father, but they have buttons for eyes. Looking past that they are fun, loving, 
caring and pay attention to Coraline.

Called the Beldam’s, Coraline discovers that they have taken her real parents. Miss Spink helps her get back to the other world where she proposes to her ‘other’ parents a game, if she can find those missing, they get to go free. If not, Coraline accepts the button eyes and stays.

They do not expect young Coraline to be so smart and that is their first mistake!

Fanning as Coraline has given this beloved character a distinctive voice that will always be that of Coraline. I have been told so by my six-year-old granddaughter who has loved the film for years now. Bringing character and voice together is so amazing and having CORALINE return to the big screen and Bluray is a reminder of what Fanning has done for Coraline.

Hatcher as Mel is funny, quirky and when button-eyes a bit too good to be true. Hodgman as Charlie is equally as quirky and funny with or without his button-eyes. They are so delightful and creepy at the same time and these two actors using their voices and Laika giving them life is such a wonderful partnership.

Bailey Jr. as Wybie is everything we all want in a friend accepting Coraline for just who she is and I awe at their friendship. He also has Crawford as Grandma Lovat, which makes his family complete. I love McShane as the delightfully limber Mr. Bobinsky and Saunders and French are interesting neighbors to have.

Other cast include Aankha Neal as Sweet Ghost Girl, George Selick as Ghost Boy, Hannah Kaiser as Tall Ghost Girl, Emerson Tenney as Magic Dragonfly, and Jeremy Ryder as Toy. 

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.

Laika is a stop-motion animation studio that is best known for such films as CORALINE, PARANORMAN, THE BOXTROLLS, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and MISSING LINK. Being nominated by BAFTA, Academy Awards and Golden Globe awards, and Annie Awards, Laika studios continues their amazing storytelling with the film MISSING LINK. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.laika.com. 

The Special Features include: New Inside Laika-Discovering the Characters of CORALINE Featuring Never-Before-Seen Test Footage, New Inside Laika – Revisiting the Puppets with Laika’s Animation Team, New Foreword by Peter Debruge, Chief Film Critic for Variety, New Character, Concept Art and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Galleries, Audio Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruo Coulais. 

Also, The Making of CORALINE, Original Featurettes, Deleted Scenes and Feature Length Storyboards. 

CORALINE was the first Laika film I saw and have been captivated by every movie they have made since. True their films are stop-motion, but their stories are love, friendship, being accepted for differences, mystery, belief and even laughter and fun.

Those are the type of films that bring families together in the theatre and also brings them together on the sofa with a tub of popcorn and cuddles. The story may be full of life lessons but, director Selick also gives us entertainment, giggles and everything we crave about films that become classics.

Having CORALINE in our home entertainment library sit happily next to other Laika films on the shelf. See it for the first time or revisit it again and again with CORALINE on Bluray and DVD. 

In the end – she discovers who she truly is and who loves her!


SPIRIT UNTAMED is Filled with Family and Horses

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Elaine Bogan, DreamWorks and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 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.

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.

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.

The bonus Features on Bluray include Deleted/Extended Scenes, Finding Your Spirit: Meet the cast and filmmakers behind SPIRIT UNTAMED, Behind the Voices – The Cast: It’s always fun to see the people behind the voices, Cowgirls Rule: More details about the female-focused story, Drawing Spirit – SPIRIT UNTAMED: A unique look and chance to learn from one of the talented artists, and Create Your Own Indoor Campfire: Using crepe paper and LED Lights to build your own campfire at home, How to Ukelele: Discover how to create your very own ukulele at home. 

Also, Snack Time – S’Mores: This tasty ‘how to’ feature on making traditional S’more treats, Abigail’s Hand Shadow Secret: How to make shadow puppets, How to Zoetrope: How-to video to make your own zoetrope, Sing-Alongs: Sing-along around your own campfire and Feature Commentary with director Elaine Bogan, co-director Ennio Torresan and producer Karen Foster. 

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.

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!

It is Another Adventure with PETER RABBIT 2

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the next big adventure with PETER RABBIT 2.

Peter Rabbit (James Corden) is a witness at the wedding of Bea (Rose Byrne) and Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) and off they go to live in the cottage together next to the pond. The town is all excited since Bea’s book ‘Peter Rabbit’ is out for all to enjoy.

One day Bea receives a letter from Nigel Basil-Jones (David Oyelowo) asking to publish her book and take it worldwide. She signs a contract, but the animals are worried that Basil-Jones is not a nice guy. Bea makes it very clear that the story is very personal to her but that doesn’t stop the publisher from making suggestions to bring in the big money.

Peter, in the meantime, is not happy with the story and decides it is time to strike out on his own. He meets Barnabas (Lennie James) only to discover that he actually knows Peter. Captured by the local authorities, they are adopted out to a family who clearly does not know how to care for rabbits. Now Peter’s friends are worried that they haven’t seen Peter!

Barnabas shows Peter the ropes to living and surviving in the big town with the help of Whiskers (Rupert Degas), Tom Kitten (Damon Herriman), Mittens (Haylet Atwell) and Johnny Town-Mouse (David Wenham). That adventure was not to last as Bea and friends find Peter to take him home. 

But its not over as Peter finds himself between old friends and new friends and its time for him to remember who he is to all that love him!

Corden as Peter continues to give his animated character fun, lessons learned, an innocence mixed in with a big of being braggadocios, and a just a kid who wants to know his place in the world. Cordon offers a sense of childlike attitudes and a bit of an emotional tantrum now and then from a rabbit that we all can not help but love – just the way he is. 

Byrne as Rose never thought her stories would come to more than a small book in her shop. When she has a chance to take Peter into a larger world, she also learns lessons about the big world who would like nothing more than to change her beloved stories. Byrne always brings beauty to her roles and Rose is just delightful.

Gleeson as Mr. McGregor is the total opposite of Rose in that he is suspicious of everything, probably because of Peter more than anything else. He has his eye on those who would want to change everything he loves about his wife. In this adventure he has the opportunity to really get to know Peter and all his wonderful friends and that takes Gleeson from a grump to a hero.

Oyelowo as Nigel is the above ground user as James as Barnabas is to the lower ground user of the story. Both want what they want, and the cost means absolutely nothing. James has more than a few tricks up his sleeve, and they are all in his favor, poor Peter. 

Degas, Herriman, Atwell and Wenham get the chance to stretch their imaginary characters legs and be as naughty as they want to be with Barnabas’ help. 

Other cast include Colin Moody as Benjamin Bunny, Margot Robbie as Flopsy, Elizabeth Debicki as Mospy, Aimee Horne as Cotton-tail, Damon Herriman as Tom Kitten, Sia as Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, Sam Neill as Tommy Brock, Ewen Leslie as Pigling Bland, Matt Villa as Felix D’eer, Will Reichelt as JW Rooster and. 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.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 special effects are pretty cool as all the cottage animals meet the city animals. Getting into the film it is easy to get lose in the reality who they are and my family did not mind one single bit.

PETER RABBIT 2 is a delightful continuation of the adventures Peter. It is a very large cast of characters both human and creature but each of them, with the help of their human voices, brings such life to the story. I watched the film with my six-year-old granddaughter, and she was giggling or yelling for Peter and his friends to ‘watch out!’. 

That’s what is wanted in a family film. For families to gather together and giggle, eat popcorn, cheer for the underdog and boo the bad guys. That’s what PETER RABBIT 2 offers us all in the way of fun, entertainment, and a few lessons on what it truly means to be a blended family.

In the end – small hero and a big adventure!

C.I.APE has Family Giggles on DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer Stephen Johnston and Lionsgate is the family adventure to save the world with C.I.APE.

Sam is the first chimp to work with the CIA and they need him now more than ever. Working with Bondi James (Sophia Alongi), Sam is the retriever and Bondi help guide him to what ever it is they need.

That's when they discover that Alpha Dog (Skip Schwink) has plans to wreak havoc on the world. Working with Dr. Devious (Lucas Ross), their goal is to cause as much trouble as they possibly can! The one thing Alpha Dog does not have control over is daughter Rebecca (Madelyn Kientz) who just wants a normal life with her father.

Bondi is ordered to send Sam onto the island belonging to Alpha Dog and there he meets Rebecca. Being a sweetheart, Rebecca tells Sam that she will do whatever is necessary to stop her father and Dr. Devious. Bondi, who can see everything Sam sees, understands that she just wants a friend.

Before anything else can happen, Sam and Bondi kick into gear to make the world a safer place again!

Alongi as Bondi has a wonderful relationship with Sam and worries about her furry friend when there is a mission. Dealing with Alpha Dog is dangerous, but she makes sure to watch her friends front and back! Shout out to Gould as the voice of Sam for giving his character a sweet vocal disposition that translates into the CGI-chimpanzee.

Kientz as Rebecca just wants a normal life, not the island living bad guy life. Trying to get her father to understand that is a problem but making friends with Sam gives her the opportunity to make him see the light. Schwink as Alpha Dog is a big kid trying to be a bad guy. It is only when he is face to face with his daughter does a 'normal' side come out. He is entertaining to watch to say the least.

Ross as Dr. Devious is clearly not as devious as he would like to be but then again, being a devious scientist is a hard gig!

Other cast include Kenda Henthorn as Super Villain Henchwoman, Leah N.H. Philpott as Queen Evil, Angel Rosario Jr. as Chrome Dome, Christy Tate as Carol, Ginifer Ree as Evil Queen's Henchwoman, Garrett O'Brien as Forehead's Henchman, Christopher Watkins as Mustache, and Scott Gould as the voice of Sam.

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.

C.I.APE is a big cheesy on the laughs but I still laughed, so did my grandkids. There is something entertaining about evil bad guys who are not all the evil and good guys who are just that - really good guys. You add a chimpanzee into the mix, and you have a film that is just family entertainment for all.

We actually watched the film out in the back yard on a screen to give the family the feel of being at the drive in. Add popcorn and a huge air mattress and C.I.APE made a great closure to summer. Be prepared for giggles and adventure all in one film.

In the end - this is a job for C.I.Ape!

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!

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!

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!

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!