The Good Dinosaur *Review*

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

What if the asteroid missed?

So I just got to see Disney•Pixars newest film The Good Dinosaur. I was actually invited to an advanced screening that was held at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. A dream come true to be on such a magical studio lot! (I will share some of my visit on a separate post so for now back to the movie review)

The Good Dinosaur answers the question “What if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed?”, but at the heart of this is the classic tale of a boy and his “dog”. The main character is Arlo, a young Apatosaurus. He and his family are a simply farming family just living life in the “Old West”. Their lives are changed by an event, which has the biggest impact on Arlo. Arlo’s father has taught his family that in order to earn your “mark” you must do something that is greater than yourself. After a series of mishaps, Arlo is thrust into a journey of growth and self discovery. He is joined on his journey by a foe turned allie, a little human boy named Spot. Arlo must face his fears and learn to put others before himself to make his journey back home. He meets some colorful characters along the way and learns that you cannot judge others by their outward appearance. Through each encounter his strength, friendship and loyalty is tested. And in the end he learns how to truly make his mark and that it’s alright to be afraid but that you can’t let your fears hold you back.

While this is described by Disney•Pixar as a boy and his dog story, I have to disagree a little. The relationship between Arlo and Spot is so much more, it’s like a bond of best friends who are more like soul mates. Even with a language barrier they are able to understand each other completely, they would even risk everything for the other. There are so many powerful messages in this film, I have to admit my daughter and I (and possibly the whole theater) were left in tears at the end. But that is because this film touches on some very emotional and deep subjects. I would suggest this film for older children since some scenes can be pretty intense and may be frightening for younger children. *Update November 28th – My 4 year old just viewed this movie and had no issues and enjoyed the film but digression is up to parents, you know what your child can handle and what they cannot. I would suggest viewing with older children first then judging whether your younger child should view this film.* But over all this was a wonderful film. It touches on the bond between father and son, the bond between best friends and finding inner strength. The imagery of the landscapes are just gorgeous, they seemed so real. Making me want to take a trip out to Yosemite right now. And the lightning bug scenes are so magical, reminding me of the lantern scene in Tangled. My daughter and I truly enjoyed this film and cannot wait to see it again with her brother and dad.

Disney•Pixars The Good Dinosaur

Parental Advisory

*Spoiler Alert*

Like I stated above I would definitely suggest this film for older children and to use disgression with younger children. The film is rated PG, so there is some intense imagery and there are a few deaths; one from a main character and a couple nature being nature ones (i.e. a pterodactyl eating a small creature) that may not be suitable for little ones. There is middle violence, a few I guess you could call them fight scenes. They are no more intense than good and evil struggles in other Disney•Pixar films but they can put you on the edge of your seat for a little bit. My 9 year old had nothing but positive things to say about this movie. Though she shed a few tears, but what Pixar film now and days doesn’t make you. She and I had a wonderful advance viewing.

Have a great Thanksgiving and be sure to catch The Good Dinosaur in theaters this Thursday!

Cruzin Mama

The Peanuts Movie *Review*

The Peanuts Movie

Since a local theater by me has a great special for first of the day showings, it was a nice opportunity to take the kids out for a movie treat. So why not take our peanuts to check out the new Peanuts Movie.

I grew up watching the holiday specials every Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. And even remember watching many other movies of the Peanut Gang. I have been sharing these such films with my own children. So I will say I was a little apprehensive to see this new more modern take. But I was able to go into this new film with an open mind and it was great!

The new film’s animation takes nothing away from the originals, it still has the charm and recognizability to the original style. It was nice to see how the new characterization was going to come across, I really liked how they captured many of the characters iconic features. The new animation style was able to translate Charlie Brown’s extremely unique hair very well.

The movies theme is to Dream Big but more than that message can be taken from this film. The central theme of being the best version of yourself is something not just aimed towards children. Charlie Brown is fairly known as the lovable loser, he always seems to have a bit of bad luck. I feel that this is a great thing for kids to see. Not everything will be perfect or go exactly their way but you can always try to maintain a positive attitude and look on the bright side. The lessons that come from this film were easy to understand and came off in an enjoyable and sometimes amusing fashion.

What the new Peanuts film really hit on the head was Snoopy’s personality and charm. He’s the same loyal and unique beagle that we know from the original films. And his sub-adventure with the Red Barron was a wonderful addition to the film. It reminded me so much of his battle in The Great Pumpkin.

Many children’s films now and days are coming across as annoying to parents or leaving them with disdane when their children ask to watch them on repeat. I truly enjoyed this film with my kiddos and I did not get the feeling that this film would fall into that category. I can see us picking this a family movie night choice.

Enjoy the show!

Cruzin Mama

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa

A visit to Santa during the Holiday season can be a stressful event. Waiting in long lines and only getting a few minutes with Ol’ Saint Nick can be a not so jolly occasion. Well Adventure to Santa is here to change that. Dreamworks Dreamplace is back again this year with the special Adventure to Santa Holiday experience. This is more than just your average visit to the local mall Santa. This is an interactive experience to make the visit a most memorable one.

Adventure to Santa

First off just being at a Dreamworks Dreamplace is already an experience. The outside of the cottage is a changing digital display. Characters from Shrek and Rise of the Guardians make appearances throughout the windows and doors on the display. The cottage also goes through full transformations changing its appearance around every hour. When the blizzard would hit, the cottage would look as if covered in snow. My kids loved when this would occur they wanted to keep watching for when the next snow storm would strike.

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa

To go on an Adventure to Santa you must reserve a time slot and date as well as pick a package online. Packages range from $35 to $75 per family for photos. (You can click here to book your adventure and to find a location). By having visits set up this way it cuts down on wait times so the whole waiting in a long line for hours just for a few minutes with Santa is a thing of the past. When you arrive and get checked in you are given a boarding pass. See Santa isn’t actually there right away when you go in. You and your family must take a special trip to the North Pole to see him. So the first room you enter on your journey is the flight school area. In this area everyone in your group is able to practice their sleigh flying skills.

Adventure to Santa Boarding Pass

Adventure to Santa Flight Room

Adventure to Santa Flight Room

Adventure to Santa Flight training

Next up is your flight aboard a magic sleigh headed to the North Pole! You are joined by Shrek and his friends who help guide your journey. I have to say we all had a blast on this ride. It’s not a full simulator ride like Star Tours at Disneyland but something along those lines. This alone made the experince worth it.

Adventure to Santa Sleigh Ride

Once you arrive at the North Pole you don’t go immediately to Santa just yet. Next up is another interactive room this time it’s cookie making, Gingerbread people to be exact. Then into the next room to meet the jolly man himself. What’s great is that it’s a private room for just you and your family with Santa. It’s so much more personal than the typical mall visit. You have time to take your photos and for the kids to actually talk with him before you are magically transported back to the mall.

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa Dreamworks Dreamplace

After being transported back to the mall it was time to check out our photos. It was hard to chose just one image since all came out so well. There is also some Dreamworks Character merchandise available by exit. Since we attended an opening event for the new Dreamplace at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach there was a lot of Christmas excitement going on. The Eleves from Rise of the Guardians made an appearance!

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa Merchandise

Adventure to Santa Grand Opening

Hope you enjoyed checking out my family’s Adventure to Santa be sure to book your sleigh ride soon before the magic is gone!

Cruzin Mama

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa Grand Opening

Dreamplace Adventure to Santa

California Locations

Victoria Gardens
12505 S Mainstreet
Rancho Cucamonga 91739

South Bay Galleria
1815 Hawthorne Blvd.
Redondo Beach 90278

Hours

Monday through Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 11am – 7pm

Admission and Packages

Admission: FREE to travel through but it is highly recommended to have a reservation.

Packages: $35 – $75 package options available, up to 8 guests accommodations on all packages.

Visit www.dreamplaceexperience.com for more information and to book your reservation

Star Wars The Force Awakens New International Trailer

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios and Lucas Films

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios and Lucas Films

There is a brand new trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens that just came out from Japan. This one has even more revealing details than the much anticipated full US trailer. And we cannot get enough of both! So just to give fair warning this post my contain possible spoiler details about the new film so *Spoiler Alert*

Still from the new Japanese released Force Awakens trailer

Still from the new Japanese released Force Awakens trailer

The new trailer shows much more of a focus on the characters of BB-8 and Rey(Daisy Ridley). The trailer starts off very similar to the US version with Lupita Nyong’o’s voice over but from there is when the differences begin. It shows what looks like a first meeting between Rey and BB-8, where Daisy Ridley’s voice over states: “I know all about waiting…for my family”. That right there is revealing enough! So one can only begin to speculate who she is referencing. We are then shown Finn(John Boyega) and Rey teaming up and several images from the US trailer. But in a blink and you’ll miss it fashion we are shown what looks like a Rebel command center with C3-PO, Poe Dameron(Oscar Isaac) and Princess Leia(Carrie Fisher) looking pretty dismayed. Then an array of new images including the suspenseful one of Rey facing Kylo Rens saber blade. The trailer then concludes with Lupita’s voice over; “Hope is not lost today, it is found”. And it most definitely is!

One key point that still has not been addressed in this new look is Luke Skywalker(Mark Hamill). He is still absent from this trailer which only builds more mystery and speculation as to his part in the film. Guess we just have to wait until December 18th to find out.

There is less than two months left until this highly anticipated movies debut. Don’t forget to get your tickets now and also check out the marathons and other events going on by clicking here. And be sure to check out the revealing new trailer below, enjoy!

May the force be with you!

Cruzin Mama

Inside Out Now Available

Images courtesy of Disney•Pixar

Images courtesy of Disney•Pixar

Let your emotions run wild Inside Out is now available to own! Be sure to pick up your copy on DVD/Blu Ray. I’m sure you can tell but we are big fans of this family flick. My daughter and I attended a special screening of the movie when it was in theaters. Inside Out was just an immediate favorite for us.

Inside Out goes inside the head of 11 year old Riley and let’s you see and get to know her emotions; Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. When a big change happens in Riley’s life her emotions begin going through changes as well. Then an accident happens that sends Joy and Sadness on an unexpected journey of discovery. Joy and Sadness must make it back to the emotions headquarters before it is too late and to help Riley get back in touch with her emotions. Along the way you meet a very memorable character, who is a great reminder of childhood innocence and symbolizes when you start to grow up. Joy teaches us that it is actually ok to not be happy all the time, that it’s ok to be angry about a big change or to even be sad and scared. And that through sadness we can find joy. Inside Out is a great film for the whole family.

Available now on Blu Ray/DVD combo packs that include Pixar shorts, behind the scenes and deleted scenes. With the movie release a brand new Pixar short was added to the combo packs; Riley’s First Date. Get a chance to see the emotions that come with going on a first date, including Riley’s parents. This new short is a perfect extension of the film. The combo pack includes the volcanic short Lava which premiered before Inside Out in theaters. Check out the movie trailer below.

Be sure to grab your copy today!

Cruzin Mama

Project Mc2 *Review*

Project Mc2 *Review*

“Smart is the new cool”

Ok that slogan alone had me wanting to check out the new Project Mc2 dolls and kits. So what is Project Mc2 you might be asking, well it is a new line for kids that is focused on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) learning and fun. The line features four young girls who have been recruited by a secret spy organization. The Project Mc2 girls are also apart of a series that is on Netflix and also check out the YouTube page for clips and demos from them. Project Mc2 also has an App availed for iOS, where you’re able to help the girls solve cases using scientific techniques. And last but not least of course there is projectmc2.com which gives bios on all the girls, activities and games to do and also video clips. Ok now it’s time to talk about these awesome new toys!

Project Mc2 - Camryn's Skateboard *Review*

It was basically a given that my little skater girl would get a skateboarding doll and one that comes with a little science project was just the cherry on top. Camryn’s skateboard has you assemble her rocket board by flowing some unique blue prints.

Camryn's Skateboard *Review*

The doll/kit comes with almost everything to complete the experiment. The only items extra that were needed was a cup of water and a paint brush. This is what I really loved about it, since I go to get science kits and then need to go out and get extra supplies. Now this was just the Camryn kit the other three girls do use a few more materials but most of which are common household items like vegetable oil and baking soda.

Project Mc2 Camryn's Skateboard

My daughter had a fun time revealing th hidden blue print and after that it was time to put the board together. We are no strangers to assembling skateboards so doing this mini one was a cinch for my munchkin. But over all the instructions are fairly simple to follow.

Camryn's Skateboard - Project Mc2

The finished project!

So here is the end result, I would have to say my kiddo was so happy to do a little project instead of just assembling the board with regular instructions. She’s now asking for more sets! Besides the experiment she really likes all the girls in the Project Mc2 line. They promote smart girls and are such a positive influence. The clothing on them is so fun and more in tune with the apparel of young girls. There are dolls available that do not come with an experiment which is nice so you can just get the girls if the projects don’t interest your little one. And there is also just experiment kits available as well.

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit

My daughter is definitely drooling over this awesome Lab Kit. It looks perfect for the scientist on the go.

The Project Mc2 series can be found at Target, Walmart, Toys’R’Us and even JoAnn’s. The dolls range from range from $14.99 to $24.99 and the kits are up to $54.99 (The Ultimate Lab Kit). Go and check these amazing smart girls out for your self!

Cruzin Mama

Sea World Summer Nights

Sea World Summer Nights

Summer Fun at Sea World

The Cruzin Family recently visited Sea World San Diego. We were actually there for 4th of July and to say we had a great time is an understatement. Now I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding Sea World right now, but I have kept an open mind about things. I grew up visiting the park and remember all the wonder it brought to me. I have done my research and formed my opinion and that is what I encourage others to do as well, so I won’t be using this post to start an campaign but to just share about our recent visit.

Animal Encounters

New Tidepool Entrance at Sea World

Sea World has been going through some changes since my last visit almost 2-years ago. The entrance is completely upgraded. Now very bright and welcoming to guests. The ticket and reservation windows now look like a resort check-in. Once through the turnstiles you are immersed “underwater” to the touch pools of Explorer’s Reef. Here is where guest get a little hands on meeting with creatures of the sea; such as the White-spotted Bamboo Shark. Yes you can actually pet a shark!

Sea World Explorer's Reef

White-spotted Bamboo Shark touch pool

My brave kiddo was so excited to actually touch a shark.

Dolphin Cove

After exploring the new entrance we decided to plan out some show times and just spend the day most of the day walking and taking in the park. We didn’t want to try to plan too much as going to any amusement style park with kids trying to stick to a strict schedule can be daunting and make for a less enjoyable experience. Of course we made seeing the animals more of a priority than just riding all the rides the park has to offer. Our first animal encounter was the Dolphins at Dolphin Point. The area is also home to the Sea Otters, who upon our arrival were being fed and a very informative employee in a blue shirt was talking to guests about. There are “Blue Shirts” all over the park, mainly by animal encounters. These keepers, as you could say, are opening to answering guests questions about the animals and also give informative speeches throughout the day, similar to keeper talks at the local San Diego Zoo.

Dolphin Point at Sea World

Dolphin Point Educational Wall

The viewing glass is a great way to see the Dolphins swimming around. You may even meet face to face just like my son did. You can try to pet the beautiful animals as well from the surface view. My kiddos were very content just watching them. The area is like an outdoor museum per se. There are a few walls that are filled with information about Dolphin’s and even height and skull models for some interactive learning.

Sea Lions at Sea World

The Sea Lions and Seals are very active during feeding times. Guest are able to purchase fish during select times during the day to feed the animals. The animals in this area are actually rescued animals that even after rehabilitation were unable to return to the wild.

Shark Discovery - Sea World

No visit would be complete without braving the underwater tunnel in Shark Discovery.

Sculptures and Trivia

Recycled Art at Sea World

I love the way that Sea World is bringing attention to pollution. The Ocean, and all of the Planet, has so much beauty and wonder to offer. We must all do our part and pick up after ourselves especially after a visit to the beach. All the items that made up these beautiful scuptures were found at the beach/in the ocean. This trash is very harmful to animals and their habitats. So remember to through away trash in proper containers and recycle appropriate items.

Sea Turtle Recycled Art at Sea World

Visit WashedAshore.Org to learn more about the Art that is working to save the sea.

Sea World Trivia Signs

Keep a look out throughout the park for these trivia signs. They give a look into the history of Sea World which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. I found the Shamu Ride sign very interesting. It was a mild boat ride for children back in the 1970’s that cruised around the island for flamingos near the sky tower.

Play Time

Sea World Bay of Play

Sea World offers amusement park features such as a rollercoaster, Rapids ride, and a children’s play area. It’s a great way to let the kids get the wiggles out. Sesame Street’s Bay of Play is a great family area. It hosts three rides for little ones, a splash pad, and a very fun play area, where kids can climb up rope nets, walk across bridges and slide back down.

Sesame Street's Bay of Play

Bay of Play

This was the only area where my little guy wasn’t restricted on fun! He’s under 42″ so he is unable to ride almost all the other rides throughout the park.

Character Meet and Greets at Bay of Play

Meeting Cookie Monster at Sea World

Sesame Street’s Bay of Play wouldn’t be complete without the Sesame Street gang! Kids can meet their favorite characters and it makes for a great memory and photo opportuntiy.

Manta - Sea Worlds rollercoaster

Aside from Bay of Play, Sea World hosts quite a few thrill seeking rides. There is Shipwreck Rapids, Journey to Atlantis, Wild Artic, Riptide Rescue, and Manta. The Skytower and the Bayside Skyride offer great relaxing views and a perfect for all ages. My daughter and I are love a little thrill seeking so we rode most of the rides, a few of them twice. We both rode Manta for the very first time and it was a blast!

Riptide Rescue

Ride Tips

It was fairly overcast on our visit, so the park wasn’t too crowded. That made lines a shorter wait. But here are some tips to make the best out of Sea Worlds rides.

  • Overcast or cooler days means for shorter wait times for water rides.
  • Bring extra clothes and towels to dry off after the water rides. I also like to change into a swimsuit with a coverup for Shipwreck Rapids, since you will get drenched on this ride. Then after some drying we change back.
  • Try to catch a ride during a show. The wait times will usually be a lot less. When a show lets out that is when lines seem to almost double.

The Shows!
New Dolphin Show

We made it a point to catch at least two shows. We looked up show times for each one and chose a few times for more flexibility. We decided to see the Dolphin Show: Dolphin Days and the Shamu Show: Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up the Night. Both are very popular so arrive at least 30 mins before showtime to secure a good spot. If you plan on catching Light Up The Night try arriving about an hour before show time as lines form and the stadium fills up quickly.

Bubbles the Short-finned Pilot Whale

The Dolphin Show: Dolphin Days

The Dolphin show was much more stripped down than the show I remember, but in a good way. It came across more educational and inspiring, yet still fun and exciting. The Dolphins still show off some of their many skills.

Summer Nights Shamu Show

Shamu's Celebration: Light Up the Night Show

We caught the last show of the day of Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up the Night Show, which worked out perfectly since the fireworks were right after the shows end. Like the Dolphin Show, this show was a little more stripped down. The large screens before the show began displayed many Orca facts as well as other facts about the sea and its inhabitants.

After Shamu's Celebration - Firework Show

Celebrate the Wonder Fireworks Show

The Celebrate the Wonder Fireworks Show is a great way to end a fun-filled day at Sea World. This is a firework spectacular perfect for a cool summer night. Sea Worlds fireworks show is going now on select nights until September 6th. And starting on July 16th through August 30th is Summer Vibes, which is family-friendly performances by musicians, dance and vocal artists. Don’t miss out on the summer fun happening at Sea World!

Summer Fun at Sea World San Diego

Hope your next trip is as fun-filled as ours!

Cruzin Mama

Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Drive,
San Diego, CA 92109
Summer Hours
Monday – Thrusday 9am – 9pm
Fridays 9am – 10pm
Saturdays 9am – 11pm
Sundays 9am – 10pm
*Times are subject to change*

*Disclaimer*
Cruzin Mama was provided tickets by Sea World Parks for this visit. Everything stated in this post is the opinion of Cruzin Mama. All images are subject to copyright of Cruzin Mama.

Star Wars Rebels Season 2 and Celebration Panel (Star Wars Celebration Recap Part 2)

Star Wars Rebels Celebration Panel

Star Wars Rebels Is Back on Disney XD With a Special Season 2 Premier

With San Diego Comic Con in full swing and my wishing I could be there I decided to share my experience and insights of the Star Wars Rebels Panel from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. I attended both the Celebration Panel and also the exclusive press panel to get some behind the scenes details for the upcoming season.

Star Wars Rebels has become a big success for Disney’s continuation of Lucas Film’s Saga. The show is a hit amount young and mature fans alike. Like the previous Star Wars animation series The Clone Wars, Rebels has given new life to the Saga and a chance for a younger generation to become introduced to the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD

Rebels is set between the Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. The shows premise is the focus on a Jedi that discovers his abilities when there is no longer a Jedi Order. On top of that he is also an orphan who is trying to navigate life with the Empire in rule while coming to terms with his Jedi abilities. The young man is Ezra and he soon finds himself in the company of a rag tag group, who are apart of the start of the rebellion against the Empire. The Rebel group consists of Kanan the leader, Hara the ships pilot and co-leader, Zeb the strong arm, Sabine a young and tenacious Mandalorian, and Chopper the precocious droid. Season 1 of the series main focus was on the group accepting Ezra in and of Kanan being a reluctant teacher to the young Jedi. The crew becomes more of a family dynamic but Erza still struggles with his Jedi training and trying to find out what happened to his parents. Rebels seemlessly ties in familiar characters from the original films and a special character comeback from The Clone Wars.

SWCA Rebels Panel

SWCA Rebels Panel

The Celebration Panel was filled with fans of all types. And with the entrance of each Celebrity the cheers grew louder and louder. The excitement was contagious, I have enjoyed watching Rebels with my kids but during the Celebration I became a full fledged fan. All the Voice Actors were all as happy to be there as everyone in attendance. All spoke of their knowledge of Star Wars previous to being apart of Rebel, Freddie Prinze Jr., who voices Kanan, shared his childhood lightsaber battles. While Taylor Gray, voice of Ezra, said he had no knowledge of the franchise prior to Rebels but is now appreciating it and the fans tremendously. As the Actors spoke with the host they mostly answers about their take on the series and how being apart of such an enormous and well loved franchise.

SWCA Rebels Panel

Little details were given about the upcoming season during this panel, but it was revealed that Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex from The Clones will be part of the second season, a way of tying the two series together. Also to be seen in the new season will be Lord Vader in his full form and showing why he is feared throughout the Galaxy. One ambitious young attendee asked Rebels Producer Dave Filoni how Captain Rex escaped Order 66 and made it out of the Clone Wars series. Dave gave some very vague answers but in the Press Panel did say that this season will reveal a lot of backgrounds for the characters. One the characters whose background will be featured is Kanan. We were informed that more information about his master will be coming.

Another former Master and Padawan making an appearance this season is Anakin (now fully Darth Vader) and Ahsoka. There were hints as to a face off between the two, which will be a must see interaction. My favorite part is that James Earl Jones, Vader himself, will be back as the iconic voice.

SWCA Rebels Press Panel

Like Kanan, there will be much more background given on everyone this season. Along with that characters family’s will be brought up, such as Sabin’es and Ezra’s. So the mystery of Ezra’s family from Season 1 will be featured with possible answers coming.

Star Wars Rebels has really helped bring the franchise to a younger generation. It’s a show that is enjoyable for new and longtime fans alike. Rebels shows the same odd-ball family dynamic that was seen in the original series. I believe that Disney has done a great job with this series and hope that there are many more seasons to come.

May the force be with you!

Cruzin Mama

Inside Out *Movie Review*

Inside Out Movie Review

Image courtesy of Disney•Pixar

Insider Access to Inside Out

So I was given the amazing opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Inside Out. I was even able to bring my 8 year-old daughter along for the fun. This wasn’t just any ordinary screening this was an all access inside Inside Out event. Before the film even began all attendees were taken on a video tour of Pixar Animation Studios by Director Pete Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera.

Touring Pixar was absolutely incredible! Yes it was only a pre-recorded video tour, but it was still a wonderful experience. Pete and Jonas walked through how signing in as a guest works to even where employees take a break and grab coffee. They pointed out many staff members during the tour who worked on many beloved Pixar films. We were given a little sneak peek at what working on a film looks like by going in a review room with everyone working on The Good Dinosaur, Pixar’s next up coming film. One of my daughters favorite parts was the Animators offices. Each office was decorated by the Animators in a very unique way, like a boardwalk of offices all lined up just like a boardwalk at the pier , there was a taco shop styled one that even locked up like one and my favorite was the crashed plane one. That one looked like the mid-section of a plane crashed into a jungle and inside the animator had many items inspired by the movie Up! The tour continued around the building to show previous films storyboards on the storyboard wall and then into the offices of Pete and Jonas. But the real cherry on top of the tour was bumping into John Lasseter who was wearing his infamous Hawaiian shirt, this time it was a special Inside Out edition. He was in the room working on Toy Story 4. He wouldn’t give any details or let us get a glimpse of the room but he did say the work is going great. I don’t know how they are going to top the last Toy Story film but Pixar has a way of working magic.

After the film was a live Q&A with Director Pete Docter and Amy Poelher who voices Joy. I don’t want to go too indetail about that since it would giveaway a lot of spoilers. But listening to them talk and answer questions about the film made this movie experience even more incredible.

Like all Disney•Pixar films Inside Out featured an animated short film just before the movie. The new short is Lava and it is just perfect! Inspired by Hawaii and volcanoes this short is a great kick off to the film. It’s funny, warm and has a very catchy tune to it. My daughter is still singing the tune! Be sure to arrive early to the movie so you don’t miss this delightful short.

Insider Access Review

Thoughts on Inside Out

First things first I have to say that we loved it! There’s no denying that this is going to be a hit. A film about emotions definitely had viewers getting in touch with theirs. And I promise not to give away any spoilers.

Inside Out takes you inside 11 year-old Riley to see her inner emotions; Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness. Her emotions help guide Riley. So she is a generally happy child and is mostly guided by her emotion Joy. Her core memories, which are the memories that help make up Riley’s personality, are all joyous ones. Riley lives with her mom and dad in Minnesota, but when the family moves to San Francisco you really see her emotions go to work. After the big move Joy and Sadness inadvertently go on their own journey into the deeper parts of Riley’s mind. Working together they must find their way back to Headquarters and help Riley get back to her happy self.

My daughter was glued to the film and so was I. It was an entirely relatable experience. There were a lot of laughs and some very heartfelt moments. Riley is just is a great character who kids and even adults can relate to. To quote Amy Poelher from the live Q&A,

“Riley is an extraordinary character in that she is ordinary”

I could see my 11 year-old self in Riley and could most definitely see my daughter in her. And Joy is positively infectious. Director Pete said that Joy was the hardest character to write but I think they did an awesome job on her in the film. The animation is just superb and the whole world inside Riley’s mind was just spectacular and so detailed. One character to watch for is Bing Bong, his presence in the film brings an array of emotions and is a key part of Joy and Sadnesses journey. I would say this movie is on par with Toy Story 3, which was an outstanding film itself.

Inside Out hits theaters on June 19th. Be sure to check out this marvelous film!

Get in touch with your emotions and have a joyous time!

Cruzin Mama

DC Super Hero Girls

DC Super Hero Girls

Girls Are Taking Over This Fall!

I truly cannot say how excited I am to share this news. I have been a fan of comic books and their respected TV series since a very young age. I remember my mom getting me the few female Super Hero toys to play along with my brothers growing up. Things have come along way, I used to have to shop in the “Boys” sections at stores to find Batman apparel now there is a growing amount of fan base among girls/woman that it is more accessible. My daughter is a fan now as well and it has been so nice to be able to find her apparel and items easily. But there was still a noticeable lack of female roles. Well DC is helping to expand this with the news of their partnership with WB and Mattel. Fall of this year will be a Girls Take Over!

“Beginning in Fall 2015, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel join forces to launch DC Super Hero Girls, an exciting new universe of Super Heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential.” – Official Press Release by DC Comics

So look out for the DC Super Hero Girls action figures, apparel, TV specials, videos, books and much more!

DC Super Hero Girls will be geared toward kids ages 6 to 12 years old. The new expansion will focus on female Super Heroes and Super Villians before they have come into their own with their super-powers. Characters such as Wonder Woman, Posion Ivy, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, Bumble Bee, Katana and many more will be apart of the new universe of Super Heroes.

This news is truly amazing and I cannot wait to see everything that will be coming. So again keep an eye out for the Girls Taking Over this Fall!

Read the full article of the Press Release by DC Comics at dccomics.com

Have a Super day!

Cruzin Mama