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I had the chance to take Lucy & Zach to see Moana & in short, you need to go too!
I love strong female characters. I love the example they teach my daughter (& also my son). Moana was determined, friendly, strong, brave & loved her family. Moana is played by Auli’i Cravalho, a newcomer from Hawaii.
AULI‘I CRAVALHO lends her voice to the title character, MOANA, a teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfinder. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
Moana takes place in the Pacific & Pacific islands featuring lovable characters that you would expect from a Disney film.
Hei Hei kept Lucy & Zach laughing & Pua was adorable (but not in the film all that much).
Maui you’ll recognize is voiced by Dwayne Johnson who does a super job. He’s sarcastic, full of himself, brave, kinda crazy & super fun. Lucy & Zach both liked him & keep telling my husband about his tattoos.
When I ask their favorite part, Lucy says she liked the mom, dad & grandma best. The dad Tui is the Island Chief. Moana does not call herself a princess, but instead the Chiefs daughter & next in line to be the chief.
The island crazy lady, free spirited Grandma Tala, was one of my favorite characters. She helped encourage Moana to go live her dreams.
Parents of littles be warned, in typical Disney fashion, someone does pass away but it’s beautifully told in the story.
Most of the action takes place while Moana is at sea. Zach ended up in my lap once Moana was in her boat. She & Maui do encounter 3 monsters on their epic adventure. The coconut monsters, the Kakamora, were cute, but they did cause Lucy to climb in my lap too.
The sparkling hermit crab monster Tamatoa had us dancing in our seat (but Lucy reminds me that he was a bad guy). The music in this film was wonderful. I cannot wait to get the soundtrack.
& the scariest monster of all, the lava monster, is who Zach now tells everyone is his favorite part of the movie! My 4.5 year olds weren’t overly afraid & left excited not nervous about the monsters, but I wouldn’t take younger ones that would get scared. My duo have actually asked to go watch Moana again already.
Hope you & your family have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
I don’t think we (& by we, I mean Lucy, Zach & I) have been anticipating anything like we have the sequel to Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo was a college weekend de-stressing, chill movie for me then when we got tired of ‘Let It Go’ing 5 times a weekend, we showed L&Z Finding Nemo very early on. We’d fast forward through the traumatic beginning & show them the sweet, poignant story of love between a father & son. Nemo, Marlin, the sharks & my favorite Dude Crush became staple names in our household & “hold my fin” is often said instead of holding hands for busy parks or walkways.
As soon as we heard the Finding Dory release date, I had it down for June! We shared with Lucy & Zach the trailers & promotion photos, talked about what the new characters names might be & what they might do in the new film. I found Zach two Nemo & Finding Dory tops at Target & pre-ordered Lucy a Finding Dory KPea dress online. We were ready to go when I got the email that we were invited to see Finding Dory in 3D!
Can you tell they were excited! They ran from poster to display to the aquarium (“Mommy, Nemo AND Dory are in there!”) & I had to corral them just to get into the theater.
Speaking of, make sure when you go see Finding Dory, you get there a little early as the new animated short film Piper is absolutely precious.
PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
I see Lucy & Zach searching for baby sea gulls on our next beach trip!
Glasses on, snacks in hand & we were ready for Dory! I was prepared for a few scary (for 4 year olds) parts of this film & was happily surprised that L & Z were not nervous a single time! A few jokes (as typical for Disney) went over their heads but Finding Dory is definitely in my opinion safe for the preschool age crowd.
The new characters are darling & funny & perfect mix in with the return of beloved Finding Nemo characters. I might’ve squealed when my favorite guys were back on the big screen. Ellen DeGenereres comes back as the voice of Dory, with Albert Brooks back as Marlin & Nemo voiced by Hayden Rolence.
I asked Lucy & Zach their favorite part & Lucy all week has said Mommy, there were 3 Dorys while Zach corrects her that were were four then LOTS of Dorys! (Bless their hearts, all Blue Tang fish look alike to them 😛 ) Zach says he loved the octopus & Lucy said she also liked the cuddly otters. I loved how they focused this film on Dory’s story- from baby fish, to her meeting Marlin, Finding Nemo & then took them to current with her, Marlin & Nemo in the reef & Dory beginning to recall more of her past & wanting to find her family.
FINDING DORY – Hank is an octopus—or actually a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. When Dory finds herself at the Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium, Hank reluctantly agrees to help her navigate the massive facility. Directed by Andrew Stanton, “Finding Dory” opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
We picked up the Finding Dory busy book at Costco this week & have been reading more about Hank, Destiny & Bailey & more! These guys had me laughing every time they were on screen.
FINDING DORY – Marlin and Nemo get guidance from a pair of lazy sea lions in an effort to catch up with Dory. Featuring Idris Elba as the voice of Fluke and Dominic West as the voice of Rudder, “Finding Dory” opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Of course, we had three seats & at one point all of us were cuddling in my lap. It was a late night for them & they did get a little sleepy but perked up for the end of the film. The story of family & what & who is your family was such a sweet message for me as a parent watching Finding Dory. I hope you go with your kids & enjoy it as much as we did!
Insider tip, stay until the end of the credits for a peek at old Finding Nemo friends too!
Since Lucy is all into coloring these days, here’s a few coloring sheets that will help get your little ones (even more) excited over seeing Finding Dory!
While we did get passing to see Finding Dory early on behalf of Disney Pixar, my review is honest & not persuaded by their kindness.
Did y’all hear?! The highly anticipated sequel to Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2 released in theaters last Friday! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?
We were honored to be asked to go to the Raleigh/Durham premier showing a couple weeks ago & it was Lucy & Zach’s first in theater film!
Zach & Lucy wandered the red carpet, enjoyed pre-show crafts, munched on popcorn bags bigger than their heads then sat so still as Kung Fu Panda 3 took over the screen.
Jason & I loved watching the wonder in their eyes as some of their favorite characters were on a really big screen! In 3D!
After it was over, as L&Z played around the fountains, I asked what they enjoyed about Kung Fu Panda 3 the most. Lucy’s favorite was the Rhino villians & Master Shefu. I’m surprised she didn’t say the popcorn; pretty sure she ate close to 1.5 bags of it! Zach loved all the pandas, especially the cute little ones. I loved seeing Po as the hometown hero & what his encouragement brought out in his new friends!
Speaking of hometown heroes, I had the pleasure of being on the media side of the red carpet to welcome some of Raleigh’s own hometown heroes to view the film.
We actually walked in with the family of Johanna Colon & they’re are all so nice. Easy to see that she gets her glowing personality honest. She’s been dancing since she was a toddler & ruled the stage in her dance recital performance which has led to YouTube fame, talk show appearances & her mom might’ve alluded to us being able to see her in prime time beginning in March. Look for her y’all, Johanna’s going places!
A south east Raleigh hero is Erin Dale Byrd, winner of the INDY Citizen Award & she’s also the founder of the Fertile Ground Cooperative. She shared with us the highs & some hardships of leading a cooperative that’s community volunteer ran. With her spirit, drive, laid back style & spunk, I know it will help thrive in the SE Raleigh community.
We also got to meet Sunny Lin & Sophia Woo, winners of season 6 of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. These ladies were funny, stylish, business-savvy & humble. I haven’t seen their truck yet, but I can’t wait to track down & try eating from their Pho Nomenal Dumplings food truck!
Like Kung Fu Panda’s Po, these local heroes are funny, spunky, talented & charming. I loved the chance to interact with them & look forward to watching what they continue to do for Raleigh area in the future.
Who’s your hometown hero? Have you seen Kung Fu Panda 3 yet? What’d you think?
Thanks to DreamWorks & Twentieth Century Fox for presenting the Kung Fu Panda premiere in Raleigh & for inviting me as well as my family. While we did see the film & enjoy popcorn & drinks for free, I was not otherwise compensated nor do that effect my review of the film.
Happy first full week of May! And May means for most kids, the winding down of school & thus taking the time to thank the teachers who have helped teach & care for your children this year.
Lucy & Zach moved up to the late 2s/early 3s room at their daycare a couple months back, so these teachers they didn’t have last May or over Christmas. Making this week my time to tell these ladies a big THANK YOU! For keeping L & Z happy during the day, for making sure they eat, nap, play nicely with their friends & each other, for learning & for getting Lucy almost completely potty trained (probably another post, another time)!
In the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to find images & ideas other moms have done for Teacher Appreciation, but as a non-super crafty, overly-tired, working mom of two almost-3 year olds, I leave the Pinterest projects to someone else.
I’m relying on my trusty favorites: food & gift cards! You can’t go wrong there right?! I figured I’d stop by Target after work & grab a lip balm & little gift card for each of their 3 teachers. I won’t have specialty printed paper, but I figured I could write “You’re the balm! Love, Zach & Lucy” as my nod to the crafty moms.
And for food, no question, the Bruegger’s Big Bagel Bundle. This way I can not only give breakfast to their two morning teachers, but show my appreciation to the whole staff with 13 bagels & two yummy cream cheese tubs! A handwritten note of thanks & quick stop at Bruegger’s Friday morning is simple yet perfect! & Bruegger’s is always a delicious hit in my opinion!
Because Bruegger’s is so awesome, they’re providing me with not one, but TWO $10 gift cards to give out to TWO awesome readers. Just leave a comment letting me know What have you done or are you doing to show appreciation for the teachers in your children’s lives?! If you don’t yet have children, leave a comment with what you think is a fun idea!
And I’ll pick two random comments ~ Congratulations Elana & Crystal! Y’all won! I’ll email you both for your addresses!
In exchange for this post, Bruegger’s is providing me with gift cards for me as well as the ones for the giveaway, but my thoughts & opinions are all my own & not swayed because of their generosity.
I recently had the pleasure of solo night out to see The Age of Adaline.
I had heard little to nothing about the film before I cozied into the theater seat, & yet I was treated to quite a wonderful movie that night.
Blake Lively portrays Adaline Bowman, a woman born in the early 1900s yet due to a freak accident, is permanently 28 years old. Her hair & costumes design were gorgeous (& so is she!) as we follow Adaline through memories & events in a decade of fashion.
Adaline’s love interest, Ellis Jones, is played by Michiel Huisman which I spent the film thinking “I know him from somewhere” & yes, he was in Game of Thrones! Quite the handsome guy!
Ellen Burstyn co-stars in the film as Adaline’s daughter & as always, I love her warm characters. Harrison Ford shines as Ellis’ dad & has some stand-out, memorable scenes.
I wasn’t walking into this night out thinking much but The Age of Adaline made me laugh, gave me chills & I had to subtly wipe away a tear. This would be a great date night movie or a wonderful girl’s night out too!
The Age of Adaline came out nationwide April 24th. Thanks to Lionsgate for the ticket to see the film.