Get in that car seat, young man!

Semi-Exclusive... Grumpy Justin Bieber Woke Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed!!

We have to get home to change that diaper!

The full story and gallery on Huffpost.

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Reaction To The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

Some parents taped their kids’ over-the-top reaction to this new Disney film. (SPOILER ALERT!)

It’s SAD!

Does posting something like this online contitute a poor parenting choice? The parents obviously love their kids, and think it’s sweet that they are so emotional. And they probably didn’t think this would be seen by many people. But maybe it will be traumatic for the kids. What do you think? Post thoughts in the comments.

Personally, I find this pretty funny, and I don’t think it’s such a big deal. But then again, I didn’t grow up in the internet age. People had to tease me in person.

Also, thank god I didn’t take my 4-y-o daughter to see this. She got emotional when she saw Jennifer Love Hewitt sadly plugging UNICEF over footage of starving African children from 1996.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Here’s the reaction:

Snow White’s Awesome Adventure

This is a long story, but you will enjoy it. What awesome parents this young man has, and what a nice thing the Disney World staff did for him!

By way of background, I should point out that our hero is autistic, he loves the Snow White’s Scary Adventure ride, and had ridden it literally hundreds of times when his family learned WDW was closing it to make way for new attractions.

Link to the first post. You can navigate from there. The excerpt below is from part 2. The website it is from is Shmoolok.com.

So there we were on Thursday night, just after 7pm and being led by Stacey and a couple other cast members to stand over in front of The Friar’s Nook. Ben was in a happy mood, but kind of pulling us back over towards SWSA. He was having the time of his life, and wanted to get right back to it. After a few short minutes of waiting, a door opened and out came Snow White herself to come talk to Ben. All of a sudden, Ben got a huge smile on his face and started laughing hysterically. He was positively transfixed. That Kodak moment that I warned Stacey not to expect? Oh yeah, it was there in spades.

Ben meets Snow White.

Snow White continued to talk to him as Ben very shyly took her hand, and then laughed some more. It was an almost drunken laugh, the laugh you hear from a baby when you play peek-a-boo for too long and they drift into that delirious-happy state. As Snow White talked to him about the ride, and about all of the dwarfs, Ben seemed to be absolutely glowing with joy. A crowd began to gather behind him, and I had to take off my glasses and dry my eyes. I can assure you that I am the manliest of men, and I am positive it was just allergies or perhaps a speck of dust that got in my eye. Whatever it was, it seemed to be spreading to everyone nearby. Not a dry eye in the house.

This went on for several minutes and Snow White never let up, never broke character even for a moment. She knew how many times Ben had been on her ride, she knew what his favorite moments in the ride were, and most of all she knew how to keep him engaged and joyously happy. Eventually she invited Ben to go on the ride with her, and he gleefully agreed…

The poor boy was fully twitterpated.

Snow White gasps as the Witch is struck by lightning. Ben was pretty stricken as well.

I first read about this on Boing Boing!

Film Review: BRAVE

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

The new Pixar film is out on June 22, and it is called Brave, and it is wicked awesome. Wiki. I will attempt to tell you how awesome it is (‘review’ is probably a misnomer, since this is likely to be little more than lavish praise and gushing) but I really won’t spoil anything you can’t learn from the trailer or the cover of a new Brave coloring book now available at Target. Heck, I even picked photos that don’t reveal much. However, if you are a strict NO SPOILERS freakazoid, then don’t read ANY reviews until AFTER you see it. Just a suggestion. I won’t be blamed for your unhappiness.

My hero.

Last night I was privileged enough to catch an advance screening of Brave with my 4-year-old daughter. We were pumped, so pumped I didn’t mind relinquishing my cell phone. We are big Pixar fans, and all their releases (except that travesty known as Cars 2) are wonderful films. But even with such a high bar set by all those previous killer Pixar releases, I couldn’t have expected a film with this much depth, this many facets and which is successful on so many levels. In turns, and without seeming jumpy or forced, the film is mature, emotional, spooky, action-packed, hilarious, magical and gorgeous. It’s pretty impressive, all the things they managed to cram into this 93 minute movie.  But then again, this is Pixar. They are the best in the biz, right?

I predict an uptick in archery class registrations this summer.

Pixar films have always looked pretty sweet, so bright, sharp, and clean, but I knew something looked… different about this film, compared to the signature look of the older releases. It was realer. Smoother. Deeper. More natural. Better hair. Better facial acting, even. Turns out the studio totally reworked their hoosey-whatsis algorithmic thingys that make them there cartoon pitchers look real purty. As a result Brave looks incredible. The sound is stunning, too. Lush, pretty, and sometimes bone-shaking. The music adds an authentic feel, but it is not at all distracting. This is a flick to see at a quality cinema for full effect.

Mérida, self-rescuing princess.

Pixar folks must be taking some cues from their buddies over at Ghibli, because this protagonist is no swooning princess, but a feisty, independent young woman with nerves of steel. Meet Kelly MacDonald as Princess Mérida, the feisty redheaded you’ve seen in all the promos. You will likely get to know her well this summer as she grins at you from the side of your beverage cup. Well, this is one NEW kind of Disney princess. One of those self-rescuing princesses. And she really is not looking for a Prince right now, thank you very much, and she could probably kick my butt, and yours. Plus she’s funny, charming, brainy, a free-thinking progressive, a good sister, and a knockout with amazing hair.  She actually might not want to be a princess at all, because it interferes with thundering across the mist-drenched, gorgeously mystical looking Scottish landscape on a Highland Pony and loosing arrows with deadly accuracy at stuff.

Da fam.

We also have Mérida’s loving and impressive family, lead by one of those huge Pixar Dads (more of a mountain than a man, but a nice, funny ginger mountain), King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and an impressively together Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), who is a bit severe and controlling for a young woman of Mérida’s tastes. She also has three hilarious non-speaking toddler prankster redhead brothers, who are responsible for a considerable amount of the hilarity, mayhem, sight gags and slapstick humor in the film. The cast is rounded out with three Scottish Clans filled to the brim with hilarious character types,  Mérida’s erstwhile Highland Pony Angus, an old wise woman, a scary monster of sorts, and of course, Scotland itself in a leading role.

Clan leaders! Haw!

Things open up with a young Princess playing with her loving mother and doting father on a gorgeous day in a sun-drenched field. It’s a glorious memory, really, a day which it turns out will live in legend, as a massive bear rears up to attack toddler Mérida and her fearless father throws himself between them and saves her life. In this, the first of many acts of bravery in this film, King Fergus loses a leg, and he is ever after locked in an Ahab-esque, life-long pursuit of the beast. Of course, the bear image recurs throughout the film, and we see the monster again before the film’s end.

Cut to the ‘present’ day 10th century, and Mérida’s parents applying pressure, as parents do, for her to make good and marry one of the appropriate suitors. Standard stuff. Mérida resists, which is no surprise, running off after a fight with moms. A rift in the family and a subsequent transformation lead to a surprising, moving, sometimes uproarious, pretty much jaw-dropping series of events. I cried four times, I think. I don’t think that’s saying too much in the way of spoilers.

A Wisp!

We also have a lot of neat details- the really cool recurring motifs of Will-O-The-Wisps leading our heroine to realize her destiny, haggis, Kilt jokes, Highland Games, stunning magic, and tons of mist. There is also a requisite stone circle, impressively ancient looking already in the 10th century, that figures in the story in a really creative way. All of this stuff is played in a way that feels authentic and natural. Even the kilt jokes, which are usually so stale, work fine. There are like 4 “nothing under the kilt” gags and I didn’t mind a bit.

This film is destined to be elevated to a spot near the top of Pixar’s cannon, which is no mean feat. Do yourself a favor and see it in a cinema with digital picture and sound this summer. You will be glad you did!

Deighvid and Danyol: Cartoons and Fine Art

Here are some cool pieces of art which are inspired by cartoons and animation characters.

These Adventure Time vs Studio Ghibli mash-up illustrations are by a 17 year old artist named Deighvid (aka David). (From Movielicious.)

Kiki’s Delivery Service, with Finn and Jake as Kiki and Jiji.

Princess Bubblegum as Ponyo.

Beemo as Noface!

Jake actually COULD be the Catbus… if he wanted.

I met another artist, also with a phonetically spelled name, this weekend at Bootie SF. Danyol (aka Daniel) also dabbles in pop-art appropriations. Here are a couple of his charming pieces based on vintage cartoons. He also gave me a piece of Sanrio inspired art, painted on a travel map of Israel, which we’ll be getting framed for Stella’s room.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast (Danyol, 2011)

Exit Stage Left (Danyol, 2011)

Squrrrl Installation Piece (Danyol, 2012)

Art is cool.

Food Review: Disney Princess Spaghettios

The other day, as I opened a can of slop for my daughter, I thought to myself- I should review this crap! What a way to begin a food review. I shouldn’t be calling Spaghettios SLOP! Or crap! This is the stuff childhood is made of. Hotdogs. Puppydogs. Balloons. Princesses.

Nice can, Princess.

Spaghettios are familar to most of you already. Remember this spokespuppet?


Uh-oh, Spaghettios! These are the same exact thing, mostly.  Tiny little pasta shapes, in tomato and… cheese sauce? Doesn’t taste very cheesy to me. It tastes exactly like all other Spaghettio products have for the past 25 years.

Mmmmm- shapes!

They used to be… well, O’s. Now they come in shapes based on TV and movie characters, many of them from Disney. These bizarre Princess shapes made my brain hurt, but my daughter, who cannot yet read, easily and quickly identified all of them.

Now just a doggone… where’s my Princesses!??

What the heck! I pull it out of the microwave, and THIS is what I get??? Needs a stir…

Clockwise from upper left: Cinderelle, Ariel, Crown, Pumpkin Carriage, Sad Frog with Big Nostrils, Zero.

Ah. That’s better. Well, now that they are warmed up, I suppose we should get a professional opinion.

So, in summation:
-They taste good.
-They are cool to girls. Cooler than Spongebob ones.
-They would be better with meatballs.
-The shapes make adult heads throb, but kids have no problem deciphering them. So they work. I am not the target demo.