Monday, 31 January 2011

Today Rachel writes a film

Once upon a time there was a little girl, she lived on her own in the forest.  She didn't have any parents, she had no one to play with, but she wasn't sad.  She spent her time with the animals like the mice, owls, bats, deer, rabbits and badgers.

This girl really did not like rats.  She was scared of them.

One day a rat came into the area she lived in.  She saw it and she was super scared, so she ran away.  She ran through the forest for ages.  When she was tired she sat on a tree stump.

But then a fox came and she was even more scared.  she had to go back to her animal friends.  When she got there she wasn't scared of the rat anymore, because the fox was coming after her and that was more scary.

Luckily it was not a scary fox so they all decided to live together, The girl and all the animals.

And they all lived happily ever after.
The End

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tinkerbell and the great fairy rescue

Emma's review:
Tinkerbell comes back in this third instalment of her adventures.  This time she needs to be rescued from the human world where she is trapped by a little girl.  The girl is friendly and inquisitive, she wants to be tinkerbell's friend; but her father is a butterfly collector and would love to show off a fairy.

Tinkerbell shares fairy facts with the girl, including:
- favourite colour is green
- a fairy is born when a human baby laughs for the first time
- garden fairies help the grass grow
- animal fairies help injured animals
- light fairies make rainbows
- water fairies put dewdrops on spiderwebs
- fairies are responsible for changing the seasons
- fairies live in pixie hollow

The fairies obviously decide to 
rescue tinkerbell.  The tinkers make a boat and sail along the flooded road towards the human house.  This is a great adventure which I won't go into, it's not right to give all the plot away.

The thing is though, does tinkerbell want to leave the little girl she has become friends with?  Perhaps she can help her as well as help the fairies.

I think this is the best tinkerbell movie so far.  I think you need to have seen the first one to at least understand the characters a bit but I won't make it compulsory.

And, just to show my age, can I just say how magical the flying in front of big ben is, took me right back to the Peter pan books of my childhood.

Rating: 10/10

Rachel's review:
Tinkerbell gets caught in a human girl's fairy house.  She can't fly in the rain so is stuck but gets to live in the lovely house in the girl's house.  The girl was very friendly.  They made a journal about fairies together.  The girl wanted to make her dad believe in fairies but he didn't. 

Tinkerbells fairy friends tried to rescue her so they made boat.  There was a big waterfall so they had to turn the boat but they were ok and followed the trail of buttons.

I love this film best of all tinkerbells. It is good for 3 year olds and up to mummy age.

Rating: 10/10

Tinkerbell and the lost treasure review

Made by Disney in 2009.
The second film about Tinkerbell.
Reviewed by Emma (aka mummy)

The first tinkerbell was all about how tinkerbell learned to be a fairy after her arrival in pixie hollow; this film is an adventure once she is settled in.

It is Autumn, the fairies are getting ready for changing the season with leaf colours and helping migrating birds.  Tinkerbell is tasked with a magic fall sceptre which will catch the blue moon light to create more fairy magic dust.  

But things go wrong, Tink accidentally breaks it!  She decides to mend it, after all she is a tinker.  But again things never go quite right and she needs the help of her friend Terence and the other fairies.  I'd hate to spoil the ending, but it's Disney so they may well all e d up living happily ever after.

It's a great film; less enchanting than the original but with much more adventure and excitement.  A must view for all tinkerbell fans.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Tinkerbell Review

Tinkerbell review

Tinkerbell is all about a little fairy, and you know what the name is: Tinkerbell.   She is a tinker fairy who fixes things in pixie hollow.  

And this is what happens in the film.  

Tink met up with all the fairies and was sad that she didn't have an important job like helping birds fly, painting butterflies or making flowers bloom.  She tried to do those jobs but the jobs weren't the right sort of jobs for her.  She learnt that her job being a tinker was special and perfect for her.

I really like the film, it's great for 2 year olds and up to Granny's age.  Boys might be interested when they're young but it's mostly for girls.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Up Review

It's time for Mike's first review.

The main things I remember is an old kodga going up into the sky in his house attached to a million balloons. He is then in a land where he gets chased by talking dogs. It was good, I'd definitely watch it again.

And now for Rachel's views.

Up was good; it was about a man, an old man. This old man is a bit naughty because he wouldn't let the boy into his house. But then he is good because he helps the boy earn his badge. They fly in their house attached to balloons and land where there are talking dogs. The dogs are trying to get a big bird, the boy wants to keep the bird but the old man says "we can't, we can't." That's about it. Thankyou for listening. You should watch it, again from 3 years old to mummy's age.

And you might as well have my impression.
The first part of the film is so upsetting, to see a couple's life in pictures was heartwarming and heartbreaking. Pixar have amazingly conveyed the grief that someone feels when their partner dies after many years together. And then the grieving slowly eases and life starts having some purpose again; that is Up in a nutshell. Of course it's also beautiful and funny and the dogs were a big hit in our house; but for me it's the emotional connection which works so well.

I highly recommend it, but with a health warning, it can be upsetting and you might want to be aware of this when watching it with a young child.

What do you eat at family film night?

Come out of the silence and share with me; what do you eat on family film night?
is it popcorn?
hot dog?

and what about drink?
something a little stronger for the adults?

Rachel likes popcorn or chocolate, Mike joins her. I love grapes, well that's not exactly true; I love chocolate and popcorn but grapes are a healthier option.

Wall-E Review


This was the first film we took Rachel to see at the cinema, on her 4th birthday. She was unbelievably excited to be actually going to a cinema, and getting some sweets and watching a new film; it took me right back to my first experience - ET. I've just realised we both watched a film about space for our first films, cool.

She sat forward in her seat, transfixed to the screen for the whole first section where Wall-E is exploring and showing us his world and job. I think this was my favourite part of the film as well, really showing Pixar's genius of being able to get the audience to empathise with a robot. I felt so sad for him to be alone and adored his collections. And his film watching, capturing precisely the quality and therapy of cinematic production.

Rachel loved Eeeeeevaaaaaaa, as did I; and she cried when Eva went away. "But Wall-E loves her and will miss her" is a phrase I will never forget. I had no idea that she would be able to empathise that greatly with animated characters at the cinema. Of course I give her some of the credit for that, I am her mum after all; but I give a fair chunk of the congratulations for achieiving that to the animators.

The film is very much in two parts; the second part being in outer space, with the humans. I won't go into this too much because I'd hate to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't watched it. It is just as beautiful, funny, with a message about human beings and planetary care and reliance on machinery. But for me the film takes off again when Wall-E and Eva dance in space; wow wow wow; Fred Astair and Ginger eat your hearts out.

We love this film, all three of us. We bought the DVD as soon as it was released and we have more Wall-E merchandising than from almost any other film.

If you haven't watched Wall-E please do not delay, go out this weekend and find a copy. sit down with popcorn and a drink and enjoy the cinematography and story that this film provides so brilliantly. It's no surprise it won the Best Animated Feature Academy Award.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ratatouille Review

Ratatouille (by Rachel)

I like Ratatouille quite a bit but not as much as cars or tinkerbell.

Ratatouille is a little Rat.  He lives in Paris in France.  And he loves cooking.  He creeps into a kitchen and he gets told off for putting the wrong ingredients in the food.  But it was good.  The head chef was telling the chef off even though it wasn't the chefs fault.  The food was really good and people ate it. They all live happily ever after.

Please watch it, thankyou.
Good for like 3 years and up until adults, stop at mummy's age.

They should make Ratatouille2 with a rat restaurant serving rat food like cheese and cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Night night: the pixar lamps

I'm off to bed but I just thought about the two pixar lamps.
It is truly amazing how pixar used such an ordinary everyday object and managed to show real personalities and relationship.

So my question for tonight?
Which inanimate object do you most associate with?

I see myself as a sofa; cuddly, good to relax with, supportive and less firm that it was.

Mike as a sideboard; full of knowledge (some very useful), good to lean on, sturdy, always there when you need it.

And Rachel as a pair of binoculars; always ready to survey, raises more questions than she answers, great to have round you neck, best never to forget when you go out.

Cars Review

Cars, Cars, Cars, Cars and Mater by Rachel

It looks just like the race track we went to in America.
Lightning McQueen is rude but then nice.
Mater and Lightning are best friends.
The cow trucks are really funny.
Lightning goes back to race.
He could have won the race.

Daddy says there is going to be another Cars film and we can see it at the cinema.

Details by Emma:
Released 2006
Directed by John Lasseter and Joe Ranft
Budget $120M
Grossed $462M
116 minutes long

The Incredibles Review

Sorry, it's just me again this time, but don't worry Rachel will be back.
The next in the Pixar line up is The Incredibles

Released in 2004, Pixar was now releasing a film every year.
Directed by Brad Bird
Costing $92M
Grossing $631M
115 minutes long
Winner of the Best Animated Feature and Best Sound Editing Academy Awards

A super hero film, about a family of super heros who can save the world. What more could you want? Dad protects everyone; Mum stretches everywhich way for her family; teenager daughter can make herself invisible and protected and what more could a boy want than to run around like crazy. sounds like a normal family to us, aren't we all super heroes?

And that about sums it up, the film works because you can easily see your own family in The Incredible family when they are just as 'ordinary' family. You can empathise and very much put yourself in their shoes. But then you can see what you could be when they again decide to save the world; what a fab time that would be.

I don't want to give the plot away, but suffice to say it's a true superhero film in all respects. Watch it and see your own super powers.

Finding Nemo Review

This is a two person review, by Emma (mum) and Rachel (5). We think it should be pretty obvious which section is written by whom, if not then have a guess and let me know what you think.

It's 2003 and my favourite animated film has been released. We saw it at the cinema twice, we owned it on DVD as soon as it was released and we now have it on Blu-Ray as well. It is none other than the fabulous Finding Nemo.

Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
Costing $94M
Grossing $868M
100 minutes long
Winner of the Best Animated Feature Academy Award.

On so many levels this film wins every accolade I can throw at it. It is heartbreaking, funny, touching, beautiful and has so much to say about relationships and life in general. I still watch Finding Nemo and forget that it's animated, it just feels so real, amazing! I always cry, I always laugh out loud and I am always sad when the film ends. Oh and is there ever going to be another? pleeeeease.

Finding Nemo is my favourite film. Nemo is so cute, I want to go to his school. It is sad that he doesn't have a mum, I don't like that bit. Nemo's dad is really cross a lot but still nice. I love the turtles and want to go swimming with them. I am going to be a vet and look after turtles. We had fish in a tank but they died, we didn't have a nemo.

If you haven't watched Finding Nemo I have only one thing to say: watch it, don't delay, don't hesitate, just watch it!!!

If you and your child love Finding Nemo then please share your opinions in the comments section, we look forward to reading them.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Monsters Inc Review

It's 2001 and the first pixar film of the 21st century has arrived;
Monsters Inc.
Directed by Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and David Silverman
Costing $115M
Grossing $525M
92 minutes long
Winner of the Best Original Song Academy Award.

This is the ONLY pixar film we didn't see at the cinema. I have no idea why except that I was working crazily long hours at the point in time, but even so it seems remarkable that we missed it. And if you think that's bad enough, we didn't see it until my brother lent us the DVD about 3 years ago. But on with the review.....

I love this film; love, love, love it and so does our 5 year old. Sully is a huge cuddly monster who needs to make children scream so that those screams can be collected to provide power for monster world. His side kick is Mike Wazowski, a small round green monster who thinks he is clever but tends to do crazy stuff.

Being not the most professionals monsters in the world Sully and Mike somehow let a little girl Boo back into monster land and the chaos ensues. there are chase scenes including the most amazing rollercoaster scene you've ever seen animated; there are love scenes that will move you to your core, and there are laughs a plenty.

I think the thing which most shocked us when we saw this film is how amazingly animated it was, you could almost feel every furry strand on Sully, it is truly spectacular. If you watch the film for nothing other than that it's worth it. Oh and watch it at least twice, you will laugh more, cry more and appreciate the animation even more the second time.

If anyone ever hears of a cinema screening Monsters Inc you have a duty to let me know, in the meantime the Blu-Ray is as close as I get.

Toy Story2 Review

We are moving through time pretty rapidly now, just 11 years ago came one of the most anticipated cartoon sequels: Toy Story 2.
Directed by John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon
Costing $90M
Grossing $485M
92 minutes long

In a simplistic explanation, Toy Story was all about Buzz and his realisation that he is a toy; Toy Story 2 is more about Woody and his background. I must have watched Toy Story 2 about 6 or 7 times and it has taken that long for it to really appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but for me it didn't even come close to the original. But recently I have grown to love Jessie especially and can really empathise with her pain when she is abandoned, in fact just remembering her beautiful song is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Perhaps I needed to be older to cope with the fact that the 2nd film is all about what happens when the love is gone (even if we are referring to the love of toys), where as the original was about how a child can love many toys. Who knows, and this is not a therapy couch.

Of course no review of an animated film can neglect a discussion about the animation itself. To that end Toy Story 2 shows the development and improvement that four years makes since the original Toy Story.

Before we can end I do have to say that the reviews hitting the press about the about to be released Toy Story 2 in 3D are fantastic, and of course I will be going to see it.

A Bug's Life Review

The second film from the mighty, then quite small really, Pixar is A Bug's Life.
The budget was double that of Toy Story at £60M
It grossed about the same at $363M
Directed by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton
A longer 97 minutes
This film was released in 1998.

I don't know if you remember all the way back to the release of Bug's Life but it went out head to head with Dreamworks' Antz. There was no competition as far as I was concerned, and I watched both within a few weeks of each other. A Bug's Life had a funnier story, was more insightful and was just beautifully animated, oh and have I mentioned the humour?

The lead role is Flik, a clumsy, keen, inventing ant who is determined to bring the colony into the twentieth century with more efficient systems, all of which go a little wrong. The baddy is Hopper, the leader of the grasshopper gang who spend their time hanging out in bars and eating the food that the ants have paid them for "protection". Can you see the plot yet?

My favourite scene is the ant line; they are lining up with their leaf cuttings and nuts and seeds to put them onto the 'offering pile' for the grasshoppers when a huge (to them) leaf comes down and blocks the line. What will the ants do? How will they cope? They have to follow the line. It still has me in stitches watching that.

You will love the characters, you will laugh and cry at the story, and you will care what happens. whether you are five or fifty five you will enjoy this film; I know because I have watched it with my daughter and her grandparents.

if you've never seen Bug's Life then go watch it, or better still buy it

Toy Story Review

Take yourself back 15 years, yes 15 years! And a ground breaking film was released on the unexpecting public.

That film: Toy Story.
Directed by John Lasseter
Costing $30M
Grossing $361M
80 minutes long
Winner of the Special Achievement Academy Award.

I saw it at the cinema, I have always loved the whole experience of the cinema and especially when it is a cartoon. I had heard that the whole world was going to see this film, and the runours were right, the queue for the Odeon Manchester was right around the block. But it was more than worth it.

I can still remember that feeling of whoooooaaaaaa, look at thatttttttt!
A cartoon that looks so real you forget it's a cartoon.
A cartoon that is so funny you laugh out loud.
A cartoon that is so sad that you shed a tear.
A cartoon that somehow breaks the rules of cartoons.

And so Pixar had; this was the start of a whole new breed of cartoons. From now on cartoons would be judged against this benchmark; beautifully made, fabulous story, brilliant script, wonderful voices and working on levels that both adults and kids could appreciate.

Two years ago I watched Toy Story for the umpteenth time, this time with my 3 year old. And this time I saw another magic, the magic of a cartoon through the eyes of a small child. She had those toys, she knew their secret lives, she felt their pain and she was completely absorbed for the whole 80 minutes. no small feat for a 3 year old!!!

"To infinity and beyond". I don't think there's been a single person who has heard "to infinity..." in the last 15 years who has not automatically said "...and beyond!"

above and beyond all else, that is the mark of a truly wonderful film. one that touched me 15 years ago and still does today.

watch it
rent it
borrow it
buy it

.........see this film!

Reviewing the Pixar Films

We are going to start this blog with a series of posts reviewing the Pixar Films.

As adults we enjoyed them, and now as parents we adore them on two levels.
1 - we still love the way the humour works for us as adults
2 - we adore the joy that the films provide our 5 year old

So let's start at the beginning with Toy Story

Major Love of Film

Welcome to the new film review blog;
written by those who love film, for those who love film.

We are not critics, we are not biased, we are just major film lovers who have decided we might as well share our opinions with the wider world.

If you love films too then join in the discussions.

We can also be found tweeting on @loveoffilm