Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Frozen Fever Trailer

Have you see the trailer for Frozen Fever yet? It looks so hilarious! Frozen Fever arrives in theaters March 13, as an animated short before the live action Cinderella.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Big Hero 6

Are you ready for Big Hero 6? It arrives on DVD and Bluray today, and won the Oscar for best animated film on Sunday. I must say, I wasn't sure what to expect when I first watched this movie, but I loved it. It was funny, and sad, and heartwarming, and just a really good family film. Read on for my review. Caution: Spoilers Ahead.

The movie takes place in the city of San Fransokyo. Hiro Hamada is a brilliant 14 year old robotics creator. He lives with his brother Tadashi and his aunt above her cafe. Hiro builds robots to fight in underground fight clubs. Tadashi worries about Hiro, so he tries to convince him to come to the University's robotics lab. There, he meets Tadashi's friends GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. He also introduces Hiro to the personal healthcare robot he's building: Baymax. Hiro is inspired to create microbots that can work together to create amazing things, but unfortunately, a fire breaks out at the university just after his demonstration. Fearing for his professor, Tadashi runs back into the burning building, just before it explodes.

Hiro is devastated and withdraws from everyone, until one day when he hurts himself and accidentally activates Baymax. Baymax wants to help Hiro to overcome his grief, so he follows the one remaining microbot, which seems to be leading them to others. In an abandon warehouse, they discover millions of microbots, along with a masked man who tries to attack them, as well as Tadashi's friends who've been called by Baymax to help. Hiro decides to catch this villain, who he feels is responsible for Tadashi's death. GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred decide to help, but only if they can be superheroes too.

While trying to catch the masked man, they discover who he is and what is driving him to commit crimes. They also discover what lengths Hiro is willing to go to to seek revenge for his grief. Baymax then shows Hiro that Tadashi is still with him, in recordings found in Baymax's programming chip. After an amazing battle, all is set to rights, and everyone finds a way to honor the past and move into the future.

I loved this movie. It was sad, but overall, it was a very good movie about the power of friendship in overcoming grief. And be sure to keep an eye out for signs of Frozen creeping into the movie. The statue that Baymax destroys while demonstrating his rocket fist is actually Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. As Baymax and Hiro take their first flight over the city, you can see an Olaf statue off to the right after they fly over the train. Finally, one of Arendelle's ships is in the harbor. And be sure to watch the scene after the credits, where Fred discovers a secret about his father, who is voiced by Stan Lee.

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Itty Bittys at Hallmark

Have you seen the latest itty bittys at Hallmark? They are so cute! 
For the Frozen fan, there are Anna and Elsa in their adorable dresses.
I personally love the Muppets collection. 
Aren't Kermit and Animal hilarious?
Miss Piggy, so fashionable.
Fozzie Bear... Wocka wocka wocka!
Tramp is one of the limited edition itty bittys.
As is Lady.
Ariel in her wedding dress
and Eric in his finery are also limited edition.
For the Toy Story fan, be sure to check out Buzz Lightyear.
And you can't have Buzz without Woody.

Itty bittys are available at Hallmark stores as well as Individual itty bittys cost $6.95. And don't forget to look for the 2014 collection as well. Checklists are available for download for both 2014 and 2015.

Photos courtesy of Hallmark

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Renaissance Music

I've been in a Renaissance mood lately. As a result, I've been playing a lot of Medieval and Renaissance inspired music. I thought I might share a few of my favorite albums, just in case you're feeling in a Renaissance mood, too.

Wolgemut - I got the chance to see them perform at the Oklahoma Renaissance Faire in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and they were absolutely fantastic. They perform historical music on medieval bagpipes, shawms, drums, flute, medieval fiddle, and harp. I bought two of their cds at the Faire: Danza and Ipse, Ipsa, Ipsum Optimus. The music is so different from modern tunes, but it definitely gets your toes tapping. I love it! (By the way, Wolgemut, pronounced vol-guh-moot, is an ancient Germanic word meaning "to be in a good mood.")

Blackmore's Night - An interesting mix of Folk Rock and traditional Renaissance music, Blackmore's Night was a group I discovered through Renaissance Magazine. They write many of their own songs, which are often my favorites. I have several of their albums, including Ghost of a Rose, Fires at Midnight, and Under a Violet Moon. I love many of their songs, especially "Queen for a Day", "Renaissance Faire" and "Catherine Howard's Fate".

Brobdingnagian Bards - I'm not quite sure how I stumbled across the Bards, but I'm certainly glad that I did. The duo write and sing a wide variety of witty songs, including absolutely hilarious Celtic songs, songs inspired by Buffy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. Sadly, many are not entirely appropriate for children, but I love them anyway. My sister discovered that they were at DragonCon last year, and brought home three of their cds: Fairy Tales, Real Men Wear Kilts, and my favorite A Faire to Remember. It has my favorite songs: "Do Virgins Taste Better", "The Scotsman", and "Donald, Where's Your Trousers". (And in case you wondered, Brobdingnagian is a word from Gulliver's Travels. It's pronounced brob-din-nahg-EE-en and it means marked by great size.)

Mediaeval Baebes - With lyrics from Medieval and Romantic texts set to original music played on Medieval instruments, this small group of women create an unique and ethereal sound. I have four of their albums: Salva Nos, Worldes Blysse, Undrentide, and Mirabilis. I'm fond of many of the songs, including "Lhiannon Shee",  "Gaudete", and "Tam Lin". Their songs also appeared in the soundtrack for the BBC movie The Virgin Queen.

In addition to these fantastic groups, I would also recommend the soundtracks from BBC's The Virgin Queen, Elizabeth, and The Tudors. The music may be new, but it feels appropriate to the time period. For more information on any of these groups, be sure to check out their official websites. (The band names are linked.)