Archives for June 17, 2016

Love,Hallmark Father’s Day Giveaway! Win a Prize Package from the Ken Sheldon and Life is Good collections!

IMG_3204

It takes someone special to be a Dad and Dads deserve something special on Father’s Day!

Hallmark has a variety of special gift ideas and I love the package I received to review which includes items from the Ken Sheldon and Life is Good collections. I love that there is something perfect for a New Dad and even something for a Pet Dad! I have to say that because I do know a Man who has a dog that is simply like a child to him. This person is a very uplifting and positive man who does a lot for the community with his non-profit organization to help others including the homeless. My son and I presented this friend with the “Life is Good” Mug because he is to many…a positive role model to many that “life is good.” He actually says this quite often.  The Life is Good Mug — No one deserves to kick back with a nice cup of joe more than dad. This mug is perfect for Father’s Day to show your appreciation for all his hard work.

My husband is also a great Dad to our son and the Life is Good® Loved, Plain and Simple Multi-opening Picture Frame frame you see above is a gift that we are looking forward to giving to him this Father’s Day. I love that it simply shows that he is loved. I also like that there are 3 slots for photos. This one  Holds 3 Photos – When you can’t choose just one… This frame has three slots for favorite photos that show the love, along with a simple, heartfelt sentiment.

The  Raised On Love 6×8 Framed Art – Add a sentimental touch to any décor with this framed print of a father teaching his baby to walk. Perfect for you or someone you love who knows the delicate balance of holding on and letting go. This one is absolutely perfect for a new Dad! I would have loved to give this one to my brother when he had his first son! 

The Love Shows the Way Decorative Tile is one of my favorites! – Stir up fond memories with this decorative ceramic tile’s image of a father and son walking hand-in-hand. I like this one because it is a perfect gift for a Dad of a young child or even a child who is a little older. It’s a sweet sentiment and it looks lovely in a room. 

You can find these and many other great gift ideas at Hallmark for this upcoming Father’s Day!

We have teamed up for a special Giveaway! One winner will win the 4 items mentioned above as a prize package!   To enter, leave a comment below telling us something special about the Dad figure in your life. It could be your Dad, Husband..about anyone who you feel is special on Father’s Day!

Deadline to enter is June 19th, 2016 at noon PST. Winner will randomly be selected via Random.org. U.S. Residents only please. You will not receive before Father’s Day but this is a great set to have on hand for other special days for Dad!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples for being part of #Love, Hallmark and facilitating this post. 

Finding Dory – Another Pixar Success Although Not a Match for Finding Nemo

findingdory

After 13 years, Dory and Nemo return to the big screen. The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Finding Dory brings back the fantastic characters, amazing jokes and the fun story with important morals. This movie, much like Finding Nemo is an adventurous comedy, but that isn’t all that this film has to offer. It also has a good amount of child-friendly action.” Ryan R. adds, “The animation is amazing, the humor hilarious and witty and the plot is so heartfelt. It does not disappoint.” Harmony M. wraps it up with, “The anticipated sequel Finding Dory is adorable and fun, but not a match for the original. It’s a brilliant and enjoyable movie on its own.” See their full reviews below.

findingdory.c
Finding Dory
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

It has been 13 years since easily the greatest animated film came out. Now, the very hyped up sequel has been released. Finding Dory brings back the fantastic characters, amazing jokes and the fun story with important morals. This movie, much like Finding Nemo is an adventurous comedy, but that isn’t all that this film has to offer. It also has a good amount of child-friendly action. On top of that, the movie features many important morals that teach kids lots of good lessons. Mind-blowing animation by Pixar also impresses the audience.
Finding Dory follows one year after the events of Finding Nemo. Nemo, (Hayden Rolence), Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) are all back in the coral reef, living happily. However, everything changes when Dory gets a memory about her past and her family. They all then go on a quest to the far away coast of California to find Dory’s parents. On the search for her parents they meet new friends and see old friends. Many events lead up to one main event. Do they find Dory’s parents or not? If you want to find out, you have to watch the film.
As much as I enjoyed this sequel, I was disappointed as it felt like Finding Dory made some of the same mistakes that Star Wars: The Force Awakens made. Both were massively hyped films to continue a successful franchise. Both movies seemed to repeat a lot of the story line from the previous film. The events in Finding Dory are almost exactly like the events of Finding Nemo. This makes it very boring and quite predictable for people who saw the first film. On top of that, Finding Nemo is a fantasy but is done much more true to science. Some of the moments in Finding Dory feel forced even for a fairy tale. On top of that, the jokes in Finding Dory are somewhat repetitive, lack originality and, only a few times, are actually funny. What is especially enjoyable are the scenes with Ty Burrell’s voicing the Beluga character. The first film was a complete success in its comedy. You could see Finding Nemo twenty times and still laugh. With Finding Dory, I’m not sure someone would watch it multiple times.
However, there is one thing I really adore about this film – the cast. Since it’s been thirteen years after Finding Nemo, the quality of the voice acting was a big question. But after watching the film, I can say it feels like it was made directly after Finding Nemo in 2003. What is most impressive – Hayden Rolence who voices Nemo. Of course, since it’s been thirteen years, the actor who voiced Nemo can no longer do the same voice so they had to find a new kid. Hayden is stupendous in this role and I could not notice a difference between the two.

My favorite scene is when they introduce my new favorite character, Hank (Ed O’Neill), an octopus. Hank finds Dory and agrees to take her to where they think her parents are in return for something that Hank needs. This scene is hilarious and the dialog between the octopus and Dory is delightful.

Finding Dory is meant for kids and thus, has nothing parents should be worried about. Because of a few action scenes, I recommend it to ages 4 through 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because the story is so similar to the original and seems rushed and even a bit boring at times. But the voice acting and amazing animation by Pixar makes it all worth the wait.

findingdory.a
Finding Dory
By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Ryan R. age 12

I love the new Disney / Pixar film, Finding Dory which is the sequel to Finding Nemo. Fans of Finding Nemo will absolutely love this sequel. The animation is amazing, the humor hilarious and witty and the plot is so heartfelt. It does not disappoint. Dory is a forgetful but fearless blue tang fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), suffers from short term memory loss and has struggled with this for her entire life. Then one day, something happens to Dory that triggers her memory and she remembers that she has a family. She tries to find them with the help of Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks). The question is, “will Dory find her family, or will she forget to find them?”

This film’s humor is so hilarious, I laughed my pants off and that’s why I love it so much. Some of the jokes are also funny for adults, which I also liked. I love the animation because Pixar makes the sea life in this film look so realistic and the colors are so rich and vivid. The characters are adorable, kid-friendly and nice. Pixar has done it again. They made me feel all kinds of emotions – happiness, fear and sadness, just to name a few. I love the film from beginning to end. It is really fantastic. .

Ellen DeGeneres is child-like and goofy. Her portrayal of Dory really excels. However, my favorite character is Hank, the octopus (voiced by Ed O’Neil) who gives an outstanding performance). He can camouflage into anything. I love how he has that ability. I also like how he makes so many hilarious jokes. He assists Dory on her adventure to find her family so he can leave the Marine Life Institute and go to Cleveland. We see how Hank’s personality slowly changes throughout this film because of Dory. I just love how Dory grows on him and how he helps her no matter what.

Also, I noticed that all the characters in this film have some type of disability in some way or another and all of them learn to overcome it. That is a very important message in this film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 4 to 18. You should be aware that there is one short scene that involves an octopus that may scare some children but it is very brief. I also recommend this film to people who like children, family and action movies. And, I think that adults will enjoy this. Make sure to see this film when it opens Friday June 17.

Finding Dory
By Harmony Makhfi, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The anticipated sequel Finding Dory is adorable and fun, but not a match for the original. It’s a brilliant and enjoyable movie on its own. The only problem is the bar was set in Finding Nemo. Basically, it is fun, but nowhere near as compelling as Finding Nemo. Considering the amount of time that has passed since the first one, they did everything they could to keep things consistent with the original which is a big plus.

The film focuses on the forgetful, yet friendly blue fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and her journey to find her family. The plot is connected with a series of flashbacks from Dory’s childhood and in bursts of random memories which is different and unexpected. I really like how they connected scenes and referred to experiences from the first film and I love that they even have many appearances from the original characters.

The film provides outstanding humor as Pixar always does, giving people of all ages unforgettable enjoyment. I was extremely relieved to see the same style of animation and camera work in the second film because I feared that, after all these years, they would try to advance the details and tweak the animation. However, it is safe to say the film resembles the first and the consistency is very comforting.

In comparison to the other sequels Pixar and Disney have created, Finding Dory is very impressive. The movie can be a bit of a let down if one’s mindset is on the expectations from the first one, but it is a fun adventure on its own.

I was concerned whether Dory could successfully carry the role of a main character since she had previously played a supporting role, but she carried it out well. The supporting cast really stands out and brings the comedy to life and their pleasant personalities bring a fun element to the film.

One of the best aspects of this film is the focus on character development rather than the fun journey. Pixar provides more than just comedy and entertainment for the kids. The film contains thoughtful messages and shines a light on mental disabilities.

While the film is not as good as you expect it, it is not as bad as you feared. The film is definitely worth watching. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. People who saw the first film will particularly enjoy it. Otherwise it might be difficult to fully understand. I give this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 17th.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!