Archives for September 19, 2016

Exciting and Adventurous Kid-Friendly Version of Robinson


This kid-friendly version of the book-based classic Robinson Crusoe features Tuesday, an outgoing parrot who lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can’t stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn’t always easy at first, as the animals don’t speak “human.” Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day their comfortable life is overturned. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kamhai B. comments, “If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different.  Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals.” See his full review below.

The Wild Life

By Kamhai Beard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12


I enjoyed this movie because it is exciting and adventurous.  One exciting part is when pirates come to the deserted tropical island and rescue Crusoe.  Another adventurous scene is when the tree house sets on fire after stray cats throw lit lanterns at Crusoe. I enjoyed that movie is narrated by the parrot Mak (David Howard).

If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different.  Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals. They do make mention of the cannibals when he and his dog Rufus (B.J Oakie) first get there. The animals make scary noises in reference to the cannibals. So basically, it’s a kid friendly version of the book and now, all of a sudden, there are animals talking, pirates and paradise.  When Robin Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer) gets shipwrecked on the island, the animals start to make hilarious statements about him.

The story is about an English man named Robinson Crusoe who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to learn how to survive in the wilderness along with his animal friends Kiki (Marieve Herington), Carmelo (Colin Metzger), Pango (Jeff Doucette), Epi (Sandy Fox) and Scrubby (Joey Camen).  But as easy as that sounds, it takes months to complete it and, by then the stray cats have had hundreds of kittens and that creates problems. When this happens you discover how smart these old animals really are.  They even learn how to fire a musket.

The movie graphics are great. The CGI animations are colorful, alive and very vibrant. When you get to see the whole tropical island paradise, lots of colors just pop out. I recommend this movie to the ages 5 through 13.


Unlike any film you’ve ever seen, a live worship experience on camera


Hillsong: Let Hope Rise captures the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong United. This film presents an entirely a new motion-picture genre: the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong’s humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Shelby R. comments, “Although this is a Christian band, I believe that people who are looking for healing, have different beliefs or are music lovers will appreciate the real life stories and how their music is changing the world.” See her full review below.


Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

By Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17


Watching Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is the most surreal movie going experiences you will ever have. It’s not a film. It’s not a documentary. It’s a live worship experience being captured on camera.


Hillsong United originated in the late 1990s in Sydney, Australia. The band itself is made up of faithful members of the Hillsong Church. This Christian band creates music that not only worships God but also instills hope to their listeners. And now, they tour many countries and continents singing songs of worship targeting the younger generation.


Unlike popular concert films like One Direction: This is Us and Katy Perry: Part of Me, it is not filled with costume changes and performances. The purpose is to discuss the process of creating music that is truly meaningful. Many of their popular songs are featured in the film and have lyrics at the bottom of the screen to encourage the audience to sing along.


You may recognize Michael John Warren (director) from his other films like Shrek the Musical, Rent: Filmed On Broadway, Drake: Better Than Good Enough and Nicki Minaj: My Time Now. Warren digs deeper by interviewing band members, Senior Pastor Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston. Together, they share how the church has transformed their lives and why they value their music so much.


“We are the biggest band that you don’t know.” Joel Houston, band leader and son of Brian Houston, explains. For almost a decade, Hillsong United has been number one and two for U.S. Christian albums sales. Joel continues to say “This film isn’t for us. The band isn’t for us. It’s for God.” The band members emphasize that the songs are carefully crafted to express their deep feeling of admiration for God. Day in and day out, the band devotes all of their time to finding the perfect sound and lyrics. One song could take months or even longer to be completely finished. That also means, months and months away from their loved ones.


Music is one of the most powerful creations known to man. It is beautiful to observe these concert goers really receiving music and allowing it to affect them. I found myself shedding a few tears because it is so moving. This film is so personal and I felt like I was among the thirty thousand people at their annual conference.


The most important lesson you can take away from this film is to stay true to who you are and what you believe. I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Although this is a Christian band, I believe that people who are looking for healing, have different beliefs or are music lovers will appreciate the real life stories and how their music is changing the world.


This film is out Friday September 16th. Check out your local theater for listings.


Beauty And The Beast – One Of The Best That Disney Studios’ Has Ever Made



Disney’s class film, Beauty And The Beast releases its 25th Anniversary Edition September 20. Universally acclaimed as one of Disney’s finest animated features and honored in the Walt Disney Signature Collection, the story follows brave, independent Belle on the adventure of a lifetime as she sets out to rescue her father and finds herself in the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast. This timeless tale overflows with unforgettable characters and Academy Award(R)-winning music (Best Song, Best Score, 1991)! It took more than 600 animators, artists and technicians three and a half years to complete the project. This was the first animated Disney feature scripted by a woman, Linda Woolverton and marked the first time each animator was credited on screen specifically for the character he or she brought to life. Disney’s animation department won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for the design and development of the Computer Animated Production System used to make the film. It truly is a treasure. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “With its humor, spectacular animation, character design, story and adventures, this story is truly one of, if not, the best that Disney Studios’ has ever made.” See his full review below.


Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14





It’s been 25 years since this wonderful Disney Animated film found its way to viewers and forever captured their hearts. Since then, there have been dozens of other animated classics, but none leave the impression that Beauty and the Beast does. With its humor, spectacular animation, character design, story and adventures, this story is truly one of, if not, the best that Disney Studios’ has ever made.


Beauty and the Beast has many different genres, the main one being romance. Along with that is a sense of adventure and excitement. The film also has its share of exciting scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat almost the entire time, even if you saw it many times before.


It begins when Belle (Paige O’Hara), a young girl in a village, has to rescue her father from a big and scary Beast living in a dark castle. Belle then has to stay in the castle for the rest of her life to free her father. It turns out that the Beast is, in fact a prince, under a dark and magical curse. This curse makes him a horrible Beast and the only way to break it is to find a girl that will fall in love with him. The Beast and Belle start bonding and falling in love.


Beauty and the Beast is an extraordinary masterpiece for many of the reasons I mentioned, but what impresses me the most is the animation. Despite its now 25 years old and way before the first computer animation, there are scenes in the film where it incorporates 3D like effects and looks almost exactly like today’s computer animation. To think that it was actually drawn by hand is spectacular and astonishing. On top of that, the voice over work is simply phenomenal, from singing to talking, each emotion and role is played ideally. Speaking of music, the songs in this animated classic are fantastically done from the beat to the lyrics, to the actual voiceover artists singing the songs, to very well-orchestrated scenes.


The DVD also comes with several very cool bonus features. The most exciting to me is the sneak peak of the 2017 live action version of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. It shows the cast reading lines, some special effects and even several sets. If that is not enough to spark viewers’ curiosity, there are also many facts about Beauty and the Beast as well as some footage of the actual recording booths where the original cast recorded their lines. I also enjoyed the part when it talks about how Walt Disney never really got to do this story, even though he wanted to, and thus in 1991, his creative team did it to honor his wishes.


My favorite scene is when Belle goes down to eat dinner in the castle for the first time. In this castle, all the servants are magically turned into utilities. Just to name a few, there are talking clocks, teapots, knives, a stove, wardrobes, candles and more. They all do a big musical number with the classic song, “Be my Guest”, which sounds spectacular and the animated musical number has many parts that are just hysterical.


Despite some violent scenes, it is still perfect for kids. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Younger kids may find the Beast scary or may not enjoy the more intense scenes. I give Beauty and the Beast 5 out of 5 stars for absolutely phenomenal animation, an exciting and detailed story, beautiful songs and emotional voiceover work. This DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD comes out on September 20, 2016 so, be sure to look for it. Here’s to another 25 years with a new generation!




Southeast Asia Day, October 1st at the Aquarium of the Pacific! Giveaway Opportunity!


Live performances of traditional music and dance, as well as cultural craft demonstrations and displays, will help transform the Aquarium into an exotic destination during its twelfth annual Southeast Asia Day. Ethnic cuisine will be available for purchase, and children will have the opportunity to partake in arts and crafts.


One of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation, Long Beach is home to the largest population of Cambodians outside of Southeast Asia. The local area is also home to vibrant communities from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Through this unique celebration, the Aquarium of the Pacific seeks to foster a stronger connection with the local Southeast Asian community.


WHEN:          Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


WHERE:        Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


COST:           Southeast Asia Day is included with general admission—$29.95 adult (12+), $26.95 senior (62+), $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members.


INFO:             (562) 590-3100 or  

With coupons adults receive $10 OFF admission on Sept 17-18 and Oct 1. Regular $29.95, just $19.95 with coupons!


We have teamed up with the Aquarium of the Pacific for a Family 4-Pack Giveaway! One winner will win 4 Tickets for the event! To enter, leave a comment below telling us why you would love to attend! Deadline to enter is September 27th, 2016 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via


AQUARIUM:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse

cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new Vanishing Animals and Horses and Dragons exhibitions. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.

Credit: Info and photos: Aquarium of the Pacific.


Sally Hansen at Monse SS17!





The Monse Spring Summer 2017 collection is inspired by the New York woman and the Wall Street suit.


Monse turned to Sally Hansen, the #1 Nail Color and Nail Care brand in the US, and Madeline Poole, Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador, to create the exclusive nail look. To complement Monse’s Spring Summer 2016 collection, designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia wanted the nails to look like they were dipped in petroleum.

Madeline created a soft, ombre nail look to fit with the slashed and dipped theme of the collection. The design started with Complete Salon Manicure in Au Nature-al (a sheer, peachy nude) and then fades into Commander in Chic (a purple gray) at the tips.


Au Nature-al and Commander in Chic are part of Sally Hansen’s award-winning Complete Salon Manicure collection that infuses trend-setting shades with an expert-quality formula to deliver salon- caliber results. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure delivers seven salon manicure steps in one bottle. Chip resistant strength joins gel-quality shine. Must-have color meets nourishing benefits. Plus, with a built-in base and top coat, it’s everything you need to achieve a professional manicure at home. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Au Nature-al and Commander in Chic cost $7.99 each.


Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador Madeline Poole is a nail expert working in New York and LA. Trained as a painter, Madeline worked odd jobs like vintage poster restoration as an art student in Baltimore. Her unique talent in crafting innovative designs, emphasis on skin care and attention to the hand as a whole makes her one of the most sought after names in the beauty industry. As part of the collaboration with Sally Hansen, Madeline will help set the artistic direction for a new generation of modern nail looks and collections with her fashion-forward vision on a worldwide basis.

Credit: Sally Hansen.