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Animated Classics With Charming Dinosaur Characters for Kids

Children are often fascinated by dinosaurs in movies. A number of animated offerings feature charming renditions of these creatures to entertain kids. Classic movies that showcase these prehistoric beasts can be ideal choices for a family movie marathon. There are also those that serve as historical and educational offerings readily available online -- becoming points of comparison on how the earlier days of cinema and animation have evolved through the decades. "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) The general interest in dinosaur characters

‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

‘The Red Balloon’ Short Film Critique: Relationship and Poetry Through a Child’s Gaze

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1956 French short film classic “The Red Balloon” (Le ballon rouge) features a tender drama with a fine touch of flight of fancy. Its subdued setting features a lot of grays, suggesting the depressing quality of the film’s mood and tone, which is then contrasted with the blazing red balloon in mid air.  This post-war motion-picture classic written and directed by Albert Lamorisse features a seemingly cynical world that turns magical

‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ Short Film Critique: The Phantasm of Venturing Into the Unknown

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1975 short animated film “Hedgehog in the Fog” (Yozhik v tumane) by Yuri Norstein offers an amalgam of terror and pleasure using the phantasm of venturing into the unknown. This evocative work of imagination features the journey of a hedgehog one evening to see his bear cub friend. As he travels in the foggy forest, he encounters many scary things that eventually become transformative moments of wonder. This 11-minute Russian

Video #2: The Pixnoys and getting hired at Pixar from ‘Inside Out’ co-director Ronnie del Carmen

This is a documentation filmed during the "Inside Out" Press Conference in Manila, Philippines with director Pete Docter and co-director Ronnie del Carmen. Ronnie talks about his Filipino colleagues at Pixar and their advocacy projects, then Pete and Ronnie discuss their successful working relationship starting from the film "Up," then all the way to "Inside Out." These came from the unplanned handheld shots with the GoPro I apparently brought with me during the press conference invitation, and I guess the footage turned

Video #1: How the Story Came About From the ‘Inside Out’ Directors

This is a documentation filmed during the "Inside Out" Press Conference in Manila, Philippines with director Pete Docter and co-director Ronnie del Carmen. This video features the filmmakers' introduction to the "Inside Out" story development and Pete and Ronnie's working relationship at Pixar. These came from the unplanned handheld shots with the GoPro I apparently brought with me during the press conference invitation, and I guess the footage turned out fine and worth watching. Thanks to the awesome responses from these two

‘Inside Out’ Film Review: Happy + Sad

“Inside Out” is a powerfully moving animated piece exploring the importance of emotions in people's lives. Daring to explore the existential crises of the human mind and the feelings affecting one’s life, this formidably ingenious film works similar to a thesis or research project. With a material that strikes as a reflection on the power of emotions, it targets the family audience, particularly those with ages ranging from pre-teen to adult. Packaged as a motion picture set inside someone's head and how

Movies for Mother’s Day: Musicals with memorable mom characters

While it is expected that movies for Mother's Day should primarily feature likeable mom characters and stories about a mother's love, going a little more festive and distinct can actually add a more special appeal to the celebration. Choosing fun or heartwarming musicals for a Mother's Day movie marathon or for a movie night to cap off a pleasing family day can make the occasion even more vibrant, touching, and memorable. With the many ways to celebrate Mothers' Day from fine

Blu-ray Review: ‘Parental Guidance’

"Parental Guidance" debuts on a two-disc combo pack consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. The package houses the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV digital, and iTunes digital copies, as well as a couple of extras. This 2012 picture directed by Andy Fickman stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, and Tom Everett Scott. This comedic tale covers the familiar and expected territory that features the different views on parenting. This average, by-the-numbers fare follows the antics of a pair of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

"Rise of the Guardians" arrives on a two-disc set containing this 2012 animated film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. This package brings together some of the world's most famous childhood heroes and mythical creatures in an inventive story about the power of belief, faith, and the values of the universe. These legendary characters collectively known as the Guardians have powers that come from the children believing in them. A muscular and tattooed Santa leads the team that also includes the Easter

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