Beauty & the Beast: The Next Generation

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I was a kid when the trifecta of Disney masterpieces of the 1990s came out: The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, and Aladdin. I loved Beauty & the Beast b/c the heroine, Belle, was an independent, strong, and book-loving girl just like me. When I heard that they were making a live-action version of the movie, I was a little wary. Continue reading

March on TV

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Here are the topics discussed on the March segment!
Watch the video here.

Tumbleweeds Film Festival 2015

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I’m so excited that the Tumbleweeds Film Festival is only a few weeks away! Last year they held it in the spring, so I’ve been looking forward to this for the past year and a half. This year’s festival runs from Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. As usual, they have categorized the films into the appropriate age ranges (which I love) and they are separated into 4+, 7+, 9+ and 10+.

You can buy a family pass or single tickets and the shows are all at the Rose Wagner Theatre downtown. They also have a fun activity area and workshops throughout the weekend for kids at the theatre. The Opening Night film is “Oddball” and is described as,

“The true story of an eccentric chicken farmer who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process reunites his family and saves their seaside town.”

Who could resist watching that?!

Inside Out – the next Pixar film

Update: We went to see the movie this weekend and it was great!
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A few weeks ago, we were lucky to attend a lecture where two of Pixar’s top talent, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, spoke about their latest film, Inside Out. They asked us not to take any photos or video since during their presentation, they showed clips of the movie that won’t be released to the public until the movie opens in June.

It was a fascinating discussion and they showed us the origins of the movie and how they did meticulous research to develop the story. The premise of the film is that five driving emotions (Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, Worry) are at play in a young girl’s mind and how she navigates life through the eyes of these emotions. My undergraduate major and master’s degree were in psychology and it was amazing to see how deeply into the research the film’s creators delved. Theo enjoyed seeing how the animators drew sketches by hand and by computer and how it ended up being the film we got to see.

The voice talent on this film is also amazing — including Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Phyllis Smith (from The Office). We got to watch almost 15 full minutes of the completed film and I absolutely cannot wait to see the whole thing. Yes, it’s a Pixar animated film and for children and families, but I have a feeling that this will be a really emotional film for all ages. It opens on June 19!

It’s Time for Sundance 2015!

One of my favorite things about living in Utah is that we get to experience the Sundance Film Festival every year. Last year, I wrote about the inaugural Sundance Kids festival, which was co-sponsored with the Utah Film Center’s Tumbleweeds program and included independent films that were kid-appropriate. We absolutely loved it! We greatly anticipated this year’s lineup and were excited to see one that Theo is crazy about: Shaun the Sheep. He has watched every episode available on Netflix and is excited to bring a friend to see the new film at Sundance.

There are three movies offered as part of Sundance Kids this year, which are:

You can find out more about the films and about our experiences and motivations for attending Sundance in this article which was published in today’s Salt Lake Tribune “The Mix” section. Theo was thrilled to see his name in print and we are ready to start Sundancing!

Fun Events for Kids of all Abilities

I love that we have such an inclusive community here that offers great programming and activities for all children. There are two events I want to highlight that are especially geared towards kids with special needs and they sound great!

The first is the Utah Opera and Utah Symphony’s concert on Thursday, January 22 at the Capitol Theatre. You can register at the link above and here is their description of the event:

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera offers an annual concert for children with special needs and their families. We present this concert because we know that many families cannot attend cultural events together because their special needs child acts in distracting ways. We feature our Opera Resident Artists with the Utah Symphony on the Capitol Theater Stage in a special concert where everyone understands the difficulty of keeping these children quiet in their seats. This concert is FREE but registration is required. 

I also recently learned about a monthly sensory-sensitive movie screening that is sponsored by AMC Theatres. The local theatre that participates is the Layton Hills 9 theatre and you can find a list of dates and movies at the link above.

As always, I believe in exposing kids to as much art and theatre and film as possible and to have these venues encourage this for all families is so refreshing and wonderful.