Category - TV & Film

A Learning Adventure with Octonauts Toys

We are big Disney Junior fans, if you don’t know you should check out our Sofia the First Party Tips, Doc McStuffins show review, not to mention other Disney related goodness, just search “Disney” on the site. On that same note, one of my girls favorite Disney Junior fans, among Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and the new Henry Hugglemonster is Octonauts.

For real, I didn’t think they would get into this show when they first started watching it. I’m not sure why, but compared to the other shows they tend to like this one seemed like one of the “not like the others” shows. Much to my surprise Octonauts, is one of their favorite shows, and one that they like to watch over and over again.

We love the crew of scientists and explorers that make up the Octonauts team. Captain Barnacles. Kwazzi, Peso, Shellington, Tweak, Dashi, and Tunip to name a few, all play an amazing part of the team work that it takes for this crew to do their job, and help sea creatures.

Because the girls are so enthralled by the work the Octonauts do and love learning about sea creatures, we were beyond excited to hear that they were coming out with a toy line. {See faces in photo below for reaction.}

No joke, this was their real expression when they opened their eyes and saw the Octonauts toys.

No joke, this was their real expression when they opened their eyes and saw the Octonauts toys.

 

MommyB Octonauts Toy Review

In that line up are some amazing toys that you and your kiddos can collect yourselves. Including:

Octonauts Octopod Playset – Retailing for $34.99 this cool playset is just like the one on the TV show, with over 10 play pieces including creatures, some of the Octonauts crew members, rescue tools, a clip-on Octo-Alert that has original Octonauts sounds and phrases.

***I recommend putting the stickers on before attaching the pods to the main piece otherwise it’s a tad more challenging. Otherwise this set is easy to put together and my girls love the “surprise” door. I like that some pieces clip to the Octopod, but do wish there was a compartment so we could move the Octopod and it’s pieces a little easier.

Octonauts Gup-B Mission Vehicle & Kwazzi – Retailing for $14.99 this is a great piece to purchase as a gift or add to your collection. This set includes Kwazzi, the Gup-B, a color-changing sea creature and a rescue tool.

***This toy is great for water play, and my girls loved that it was easy to get any of the Octonauts rescue crew in and out of the vehicle easily. It seems very sturdy and is great for hours of play.

Rescue Assortment Barnacles & Tunip – Retailing for $9.99 this is another piece that is great for a gift or just to add more crew members to your collection. Squirt water with Tunip, or enjoy hiding the color-changing sea creatures and playing with the clamshell that opens and closes.

***The girls adore Tunip and loved even more that they could squirt water with him, they also thought the clam was really cool as it opens and closes in the water.

Octonauts Octo-Compass – Retailing for $12.99 this is a MUST BUY! If your children love Octonauts, this compass has more than 60 phrases and sounds from the show.

*** The sounds don’t get repetitive and the kids loved pretending they were part of the crew and answering the characters. This and the Octopod were my favorite from the bunch although we enjoyed all the toys. 

For more information on Octonauts in general make sure you check out their website Octonauts.com for games and adventures. Also check out their Facebook page. To shop for these awesome toys make sure you head to Toys “R” Us before they sell out!

 

I am a member of Child’s Play communication and was sent product to review. This in no way effects the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts written with integrity. Your opinions may vary.

Oz the Great and Powerful – Movie Review #disneyoz

As I watched Oz the Great and Powerful in 3D, I tried to think of one line that would sum up the entire movie. Here’s what I came up with:

“A fantastic dream that continues the legacy of the classic.”

My oh-so-loving husband was quick to point out the fact that this movie was a prequel to the original, however I said continues because in the timeline of the real world it precedes the original. At least that was my thinking. Regardless, when I really think about it, there isn’t one line that could sum up the entire movie, there really aren’t a few sentences either, but I’ll try to keep my review concise enough for you to {hopefully} not be bored.

Oz the Great and Powerful

First off, when I hear 3D I have a stigma only because I’ve heard so many films using 3D unnecessarily or just not doing a good job of it. Let me tell you, loud and clear, I would not want to watch Oz the Great and Powerful in anything other than 3D in the movie theater. This effect enhanced what would have been a spectacular movie and brought it to the “incredible” level.

With the addition of 3D I felt like I was transported inside the movie, which in turn made the emotions I was feeling as the plot was laid out even more intense. During Oz the Great and Powerful, my emotions from sad to happy and everything in between were touched on.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint a part of this movie that was my favorite because I really enjoyed the movie in it’s entirety,  but if I had to choose I would say at the end, when Oz and his “army” have their confrontation, {can you sense that I’m trying to help you picture it without giving too much away???!?} almost everything about that scene grabbed my attention. Sort of vague I know, but hopefully that makes you want to watch it for yourself.

China Girl Oz the Great and Powerful

For me, I enjoyed most of the actors, and normally love Mila Kunis in the movies she is featured, but this time it just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t get past her accent and really felt like she was acting, and I don’t feel that way while watching movies often. Maybe it’s just me. I really enjoyed all the other characters and think the casting director chose very wisely.

One cool casting fact:

“James Franco, who plays Oscar Diggs (aka Oz), had to learn magic tricks in order to accurately portray his small-time, circus magician character. He came to set two weeks early so he could work with Las Vegas magician Lance Burton. Working every day, Franco learned tricks involving doves and fire as well as how to pull objects out of hats and how to make things levitate.”

Congratulations to James Franco on receiving his Hollywood Walk of Fame star yesterday!!

James Franco Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

In my opinion I don’t think this movie is a family-friendly movie, especially if you have small children. There were a few “scary” parts in the movie including the witch’s minions who reminded me of huge, rabid gorillas, the witches themselves {excluding Glinda of course}, some scenes that involve people being hurt, and my children would have even been afraid of the tornado. We are very selective in what our 2 and 5 year old watch and they are also children who are sensitive to villains and “bad things” happening in movies.

I tried to think about what age range my girls would have to be for me to show them this movie, and I thought 10-12 years old, depending on their maturity would be the lowest age. In that same respect I checked one of my favorite family movie rating sites, Common Sense Media to see what their take on this movie was and they recommended age 10 as well. For their review click HERE.

Common Sense Media Oz the Great and Powerful Review

On the other hand, I think this is a great movie, especially for date nights, and mom’s nights out. To be honest, I’m not the type of person who normally sees a movie more than one time in the theater, however, this time, I enjoyed the movie so much that I can’t wait to see it again, it was just.that.good.

I didn’t realize that there were books based on The Wizard of Oz, however after seeing how the movie ended and knowing where the original picks up, I can definitely see a sequel or two following this amazing movie, and I welcome it, but again, not until I watch it a few more times, buy the DVD/Blu-Ray and watch it again.

Find out more about the movie by heading over to the official website: http://www.disney.com/thewizard

Are you going to see Oz the Great and Powerful?? Let me know what you think of it in the comments here! Tell me your favorite part, what age you would let your children see it at, or who your favorite character/actor is.

 

 

I received complimentary tickets in order to view this movie. This is an honest review of the movie and all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Any quoted text is from the movie or press releases and were my choice to add to this post.

Disney’s Sofia the First Party Tips

Sofia the First Party Cupcakes

Sofia the First

Wow!! If you didn’t get a chance to catch Disney’s premier episode of Sofia the First you missed out, but never fear, the movie will be showing again TODAY on  WATCH Disney Junior, Disney Junior On Demand and DisneyJunior.com and on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 22 (9:00-10:00 a.m., ET/PT).

We were able to invite some of our princess-y friends over tonight for a royal party. Here are a few small things that made our Sofia the First princess party a success. {Mind you this was a small party because it was a school night so we didn’t go “all-out” with decorations.}

Dress Up!! We asked each of the attendees to dress up in their favorite princess wear, whether it was a Disney princess costume or a fancy dress with costume jewelry. You can also provide a dress up trunk for the kids to choose outfits and accessories from too.

Look at these adorable princesses posing in front of the Sofia the First poster with their cute crowns and beautiful gowns:

Sofia the First Party Collage

Serve Royally Yummy Snacks. We had magic wands {fruit kabobs}, towns people, {gingerbread men cookies}, Princess Sofia the First cupcakes topped off with an adorable Princess Sofia cupcake topper, and of course no movie premier would be complete without magical popping corn, popped by the fairy godmothers, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather themselves!!

Sofia Snacks

Sofia the First Party Cupcakes

Make time for Enchanted Games and activities too. Whether you teach your little princesses and princes the right way to curtsey or bow or how to dance the waltz, there are a number of games and activities that are going to please every attendee. House Party sent me this wonderful book:

Sofia the First Book

Which was a fun read and also introduced the children to Sofia and the characters in the movie. My only wish was that it didn’t tell the same story as the movie so there were more surprises as we watched, but the illustrations were adorable and the children loved the suspense and the happy ending, and I even heard a lot of, “awwwww”s from the moms, er, queens who were in attendance too.

Reading Sofia the First Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, we had an amazing fun-filled time with friends, enjoyed the entire 1-hour movie with a few appearances from our favorite classic Disney Princess movies, and even learned some lessons about giving people second chances, and working together.

If you have the chance to throw a Sofia the First party, whether it’s for a special occasion, {or not} it’s bound to be a good one.

Signed, The Royal Queen MommyB and her two beautiful princesses!!

Queen MommyB and Princesses

Did you watch Sofia the First? Do you have any party tips to add??

If you liked this post make sure to share on Facebook, Twitter and feel free to pin too!!

Sofia the First Pinterest

I did not receive compensation for this post or for hosting the party. My guests and I did get some very cool Sofia the First goodies but as usual all opinions or thoughts expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions of Sofia the First the movie and book.

Disney’s Sofia the First Premier

Cinderella Princess Sofia the First

This coming Sunday, November 18 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET/PT) Disney will introduce its first little girl princess with the debut of “Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess,” on the Disney Channel and again on Thursday, November 22 (9:00-10:00 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Junior. If you happen to miss it, the movie will also be available the following day on WATCH Disney Junior, Disney Junior On Demand and DisneyJunior.com.

Cinderella Princess Sofia the First

Set in the storybook world of Enchancia, the movie introduces Sofia, an average girl whose life suddenly transforms when her mother marries the king and she becomes a princess, Sofia the First. Sofia must learn to navigate the extraordinary life of royalty while holding on to her own hopes and dreams. Her journey to being the best she can be also paves the way for those around her to realize how special they each are. Disney’s Cinderella makes an appearance in the movie to offer Sofia some words of wisdom – princess to princess.

Sofia’s royal adventure begins as she prepares to move into the castle with her mom, starting a new family with her step-father, King Roland II, and step-siblings, Amber and James. Helping Sofia in her journey are the three headmistresses of Royal Prep Academy – Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (the beloved fairies seen in Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty”) and royal steward, Baileywick, as well as a group of cute woodland creatures led by a wise-talking rabbit, Clover. Sofia soon discovers that looking like a princess isn’t all that difficult, but displaying honesty, loyalty, courage, independence, compassion and grace is what makes one truly royal.

Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories of “Sofia the First” communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children. While she lives in a captivating world of castles, wizards and flying horses, Sofia remains a relatable peer-to-peer princess who is experiencing many of the same social situations as young viewers at home including learning how to fit in, making new friends and mastering new skills.

Check out a fun Sofia the First music video here: Princess Sofia the First Music Video and browse the rest of the videos for more on this adorable Princess.

A “Sofia the First” television series will premiere in early 2013. The movie and series will roll out internationally through mid-2013 on both Disney Channels and Disney Junior channels.

Sofia the First

Since watching the preview trailers on Disney Junior Miss A and Lil’ C have been so excited, even as much so as to play the characters of Princess Sofia and her mother when they are dressing up.

We can’t wait for Sunday night because we’ll be hosting an amazing Princess Sofia Premier Party with our friends!

While we know you can’t be here in our home, we hope that you’ll be celebrating on Sunday too!!

And for birthday party ideas make sure you check out the post after our party filled with all sorts of Princess Sofia the First ideas and images!

SECRET OF THE WINGS – Tinker Bell DVD/Blu Ray Review

Secret of the Wings Fairies

Journey with Tinker Bell and her fairy friends into the forbidden world of the mysterious Winter Woods, where curiosity and adventure lead Tink to an amazing discovery and reveal a magical secret that could change her world forever. SECRET OF THE WINGS Blu-Ray and DVD will be available to fly into your own home on October 23rd, 2012

SECRET OF THE WINGS Tinker Bell DVD Blu-Ray

After seeing Tinker Bell and her friends in Disney on Ice we were extremely excited to find out about her newest movie, “SECRET OF THE WINGS”. The older Miss A and Lil’ C get the more they are falling in love with Disney’s unique characters, including Tink  and her friends from Pixie Hollow.

Here’s a sneak peek from the movie that will be released in just a couple of days!!


MommyB loves:

  • That the movie doesn’t have a scary villian.
  • The storyline. I love that Tinker Bell finds out she has a sister and tries to spend time with her and that together they save the Pixie Dust Tree
  • All the new fairies that are featured, can’t wait for more movies to showcase Periwinkle and friends
  • The digital copy (in the set we received) that is great for putting on our computers, and i devices (iPod, iPhone)

The B girls love:

  •  The sisterly love in the movie
  • When Periwinkle took Tinker Bell on adventures in Winter Woods
  • The music was fun and exciting
Secret of the Wings Fairies

We loved the animations, characters, voices, and really, we loved the entire movie. We’ve watched it a total of 5 times already! This is a great movie for family night, a birthday or Christmas present, or for a road trip movie and is great for the entire family.

Check out Disney’s Fairy site to learn more about SECRET OF THE WINGS and pre-order your copy!

http://disney.go.com/fairies/movies-secret-of-the-wings.html#/movies-tv/secret-of-the-wings

 

I received a copy of this video in order to give it an honest review. After all, how could I tell you my thoughts if I don’t watch it. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions, yours may vary, but you’ll probably agree 🙂 

Can’t Get Enough of Nick Jr.’s Peppa Pig Products

peppa2

I posted about how much my girls, Miss A {age 5} and Lil’ C {age 2.5} love the Nick Jr. show, Peppa Pig in the post, We Love Nick Jr’s Peppa Pig a few months ago and now here I am raving about them again. It’s seriously good stuff though!!

Just in time for the holidays there are some new toys and products at Toys “R” Us for your Peppa loving family. My girls were able to play with and test out a Peppa Pig stuffed toy, the amazing Peppa Pig playhouse, a fun Christmas themed book, and a new Peppa Pig DVD.

Peppa Pig Collage

My girls fell in love with every.single.Peppa product we got, and here’s why…

Peek ‘n Surprise Playhouse and Peppa & Friends: Painting Together pieces by Fisher Price – This playhouse was super cool because the pieces that come with the house are “magical” but not really. For example one side of the bed is an image of a freshly made bed, and the other is a messy bed with toys. This feature is the same for the washing machine, oven, and most of the pieces that come with the house, I thought that was so neat, and the girls had no problem switching the sides and have been playing with the house regularly.

Peppa Playhouse Collage

Hug ‘n Oink Peppa by Fisher Price – This toy has several Peppa Pig original sayings, lots of giggles and is super cuddly. We had a hard time sharing this one, so we may have to buy another so each girl can have their own. Peppa’s dress comes off, so my girls had fun dressing her in their doll clothes too, and she retails for $21.99, not bad for a good-size stuffed animal who talks.

Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List Book and Muddy Puddles and Other Stories DVD– Kept my girls entertained, and laughing in typical Peppa Pig family style. We love the Pig family antics and these two products gave us nothing less. My girls have asked to watch the DVD over and over and over again, but we decided not to let them because we don’t want their eyes to fall out of their head {note: watching Peppa Pig repeatedly has not been proven to make children’s eyes fall out}.

If you want to hear more about this fun show {and the cool products featured in this review} head to the official Peppa Pig website – PeppaPig.com and like their page on Facebook: Peppa Pig Facebook Page!

What television show related toys have you bought for your kids??

I received products as a member of Child’s Play Communications review team. I was not paid to review these products and all opinions are mine and my family’s true opinons, would these adorable faces lie to you?!?! Even though they’re our opinions yours may vary, and you can have adorable faces too!! 

Interview with Fresh Beat Band’s Marina – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea – 2Carats – Part 3

It was not long ago that I had the chance to sit down and Skype with the amazing duo that 2Carats is. Both Elizabeth Shea and Shayna Rose prove to be talented, driven, and most of all amazing friends. In my previous interviews we talked about a number of different things. In Part 1, we talked about Elizabeth and Shayna’s musical roots: and in Part 2, we delved more into who 2Carats is and what they stand for and in this very last installment of my interview with 2Carats Band, I ask them some questions they haven’t been asked, and in some cases didn’t know about each other, and of course reveal, on camera the reason Shayna Rose left The Fresh Beat Band as cast member Marina.

Enjoy some candid questions, amazing advice, and get to know these ladies a little better.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with both Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea, and am excited to see what 2Carats comes out with, where they are headed, and how they’ll change the world, whether in a small or big way, I see great things for this duo!

If you missed it, check out my other interview segments with 2Carats here: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/interview-with-2carats-shayna-rose-elizabeth-shea-part-1/ and http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/interview-with-2carats-shayna-rose-elizabeth-shea-part-2/

Thanks again to Shayna and Liz for your time!!! Sending love and prayers your way!

Make sure you follow them at: 2caratsband.com, Facebook, and Twitter

Interview with Fresh Beat Band’s Marina – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea – 2Carats – Part 2

2Carats Featured

2Carats FeaturedIn the first post of my Interview with 2Carats’ Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea Part 1 we chatted about their musical roots. In this part of the interview we talk more about 2Carats – coming up with a name, projects, and what’s coming for 2012 and 2013.

Love chatting with these fabulous ladies, they are obviously so much fun! Next time we’ll get a little deeper personally. Make sure you tune in to hear them talk about what style of clothes they are most comfortable in, favorite parts of life, and of course for you Fresh Beat Band fans, hear straight from Shayna, the source, as to why she is no longer Marina on The Fresh Beat Band.

Also check out these related posts:

Interview with 2Carats’ Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea Part 1

Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea 2Carats Trailer by MommyBKnowsBest

What Happened To The Fresh Beat’s Marina

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 Episodes

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 – New September Episodes

Dora’s Explorer Girls: Dora All Grown Up

No More Moose and Zee – NickJr Changes

NickJr Lied!!

Reading Rainbow App Featuring LeVar Burton

Reading Rainbow Logo

Reading Rainbow Logo “Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow…” to this day, these lyrics still bring a huge feeling of nostalgia and GREAT memories to mind. As a childhood book worm, {I say childhood because I have a lot less time to read now being a working mom than I did as a carefree kiddo,} I adored Reading Rainbow, and it’s host, LeVar Burton. The books featured and fun learning segments definitely stole my attention, that is, when I wasn’t actually reading books themselves.

Now, as a mom I definitely want my own children to have those warm fuzzy memories from quality shows they grow up on, unfortunately a lot of the programming, including Reading Rainbow aren’t on standard cable anymore. But guess what?!?!

“Reading Rainbow, that much loved PBS TV show that inspired a love of reading among children, is back – now as an app for iPad. For the first time, children ages 3-9 can enjoy a library of hundreds of curated books customized to their age and interests, combined with video field trips that connect the stories children read to the world they live in. The Reading Rainbow app features LeVar Burton, host of the series, also known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Roots.”

Reading Rainbow App

Right now, the Reading Rainbow app is free for download on the iPad. A subscription service is available, offering convenient, unlimited access to an extensive library of quality books, videos, activities and more at a price parents can appreciate.

Here’s LeVar explaining a little more about the app and it’s great features:

LeVar wants parents to know that, “Reading will never go out of style, but the tools used for learning are changing. I am excited to bring Reading Rainbow back so that parents who watched the show can now share that same feel-good experience with their own children but on a platform that resonates with today’s digital kids.”

I love that as a parent I can help Miss A select what she’ll be reading from a variety of acclaimed children’s publishers and countless award-winning books and the new releases they’ll be constantly adding.

Along with the fun stories the app also includes:

A Virtual Backpack to hold a child’s’ favorite stories and a customizable virtual I.D. where you can add their picture

Celebrity Host – LeVar Burton is featured throuhout the app and personally I grew up feeling like he very calming and had a great teaching personality. What’s even cooler is that my kids will begin to recognize him and feel even more “at home” when they play the app.

Video Field Trips – Journey with LeVar Burton to visit fascinating people and places. Children are transported on exciting real-life adventures relating the stories they read to the world they live
in.
Cool Reward System – Kids earn stickers each time they finish a book so they can be proud of their achievements and also want to read even more.

and one of my favorite features: the Parent Dashboard Review real-time information regarding what
your child is reading and personalized tips to get your kiddo talking about the book enhancing their learning experience.

And of course so much more!! I am a STRONG believe that reading is important and make it a daily event in our own home. If you have an iPad, I encourage you to check the app out, it’s free to put on your iPad and if you decide you like it a subscription is $9.99 a month recurring or $49.99 “introductory” one-year
subscription*

For more information on the Reading Rainbow App, visit www.RRKidz.com. * Introductory price is valid through August 30, 2012

Please let me know if you check it out and what YOU think of it!!

I love Reading Rainbow and am writing this post as a member of Child’s Play Communications. However, the opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions, yours may vary, however if you don’t love LeVar Burton, we may need to talk.

Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins New Character: Glo-Bo

Doc McStuffins Hallie Lamby Stuffy Chilly

Disney Junior Logo RightsI don’t know when the tides changed but as of late the #1 channel my girls want to watch when we do turn the TV on is Disney Junior, and I am completely fine with that. I’m loving the return of Higglytown Heroes, {mainly because they bring back memories of when Miss A was Lil C’s age}, we also can’t get enough of Jungle Junction and their silly antics, and really we like most of the programming on Disney Junior.

Our all-time favorite these days though is Doc Mc Stuffins. Have you seen this show?!? Miss A has the type of personality where she’s a worrier and anxious about a lot of things {she may or may not get that from her mommy}. This show is perfect for her and children like her who get a little nervous about heading to the doctor’s office.

The main characters are a little girl and her stuffed animals. They’re always helping out broken toys making them feel better in the adorable play clinic, the fun part is when the stuffed animals come to life. Doc, Stuffy, Lamby, Hallie, and Chilly use the broken toys to show children different aspects of a doctor visit or hospital stay. Their songs, “I Feel Better” and “Time for your Check-Up” are very catchy and I always sing along with  my girls when we watch. I love that the songs help tell about treatment in a non-scary way. One line from “Time for your Check-Up” says, “It’s okay if you giggle, this will only tickle a little.”

Doc McStuffins Hallie Lamby Stuffy Chilly

This Friday, July 20th, a new character will be introduced to the “broken toy group”, his name is Glo-Bo. Glo-Bo is a six-handed toy monster with the voice of Jim Belushi.

GLO-BO Doc McStuffins

Show synopsis:

“Caught Blue-Handed” – When a mysterious rash of blue spots breaks out among some of the toys in the clinic, Doc traces the “Mystery Pox” back to Donny’s toy monster, Glo-Bo (voiced by Belushi) who had been finger-painting earlier in the day and forgot to wash his hands. This episode of Disney Junior’s “Doc McStuffins” airs FRIDAY, JULY 20 (9:00-9:30 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel and will also air on the Disney Junior channel.

I’m excited to meet Glo-Bo and watch Doc and her team of stuffed animal assistants go to work! Oh and I think the kids will like it too!!!

Have you watched Doc McStuffins or are you “stuck” on another Disney Junior show?

Images and show synopsis credit: ©(DISNEY JUNIOR)

I was not compensated or given anything to write this post. The above opinions are my own, honest opinions, we really do love Disney Junior and if we didn’t I wouldn’t say it.