Thursday 23 December 2010

9 months... the length of time since I've written about the great Blu-ray DVDs we've received from Think Parents. Oops. I'm very grateful that they continue to send us the movies, despite my sporadic blog updates. Without further ado, I present you with "Nine Months of Film Blurbs, and Many Apologies to Digital Outlook".

Dumbo and Toy Story 1 & 2:

Disney have re-released quite a few of their "classic" films on Blu-ray, with digitally remastered animation and some bonus bits. They are still hugely dated, which is unavoidable (unless they want to re-record the voices and update the songs), but Jack and Mia didn't seem to mind or notice. "Dumbo" doesn't disappoint if you're into Disney's Dead Mother formula of storytelling and their trademark catchy tunes. I was surprised at how short the film is, which actually works quite well for children with fairly short attention spans (i.e. mine). Jack and Mia enjoyed watching the film, but the true test is the number of times a film gets requested in future - and "Dumbo" has sadly failed.

Here's a clip from "Dumbo":

Now, the Toy Story series - I cannot say enough good things about it. And now it's in Blu-ray! Granted, the animation (particularly in the first film) is slightly out of date and not nearly as slick as the remarkable graphics we now see in films like "Up", but the storyline and characters are so incredibly endearing and likable. "Toy Story" is a favourite in this house, amongst both the big and little people. And yes, I'm one of those people who cried in the cinema (quietly, behind the 3D glasses) during "Toy Story 3". Such a brilliant trilogy of films.

The Princess and the Frog

Even though the word "princess" appears in the title, Jack admits that he still likes this movie and it's been on our television screen several times since we received it. Every time we see the ad for this DVD, Mia shouts out "WE HAVE THIS ONE!" So, accolades all around. I admit, I've not actually paid much attention to this film when it's been playing so I can only pass along my childrens' seal of approval.

Some clips:

Alice in Wonderland

I was going to buy this one for Paul, who is a Tim Burton fan. Again, I haven't managed to watch this one myself but Paul did watch this with Jack. I don't think this was a hit with Jack, and it's likely because this film isn't really aimed at small kids. I'm also a Burton fan, so I will sit down and watch this one day.


Tea Party

Hatter Futterwackens

Eat Me Cakes

Beauty and the Beast

I don't think this one was very popular as it hasn't been requested again. It was never one of my favourites either, but this is likely due to my extreme dislike of Celine Dion.

No clip, but here is a list of bonus features, as provided by Disney:

Blu-ray bonus features

  • Backstage Disney
-        Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind The Beauty and the Beast
-        Broadway Beginnings
-        Composing a Classic: A Musical Conversation with Alan Menken, Don Hahn and Richard Kraft
  • Deleted Scenes
-        Alternate Story Open
-        Belle in the Library
  • Family Play
-        Enchanted Challenge: A Disney Quest Game
-        Bon Jour, Who is This? A Disney TelePlay Game
  • Disney Channel Music Video
·        Classic DVD Bonus Features

Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue

We took this one with us to Center Parcs and in one weekend, it was watched at least twice. Mia goes nuts for anything Tinkerbell so this was always going to be a hit with her. Jack sat through it, completely riveted. After one viewing, he said to a friend of ours "Don't tell anyone that I watched Tinkerbell." So shhh, don't tell anyone that Jack likes this film.

Clips ahoy:

And finally, this isn't a film review but a site review. Disney's "What Shall We Do Today" site has games, activities, songs, and other interactive bits for kids based on their Disney Channel programmes. This channel is very popular amongst the Durbin children, so they were eager to dive into the site. Unfortunately, none of the games would load, so we've had to postpone our review. I will say that the site is very easy to use (Jack was able to navigate through the menus without any difficulty) and your child will only need a basic reading level to get through the activities. Which means very little adult supervision is needed, which means mummy can go make a cup of tea while the kids play on the site. Win/win.

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