Category Archives: animals

Snoopy, Come Home

snoopycmehomI visited the Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, California for my daughter’s sake, thinking I would be bored out of my head. Boy, was I wrong, I discovered Charles Schulz, the genius who created a series of Peanuts comic strips that voiced the current social conflicts of the time and still today. Women rights, pray in schools, draft, and war. Growing up, I did read the comic strip without realizing he was bringing up social issues. As a young girl, I marveled at the expressions and characters of each personality. I watched the television specials with my family falling in love with Snoopy.

Watching Snoopy, Come Home brought memories back during the nights I’d watch the Peanuts specials with my family. I am still in love with Snoopy because he is so innocent yet creative. In this Peanuts movie, the story is quite good. It begins with him running off to visit Lila, his original owner, who is in the hospital. Woodstock goes with him, but they are captured by a rather overbearing girl who demands Snoopy and Woodstock be her pets.

Being clever the two escape, which includes some very funny and misplaced steps of amusement. Back at Charlie Brown’s home, he is concerned with finding out about Lila. Who is she? I will not share the ending of the movie, but I will tell you that it is so much fun to watch Snoopy get into many mishaps as he tries to sneak into places where dogs are not allowed.

The movie is tried and true, and now released on Blu-ray. The new format adds more of a sparkle with a widescreen format. Keep in mind parents, that the going away party for Snoopy might be a tearjerker for the kids or trouble understanding why people are so sad at a party. Still, the humor is fun to watch and offers great laughs.

Racing Extinction

racing extinctionDirected by talented Louie Psihoyos, who also directed The Cove, Racing Extinction focuses on Psihoyos as he reveals all the dark secrets of the illegal black market trade of animal parts. The footage is captivating with vast underwater splendor at one end of the story and vast human corruption of ocean life on the other end of the story. He also brings a message to the populace of the grandeur and beauty of animals.

The movie follows Psihoyos as he treks to small villages where we see local fishermen hunting and killing manta ray gills for soup. With the help of his crew and other activists, they educate the locals on how their fishing is influencing the entire ecosystems. Another topic taken on is the hunt for sharks. Their fins are a delicacy for shark fin soup. The hunting has caused dwindling numbers in sharks. Clearly and right so, the movie seizes the moment to stand against the destruction that humanity has headed toward for many environments.

Elon Musk, the founder of the Tesla car, joins the crusade and attaches a projector to the Tesla car Psihoyos drives around town, so he can project beautiful animals on various buildings. The citizens see the images on the buildings and are amazed by the beautiful animals, instilling the importance of saving them from extinction.

The grand visual highpoint is when New York architectural representations of ocean life stop crowds walking through the city. They are even recording beautiful images on their devices while we see children’s faces mesmerized. Psihoyos clearly states in the movie, a vital message for everyone, when people truly view the life of the sea, we can choose to “Do one thing” protect species balance.

I recommend this movie for everyone to see, and teachers play it in your classrooms because it is truly an education.

Shaun the Sheep: Season 2

shaurnsheep2I was going to post this review in the Kids section of Movie Roar since it really is safe for kids to watch and is really silly.  I changed my mind when I realized it really is funnier from an adult’s point of view.

Shaun the Sheep: Season 2 is hilarious. The short episodes are not too long nor too short – about 7 minutes. They are just right for any rainy afternoon or boring evening with nothing to do. My favorite one is about the bagpipe. The sheep and dog think it is a goose. I have never laughed so hard in such a short amount of time.

The package comes with two DVDs. If you have a free moment or two, just pop in the DVD and peruse the menu for an episode that catches your eye. The set has a total of 40 episodes. There are plenty of choices.

Let’s face it. These cute little sheep and the dog are hilarious. Each episode has no dialogue, just music and some grunts here and there. It is produced so well that I didn’t even think about the fact there was no dialogue.

Another funny aspect about the storyline is the dog and sheep try to steer clear of the farmer, who is as blind as anyone with a pair of opaque eyeglasses.  I just laugh thinking about it.

I recommend the DVD set for the whole family. Any age will enjoy these short stories. Just thinking about the sheep, the dog, and the farmer puts a smile on my face.

Noah’s Ark

Noah's ArkThe story of Noah’s Ark is mentioned in the bible and is about two paragraphs or a page long, depending on the book. I watched Russell Crowe’s version called Noah and came to terms that Noah was under a lot of pressure. A huge rain storm was coming where it will rain for forty days and forty nights. Raining so hard that the world will be completely submerged in water, a great flood. He had to build an ark large enough to hold all the animals of the world in pairs, male and female. He could not take all of mankind, just his family. Then, he had to feed all the animals and his family until the world was no longer flooded. Right there is a great story with enough conflict to keep you on the crossroads of Heaven and Hell.

Directed by Kenneth Glenaan, Noah’s Ark is more biblical than Crowe’s version. The stories are the same to a certain degree, still Glenaan’s take on the story is clearly an educational message about faith. Noah is portrayed as a man believing in God.  An impressive cast includes David Threlfall, Joanne Whalley, Nico Mirallegro, and Ashley Walters.

Noah’s Ark is a familiar tale of a man, his family, and his passion for doing what God wishes, building an ark that saves his family, the animals, and mankind. If you are familiar with the story, you know God told Noah to build an ark, and then he did it. The movie takes a license because the story is so short in the bible.

Noah is a good farmer and a generous family man, but his family doubts him when he tells them he was instructed by an angel to build the ark in the middle of a very dry desert. He tells what will happen and how he will save his family and the animals. He asks them to be faithful and believe a devastating flood is coming. His sons reject his proposal and decide not to help his father build the ark.  But, Noah has faith in God, so risks derision from his caring but infuriated family. He, of course, endures embarrassment from the townsfolk as well.  He has a devoted and loving wife, who changes her mind and decides to build the ark with him. She wants to demonstrate her support and love.

The flood arrives close to the end of the movie. The forty days and forty nights of raining go rather quickly. Before you know it, the ark lands on dry land, and the movie ends. With melodramatic flair is how the movies ends. Yet, if your faith is strong, you should enjoy the movie for what it is – a validation of the faith in God.

Swamp People Season 6

SP_S6_DVD_3D (1)Swamp People TV show is not necessarily for just outdoors people. Like Duck Dynasty, the series has a quality that appeals to people who are not hunters and fishermen.  Watching the Cajun’s speaking Cajun French on this series is rather interesting and unique.  That is all the bait I need to watch men get into the swamp and noodle successfully for catfish. To say nothing of the alligator hunting, and it is quite a chilling experience.

Yes, it is a reality TV show, but at least, they are civil and forego dramatizing their flaws like the Kardashians.  Most would say this is one of the best reality shows and is rated the top show on the History channel. They set a nice example of how to treat other people where they are pleasant to each other and help each other.

The show takes a look inside one of the last American frontiers when Troy and the other swampers go on a 30-day alligator hunt, avoiding flood water and outwitting the smartest gators. Swamp hunters fight massive alligators and Mother Nature and journey into previously unknown, hostile areas of the swamp. Shrewd gators try to outwit the hunters’ new methods of capturing their prey. Whether using new indigenous bait, old decoys or employing a primitive alternative to the modern hook, these hunters constantly adjust their tactics to catch and fill their tags.

The series is exciting and nerve wracking while they wrestle with an alligator. The swampers protect people from gigantic gators by going after them in areas where people are in danger. They even assist crayfishers when the gators go after their cages. In light of all that danger, the series embodies a way of living that is far better any other reality TV show.  All in all, the series is worth watching because it will be a learning experience while it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Pelican Dreams

pelicansDirected by Sundance and Emmy award-winning director Judy Irving, Pelican Dreams tracks a willful California brown pelican. The story begins when she is arrested on the Golden Gate Bridge. And, the story continues with her care at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and after the movie explores pelicans nesting grounds. The documentary shows a rich Pacific coast migration with unbelievable survival challenges. The movie is a visual story about wilderness, and how we are encroaching on the wild.  Perhaps we should be concerned about how we are caring too much for the wild. We should just let wilderness take its course whether tragic or not.

The poignant movie stars Gigi, the pelican named after the Golden Gate Bridge, and Morro, a urbanized pelican with an injured wing, and the wildlife professionals who care for these birds.

The movie is for those who love pelicans and birds alike.  For those who live near the coast, and see the birds almost every day, consider it a wonderful introduction and education of the wildlife around you.

Pelican Dreams is not a typical big budget documentary, but the story still shines through with Irving also wearing the hat as cinematographer with some amazing footage of pelicans in their breeding areas. Majority of the movie covers rescue and release facilities that rehabilitate sick and injured birds. The documentary shows the dedication these people carry out to save the pelicans.

Edited also by Irving the movie may seem a bit slow if you are not interested in pelicans. They are such wondrous creatures that the movie is worth watching. I highly recommended the movie for anyone who loves these amazing animals, and my hat goes off to Irving for all her hard work on this brilliant story of the wilderness.