Monthly Archives: December 2015

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Friendship Games

My Little Pony Equestrian Girls Friendship GamesMy Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Friendship Games is a full-length movie as an adventure in itself. The Ponies come to life and share the magic of friendship with silly humor that kids can enjoy. There is a storyline, too, adding a little bit of drama, when the girls magically gain pony-like ears, tails, and wings.

Directed by Jayson Thiessen and Ishi Rudell, the story begins with Twilight Sparkle because she is only pony able to go from the human world to the pony world. It has been quite some time since she was in contact with any of her human friends.  When she does come in contact, it isn’t the Twilight they know.  At the same time, all the six human friends are getting in better control of their hidden magic powers. This is good because they need to learn how to control their powers for the friendship games at Canterlot High School – an athletic as well as an academic competition between rivalry schools.

What is really fun about this movie is it reinforces the idea of developing the positive reputation for the My Little Pony Friendship. The storyline keeps the characters in exciting circumstances along with twists and turns while learning important messages, such as when help arrives, it is best to accept it.

The animation looks very doable in 2-D. Thiessen and Rudell took a creative turn including 3-D camera shots. The voice talent for the characters works well. Tara Strong is the voice for Twilight Sparkle, and her voice really does sparkle while one can pity her flaws and intolerable actions.

A great scene that comes to mind is where they are on a dirt bike course, and two of the main characters are competing with the enemy high school. It includes Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. The race starts well, but Twilight Sparkle inadvertently casts a strange magic spell, and the whole race goes whacky.

If you follow the TV show, it will help you to understand the characters, but it is not truly necessary. The first movie, My Little Pony: Equestrian Girls, is quite popular, and you should watch that one first to help understand the overall story.


zarafaPeople told me about this film when it was shown at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, and they were blown away. They described the movie as one of the most beautiful animation, cinema experience in storytelling. Zarafa captures suffering at the hands of slave traders. Human beings treated as a property to the edge of monstrous fixation. Sincerely, I enjoyed this movie and hope everyone sees it as work of art.

Directed by both Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie, Zarafa is full of adventure as a charming animated story in French and English subtitles. We meet an orphaned African boy who starts a journey to find his place in the world. His other purpose for the journey is to protect a young giraffe that he deems himself responsible.

The movie is packed with cute and hilarious moments with offbeat and curious characters while the boy visits many exotic global locations.  It is also exciting with narrow escapes, rescues, and threat of capture.  The tear-jerking moments in the movie might be tough for some kids to watch.  The moments include deaths of fond characters that the audience grows to love.

The movie has its highs and lows and several scary, suspenseful scenes.  For example, the two children find themselves in danger with a ferocious dog and an evil villain. The villain is a slave trader who pursues them relentlessly. He even holds a dear, little girl in chains while he attacks the boy with the intent to shoot and kill. Another tragedy is when parents of a young child are captured, and their village is burned down to the ground.

The movie is fine for older kids, who understand the difference between imaginary and real violence and can put up with the English subtitles.



Scholastic Storybook Treasures

20holidayadvent20 Holiday Adventures – Scholastic Storybook Treasures is the fourth release under the Scholastic Classics label with loads of content for kids to be entertained while learning family values such as right and wrong, be truthful, and do unto others. Just like the title says, the DVD holds twenty stories celebrating the holidays. My favorites are The Night Before Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, Max’s Christmas (from Max and Ruby currently airing on Nick Jr.), and Noah’s Ark.

The classic storybooks come to life and draw the kid’s attention, making a wonderful way to introduce reading books to kids.  Other stories on the disc include Merry Christmas, Splat, Morris’s Disappearing Bag, Merry Christmas, Space Case, Bear Snores On, Too Many Tamales, Lemonade in Winter, The Snowy Day, Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, In the Month of Kislev, Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, Great Joy!, Antarctic Antics, Giving Thanks, Bear Has a Story to Tell, The Clown of God, and Brave Irene.

20FairyTalesThe next Scholastic Collection is narrated by Oscar winners Kathy Bates and Paul Giamatti, and B.D. Wong from Law & Order. 20 Fairy Tales – Scholastic Storybook Treasures features twenty classic tales on a single DVD. My favorites are Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

The classic fairy tales are so much fun for the kids to watch while learning family values and the importance of reading. You can even place your storybook in the room with them while they watch the classic stories on the screen. The rest of the classic titles on the DVD are Doctor De Soto, Each Peach Pear Plum, Extra Yarn, Harold’s Fairy Tale, Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China, Princess Furball, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Little Match Girl, The Red Shoes, The Three Little Pigs, The True Story of The Three Little Pigs!, The Ugly Duckling, and The Emperor’s New Clothes.