The Giant King

The Giant King 3D DVDDirected by Prapas Cholsaranont, The Giant King is pretty simple and easy story for kids to follow.  RAM is the creator of all robots, and thus controls them. Pinky, voiced by Bella Thorne, is sent by RAM to terminate the giant robot Zork, voiced by Russell Peters, given that he is broken. Zork doesn’t want to fight, so when Pinky seizes Zork, a huge explosion happens and buries them both for many years till a junk robot, voiced by Nathan Barnatt, unearths them.

A robot battle happens and a thousand years later, the two sworn enemies, Zork and Pinky, wake up chained together with no recollection of who they are or how they wound up together. They decide to search of answers and begin wandering the barren wasteland. They are in search of RAM, the creator of all robots, making new friends and a few enemies along the way. But when their memories are restored, and they discover they are true enemies and you RAM really is, their newfound friendship is tested by the deep rooted battle of long ago. RAM shows up and decides to destroy them both, but their wacky friends decide to help them stop RAM.

The Giant King is truly wonderful animated movie to watch with all its charm and silly characters. The robots teach worthwhile lessons about helping your friends, never forsake your dreams, never back down to peer pressure, and never buckle under adversity.

The movie originated from Thailand where it received seven various nominations, and was translated for American distribution with English voice casting.  It is a wholesome, family movie.

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.

Chuggington: The Big Freeze

chuggbigfreezeThe weather is still not cold enough, but freezing high-speed adventure is on the way. My preschoolers were treated to the newest Chuggington DVD called Chuggington: The Big Freeze.

The latest popular DVD collection from the United Kingdom is entertaining with six episodes. There are adventures for preschoolers while teaching lessons about right and wrong and sharing.  It is no wonder this is a highly rated show distributed by Disney.

One episode is a holiday special called The Big Freeze. The chuggers perform one heroic rescue after another. The kids learn from these shows by watching the characters solve situations that are presented to them. Like, when icy temperatures cause the town to run out of fuel and all diesel engines are grounded. They solve the problem as Chief Jackman and his team of brave Chug Patrollers work together to find a way to the frozen docks to retrieve fuel and get the town of Chuggington moving once again.  It also teaches preschoolers important lessons about safety, responsibility and teamwork as they watch Wilson, Koko, Brewster, and Asher.

Another episode includes one where Fletch tries to repair the lighthouse, and Calley tests to become a first responder. Another is where the kids get to watch Brewster get closer to being a Chuggineer. The lessons taught in these shows are so helpful.  The series has great characters for kids to watch and get to know.

Pups United

PUPS UNITED_3d DVDDirected by Guy Distad, who is known for working in television, cut his teeth on Disney TV shows as first and second assistant director such as Wizards of Waverly Place and Hanna Montana, the movie is made for kids to enjoy. If you are up for a silly, non-committal adventure with puppies who talk, then Pups United on DVD is what you want your kids to watch. Awarded the Dove Seal of Approval means it is safe for kids to watch, stating the film is “a fun family movie that everyone will enjoy.”

In the manner of Air Bud, this live action movie features the voice talents of Rob Schneider (Grown Ups) in a familiar story of quest and the rescue of the World Cup. A rag-tag gang of international talking dog mascots must save the day and foil the plot of villains planning to sabotage the Youth World Cup soccer finals.

The laughter launches when the two villains try to cover up their identity because they want to find the trophy. The story will never get monotonous as Rex and his canine mascots unite to stop the thieves.  By helping to stop the thievery the canines also help Ryan and the coach return to the game and go for the win.

The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette with “The Making of Pups United” featurette and miniscule bonus episodes. It is something consider for your library to help keep your kids entertained with the wintry season coming up.

Peppa Pig School Bus Trip

peppa schoolbusPeppa Pig is a clever television show for kids. The British accents add to its hilarity, and then there is the character’s staunch ability to fall over and laugh at the end of each episode. It can’t go unnoticed by all. My kids love seeing them jump in muddy puddles or feed the insatiable ducks. It is so funny.

Still, the show is realistic, showing family life as animals. Each different animal depicts the diversity of people in real life. This concept comes through to the kids. We all need to get along with each other no matter how different we are as animals. Peppa Pig School Bus Trip includes ten episodes to keep the kids busy.

Anyone who knows the show appreciates the fact it shows kids getting ready for school. Nothing like a little encouragement with that topic is what I always say.  Anyone who is a fan of the show or who has never seen Peppa will enjoy this DVD in their collection. The set includes a Mini Book, too.

The Seventh Dwarf

Seventhdwarf1After appearing in select NY and LA theaters, The Seventh Dwarf is available on Blu-ray and DVD. The animated movie is an adventure story that unites all your favorite fairytale characters in one kingdom and stars the voices of Peyton List, Norm MacDonald, Nina Hagen and Joshua Graham. There are great messages for kids to learn like friendship, problem solving, accepting differences and working as a team. The humorous scenes are really fun to watch as well as action and suspense scenes.

The story begins with the characters celebrating Princess Rose’s (Sleeping Beauty) 18th birthday. Everyone in the kingdom has come to Fantabularasa Castle including Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. But just before the stroke of midnight Bobo, the youngest dwarf, accidentally pricks the finger on the cursed needle and sends the kingdom into a century-long slumber. Bobo decides to take the matter into his own hands by finding Rose’s true love Jack. Jack must save her with a kiss, Bobo and the other six dwarfs go on a treacherous journey. They face a fiery dragon and outwit the jealous, scheming and evil witch, Dellamorta.

The puns may go over the kid’s heads, but they are there for the adults to enjoy. The animation is well done even though this is not a big movie.

I am sure kids will want to re-watch the movie since it has some cute scenes with silly songs. The story features a mash-up of fairytales with a few obvious changes that add a bunch of fun. The writers are quite imaginative with the changes added to the stories, creating a bit of spark to the old fairytales.

Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Legendary Battle

powerlegacyThe Legendary Battle picks up exactly where the last episode of Power Rangers ended. The citizens of Harwood are in a hopeless situation and in need of help. Carter and Dana, Red and Pink as Lightspeed Rescue Rangers show up and help. You might be surprise to see them returning as cameos in the series. That is what this series is all about, returning Power Rangers.  It is one of the best cameo returns for this series because Carter and Dana are still rescue workers.  It is great to see these two performing in their ideal environment.  Some of the other legendary Rangers fair pretty well, but Carter and Dana stand out strong.

Other legendary Power Rangers return to help the citizens as well.  Cassie, TJ and Leo save people and animals alike. They do functions that are not similar to their original nature, which makes the comebacks more interesting.  Most fans will smile seeing them not just back but in magnificent HD.

Then, the other Rangers wake up and truly see how bad everything has become. The Power Ranger team reunites with Gosei still the awful adviser, who absolutely does nothing to help the team. The story is strong at this point where the actors are stellar.  The pain on their faces shows the concern they have for helping the world. Andrew Gray turns a strong performance as well.

I don’t want to give the whole story away, but I hope I gave an idea of what to expect from the DVD set. The final episode has the extended 10-minutes longer version than the original TV version, which is a real treat. You will be able to see the realistic defeat of Emperor Mavro.

Another extra is add, a 10-minute Legacy documentary that features clips from the Shout Factory Power Ranger interviews.  This is the finale of the legacy that is well worth the effort and time to watch.

Power Rangers: The Perfect Storm

powermegaPower Rangers DVDs are so popular with the kids and some adults. Each collection is worth owning, and recently released The Perfect Storm is no expectation.  The five episodes are pure entertainment, and never fail the ardent fan.

One episode follows Orion, who unlocks every sixth ranger power while his helmet morphs revealing each one of the power ranger’s helmet designs with his costume.  As a result, the rangers lose their energy because it is taken from them when Orion morphs.  How will they get their power back? It is such a fun story to watch.

Another episode with a quirky twist is where one of the monsters becomes smitten with one of the rangers. A love triangle forms because another monster is trying to destroy the ranger to have the female monster all to himself.

The next episode is about two of the rangers who switch bodies.  It’s hilarious when they adjust, learn how to be the other power ranger, and notice the disparity in their personalities.  They even try to discover what trigger the change.

In another episode, Tensou ventures outside the command center in order to see the arrival of a fierce storm.  It approaches quickly, and Tensou is hit by lightning. He loses his memory and is lost. The other rangers search for him. Once they find him they do everything in their power to help him recover his memory.

I can see how the kids will go crazy over these storylines. Overall and of course, The Perfect Storm will please any Power Ranger fan.