Summer Family Movies 2016

It’s almost summertime! Our family is so excited for all the fun activities that come along with summer, and my kids love seeing the great summer movies. We have compiled the list of the family movies coming out in theaters this summer that we think you and your family will love seeing!


The Jungle Book – In theaters now!

Technically, this movie is in theaters NOW but it is a huge hit and kids love it! Whenever we get a free weekend, this is tops on our list! The movie is the live action version of the animated version The Jungle Book – the story of Mogli, a boy raised by wolves in the jungle, who has to leave the jungle because of the tiger, Sheer Khan. He is accompanied by his friend, the panther Bageera and the bear, Baloo. Rated PG


Angry Birds – May 20

Movie based on the very popular game app – you would think it was the other way around. We follow the story of the bird island and three particular birds, why they are angry, and how they have to thwart the evil plans of the pigs! Looks really funny actually…my kids have been wanting to see this one for awhile! Rated PG


Finding Dory – June 17

The sequel to the amazing “Finding Nemo” movie and who isn’t looking forward to this one? The plot of this movie is Dory in search of her family along with her beloved friends who help her along the way. All the original voices are returning for this fun sequel! Not yet rated


The BFG – July 1

When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite books. And I’m SO excited they are making it into a movie that kids are going to love. AND its directed by Steven Spielberg! If you didn’t read the book by Roald Dahl, the little girl Sophie befriends a friendly but lonely giant and the adventure begins from there. Not yet rated.


The Secret Life of Pets – July 8

This movie looks really funny and my kids laugh at the preview every time! The storyline follows one dog, Max, who is dealing with a new dog in the family, as well as a sub-plot of abandoned pets who want to take over the “pet life” world. Expect lots of laughs with this one! Not yet rated


Ice Age: Collision Course – July 22

Yep! Its another Ice Age movie! My kids really have loved all the movies so I would expect this one to be just as good as the other…how many is it now? Basically, the world is in peril and the Ice Age crew has to save themselves…again. Should be a funny film and parents actually like watching these too.


Pete’s Dragon – August 12

I grew up loving the original Pete’s Dragon, so I am hesitant about the remake. But I’m sure Disney will make this magical and bigger than ever! We aren’t sure yet if the story line will be similar to the original movie or go off-course. It still centers around Pete and his best friend, Elliot who is a dragon.

Tween Summer Movies

Do you have a tween that would like to “graduate” from the animated family flicks this summer? Here are a couple summer movies that the older kiddos will be excited to see!


Alice Through the Looking Glass  – May 27

If your tween didn’t see the first Alice in Wonderland movie, it might be a good idea to watch before this movie as the same weird and quirky characters are revisiting Alice in this sequel. This movie will be a little dark and weird, but totally awesome and spectacular at the same time! And tweens, teens and parents will love it! This is probably not a great movie for the younger crowd as it might be too visually “different” but it won’t be scary or inappropriate. Rated PG


Ghostbusters – July 15

If your tween has seen the original two Ghostbusters movies, this will be right up their alley! Basically, the story line is similar to the first with a misfit group of people who are trying to rid the city of ghosts through unconventional methods. It hasn’t been rated yet but expect some language and inappropriate content of some sort. But it will most likely be hilarious and is a very anticipated movie for the summer! Not yet rated

Just making this list makes me excited for summer movie season!! I hope your family is excited for some fun movie adventures and I can’t wait to see these fun films! Now I need to put together a list of summer movies for date nights!

Top 5 Reasons to See “Zootopia”


This weekend, Disney’s newest movie Zootopia smashed into movie theaters and surpassed Frozen’s opening weekend record. Our family was one of the many people who went to see the movie and the theater was packed! Why is this movie so popular? What made it such a success? Here are our top 5 reasons why we LOVE Zooptopia! And if you haven’t seen it, your kids will love it!

1) The underdog story: Judy Hops is the lead character of the story and you just love cheering her on. It is the classic story of the determined underdog who wants to show everyone they are wrong. And her character is written so lovable, you can’t help but get behind her.


2) Fantastic story: Besides the underdog story of Judy Hops, the overall story of the movie is unique, twisting, funny and completely entertaining. And we love the underlining theme of not judging people and jumping to conclusions about who they are. There is a whole story line of predators versus prey in this animal world. Can they all be friends? Can they look past these labels?


3) Amazing Characters: Oh, the wonderful characters. I feel like this movie really delivers on wonderful, fun characters that kids LOVE. Each animal character is so fun and clever. Our kids remembered every single one. In the car going home, our kids just talked about who was their favorite, and if your curious, it is definitely Judy Hops, Nick Wilde, and Flash the Sloth (he he!)


4) Family movie about friendship: Guess what? This story has no love story or princess or rescue scenes. Oh, and no death scene that creates the arc for a developing story (i.e. Nemo’s mom dies; Anna & Elsa lose their parents). So this is somewhat of another Toy Story storyline that tugs at our heart and leaves us happy.


5) Great music! So, there is only really one new song in this movie and no one breaks into song during the story. Its not that kind of movie. But the kids loved the new Shakira song that is song by the popstar gazelle and the ending dance scene is fantastic. The song just seamlessly weaves into the story. Love it.


So those are our top 5 reasons to see the new movie. It really is a great movie – our kids want to see it again. And if our top reasons aren’t enough, they said at the end “That movie was almost as good as Star Wars”. That is quite a compliment.

Visit the fun Zootopia website for games and funny videos that kids will love! The videos are really funny!

A Summary of D23 Expo 2015

First, I am confessing that I did not attend the D23 Expo in Anaheim this year. I am a D23 member but the Expo, which is held every other year, always seems to fall at a very tough time for me to travel which is right when my kids are starting school. So we get to enjoy all the other bloggers posts from the Expo and hear all the news from our home. We wanted to bring you a quick summary of all the news that was announced and give you our thoughts.

The biggest news at the Expo is always the park news that get announced, and this year had some big stuff!

Disney Park News

Star Wars Themed Lands


Bob Iger announced that new Star Wars themed lands would be built at both Disneyland and Disney World (14-acre lands). While this is exciting for Star Wars fans everywhere, there was no date or even time frame given as to when this will even be done. They are anticipating the new lands will be somewhere behind ToonTown at Disneyland, and in Hollywood Studios at Disney World. If your little ones aren’t Star Wars fans right now, don’t worry. By the time they actually build these lands, they will be old enough to be fans.



Star Wars Launch Bay


This new area will be added soon to Disneyland in Tomorrowland and in the Animation Courtyard at Hollywood Studios at Disney World. It will include interactive games for guests as well as merchandise and food. Expect to see this in the parks this year in anticipation of the new Star Wars movie coming out this December.

Soarin’ Over The World

We are pretty excited about this new addition to the parks! Soarin’ Over California will be upgraded to a new film called Soarin’ Over the World which will be in both parks in 2016. The film will have upgraded sound and picture quality since it will now be laser projection (unlike Soarin’ Over California which is 70mm format).

Toy Story Land


Disney announced another new land coming to Hollywood Studios…sometime in the future. Toy Story Land will have a family-friendly roller coaster as well as new rides and added track to Toy Story Midway Mania. John Lassetter is part of this new project and he does an amazing job with theming (think CarsLand and Bugs Land) but he is kind of hit and miss with rides (think Luigi’s Flying Tires and Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train). We love Toy Story Midway Mania, and if the new rides live up to this caliber, it will be amazing! But rumors are they may resort to more carnival style rides, like DinoLand in Animal Kingdom, which most guests don’t like. There was no date announced on when this land would see the light of day.

Animal Kingdom Additions and Nighttime Show


Animal Kingdom is still under construction for the new nighttime spectacular, Rivers of Life, as well as the Avatar-themed land (formerly called Pandora). The nighttime show is set to be quite an amazing show using all their tricks and thrills from Illuminations and World of Color. They also announced the new ride in Avatar-land will be “Flight of Passage” and the aim is for it to feel very real for guests. The last big change at Animal Kingdom is extending the Kilimanjaro Safaris into a perpetual dusk. Not sure how the animals feel about all the changes!


Star Tours Addition

If you are like us and have been on Star Tours again and again to see all the different story lines, then you will be so excited that they are adding a new story line soon for the newest movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”! No word on when it will be in the parks but I would assume it will be about when the movie comes out in December.

Space Mountain Change

A temporary addition is coming to Space Mountain to promote Star Wars. Yes, more Star Wars. It will temporarily be Hyperspace Mountain and include new effects and music. This will primarily be at Disneyland.

New Frozen Ride at Epcot

Norway at Epcot is currently under construction with the closure of the ride Maelstrom that will be transformed into the new ride, Frozen Ever After. While little is still known about what this ride will be like, we did learn that the wonderful husband and wife duo that created all the music for Frozen, Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, are helping put together the soundtrack for the ride. If we are lucky, we will come out singing “Let it Go”!

Disney Movie News

Along with all the park news, there was some updates for Disney movies that are coming soon.


  • “Gigantic” is being made that is a retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk tale; this is a being brought to us by the same team that brought us “Tangled” and the music is being written by the “Frozen” team of Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Can’t go wrong with that, right?
  • “Jungle Book” is being remade and will be out in theaters in April 2016Moana
  • “Moana” will be a new Disney Studios digital animation movie coming November 23, 2016. It will have the first Polynesian Disney Princess.
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will be the next sequel for the franchise and this movie will bring back Orlando Bloom along with Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush
  • “Alice Through The Looking Glass” is a sequel to the quirky “Alice in Wonderland” movie starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, a role he will reprise in this sequel. It is set to be released in May of 2016
  • Pixar is releasing a series of sequels which is a little disappointing but here are some of them:
    • “Toy Story 4” – If you felt that “Toy Story 3” was a beautiful wrap up of a wonderful tale, your not alone. But for some reason, Pixar is revisiting Woody and Buzz again for another story that centers around the love story of Woody and Bo Peep. Right now it is set for June 2017.
    • “Finding Dory” – Sequel to “Finding Nemo” that centers around the character of Dory. Ellen Degeneres will reprise her role as Dory. This should be released in June of 2016.
    • “Incredibles 2” – We are actually excited about this getting a sequel as we felt the story had more to tell – Brad Bird, the original writer of the first movie is working on this project and we anticipate it will be great
    • “Cars 3” – Yes, another Cars. We kind of feel like this one has run its course, pun intended. But they are working on another Cars movie.
  • “The Good Dinosaur” is an original movie from Pixar (yes, it’s new!) and it will be released this fall (November). We are looking forward to a new story.

That is a wrap up of all the news from the D23 Expo. While a lot of exciting ideas were announced from Disney, there wasn’t really an idea of when a lot of these projects will be finished. I think there are a lot of Disney fans who would like for the construction projects to move at a faster pace. Just think that it took Walt Disney one year to build Disneyland. It took current Disney over 3 years to add an expansion on Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. So don’t get so excited about some of the building projects. It could be a long time before we see them finished.

Big Hero 6 Review


Should your preschooler see Big Hero 6?

If that’s your question about Disney’s newest movie, Big Hero 6, then this review is for you. We took all four of our kids to see Big Hero 6 including our 3 year old. First let me say that every child is different as far as their exposure to movies and what they can handle. My 3 year old has three older siblings so he has been exposed to maybe more movies and shows than some 3 year olds. But he does get scared easily at movies that his siblings do not get scared at. With that said, he loved Big Hero 6.

All my kids, and myself included, loved Big Hero 6! It was a very cute and fun story with engaging and interesting characters that kids enjoy watching and want to emulate in a positive way.


The story does handle the issue of death and how the main character, Hiro, has to deal with the loss of his older brother. This part of the story might go way over a preschooler’s head. Hiro has to find his way in life as somewhat of a child genius in the world of robotics, and wants to go to college with his older brother. His brother is caught in an accidental explosion fire, and Hiro takes over with his brother’s invention named Baymax. Baymax is designed to be a healthcare assistant robot. When Hiro’s invention of nano-robots are stolen by a masked villain, Hiro recruits his brother’s friends and Baymax to try to defeat him. Does all this sound confusing? It really isn’t in the story. The story is actually very touching and sweet, and I teared up in the end.



As for my preschooler, he loved most of it. About three quarters of the way through, he started to lose interest which for a 3 year old is pretty good! He climbed into my lap as the bad guy was a big intimidating. But then near the end, he was back into the movie and was in love with Baymax. He understood some of the jokes and he talks about Baymax at home.

So if you are thinking of taking your preschooler to see Big Hero 6 during the upcoming Thanksgiving break, we would say “Go for it!”  We don’t think it is too scary for their age but as always, their attention span may be lost at times. My older kids absolutely loved it! So we would highly recommend it for school age kids!

If you will be visiting a Disney park soon, you can meet Hiro and Baymax! At Disney World, you can find them greeting guests inside The Magic of Animation at Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland, you can find them in Tomorrowland near the Starcade. My kiddos will be lining up for this one on our next trip!


Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue


Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue is flying into stores on DVD tomorrow! On November 4th, it will be available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo. This summer, this new Planes movie was a big hit in the theaters, as we watched the adventures of Dusty Crophopper as he joined the elite Fire and Rescue unit.



The Blu-ray features high definition picture and sound, plus bonus features, including the all-new exclusive short “Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular;” the mock-umentary promotional piece “Welcome to Piston Peak;” “CHoPs” TV Promo and “Air Attack: Firefighters From The Sky,” an exciting inside look at the making of the film featuring real-life smoke jumpers and firefighters. Additional bonus features include Spencer Lee’s “Still I Fly” music video, deleted scenes with filmmaker introductions, and two “PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE” shorts: “Dipper” and “Smokejumpers.” Exclusively available on Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) are the bonus shorts “Blade Ranger” and “Piston Peak.”


Planes: Fire & Rescue will make a wonderful Christmas present, but I would understand if you can’t wait that long to watch it! Available now online or in stores on November 4th.



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