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!

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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

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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”

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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.

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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?

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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!

Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

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Last week, I had the honor of attending Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World. This amazing event is an invitation only conference for bloggers and social media moms, and I was so excited to be invited this year! Disney designs this conference as a family event and attendees are encouraged to bring their families along. I chose to bring my oldest daughter with me as part of a graduation gift as well as some very special mother and daughter time.

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I would like to share some of the highlights from the weekend with you. The conference was held at the beautiful Yacht Club, which is one of my favorite resorts at Disney World. We were greeted by our favorite character, Mickey Mouse!

View from our room at the Yacht Club

View from our room at the Yacht Club

The event began with a fabulous welcome reception held at Epcot that included fabulous food, music and character greets for kids. The food was so creative, and I mean that in a good way! Where else would you find cheeseburger egg rolls and smoking popcorn? My daughter and I took pictures with Rapunzel, Sorcerer Mickey and Baymax and Hiro. It was a very fun kick off for the weekend!

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The social media celebration was one full day of sessions held at the Yacht Resort Conference center. We were treated to some delicious meals and snacks, as well as some amazing speakers that inspired everyone!

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Our first speaker was George A. Kalagridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort. He shared with us upcoming expansion news including Animal Kingdom and Avatar World. He told us about DisneyGrants for 2015 (#2015DisneyGrants). And he gave sneak peeks at the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration that begins May 22!!

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We then heard from Eva Smith, Head of Marcom and Insights at Pinterest. She shared great insight on Pinterest use for our blogs and how to reach a wider audience. It is amazing to see what a large reach Pinterest has and how much it has grown over the years. Pinterest is one of my favorite places on the web!

Next, we heard from Jonas Rivera, Producer of the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out. He shared with us the process of their storytelling and development for the exciting new film that is opening in theaters June 19th. They have been working on this film for five years! My kids can’t wait to see it.

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Disney Social Media reminded us that Star Wars weekends were starting the following weekend, and we were surprised with Storm Troopers in the conference! As a Star Wars fan, it was very exciting!!

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Our next speaker was Janice Baldemino, Director Global Brand Marketing for Disney Infinity! We got the inside scoop on the upcoming release of Disney Infinity 3.0! My family loves Disney Infinity so I was so excited to learn that in the summer, they will be releasing Star Wars characters – three sets, with the new 3.0 as well as Inside Out characters! And the newest characters coming are Mickey and Minnie! They gifted all the attendees with these classic characters! Check out the new 3.0 characters coming soon!

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The most inspiring moment of the day was hearing from Vivienne Harr, Chief Executive Officer at Stand. She is 11 years old. She started a campaign selling lemonade to help end child slavery around the world, and her small idea grew into a huge movement! She has started the company Stand, to unite people for causes around the world. Check out her site at stand.tc

One of the main sponsors of this amazing event is Alamo. Megan Maguire, Brand Publicity Manager, spoke to us about their new Twitter presence and their new social media team of Chief Travel Moms who blog about traveling with kids. Check them out on twitter @Alamo.

Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and bestselling author of eight books, spoke to us about developing a newsletter and developing content for our readers. He had amazing insight for everyone!

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Next, we were so lucky to have Jeffry Epstein, Manager of the official Disney fan club, D23! He talked with us about the upcoming D23 Expo that will be held August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is a biyearly event and it is filled with entertainment, celebrity and talent visits, special exhibits, new Disney announcements and sneak peeks, special merchandise and a fan costume contest that is fantastic! To check out all the info, visit D23Expo.com. If you are interested in membership into the fan club, there are different price levels including a free level!

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Disney Imagicademy spoke to us about their new line of kids apps, which we have featured on our blog including Mickey’s Magical Math World and Mickey’s Art World. Dr. Tanya Altmann shared with us that their next amazing kids app is coming this summer and it will be Frozen: Early Science. What they showed us looks awesome and it may be one of our favorites!

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We ended our conference with a speech from retired NFL Wide Receiver Donald Driver. He was inspiring and funny, and the best end to a wonderful day. He shared parts of his life story and how he overcame the challenges in his life. But he also shared a story about experiencing harsh and cruel words through social media, and how he dealt with it. He inspired us to give purpose to the words we write. “Stars do not struggle to shine. Rivers do not struggle to flow. It’s all about the power of your passion!” -Donald Driver

After all our sessions, we got to have a special Mickey’s Beach Bash on the beach in front of the Beach and Yacht Club. Mickey and friends joined up for the fun, and we enjoyed live music and delicious Disney cuisine!

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My favorite decoration of the night was a hand crafted sandcastle made just for us!

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The next day, we were given the opportunity to see a sneak peek of the new Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out! We were shuttled to  the AMC Theater in Downtown Disney and treated to a light breakfast while we watched the movie. We also got to see the first 12 minutes of the new Disney movie Tomorrowland.

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First, Inside Out is awesome! We didn’t get to see the end because the finishing touches are still being put together, but the part we saw was fantastic! Kids will love it! It is really clever and funny. The preview for Tomorrowland was awesome too! It looks like a unique and intriguing movie. Inside Out will be in theaters June 19th and Tomorrowland opens this weekend, starting May 22nd.

There was plenty of park time for us as well, as we were able to enjoy some of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival which was beautiful. I will share some of our photos of the festival in another post. The next day was Mother’s Day, and Disney treated all the Social Media Moms to a delicious breakfast as well as some music from the a capella group Voice Play. It was an awesome show!

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My daughter and I had a great time and I had the most amazing experience learning and meeting other bloggers. The social media moms were a diverse group of bloggers and vloggers. I was truly honored to be included in their group!

Disney gave us lots of great gifts as well as treated us so special. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of the celebration. My daughter and I had a great mother and daughter trip too – something that can be rare in a family of four kids.

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I hope we are given the opportunity to be part of Disney’s Social Media Moms celebration again. Disney is an amazing leader in the social media world and they really know how the reach their audience. This was a wonderful weekend!

Disclaimer: Preschoolears is a personal blog and all opinions, ideas and content are my own. We did receive gifts from sponsors as well as discounts on Disney accommodations, park passes and park perks for attending this conference.

Holiday TV Schedule

We have compiled all the holiday and Christmas TV specials and movies that start TONIGHT! We love watching all these fun classic movies as well as some new specials including Peter Pan Live! on NBC and a new Toy Story holiday short called “Toy Story That Time Forgot”. We have also compiled the new Disney Junior holiday episodes and some fun Disney Channel show episodes as well. If you click on the image below, it will take you to a printable image for you to reference for watching or recording.

Hope you enjoy all the fun holiday specials this season!

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Big Hero 6 Review

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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.

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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.

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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!

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