By on April 17, 2014

If for some reason you have not yet seen a Disneynature film, you are definitely missing out.

Recently, we were invited to screen Disneynature’s Bears and we just absolutely fell in love with this bear family. The film begins by taking us deep into the Alaskan mountains as we are introduced to Sky, a mother Brown bear and her cubs Amber and Scout.

Actor John C. Reilly (the voice of Disney’s Wreck it Ralph) narrates the film that follows the Bears for a year as we watch them travel to stay safe and find food to get them through the upcoming hibernation. The narration by Reilly really takes the film to a funny new level, not only are you watching amazing footage of these wild animals in their natural habitat, but he definitely gives these bears a voice. Along with Sky, Amber and Scout we also get to follow two other bears, a very wise Raven and a very hungry and sneaky wolf.

I wasn’t sure if my girls would follow along with the movie, since it isn’t a cartoon, but they loved it! Bears is definitely family friendly, educational and heart warming. The love that Sky has for her cubs is so beautiful to watch and the curiosity and playfulness of the cubs is more than entertaining.

Bears opens everywhere April 18 and if you see the film during opening week, Disneynature will make a donation to the National Park Foundation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation fund to protect wildlife and and wild places. One of my favorite times of the year is Earth day, I love that Disneynature really makes an effort to bring conservation and awareness to the forefront.

We were given these bookmarks at the event that are made from seeded paper full of wildflower seeds. How cool is that? We will be planting them as part of our Earth day activities.

 

Boxed Water is Better were also at the event, they are a sustainable water brand that is kinder to the environment.

How cute is this reusable tote? Go get one! All you have to do is bring in 5 plastic bags to the Disney Store to be recycled and you will receive one of these Bears reusable tote bag. Also, for every Bears plush purchased between March 10th and May 11th, the Disney Store will contribute $1 to the National Park Foundation.

 

On the day of the screening, we were asked to bring a brand new stuffed bear to be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. It looks like a lot of kids will be receiving a special gift soon.

 

Keep in mind, that not only is this a great Earth day film, but it is a great Mother’s day movie also. Bears is pretty much the ultimate Momma Bear story.

 

As I was watching, I kept asking myself, “Ooh how did they get that shot?” or “I wonder how close the film crew was to the animals?” So make sure you stay to watch the credits because like all the Disneynature films, you get treated to some behind the scenes footage of the amazing crew that gets up close and personal with the wildlife.

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By on April 14, 2014

meetthecubs_oliviaDid you know the existence of Brown Bears in North America dates back nearly 3,000 years? Native American pictographs reveal images of the fuzzy animals in Central Montana. Disneynature’s latest film, “Bears” is an exciting adventure that follows Sky, a momma bear, and her two newborn cubs; Amber and Scout. The family encounters numerous trials, while trying to survive seasonal changes in the Alaskan wildlife..

olivia_disneynature-bearsTIM: You’re a triple threat: singer, actor and athlete (gymnast)! It’s great that you participate in sports, and can do all of those activities. I know you started singing at age 3, and have the song, “Carry On” placed on this soundtrack for the Disneynature movie. Plus, you just won the Radio Disney Music Award for “Had Me At Hello.” Are you considering making a CD or going on tour?

Olivia: Yes, music has been a part of my life for a very long time. And, I hope to be very successful with my music career, because I love music with all my heart! And, it’s been a really, crazy year. Everything has gone by super fast. But, I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities. Yes, I won the Radio Disney Music Award for my song, “Had Me At Hello.” And, I also sang the theme song for my show, “I Didn’t Do It.” And, then this, “Carry On,” for Disneynature’s “Bears.” It’s been so, so fun!

So now, that I have this little break. We just finished Season 1 of “I Didn’t Do It.” Now, I have a little bit of time to focus on music. I’ve been in the recording studio working on music. I’ve been learning the writing process. I’ve been sitting down with songwriters. So, I’m an aspiring songwriter. And, I really hope to write all of my songs one day! But, as of now, I’m just working with all of these different songwriters. And, they’re teaching me the ropes. And, it’s been so much fun. Like, I love music!

TIM: Would you say your genre is country or pop?

Olivia: Opera! (Giggles) My iPod is a freak show! I love everyone! I love various types of genres of music! My sound is a little more pop with a little more soul. So, the people that I look up to like; Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

TIM: Who would you say keeps you grounded? Your BFFs or your brothers and sisters?

Olivia: All of the above – my family and my friends. I have a very tight group of friends. But, I also have my family who are always there to support me. If I ever need a break, they get it! They understand, they’ll watch a movie with me. On Friday nights, we have Family Movie Night every Friday night. We’ll either go the movies or stay at home and pop popcorn and catch a movie on the TV. But, it’s pretty easy for me because of the free time. When I have that free time, I just enjoy being with my family and everybody keeps me grounded.

TIM: When you said you have Family Movie Night, what would you say is your favorite family movie?

Olivia: During the holidays, it’s more fun because there’s that one movie that we watch all the time, and it’s “Polar Express.” We watch that every year during the holidays. But, we all have our own favorites. Like my dad’s favorite is “It’s A Wonderful Life.” My dad loves all the Christmas movies. Yeah, that’s our favorite family time.

TIM: I read that you enjoy amusement parks. Are you a rollercoaster junkie?

Olivia: (Laughs) I’m a rebel when it comes to those types of rides! I love riding rollercoasters!

TIM: You’re also involved with different charities and organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Would you say that getting involved with that organization was a life-changing experience? Did it give you a different perspective on life after having worked with cancer patients?

Olivia: Yeah, I’ve been involved with St. Jude’s since I was little. Their main hospital is in Memphis, Tenn., and I grew up around that area. And, my granddaddy actually volunteered there. So, I grew up knowing about the hospital. I mean, it was in my hometown. And, there was always a part of me that wanted to be involved. And then, finally I got the opportunity. I’ve been to the hospital a few times. Those kids … I’ve never been around a group of kids that have been so happy! You walk in there and the hospital is filled with so much color. So much life! And, so much hope! And, that’s what I love about it! Every kid that I met had the BIGGEST smile on their face. It just puts the BIGGEST smile on my face. And, I get giddy! And, I get happy! It should be the other way around. But, I don’t know. I love going there. I love visiting. St. Jude’s is very close to my heart!

TIM: Going toward Disneynature’s “Bears” film, what made you compelled to perform the song and want to be involved in the whole environmental (Earth Day) theme?

Olivia: Disney approached me with the song, “Carry On.” And, as soon as I heard it, it was like a “click” in my brain! Yes! It not only goes perfectly with the film. But, it also goes perfectly with anybody’s life! I mean, the song is very inspiring, heartwarming, very encouraging. I could go on, and on about how beautiful the song is! But, it’s just perfect! I was very, very thrilled to be a part of it!

TIM: It also matches your life. Like Scout, the bear, has the same name as your Yorkie dog.

Olivia: (Laughs) Yes, it was so funny because my family and I saw the film, and Scout, the bear’s personality in the film is exactly like our dog at home! (Laughs) We got home and pointed at our Scout saying, “You are a bear!” (Laughs) Scout’s looking at us like, “What?” (Giggles) But, it was really fun. I loved the film. I loved the story they put with it, and I thought it was not only educational, but it was very heartwarming. I felt that anybody who watched it would feel the love, the struggle, and the passion behind this story.

TIM: If you could say anything to any teens struggling with any type of issues. What is it that you could say that would maybe give them hope? Or, inspire them to continue on?

Olivia: I know for me, I’m a teenager, so I go through the ups and downs. So, I get it. For me, it’s either focusing on other things that make me happy. And, just being positive. And, keeping my head help up high. And, always remembering that there’s always good that comes out of tough things. I feel like you gotta look at the bright side. Not the downfall. For me, I try not to consume my brain with all of the bad things that are happening in life. I try to focus on other things. That’s something that has helped me a lot.

That’s IT! Penny Scott is a veteran writer and SoCal mom of three.

* Penny attended a screening and interview for editorial purposes.

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By on April 8, 2014

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Arrr mateys! Are you looking for an adventure involving food, clever entertainment and exciting interaction with cunning bandits? Then visit Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park for all of that and more. My family and I were invited to attend Pirates Dinner Adventure presenting a performance of “Rise Of The Sea Dragon!” This was our first time attending Pirates Dinner Adventure and we were thrilled to get in on the fun.

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Voyagers/Guests are treated to pre-show entertainment and have the option to purchase drinks as well as browse the merchandise section. Upon entering, every party is assigned to a pirate mascot. We were guided by the Purple Pirate “Saxton”. He escorted us into the venue and were surprised to find a large replicated pirate ship that is set on an indoor lake as the setting. The audience is seated in six sections around the ship, and the crew works on revving up the audience!

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“Rise of the Sea Dragon” features Captain Sebastian the Black who kidnaps a princess and other guests during the Governor’s Gala. He seeks revenge and treasure! The story line has cool stunts, jolly singing, awesome aerial artistry as well as romance! My favorite part was definitely the acrobatic rope scene (picture Cirque du Soleil). This was an unexpected, beautiful performance. The pirate humor was funny and amused my six year old daughter.
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During the show, voyagers are served dinner. We were given the option of roasted chicken or beef skewers along with salad or vegetable soup and finally dessert. The food was decent but like usual, my favorite was dessert- a warm brownie served with vanilla ice cream. Vegetarian meals are available as well as a kids menu. My daughter devoured her chicken fingers like a good first mate.
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Pirates Adventure is an exciting and humorous night out for the family as well as large groups and parties. Don’t forget to let the box office know that you are celebrating a birthday or a special occasion. Kids who were celebrating a birthday got to walk aboard the ship. Don’t worry your little buccaneers won’t catch scurvy, but they might get the fever to take on a dragon!

Visit http://www.piratesdinneradventure.com for information on pricing and special offers! You can get in FREE on your birthday use BD2014 to receive a general ticket.

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* We received complimentary tickets to faciliate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service.
 The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.

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I Want My Nerd HQ Interview With Zac Levi #NerdHQ

By on April 7, 2014

iwantmynerdhq-1Calling all nerds! Do you want your Nerd HQ? Zachary Levi (Chuck, Tangled) founder of the Nerd Machine, needs your support as Nerd HQ is in jeopardy! Nerd HQ, the four-day free event, is where fans and celebrities come together to have an experience unlike no other. Fans can play games, check out cutting edge […]

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Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar On IMAX And IMAX 3D Now

By on April 6, 2014

madagscar_lemursOnce upon a time, Lemurs ruled Madagascar. They settled there after floating from Africa millions of years ago. These precious primates flourished on the deserted island up until mans arrival 2,000 years ago. That’s when life changed for these prosimians. This is how the IMAX documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar begins.  Academy Award winner Morgan […]

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Cute Easter Cupcakes Recipe #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias #spon

By on April 6, 2014

choosesmart-disclaimerEaster is the perfect holiday for kids to help Mom or Dad in the kitchen! Family time, egg decorating, and baking complete the Easter holiday. I decided to bake cupcakes to celebrate spring and to do a test batch for Easter. I went with a simple recipe and with the help of my daughter we […]

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

By on April 4, 2014

captainamerica251eeff8c19fbeUnless you are well-versed in the Marvel Universe, you will definitely want to see this movie again! In fact, even if you are scholarly in the Marvel world, you’ll want to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The intense action sequences and fascinating special effects are mesmerizing. Plus, you’ll find a storyline that really dives into the changes […]

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New Disney Apparel By Jumping Beans at Kohl’s and Giveaway #MagicAtPlay #Spon

By on April 4, 2014

disney-kohls-disclaimerJumping Beans at Kohl’s is the perfect label for my daughter. The line is adorable and is uber playful which matches her personality. We love shopping and were thrilled to find out that they have partnered with Disney to launch their new capsule collection, “Magic at Play”! Minnie is featured on girl’s items while Mickey […]

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Lemur Talk With Primatologist Dr. Patricia Wright

By on April 3, 2014

island-LEMUR-madagascarDr. Patricia C. Wright is one of the world’s leading experts on lemurs, where she has studied the animals for more than 20 years in Madagascar. She is the scientific advisor to the new IMAX 3D documentary, “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” from Warner Brothers. This film gives voice to these exotic and fascinating primates. Wright is quoted […]

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The Black Widow: On Self-Discovery #CaptainAmerica

By on April 2, 2014

captainamerica-black-widowScarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Don Jon and Hitchcock) returns in Captain America: The Winter Solider as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. This time, Black Widow has a leading role in this action-packed film, where she is stunning, kicks-ass and seems to have a personal goal of setting Captain America up on a date! I attended a junket which featured Johansson, as […]

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