Nightmare at the Museum 2 - Battle at the Smithsonian

It's two years later and Larry Daley has moved on from night time security guard to head of Daley Devices. Although he is a corporate big wig now he still finds time to check in on the old gang at the Museum of Natural History. He soon discovers that the Museum is being closed for renovations and many of the old exhibits are being sent on to storage in the Smithsonian. Mayhem at the Smithsonian quickly ensues and it's up to Larry Daley to come to the rescue once again. Many of the characters from the original film are included as well as new characters from history such as Amelia Earhart, Al Capone, Napoleon and Ivan the Terrible.

Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, Owen Wilson, Alan Chabat, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader, John Bernthal, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Cherry, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck etc..

Rating: PG

If you enjoyed the first Night at the Museum you will certainly enjoy this one. It had a bit of everything. It was full of action, drama, intrigue and even a little bit of romance. It was basically fun for the whole family.

Things I really enjoyed about this movie:

* We actually got to see the inside of the Smithsonian. I mean being from Canada
I had no clue how big this museum was and how absolutely awesome it would be to go there. Apparently no other movie has ever been allowed to film in the Smithsonian until this movie.

*Larry drops what he is doing to go and help out his friends albeit little people who
aren't really real and only come to life because of a special magic tablet. He
could just walk away from it, but he doesn't.

*That even though Larry had achieved what he thought he wanted in life he
realizes that it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, that some things
and people were just more important.

I won't say too much more. It would just give away the film. Let's just say that I felt the story was strong and just as fun as the first.

As for the parental advisory. You could probably stretch that a little to include 6 and up. The action and violence are very mild. There are some fight scenes but no blood or wounds. Some of the exhibits coming to life may be scary to really young views but I sincerely think my daughter probably could have handled this movie.

If you are particularly concerned "Oh my God" is said quite a few times, "damn" is said at least twice and "sucks" is said once. As for sex and nudity, there are a couple of kissing scenes and a couple of naked cherubs where you see their butts but that is it. Nothing they don't see they parents doing.

So over all, it was a great film. Worth checking out!

Movie Mama

Santa Buddies - The Legend of Santa Paws

Join The Buddies (Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Buddha and Mudbud) in a wonderfully wacky twist on a classic Christmas favorite. When Puppy Paws, the fun-loving son of Santa Paws, gets tired of the North Pole, he finds Budderball on Santa's naughty list and figures he's just the dog to show him how to be an ordinary pup. But when the magical Christmas Icicle starts to melt and the world begins to forget the true meaning of the season, it's up to Puppy Paws and his new found Buddies to save Christmas.

Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Craig Anton, Andrew Astor, Tom Bosley, George Wendt, Field Cate, Tim Conway, Chris Coppola, Josh Flitter, Ben Giroux, Skyler Gisondo, Zachary Gordon and many more.

Rated: G

Just when you thought you had enough, they bring out another Buddies movie. I have to admit though that this film does have it's charms. My children loved this film very much and watched it beginning to end several times over the weekend. It's not often a movie captures their interest that long.

For the grownups, it is definitely watchable at least one time. The story is pretty good. Talks a lot about the spirit of Christmas and what it means. That Christmas is more about giving than receiving and the buddies have to work together as a team in order to save Christmas. In doing so they help transform some of the lives of the people around them, one grumpy dog catcher played in particular.

There is a part or two where the flow doesn't really jive. You see Eli (a real elf) giving a kind lecture to a fake elf about the spirit of Christmas etc and yet you don't see how that ties into the movie. The fake elf wasn't a grump, there were no scenes (unless they were cut) where that Elf lacked Christmas spirit.

I can't really think of any potential warnings for parents. There is some mild action as the puppies are being chased by the dog catcher. In one scene the puppies try to escape and the dogcatcher gets knocked over and falls on his back. That's about all I can think of.

I should add that if you are a Christian you will find the message in the movie falls sadly short on the true meaning of Christmas. However, as always, there are many teachable moments that you can share with your children if you are sitting along with them watching this film.

Movie Mamma


Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal, part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, Russell, an overeager 8-year old Wilderness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is in the wrong place at the wrong time - Carl's front porch! The world's most unlikely duo reach new heights and meets fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, the rare 13-foot tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life's biggest adventures aren't the ones you set out for.

Featuring the Voice Talents of: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft and many other talented voices.

Rated PG for some peril and mild action.

Lovely, lovely, lovely movie. I just loved this film. Can you tell? It was altogether delightful and charming. The balloons are such a whimsical touch and there is just something about the graphics and colours in this film that I really love. Not too bright, more pastels. I don't know, it's just lovely.

I was surprised at the PG rating. Roadrunner has more peril and action than this film. Having said that; however, there are a couple of parts that I felt would be too heavy for my oldest (6) to watch and so we did not let her watch this film.

Parents note that this is not just a film for the kids but for the whole family. The beginning starts out with the old man, Carl, as a young child when he meets his wife, Ellie. It then progresses into a silent movie style clips, showing the ups and downs of their lives together. While this may be over many the heads of younger children, some more sensitive children will pick up on the meanings behind some of the sadder clips. Not to say that is necessarily a bad thing. I just recalled a scene from another movie in Meet the Robinsons where a baby is left on the steps of an Orphanage. That had actually upset my daughter quite a bit to imagine a baby being left like that. So when I saw the beginning of this film I thought perhaps it was not for her.

Likewise further into the film, as with most movies, a bad guy develops and is out to get the good guys. There are several small incidents of violence, with bullets being shot at the main characters, while there are no injuries, this may be more than you want your children to see. Oh and there is reference to people being eliminated in a general way. Again, if your child watches anything like Scooby Doo or Roadrunner this movie will be fine for them.

On a side note... if you have Blu-Ray player and are thinking of purchasing this film... buy it on Bluray. The Blu-Ray version has extra features and a short film clip that is not available on the DVD. I was disappointed with this. I think it may well be a sign of the way things are going to go in the technology arena. Blu-Ray will be pushing out DVD's before we know it.

Movie Mamma

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure

Tinkerbell is back and ready for a new adventure. "Discover how the Pixies make their magic dust! Take off in a hot air balloon with Tinker Bell and her new friend Blaze, a lightning bug who lights her way, on an enchanting secret journey to find a new moonstone, the source of the Pixies mystical dust. But hold on tight! There'll be amazing encounters, some close calls, and a daring rescue by her old friend Terence! In her biggest adventure yet, Tinker Bell not only learns a lesson in responsibility, she discovers the true meaning of friendship. From the creators of Tinker Bell, 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' is a captivating journey of self-discovery everyone will want to take."

Rated: G

Featuring the voice talents of:

Mae Whitman as Tinker Bell (voice)
Jesse McCartney as Terence (voice)
Kristin Chenoweth as Rosetta (voice)
Lucy Liu as Silvermist (voice)
Pamela Adlon as Vidia (voice)
Raven-Symoné as Iridessa (voice)
Anjelica Huston as Queen Clarion (voice)
Grey DeLisle as Lyria / Viola / Narrator (voice)
John Di Maggio as Minister of Autumn
Jane Horrocks as Fairy Mary (voice)
and others......

Another delightful Tinkerbell movie from Disney. I was a little worried that the second Tinkerbell movie would be a tad humdrum, that we had discovered all the enchantment there was to be had in the new Pixie hollow. That was, however, not the case and my girls were just as delighted with this second Tinkerbell film as the first.

The voice talents were incredible, the graphics were gorgeous, the story was delightful. This film gave plenty of opportunities for my girls to see what happens when you allow your temper to get the best of you, how it can hurt friendships and what you must do to set things right again. All in all a captivating film from beginning to end.

For parents, there is very little of concern in this film. There are no evil villains in this film which is atypical Disney style. The worst parts are Tink's own bad behaviour and it's obvious that this type of behaviour is not to be preferred.

Really I can't think of a single warning to give. If you've seen the film and have a warning to suggest, please do leave me a comment.

What's going to be up next?

Movie Mamma

Imagine That

A successful financial executive has little time to spend with his young daughter. Then a personal crisis takes hold, and his career begins a downward spiral. But he finds the answers to his problems in an unlikely place: his child's imaginary world.

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi, Ronny Cox, Stephen Rannazzisi, Nicole Ari Parker, Deray Davis, Vanessa Williams, Martin Sheen... to name a few.

Rating: Canadian rating is G but the MPAA is PG for "mild language and brief questionable behaviour".

To be honest this movie did not get the best ratings. I, however, disagree. I found the movie to be enjoyable with a strong message to parents about placing our careers ahead of our relationships with our children.

The topic may be beyond younger children. Despite the fact that this little girl has imaginary friends and visits an imaginary world I did not think my kids would find enough in this film to entertain them. The imaginary world is truly imaginary. However, if your children are older it might well be a good movie for the whole family to watch.

Basically, Evan Danielson is a fast paced corporate executive who is separated from his wife. It's easy to see why as work obviously his biggest priority. Things go awry though when he has to take his daughter for the entire week during one of the most stressful times of his career. He ends up finding himself playing with his daughter for the first time in a long while and slowly begins to discover himself and just how precious his daughter is.

The viewer actually gets to walk through this transition along with Evan. Just when you think he's coming along, he suddenly takes a wrong turn. This film provides plenty of discussion material for the whole family.

Movie Mamma

Pink Panther 2

Inspector Clouseau is back. When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther diamond, Clousea is assigned to the dream team of international detectives who are under pressure to bring the master thief to justice before he strikes again.

Starring: Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Jeremy Irons, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin and John Cleese etc.

Rating: PG

If you have seen the first one and you liked it, then this movie is sure to please. Steve Martin is back as the lovable bumbling Clouseau and I have to admit I couldn't imagine any other actor playing this part half so well as he does.

Again, this is one of those movies that you have to be in the mood for. It's silly, it's light hearted, it's fun. It took me a little while to warm up to it but when I put aside my more analytical side and just enjoyed it for what it was, I had a few laughs.

There are some sexual references in this movie. Apparently at the beginning of the film there is a painting of a fully nude male. I missed this so was not aware until I looked it up that this was in the film. Clouseau calls women sexy a few times and becomes aroused by a description of a woman's clothes being ripped off because of clumsiness. This is part of a whole side plot that Clouseau apparently says things that are not politically correct and he must speak to a consellor about what is and is not appropriate. This is how the whole description scene comes up. I don't get why they had to add this side plot into the film. Now I am not a die hard Pink Panther friend but I have seen the movies before and I don't recall that this was a character flaw of Clouseau. In one scene he calls a fellow dectective who is Japanese "my little yellow friend". They all roll their eyes but no one says anything to him about it. Really, why is this in this film? It does not fit the film in my opinion.

As for violence, there are several scenes of intense action. A SWAT team storms into Dreyfus' office a few times, a restaurant is set on fire twice, a gun is shot several times, no one is hit, a corpse is seen on a crime scene, no blood though.

Profanity: mild terms like ass and damn are said.

Again, stick with the rating guide. I would not suggest letting young children watch this film. Not only is the story line not entertaining enough to hold their interest but the actions scenes are just that much too intense to let them watch it.

Movie Mamma

Paul Blart Mall Cop

With a heart that won't quit, a stomach that won't stop gurgling and a self-sworn oath to protect his turf, He's Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Mild mannered Paul Blart has always had huge dreams of becoming a State Trooper. Until then, he patrols the local mall as a security guard. With his closely cropped mustaches, personal transporter and gung ho attitude, only Blart seems to take his job seriously. All that changes when a team of thugs raids the mall and takes hostages. Untrained, unarmed and a super size target, Blart has to become a real cop to save the day.

Starring: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays, Raini Rodriguez, Shirley Knight, Stephen Rannazziski, Peter Gerety, Bobby Canavale, Adam Ferrara etc.

Rating: PG

This is one of those stupid funny movies. You know, the one that you have to be in the right mood for or it isn't funny at all. Keeping that in mind it was, overall, a pretty funny movie.

Paul Blart is played by Kevin James. I really enjoy Kevin James as an actor and appreciate his sense of humour (most of the time). He kinda went a little over the top in portraying this guy, Paul Blart, as a bit of a loser but then I guess it just makes the ending all the more gratifying with the little guy coming out on top. It's fairly obvious right from the beginning that Paul Blart has not exactly had an easy time of it. His life seems to be a series of failures from which he tries to recover through food. He is a genuinely nice guy that just can't seem to get a break.

The basic premise of the movie is that we get to see Paul Blart go through a day on the job at the mall when a team of thieves take over the mall. Paul Blart manages to slip through the cracks and now he is the only one on the inside who can let the police know on the outside what's going on. He is determined to protect the hostages and stop the thieves.

I enjoyed this movie for a couple of reasons. One, you get to see the little guy finally get a break and come out on top and not in a completely unrealistic way. Okay, I know how many of us would be actually faced with that type of situation but think about when there is a tough situation to be dealt with. Most often, we rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done.

One of thing that stood out for me was the relationship Paul had with his daughter. She obviously thought the world of him and wanted him to meet someone that would be worthy of him. I also liked how self confident and strong this little girl was. When he tells her that she is a great daughter.. she responds... "yeah, I'm pretty great, aren't I?".

This movie is pretty tame rating wise as far as films go. The violence is fairly mild. Guns are used when the mall is taken over, brandished at customers. No one actually gets shot. There a few fight scenes and at one point Paul is attacked by a woman. As far as profanity goes, "hell" is used twice and "ass" is said a few times. The bad guys are not all that scary. But there is one scene, which could have been left out in my opinion, wherein Paul Blart gets drunk (inadvertently mind you but he was in a bar) and acts very stupidly.

So unless you are very strict with your children about what they watch, you may be tempted to ignore the rating because let's face many G rated cartoons are more violent than this movie. Personally though, I wouldn't suggest it as there is just not enough in this film to entertain young children. I couldn't imagine my kids being interested in this film at all.

For older children, at least 8 and up, this is a light enough comedy that the whole family can spend time watching.

Movie Mamma

The Tale of Desperaux

Once upon a time... in the far away kingdom of Dor... lived a brave and virtuous mouse with comically oversized ears who dreamt of becoming a knight. Banished from his home for having such lofty ambitions, Despereaux sets off on an amazing adventure with his good-hearted rat friend Roscuro, who leads him, at long last, on a very noble quest to rescue an endangered princess and save an entire kingdom from darkness. Based on the heartwarming children's bestselling book and featuring the voice talents of an all-star cast, The Tale of Despereaux is a magical, modern fairytale.

Starring:  Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Ciarian Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Hale, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Shaughnessy etc. 

Directed by: Sam Fell, Rob Stevenhagen   


This film had all the perfect elements of a fairytale.  A princess, a tragedy, a villain and a hero, albeit a somewhat unusual one.  The story starts out with a rat, named Roscuro.  From the start we can see that he is not your common garden variety rat.  He enjoys being out in the daylight and loves soup.  Unfortunately, it's this love of soup that gets him into trouble.  In the land of Dor, the people all loved soup and every spring the cook would present his newest soup recipe to the whole kingdom.  It was while Roscuro was trying to get a better look and sniff of the soup that he fell into the Queen's bowl causing her such a terrible fright that she drops dead.  The King is so grieved that he banishes soup and all rats from he kingdom.  Roscuro is sent scurrying to the underground where he discovers anew how unlike he is from other rats.  Here the tale really begins as we then witness the birth and growth of Desperaux, a mouse without fear. 

The graphics were clean and in my opinion well done.  Of course, my opinion is purely based upon whether it's pleasing to my eye to look at for an hour and half.  I felt the story flowed well and perhaps could have been a tad deeper in spots but after all, it is a children's film. I do feel; however, that they have erred with the rating of G.  I am grateful that I previewed the movie first, something which I do not always do when a movie is rated G.  Right from the start with the Queen literally dropping dead in her soup, I knew we were going to have problems with this film.  Can you imagine my 5 year old's horror at the "mommy" dying literally 10 minutes into the film.  

In the mouse world, they are taught to fear knives, in the rat world you see human skulls being used as carriages to carry rats around, they keep a caged cat which they use to kill their enemies.  At one point in the movie, the rats kidnap the princess, tie her up and drag her out into their little rat arena while the rat crowds were chanting "Eat her, Eat her" and at one point she is swarmed by the rats until she is rescued.  Of course, the hero carries the day and all is restored and made aright in the Kingdom of Dor; however, the level of violence and the tastelessness of the whole trying to eat the princess scene really put the kibosh on my children seeing this movie. 

From a grown up point of view; however, I enjoyed the film and thought it quiet charming overall.  I have nothing against the adventure seeking little mouse and find his dreams and ambitions to be that of any imaginative child.  A little swashbuckling is fun.  Who among us wouldn't like to run off and rescue the fair damsel in distress?  

So to wrap it up, unless you have very strict notions of what you let your children watch, I see no problem in letting anyone say 8 and older to watch this film.  

And that's my opinion in a nutshell. 

Bedtime Stories

Marty Bronson has to sell his homey motel to clever Barry Nottingham with the promises that one day Marty's son will be manager when he's all grown up and has proven himself. Nottingham pulls down the motel to raise a pricey hotel. Now, all grown up Marty's son, Skeeter, works as a janitor and general servant for Mr. Nottingham, but unlikely as it seems, he still dreams of becoming the manager. When Nottingham announces a brand-new gigantic hotel project, he makes his future son-in-law, Kendall, manager, shattering Skeeter's dream. At the same time Skeeter's sister Wendy has to leave town for a job interview and asks him to alternate looking after her two children with Wendy's responsible-minded colleague Jill.  The fun begins when Skeeter tells his niece and nephew a bedtime story each night.  It doesn't take long for strange things to begin happening and for Skeeter to realize that he may just have in hand the power to make all his dreams come true. 

Starring:  Adam Sandler, Courtney Cox, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Russell Brand, Richard Griffiths, Lucy Lawless, Johnathan Morgan Heit, Laura Ann Kesling, Jonathan Pryce etc. 

Rating:  G

This was a light family fun film and we all enjoyed watching it together.  Although it is rated G it doesn't hold a lot of interest for all younger children. My 5 year old just barely managed to hold out longer with the promise that once Skeeter started telling the bedtime stories it would get more interesting.  This worked and she was hooked for the rest of the film. 

We, of course, previewed this film the night before and were pleasantly surprised at how they managed to do the story telling and action scenes without being either too scary or violent.  When I initially watched the previews, I was inclined to think that it might be a tad violent.  Please note there are some high thrill adventures with horse racing, chariot racing, etc. but nothing more violent or intense than what typify many of the Barbie movies (Hey I have girls it's the easiest comparison). So we had no qualms whatsoever in letting our younger children watch the film. 

The storyline could have been better, more filled out.  Isn't that always the case though?  However, we still enjoyed the stories for what they were.  I liked that although the main character was going through difficulties and some disappointments in his life, he still had a measure of hope and when he was really down, he was able to pull himself together and do something about it, teaching that we don't always have to settle for second best and there's no reason why we can't try and make our dreams happen.  

I think there was also a message in there that while it's good to eat healthy and to work and study hard that there is also some room in there for a measure of fun and freedom.  Life doesn't have to always be just serious.  Skeeter helped the children realize that and give them some fun in an area where they mother was unable too.  

They do leave some questions out like what happened to Skeeter and Wendy's mother and why their relationship was so distant.  They appear to be close yet at the same time mention they hadn't seen each other for 4 years.  I do find it disappointing that Hollywood always feel the needs to make the family dynamic into a single parent household.  While I know there are many divorced couples our there and parents making it on their own, there are just as many out there that are still together.  It is confusing for those kids that still have their parents together to understand how all these t.v. families are divided.  If you have a thinker for a child, it could actually make them fearful that their family is going to split up too, especially since it seems to be rare to see two parent familes in movies these days.  Am I wrong or have I just been watching the wrong movies?  I hope so. 

So all in all I was a big fan of the movie and would heartily recommend it to any of my customers who have young families.  It's probably not the best film for families with older teens as it probably won't hold their teen's interest, unless, of course, your teen is a fairly sheltered teen.  

Here are the more detailed specifics re the movie to help determine if this film would be appropriate for your child. 
Parents Advisory: 
Sex and nudity:  Contains mild toilet humour, some girls are seen in bikinis, random cleavage shots, bare chested men, 
Violence and gore:  one man is slapped by a hand that pops out of a gun and some wrestling occurs
Language and Profanity:  at least two uses of "hell" and "what the hell" and 4 uses "God" and "OMG"
Alcohol/Drinking/Smoking:  small reference to drinking champagne and references to "going for drinks" but no alcohol is actually seen being consumed. 
Frightening Intense Scenes:  Some monsters (not many) from the stories may be frightening, but all are portrayed in a humorous light. For instance a booger monster is particularly vivid. A divorce is discussed as well which could be problematic for some children.  (Again, my children had no issues with these scenes at all)

Barbie: Thumbelina

Meet Thumbelina.   A tiny girl that lives in harmony with nature.  Her home is the magic world of the Twillerbees.  When a spoiled girl named Makenna asks her parents to uproot a patch of wildflowers, Thumbelina along with two of her friends are transported to a lavish city apartment. There they learn of construction plans that threaten to destroy the land of the Twillerbees. Thumbelina is determined not to give up and sets out to convince Makenna the magic of true friendship and that even the smallest person can make a big difference. 

Starring the voice talents of:  Kathleen Barr, Natasha Calis, Kelly Metzger, Kelly Sheridan, Tabitha St. Germain, Cathy Weseluck among others. 

Rating:  G

This movie was a big hit with my daughters and even my 22 month old son loved it.  They insisted on watching it repeatedly over the next two days we had the movie.  When my children actually sit still through an entire movie not just once but 3 times from beginning to end, this is a sure sign that this movie was a hit. 

The graphics were amazing.  The colours and design were gorgeous.  The Thumbelina and the Twillerbees were adorable.  Move over Tinkerbell and Pixie Hollow there are new fairies in town. 

I just loved this movie myself.  It had everything a parent could want.  It was entertaining without violence, it had a strong story and a positive outcome.  There are many teachable moments in this movie if you are so inclined.  

Part of why I like this movie is that the so called "villains" of this piece are the well meaning if somewhat thoughtless parents of Makenna.  They are not out to destroy the home of the Twillerbees from malice but were merely looking for a suitable business site for their factory. Their sudden financial success caused them to become extremely busy making it hard to find time for their daughter.  Makenna's spoiled nature is simply a bi-product of her parent's attempt to make up for the lack of family time together by giving her whatever she wants.  

It's a wonderful exploration of an all too common theme in many homes today.  Even if we are not too busy working, we often want to give our children what we didn't have or to make sure they don't feel left out with their peers.  

It was great when my 5 year old would ask me why Makenna was behaving that way, why her parent's wanted to dig up the Twillerbee's home.  This paved the way for talking about selfish behaviour and even about the environment and ways we could protect it.  

Best of all this movie really fired up my daughter's imagination as her and her cousin spent the next week pretending to be Twillerbees and Twillerbee babies.  I didn't even have to buy them the toys.  Just using their imagination was enough for hours of fun.  

Definitely my top recommendation for any little girls. 

Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa

The sequel to 2005's "Madagascar", in which New York Zoo animals, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, still stranded on Madagascar, start to leave the island. All of a sudden, they land in the wilderness of Africa, where Alex meets the rest of his family, but has trouble communicating with them after spending so much time at the Central Park Zoo. 

Featuring the voice talents of:  Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Andy Richter, Alec Baldwin, Sherri Shepheard and the late Bernie Mac.  Just to name a few. 

Rating:  PG for mild crude humour

As this movie was rated PG, my children were unable to watch it. (Being 5 and under).  So this based strictly on an adult's view. 

I didn't particularly think the first Madagascar was funny so I wasn't expecting to like this one.  Perhaps I am just in a different time in my life but I did find this movie enjoyable.  Both my husband and I laughed out loud several times during this movie. 

Tired of Madagascar, this unlikely crew of friends is determined to get back to New York and the life of ease they are all familiar with.  However, things go awry in one of the most humourous moments of the film when the penguins attempt to fly them in a hollowed airplane shell.  Instead, they land in Africa where Alex meets up with his parents.  

It was a good story, well written with plenty of zip and zany quips.  A family reunited to touch our hearts and four friends who continue to strengthen and evolve their friendship.  

This movie was rated PG.  A rating well warranted I believe as the beginning was a little tense with a hunter shooting at the animals.  Also further along in the film a human gets into a slapping, punching and knock out scrap fighting with the  animals. There are also some lions fighting each other as part of the who's going to be king lion ritual.  That part wasn't too bad but the hunters shooting part was a little too realistic for comfort.  If it hadn't of been for that part, I would have had no problem with letting my children watch this film.  

The villain in this piece was suprisingly mild and understated.  Unlike Scar in the Lion King, Makunga was more of a sleazy lounge singer than a menancing lion who has a lust for power.  More like he wants to be in power because he perceives it to be the easy life. 

I was puzzled by Moto Moto.  Given that he's a toy given out in happy meals, I had thought his character to be bigger than it was.  It wasn't.  It was suprisingly small and I don't recall even hearing him say what his toy says.  

Still, I give this movie a thumbs up.  It made me want to look up information on Africa and the animal reserves there.  If if we had more time with this movie, I may have let my children watch this film once I had fast forwarded through the whole kidnapping lion, hunter shooting scene.  

It was with a pang of sadness though as I realized that Zuba was actually the voice of the late Bernie Mac.  It reminded me of our loss of a great entertainer; however, it's nice to know that through works like this that his memory lives on.  



Enchanted A classic Disney fairytale collides with modern-day New York City in a story about a fairytale princess who is sent to our world by an evil queen. Soon after her arrival, Princess Giselle begins to change her views on life and love after meeting a handsome lawyer.

Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Amy Adams, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey and Susan Sarandon etc.

Rating: PG for some scary images and mild innuendo.

This movie was delightful. It starts off in Andalasia, where Giselle in animated form is waiting for her prince and true love's first kiss. Giselle meets her prince and they about to wed when Giselle is tricked by Prince Edward's stepmother and ends up in New York where she's turned from animated into human form. She meets up with a lawyer and his daughter who kindly try to help her.

What I found to be charming about this movie is that Giselle sticks to all of her naive ideas (true love, happily ever after, princes etc) despite all the bitter cynicism of Robert (lawyer). The songs are delightful and catchy and I found myself wanting to be a little more like Giselle in her openness and persistently upbeat outlook on life. While Giselle remains charming, Robert does cause Giselle to realize that there may be a bit more to life than just finding one's prince and living happily ever after. Just what does "happily ever after" entail after all.

This story was also interesting because it basically ran across the board of all the fairy tales out there and took different aspects from each one.
Amy Adams does an excellent job of portraying the sweet and naive Giselle. She also has a lovely singing voice and really conveys a genuine sincerity to her part. Susan Sarandon was magnificent for her role as Narissa. Not sure why she didn't get an Oscar nod.

Parental concerns:

Sex/Nudity: Scene where Giselle is getting out of the shower and birds hold up towel for her. Nothing is visible except maybe naked shoulders and legs. She also falls on top of Robert in this scene while only in her towel. Giselle does show a lot of cleavage throughout the film. Mild innuendo.

Violence: Prince's helper Nathaniel repeated threatens to kill the squirrel. Prince brandishes sword around at people in trying to find Giselle. Obvious that Nathaniel is trying to get rid of Giselle by making her eat poisoned apple.

Without spoiling the ending... Prince Edward's stepmother, Narissa, tries to kill Giselle and then causes a fight scene, windows breaking, falling off buildings etc.

Narissa can be quite scary and changes her appearance through magic and incantation.

I usually stick pretty close the rating guidelines for my children. However, if your child has read Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, they know that the evil witch was trying to kill the princess. Unless, of course, you edit it out. We tried editing it all out but other people are not always so quick on the uptake there. What we did do was skip most of the ending as we considered it too frightening. You can pretty much go from the ball scene where Narissa shows up and tries to ruin everything. Watch it ahead of time and you will know exactly where it would make sense to end if off.

Try it out. If not for your children then for yourself. It was a delightful movie and well deserving of all the nominations for and actual Oscar awards received. One other fun thing is that in the special features section, you can play your favourite music scenes. My girls and I loved to put it on and dance around to it.


Wall E

Wall E
In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Featuring the voice talents of:  Ben Burtt (WallE), Elissa Knight (EVE), Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, MacinTalk, Sigourney Weaver, etc.... 

Rating:  G. 


This was a cleverly and cutely done movie.  Basic premise, is we as humans have turned our planet into a garbage dump.  The solution?  To go on the longest vacation of your life, into space on a space cruise ship, while little robots left behind take care of the garbage and clean up.  The only problem is, is that it takes longer than anyone could have imagined.  Several centuries later, almost all of the cleaning robots (Wall E's) are fried, leaving one who keeps on plugging away at.  He develops a quirky personality and seems enthralled with the junk humans have thrown away.  

Meanwhile on the cruise ship, humans have developed into fat, lazy blobs who can't do anything for themselves.  So much so to the point that the ship's computer deems that the best thing for the humans is for them to remain the fat lazy blobs that they are.  EVE; however, is a robot programmed to return to earth every so often and search for plant life.  When it finally does find plant life the ship's computer does everything to stop the humans from breaking out of their lazy routines and from returning to earth.  Wall E meanwhile falls in love with EVE. 

This is a Pixar film and like most of their films, it was charming.  I love animated films but there has got to be some kind of draw to pull an adult in and keep them there.  Many of the movie elements were over my children's understanding, like humans who given everything they could ask for became lazy, fat and dim and the more obvious message of how we're littering our planet to death.   But they still enjoyed it from Wall E's hangout to the cute little robot who obsessively cleans everything. 

As for content.  It was pretty clean.  There is one part where Wall E plays with a bra he finds. Innocently though. 

For Violence:  There is also some shooting done by EVE with a futuristic gun but she does not shoot any characters, only inaninmate objects.  In another scene, a robot falls a long distance and breaks apart.  

For profanity:  There is a recorded message of  "Darn it All" and "Let's Get the Heck out of Here."

For frightening/scary scenes:  Very emotional scene when Wall E gets beaten up and is almost crushed. It all ends okay though. The space ship when landing is loud and almost lands on a visibly frightened WallE.  The captain gets into a fight with the ships autopilot and gets thrown around the room several times and jabbed in the eye at least once.  

Very small children might be disturbed by the damaged Wall E scene.  It does suck you in and makes you worry about whether he's gonna make it or not.  

Open Season 2

Open Season 2
After falling head over hooves in love with Giselle, Elliot's road to the altar takes a slight detour when Mr. Weenie is kidnapped by a group of pampered pets determined to return him to his owners

Featuring the voice talents of: Joel McHale, Mike Epps, Jane Krakowski, Crispin Glover, Cody Cameron, etc.

Rating PG for mild rude humour.

I found this movie to be mildly amusing. I did not; however, let my children watch it because they are all 5 and under. The storyline was pretty well paced. However, it is a stretch to believe a deer, who was not the handsomest stud in the pack, would get cold feet on tying the knot "forever and ever."On second thought considering he's entirely self-focused maybe it's not such a stretch. 

I did find the voices of the pet owners amusing and particularly found the plight of Mr. Weenie to be funny. Also the idea of a small poodle being the "evil" villain of the piece was hilarious. I am; however, tired of people or in this case animals of just not being nice to each other and trying to be top dog (pun intended) all the time.

This was a somewhat "cute and amusing" film and suitable for 8 and up.  Parents of smaller children be cautioned; there are more than one attempt on wienie's life as well as the use of shock collars by the "bad guys" on the "good guys".  

Overall, not my favourite movie. 


In a world filled with Mad Scientists and Evil Inventions, one talented evil scientist's hunch-backed lab assistant has big dreams of becoming a Mad Scientist himself and winning the annual Evil Science Fair. Only nothing goes as planned. 

Featuring the voice talents of:  John Cusack, John Cleese, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Coolidge and Jay Leno (to name just a few). 

Rating:  PG

I had big hopes for this movie.  I like John Cusack and usually enjoy his dry wit and humour.  Haven't really found a John Cusack movie that I didn't like.  Didn't understand mind you (thinking of War Inc), that's another story er review. 

As a mom with small children, I found this movie to be disappointing. The first time I watched it, I didn't enjoy it at all, saw nothing humorous.  The second time I watched it with my husband and I began to find it somewhat more amusing than at first.  We didn't watch the ending, it was getting late.  But I did find myself wanting to watch the rest of the film the next day.  

What I find disturbing in this film; however, is not really the level of violence etc but the completely disrespectful way the characters talk to each other.  Dr. Schadenfraude and his girlfriend Jaclyn have a stormy relationship and are continuously throwing out snide comments and barbs at one another. Their arguments escalate to hitting each other, which instead of actually hitting each other they hit their Igor instead.  While I get that these two people are "evil" and obviously are not going to have a loving and respectful relationship, I couldn't in good conscious let my children watch that and let them think that that is how two people talk to each other and that hitting is a good way of resolving conflict.  

As for violence, there are scenes of people getting blown up, references to being thrown into a recycler where your body gets chopped up and recycled, trying to kill each other, shoot outs, chase scenes etc. 

There are a lot of little things like that throughout the film.  The ending is good, poor Malaria's problems get resolved and the film has a good moral tone about how everyone has an evil bone in their body is just whether they choose to be evil or not.  

So please stick with the ratings guideline. If your children are under 8 years old, I highly recommend that you do not let them watch this film.  If your child is between 8 and 10 then I suggest that you prescreen this movie and then decide whether you are comfortable with them seeing it. 

As always, only you can decide what you feel is appropriate for your child.  I realize that each family is unique and has their own individual value system.  What's right for one family may not be right for another.