Tag Archives: Dreamworks

The Croods In 3D

22 Mar

Have you ever watched a film and found yourself totally In captured in the wonderful world of make believe? What about at the age of 30?

This was me as I sat and watched a preview screening of The Croods in 3D at the our local Odeon Cinema. Everything about this film was magical and I think the kids would totally agree with me.

The film, a DreamWorks Animation,
Is one not to be missed! Its both a funny and extremely touching story.

The film follows a prehistoric cave family (The Croods) who together embark on a magical Journey discovering the beauty of world they live in, while learning important lessons about themselves and each other along the way.

The film starts with a fantastic opening scene made all the better with the 3D element. The scene in question takes us on the Croods chase for an egg. This is real fast food that requires much more than a trip to a local drive through. Family members work as a team to grab an egg and get it back to the cave in time for tea. its one big battle to keep the egg from various strange creatures all while keeping it off the ground and free from breakage.

The Croods, however prehistoric they may be, are still very much like your everyday family. The family is made up of Grug (Nicolas Cage) who as both Caveman and father, takes his role to keep his family safe very seriously! Then there’s Ugga (Catherine Keener) Grugs devoted wife, Eep (Emma Stone) the teenage daughter who feels her fathers over protectiveness is holding her family back, Sandy (Randy Thom) who is the youngest Crood and at times acts more like an angry four legged creature then that of a baby, Thunk (Clark Duke) the tubby son and finally Gran (Cloris Leachman) Ugga’s elderly mother and to his utter “Delight” Grugs mother in law.

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Some may call Grug an over protective husband and father, but his way of doing things has lead to the Croods being the only family of its kind still alive. Grug feels its safer to keep his family hidden inside the darkness of their home (the cave) While his teenage daughter Eep is just itching to discover what more life has to offer and therefore feels her father is holding the family back with his over protective ways.

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When the cave is destroyed, due to the result of an earthquake, Grug has no choice but to embark on a family Journey to find a new cave for his family to live in. The only problem is Eep’s discovery & interest in a cave boy (homo sapien) named ‘Guy’ (Ryan Reynolds). Grug feels somewhat threatened and Jealous by guys intelligence. Guy introduces some great ideas and inventions to the Croods such as his discovery of fire and his creation of shoes, that he puts together to help the family cross a rocky pathway. The family want Guy to help them on their Journey while Grug is concerned that the boys ideas will lead them into danger. Yet, as the film progresses, we watch how Grug has a change in heart, soon discovering that by working together, his strength and Guys intelligence can lead them to where they need to be (and a cave isn’t it).

The Croods set travel across a spectacular landscape that is filled with weird but wonderful prehistoric species ranging from flying piraña fish to strange four legged owls. The addition of 3D Technology, makes you feel that your there with them discovering this vibrant and exciting land right there next to them.

The Sun also has a key part to play in this animation! What with Eep’s increasing fascination in the planet and the light it produces and that of Guys intentions to find it and ride it to a beautiful and magical place called tomorrow.

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There are some real spectacular scenes and real funny moments. The relationship between Grug and Gran produces many of these moments as they both engage in some funny banter directed at one another.

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However, if your not laughing, you may find that you’re actually shedding a tear or two. There are a few really touching scenes such as the one that sees both Grug and Guy become stuck in tar. When guy confines to Grug that this was the way his family died, Its at this moment that Grug has a change of heart towards guy and together they discover that by working together as a team they can both escape that same fate and go on to discover the land of “tomorrow”.

Its also the developing relationship amongst Grug and his daughter Eep that provides some great emotional scenes within the film. It does well to show that no matter what, humans will always experience them same emotions whether they are experiencing them today or that thousands of years ago.

I don’t want to say to much, but I will say that the world of tomorrow looks all the more brighter the closer they come to reaching it.

With the films closing scenes being as powerful as the opening scenes I’d advise that you watch the Croods with a packet of tissues close at hand.

The Croods is a magical admiration that will interest families of all ages.

I’d highly recommend watching this in 3D to really experience the film through the eyes of each character. You will truly see the world around them as they see it, so much so you will almost feel yourselves reaching out to touch it.

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Checkout the trailer below… It will have you itching to watch it!

For screenings and film times for your area, please check out the Odeon Website

Disclaimer: We received an invitation to a pre-screening of the Croods by Odeon Cinemas. All words and opinions are honest and that of my own.

Game Inspiration For Last Minute Shoppers

23 Dec

Its almost Christmas and with literally a few short shopping hours left I thought I’d share a couple of great last minute gift ideas for that special someone that you find all to hard to buy for.

As a mother of a child on the autism spectrum I have found myself in this situation numerous times. I can normally be found on Christmas Eve running from shop to shop like some stressed, crazed headless chicken as I try to beat the clock and find my son those perfect gifts (thankfully I’ve done my crazy chicken run already this year)!

As you all know little man is a whizz on a games console and is pretty fond of his PS3. With this he reviewed a couple of the latest PS3 games.

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Rise of the Guardians Video Game (PS3)

Let kids imaginations run wild as they enter the magic land of make believe in Rise of the Guardians (based on the Dreamworks film animation). Kids choose to be a magical childhood Guardian from characters including: North (aka Santa Claus), Tooth (aka the Tooth Fairy), Bunnymund (aka the Easter Bunny), Sandman, and Jack Frost. Each Guardian has their own set of upgradable and extraordinary powers that will help you take on the evil spirit “Pitch” and his infectious nightmares. Along the way.
As you progress through the realms treasure can be found and various mini quests undertaken to help level-up your characters and pry the fingers of Pitch from children’s minds.
These include freeing children from cages guarded by all sorts of nightmarish creatures to time-based defending quests where you frantically fight off a horde of evil spirits hell-bent on harming a stranded child.

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kids can unlock new powers and spellbinding moves that increase each character’s strength and skills throughout the game.

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There is also the option of a drop-in-and-out team up multiplayer mode that allows players to swap between any of the characters in drop-in-and-out four-player squad based multiplayer action on consoles. This basically means you can switch characters which is great as this allows you to experience each one therefore learning what each can do to assist you throughout the game.

Little man is 12 and really enjoys the game. It did take some getting used to but he got into it fairly quickly. Little man explained that his first task was to convince Jack Frost to join his Guardians on their quest to defeat the evil that is pitch. From here on he then needed to defeat a number of Pitch’s evil allies.

I’ve quite enjoyed watching him play and review this animation game. Ive watched as his explored each of the Guardians imaginative worlds from the Tooth’s Palace to North’s Workshop. If your hoping for a game that involves a jolly Santa in a red suit that runs around with a load of cute Elfs than you may be disappointed. The rise of the guardians is made up of iconic children Legends with an edgy twist.

The Graphics are great and although the music can become somewhat annoying, The Rise of the Guardians is in our opinion a great game for a child aged 12+

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Rise of the Guardians is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii and XBox 360

Ben 10 Omniverse video game on PS3

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This game is sure to delight any Ben 10 fan. Based on the new Cartoon Network series of Ben 10 Omniverse, children can play as both Ben in the past “Young Ben” as well as that of Ben in the present”Teen Ben”
The game offers 2 player mode allowing Ben to work together with Rook (a brand new character to the series) to defeat the evil plans of a villain who’s ultimate mission is to defeat the world.

Rook, Ben 10s newest sidekick, will fight alongside Ben using his Proto-Tool, a high tech multi-functional weapon that turns into a Blaster, Power Sword, Quantum Staff, or Grappler.

The game is fast paced, offering players an assortment of action-packed levels that have been set in various show-inspired settings like the subterranean alien city of undertown.

Little man really found the game exciting and given his not a massive Ben10 fan this surprised me.

He told me that each level offered something new. Each equally exciting yet challenging in its own way meaning he wasn’t easily bored. He also explained that the game allows you to switch forms and battle as one of 13 playable alien heroes, including never-before-seen aliens like Bloxx and Gravattack.

Alfie, little man’s cousin who is also on the autism spectrum found himself captivated by the game. The boys have enjoyed engaging themselves in some serious gameplay as they have come together as Ben10 and Rook helping one another through each level as they play in 2 player mood.

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Ben 10 Omniverse is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii/WiiU and XBox 360

Monopoly Zapped (Compatible with iPhone, iPod and iPad)

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What Hasbro have to say about the game…

“MONOPOLY Zapped Edition is an amazing new game experience from Hasbro. Now you can bring your favorite game to life with loads of awesome mini games on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Landed in Jail? No problem! Just play the Get out of Jail app mini game…if you can launch Mr MONOPOLY over the prison walls to his getaway car, you’re free!

Plus you can transfer MONOPOLY dollars directly to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using your own personal Touch-banking cards! The whole family will love this exciting new way to play MONOPOLY!

Play MONOPOLY and your iPad together!”

Little man has had the game a month or so put has only just played it as things have been so hectic.

He was actually lucky enough to win an iPad on the school reward system Vivo, who ran an online raffle. With this he downloaded the monopoly app from Apple app store and we put the game through its paces.

Their is no questioning it, this is monopoly on a whole new level. Gone are the days of your basic game board and plying pieces. Technology means monopoly is now compatible with smart phones and iPads… innovative it really is.

We loved the mini games and the whole concept of escaping jail. Banking becomes electronic with each player having its own electronic bank card. This is great though it does take away that little bit of educational magic that monopoly brings with it.

But we are moving with the times and there is no disputing the fact that the digitally interactive game experience is a great one!

Available from all gone toy stores for around £25.

Giant Pass The Pigs

GIANT Pass The Pigs

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Giant Pass the pigs is a groovy game, one that myself and the kids have had loads of fun playing.

GIANT Pass The Pigs (RRP £14.99) has been designed for children of the ages 8+ and the game is for 2 players.

This game of Pass pigs is like no other. The pigs are of the giant type, simply Inflate your pair of porkers, throw them and see how they land. Will you get a Leaning Jowler, a Mixed Combo or will you Pig Out

The pigs are of the huge inflatable type, so there really is no little parts to contend with (every mothers dream). The game can be played both in and outdoors, just ensure you have a lot of space so nothing gets broken.

We love the family game and welcome it onto our santas little helpers Christmas gift list. I found it to be perfect for little man. He had lots of fun dashing the pigs around the garden, there really is no skill involved yet it does help better a child’s gross motor skills.

Just remember to keep them away from any toddlers who may try and use the inflatable pokers as a space hopper.

Available from all good UK toy stores for around £14.99

So there is our round up! Whether its a game for a console, an innovative iPad compatible game or a good old fashion hands on traditional family game, I hope we have helped to give you a little inspiration.

Review – Madagascar 3 Europes Most Wanted (VideoGame PS3)

10 Oct

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Little mans been really enjoying his new playstation 3 which we got him for his birthday. He was super pleased to receive a review copy of the brand new game “Madagascar Europe’s Most Wanted” which is based on the new animated film Madagascar 3 by Dreamworks.

This bright and inviting video game allows children to put themselves in the role of their favourite characters from the film. The gang consisting of Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and our favourite Alex the lion, travel through Europe as part of the traveling circus and in-order to make their way home to New York they must put on the show of their lives.

Players can enjoy circus challenges as well as suspiciously zany mission given by the penguins.The game even includes new characters and fellow circus performers Stefano the sea lion, Vitaly the Siberian Tiger and Gia the Jaquar.

Little man 12, enjoyed the game and had loads of fun performing the numerous circus stunts. His just mega skilled when it comes to video games and seems to pick it all up in a matter of minutes. Alice-Sara 9 also really enjoyed playing the game too and often had a sneaky game once little man was out of sight.

The game allows you to play multi-player mode and we found this much more entertaining. With each mission you will need to take control over two different characters that then have to work together to solve puzzles and perform circus stunts. Each character has certain features and abilities that when combine enables each challenge to be overcome.

It’s been ages since I went near a video game but I honestly found myself wanting to have a try and admittedly spent some time as the hippo doing very little. Once I got the hang of things I remembered why it was I stayed away from video games… I’m already addicted to, too many things (twitter and blogging to name but a few)!

This is a real family game thats full of mini missions, even the toddler had a ago and although he just kinda stood jumping, he loved it all the same.

Entertaining is a word id happily use to describe Madagascar 3 Europes most wanted. Actually at times its rather comical too! It’s my opinion that this will be a massive hit with fans of the movie.

Released this October 2012 in time for Christmas
Available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS/ DS

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