As our children were growing up, we regularly referred to the Movie Mom's reviews. We appreciated her rating of the movie in terms of quality and in terms of age appropriateness.
Although our children are grown and gone now, I still occasionally turn to her reviews to find out what she thinks of a specific movie. You can find her reviews now on the website Beliefnet.com. I like knowing what to expect from a movie before I go to see it, particularly with respect to violent and sexual content.
I can still recommend Nell Minow's book for the reason I mentioned above. It contains reviews and information on older family-friendly movies.
The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together (2007)
If you have young children, you will enjoy this movie resource. It's easy to read and helps you share old movies and the classics with your children.
What Kids Really Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations (2007)
This book approached 1,100 middle-school aged children and asked them if they could ask their parents a question and receive an honest hour, what would they ask. The book addresses the answers by picking a classic movie for each question.
What resources do you use when choosing movies for your children?
at the movies!
Buy The Movie Mom's Guide to Family Movies.
Not Too Scary Movies for Tweens.
How to Have a Children's Movie-Themed Party.
Author's Note: Originally written elsewhere in 2009.
I have not written my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yet but believe me I was more than impressed. I was totally impressed. I came home and went looking for a Niffler and discovered a few wonderful Nifflers that are available online on Etsy.
The Niffler, for those not in the know, is a British creature that burrows and seeks out anything glittery. He is known for being affectionate and gentle BUT he can be destructive as he cannot keep his little paws off of anything that glitters. It is definitely NOT recommended that you keep a niffler in the house.
Anyway, the first of my four fabulous Fantastic Beasts niffler gift ideas, is this adorable collector's art doll or plush animal by A Dragon's Chest on Etsy. If you really wanted to pick up Newt Scamander's Niffler and pet him or scratch under his chin, here is your chance to do so. Note that this piece is handmade as a piece of art and not meant for the play of a child. You can find this niffler in A Dragon's Chest shop on Etsy by clicking here.
My second find was a digital painting from Hilarious Delusions on Etsy. I love the image done to look like a vintage informational print or maybe even like a page from a scientific book. The artist also has pictures with Newt Scamander and Queenie Goldstein. You can find all three images here on Etsy.
Then I found a cute pin, which is shown below. The pin is a simple way to display your fascination of and love for the niffler species. To celebrate the five Fantastic Beasts movies that are being created, Hannah Hitchman crafted a series of pins so that you can create your own menagerie of magical beasts. She drew the Niffler herself and is having the pins produced with gold-colored metal with a rubber fastener and a special coating to make a shiny finish and protect the pin. You can find the Niffler as well as the other Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them pins here in Hannah's store on Etsy.
Finally, there's a fabulous tote bag with which to carry all of your Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Niffler stuff around. The totebag can be found at Shiiit Cake Clothing on Etsy and the image is also available on a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.
You will find any of these Nifflers directly on the links and/or pictures shown above. Is there a niffler in your future?
at the movies!
See ALL of Etsy's niffler collection.
Discover the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Calendar.
It is recommended for ages 4 to 8 though of course anyone can enjoy the story and pictures in a wonderful children's picture book. Pete's Dragon and dog lovers alike will love the tale of this puppy's adventure.
at the movies!
Order Elliot Gets Lots from Amazon.
You can find my complete page on how to create a Rudolph-themed gift set here and you can find these cute little Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jingle Buddies on Amazon by clicking here.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a television show that many of us grew up with. That is, the 1964 animated Rankin/Bass television story. We shared the story with our children when they were growing up and we still look forward to watching it every year.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written in 1939 as a short story in a thin booklet form by Robert L. May. It was a giveaway for the store he worked for, Montgomery Ward and that year, the store gave away 2.5 million copies to visiting children. The Rudolph story went on to be part of a popular song, the television program in 1964 and a movie in 1998.
You probably know the plot of the story of Rudolph, the young reindeer with the glowing red nose. Rudolph was not accepted by his peers because his nose glowed but eventually proved himself on Christmas Eve when Santa Claus needed help pulling his sleigh.
Rudolph is now firmly established as part of our pop culture. He is so popular that we love the idea of putting together a gift set for both the young people in our lives or for the older folk who hold Rudolph firmly in their hearts. Therefore, on this page, we have assembled a few of the best Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer products available to help you create a simply smashing gift set for someone on your gift list this Christmas.
Click here to order your Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie from Amazon and start building your gift set today.
A Rudolph Hardcover Book
Find the hardcover Rudolph book on Amazon here.
A Funko Rudolph Plushie
If you are looking for something soft and cuddly, you might consider adding one or even all three of the Funko Rudolph plush toys. Your choices include Rudolph himself as shown here as well as Hermey the Elf from the Island of Misfit Toys and Bumbles. They're fun hug-gable, collectible toys that will be treasured every year at Christmastime.
Find this Rudolph Funko on Amazon.
A Jim Shore Rudolph Christmas Ornament
If you are looking for something a bit more grown up but still precious, you might consider a Jim Shore figure like the one shown here. They are hand-painted and hand-crafted and this one features a musical sleigh with Santa, Rudolph and Hermey.
You can check out all of Jim Shore's Rudolph pieces on Amazon by clicking here.
A Rudolph Coffee Mug
I am a big coffee mug enthusiast. I like mugs because they are usually practical and affordable. (This mug currently retails for less than $10.) I would be remiss therefore if I did not include a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer coffee mug option on this page. I like the Vandor Rudolph mug seen here but given the current very expensive price point, I presume that it is no longer in production so I went searching a bit farther and came up with this handsome new blue Vandor mug. Another fun item to take out of the Christmas box each and every year.
You can find this Rudolph mug on Amazon by clicking right here.
A Rudolph Tote Bag
Finally, you might choose to pack your gift in a handsome and reusable bag, like the Rudolph one shown below. This bag is strong and water resistant. It is meant for shopping but also makes the perfect gift bag for your gift set and it is an item that will be used by the recipient over and over again.
You will find the Rudolph tote bag here.
Remember that Amazon will ship your order for free if it totals $35 or more so be sure to bundle your Christmas shopping to save money on shipping!
Are You a Fan of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? the Book? The movie? Both?
More Christmas Gift Set Ideas:
A Frosty the Snowman Gift Set
The 12 Days of Christmas Starbucks Gift Ideas
It's been a long while since I have had a new wand to write about. However, there's a new wizard in town and the folks at Noble Collection have created a wand for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them's wizard Newt Scamander. It is an authentic prop replica, officially licensed and comes complete with a collector's box.
According to the website Fandom, Newton Scamander’s wand was likely purchased from Ollivander's Wand Shop and was constructed from lime with a bone core and some shell at the end. It was of unknown length though the one offered here from the Noble Collection is 14 inches long.
How exciting that Eddie Redmayne, who portrays Newt Scamander in the film, gave away wands to 6,000 fans at San Diego's Comic Con. Here's your chance to own one, too. I would like to wave my wand and give you one but I am pure muggle so I cannot employ magic to obtain a wand for you and I definitely do not have the connections that Redmayne has in order to be able to give you one so you will just have to follow this link to Amazon to buy your own.
Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think? Is there a wand in your future?
at the movies!
Find Newton Scamander's wand on Amazon.
More Noble Collection Harry Potter wands.
That same year, Little Golden Books published a book sharing the story.
There was a short 3-minute film made but the film we all know and hold dear in our hearts is the 1969 Rankin-Bass television special of the same name.
When I was a child, this television special was one that we watched every year and when I eventually had my own family, we shared the story each year with them, too.
Frosty's popularity continues to endure. He's a timeless Christmas classic and an important part of our pop culture.
This popularity means you probably already know the plot of his story, the snowman who comes to life when children place a magical hat upon his head. Frosty enjoys playing with the children but is unable to tolerate the sun and eventually leaves, promising "He'll be back again someday."
This show is so popular that we love the idea of putting together a package for both the young people in our lives as well as for the older folk who have fond memories of the story. Therefore, on this page, we have assembled a few of the best Frosty the Snowman items available to help you create a wonderful themed set for someone on your list this Christmas.
Start with a copy of the television show and add any of the following...
A Copy of the Book
Of course, your gift set should probably start with a copy of the classic book, as shown here. This is a Little Golden Book style of book and seems appropriate given the fact that the first Frosty book was a Little Golden Book, too.
A Coffee Mug
There do not seem to be any official mugs so I shopped around and found this cute and adorable snowman mug by Fitz and Floyd. It's full of spirit, practical and affordable, too. Find it on Amazon here.
A Plush Toy
I love the Build-A-Bear Workshop plush pieces, like the Frosty the Snowman plush toy, which features Frosty and his hat. There is an accessory kit that will allow you to include his broom, scarf and pipe. There are other stuffed toys that include his friends, Karen and Hocus Pocus. Find it and other Build-A-Bear pieces on Amazon by clicking right here.
A Hallmark Ornament
A Snowman Kit
Another great option is a snowman kit, which contains everything you need to build a snowman except, of course, for the snow! We show below the Burton & Burton set, which cost a bit more, but which appears to have the nicest hat.
A Reusable Tote Bag
Finally, we have included a reuseable totebag that is adorned with the image of a snowman and can be packed with whichever Frosty-themed treats you choose. Be sure to tuck in a couple of edible treats, too! They'll enjoy the goodies and be able to use the bag for years to come.
We hope this page has given you some inspiration for a unique Frosty the Snowman themed gift set!
More Christmas Gift Ideas:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Gift Set
A Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Gift Set
The 12 Days of Christmas Starbucks Gift Ideas
I know this calendar would make a great option for anyone who has been engrossed in J.K. Rowling’s world and who looks forward to and/or loves the Fantastic Beast expansion of that franchise.
at the movies!
Click here to order your 2017 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from Amazon.
What fun! Every now and then the Lego company releases a building set that really makes me smile. The Yellow Submarine set, released on November 1, 2016, is one such set.
Anyway, back to the Lego set, which is set number 21306 with 553 pieces and recommended for individuals aged 10. It is super fun – done of course in bright yellow and accompanied with four handsome mini-figure versions of the Beatles - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. In addition, it has a Jeremy figure. For those not in the know, Jeremy is a fictional character that appeared in the original animated movie.
Here’s a peek at the original movie, which is available on Amazon by clicking right here:
Pair this fabulous new Lego set with a copy of the movie or the movie soundtrack and you will have a fun, fabulous and totally unexpected gift idea for dad or for any Beatles fan. I believe that this set is designed to appeal to the nostalgic amongst us, ranking right up there with the 2011 Lego Creator Volkswagen Camper Van set, another set that stole my heart. You can find The Beatles Yellow Submarine Lego set on Amazon by clicking right here.
at the movies!
Buy your Lego Yellow Submarine set on Amazon.
Lego in my eBay store.
The dictionary defines courtesan as,"a prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients." In the Renaissance period, courtesans stood out by being not just beautiful but also talented, intelligent and, as the movie says, "amongst the most educated women in the world."
Veronica Franco, played by Catherine McCormack, presents all of those traits in this movie. Traits which she learns from her mother who is played by Jaqueline Bisset. The film presents a number of other familiar faces, including Rufus Swell, Oliver Platt, and Naomi Watts.
Here's a peek via the official movie trailer:
It is an R rated movie, as befits the subject matter of prostitution. There is plenty of skin revealed as well as the main character sleeping with numerous men. When asked how many of Venice's noblemen she had slept with, she was unable to say. Twenty? One Hundred? The sex is portrayed in away that is less off putting than it is in many current day films.
Despite the R rating, I felt that the movie was worth watching to see VENICE depicted as it was in the 16th century. Watching and then visiting that city, allowed me to picture it in those days. To have an idea of how it must have worked, at least in relationship to the nobility, the doge and the church. In the movie you will see rich palaces, the Grand Canal, fancy dress, feasting, the plague and so much more.
The main character becomes a very popular courtsan because of her intelligence, beauty and with. She also becomes a heroine by bringing France to the aid of Venice in the war with the Turks. However, when the plague descends and the religious and political climate shifts, she becomes a victim of the Inquisition.
DO I RECOMMEND DANGEROUS BEAUTY?
I did enjoy this movie and I do recommend it. It is biographical in nature. It is a period drama and, as the cover says, a scandalous love story. It was beautifully set and filmed. Additionally, it has some very funny moments, particularly in some of the verbal sparring scenes between Catherine McCormack and Rufus Swell and Oliver Platt.
If you are interested, you can read more about or order your copy of Dangerous Beauty on Amazon by clicking right here.
If you're planning a trip to Italy, you might also enjoy my reviews of Letters to Juliet, The Tourist and Summertime. Stay tuned for more and beware that unless you start watching and reading about Italy long before you go, you will run out of time.
at the movies!
Buy your copy of Dangerous Beauty on Amazon.
Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave pull of a fully enjoyable journey to Italy as the older character seeks to find a long lost love and the younger steps up to help her. Centered around Verona's Juliet balcony, this romantic comedy movie is set in Verona, Italy and the surrounding countryside.
Redgrave's character is one who left a letter to Juliet that for whatever reason went unanswered for 50 years. Now she is back and determined to find the man she never returned to. Watch for yourself in this movie trailer:
Letters to Juliet is rated PG and is pretty innocent. There are kisses but nothing sexual beyond that. There's no violence. There is a fall but nothing gory. There's some name calling but no swearing. It's a pretty inoffensive movie that is mostly lovely and sweet and funny. You can read more about what you might be concerned about on IMDB's Parental Guide by clicking here if you need to know more. However, it comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me.
"The greatest love story ever told...is your own." That is true but it is also a tagline from this movie, which is pretty enjoyable love story. If you're interested, you can read more about it or order your copy from Amazon by clicking right here. It would be a great movie to watch if you were travelling to Italy!
at the movies!
Buy your copy of Letters to Juliet from Amazon.
To coincide with the release of the new book, Disney and Reinhart also created this video, which shows you how to create your own paper version of Olaf:
If you are interested, you can find Frozen: A Pop-Up Adventure on Amazon by clicking right here.
at the movies!
Order your copy of Frozen: A Pop-Up Adventure from Amazon.
More Frozen gift ideas.
Find the pop-up Olaf template here.
I recently watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and was once again enchanted by the story, which stars Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively and Alexis Bledel. It's a lovely film that features a pair of magical blue jeans. (I do love my denim.)
Anyone remember when you used to go to the store to rent a movie on VHS tape? I date myself as I digress. Anyway, here's a peek at the story via the official movie trailer and Youtube:
Of course, life is not so simple and the girls are reminded of how important their friendship really is. Much more so than a pair of blue jeans, which take less of a starring role in this movie.
What's to object to in this movie? Well, not much if you are an adult. If you are a teen girl or considering this movie for a teen girl, you need to be aware that there is a sexual situation that is not actually enacted on screen but is referenced and discussed. There's a nude model posing for painters although he is not revealed and there are references to lost loved ones including a suicide. I have tried to pick the most important issues but for a complete list visit IMDB's Parental Guide here.
An aside from someone who loves denim, I smiled at the innocent or maybe not so innocent product placement of Levi's iconic red tab on the cover of the first movie. Did you notice?
A bit of poking around shows that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 and 2 are available in many options. I like the set that includes both the first movie and the second movie as shown below and available on Amazon by clicking right here. I think that it would make a great gift idea for someone who appreciates light-hearted, fun movies like this one and who also loves blue jeans. To create a gift set, I would package the movies with a pair of blue jeans - Levi's or otherwise - with some pretty patches to embellish them with and give them to a teenage girl or to any woman who appreciates blue jeans and a sweet movie. You could even include a copy of the book for a really complete gift set! You can see all of your choices for buying The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on Amazon here.
at the movies!
Buy your copy of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants from Amazon.
I like this one because I LOVED the butterbeer when I had it at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I would go back just for the butterbeer. It was that good though I realize it may not be to everyone's taste.
I think this tee would be a great gift idea for any woman you know who loves the world of Harry Potter but don't despair. Portkey has men's options, too and other patterns like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry crests, Dobby and the Tri-wizard Tournament.
You will find all of Portkey's Harry Potter merchandise by clicking right here if you are interested in seeing and or reading more.
at the movies!
These clocks are crafted by Vinyl Evolution and fortunately available directly from Amazon by clicking on any of the pictures on this page or by clicking right here. Of note is the fact that it does take a while for one of them to be made for you and to be delivered so be sure to read the details about delivery time carefully.
I love them all but am particularly drawn to the top one that shows Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger and the second one, which features Harry playing Quidditch. Which one would you choose?
Also, if you love the idea of a movie-themed clock but want to pick another movie, Vinyl Evolution has many movies to choose from including but not limited to Beauty and the Beast, Pokemon Go, Zelda, Lady and the Tramp, Mary Poppins and the Walking Dead.
at the movies!
Buy your Harry Potter vinyl record wall clock from Amazon.
Obviously, I haven't seen the new book yet but I know without seeing it that it will make a great gift for someone you want to introduce to the Harry Potter series. The first book, seen here, is beautiful. Since I am excited about it, I also am certain that it will be a top-rated gift idea for a Harry Potter geek. Does anyone you know fit that bill?
You can learn more about the book on Amazon by clicking here. You can also pre-order the book and if you choose to do so, you will be protected by Amazon's pre-order price guarantee. The book's release date is October 6, 2016. I figure that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Illustrated Edition might be one of the most exciting book releases of the year. What do you think?
at the movies!
Buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets The Illustrated Edition from Amazon.
More Harry Potter gift ideas.
More Harry Potter Gift Ideas:
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