Hidden Mickeys in BIG HERO 6: Own it on Blu-Ray and DVD Today!

hidden mickeys in Big Hero 6I know I’ve mentioned Big Hero 6 a number of times here. From the Hollywood red carpet premiere to an actual Big Hero 6 no spoilers review and Big Hero 6 gift ideas (among several other articles), you might have thought I’ve exhausted every article idea for one of my favorite Disney movies ever.

But I haven’t! Big Hero 6 is now available for purchase on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital HD, so I’m want to share the hidden Mickey’s in Big Hero 6!

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MCFARLAND, USA Parent Review #McFarlandUSA

mcfarland usa parent review

I want to start this parent review of McFarland, USA by answering the questions that most readers want to know:

Is McFarland, USA ok for kids?
Should I take my kids to see McFarland, USA?

The short answer is, ABSOLUTELY! There is so much good in this movie that kids should see, and the story is something the whole family will love.

should I take my kids to see mcfarland usa

Based on the 1987 true story, McFarland, USA follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White, a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school.

Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change.

Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.

With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.

Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

Like most “sports” movies that I like (see my Million Dollar Arm review for all my feelings on that!) McFarland, USA really isn’t a movie about running. It’s the story of how a group of boys became a team, how a man became a coach and how a family found its home.

Simply put, McFarland, USA is packed with heart, tenacity and inspiration from start to finish. 

Since I’m writing this movie review to give parents information about if McFarland USA is suitable for kids, there are some things you should be aware of:

Overall, McFarland, USA is a PG-rated movie with an uplifting, inspirational message. As with any good film with that sort of message, there are some sad situations that define the story.

Those sad situations are real and honest. In McFarland, USA, they’re part of life; a set of challenges the characters have to overcome to become a team. They’re not overly dramatic and they’re certainly not disturbing.

In short, the movie touches on mature topics like racism, violence and depression. On the plus side, those situations definitely make the positive message hit home!

mcfarland usa parent review

In all honesty, I watched McFarland, USA back in November 2014. When I first started gathering my thoughts for this article, I could only remember the positivity of the movie. That alone tells me how much more of an impact the themes of teamwork, community, cooperation and family had on me!

I loved McFarland, USA for sharing the true story of Jim White and the cross country team he scraped together and built from nothing. In a time when it seems that there’s nothing but trouble in the rest of the world, McFarland, USA reminds us that there are good people doing good things out there.

McFarland, USA opens in theaters TODAY! Get tickets for your family and go see it this weekend!

All images courtesy of Disney. 

Disclosure: I screened this film on a Disney press trip for bloggers. All opinions are my own. 

Exclusive: On the Set of Marvel’s Agent Carter!

agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

exclusive marvels agent carter

Last week I revealed that I was lucky enough to get the inside details on Agent Carter, including interviewing top Marvel Executives and screening extended clips from the show. What I didn’t reveal was  that I actually visited the Agent Carter set, met Hayley Atwell and learned some amazing details about the show and how it’s made!

Gigi Melton Agent Carter costume designer

Gigi Melton photo credit: Marvel

One of the many incredibly interesting things we did on the set was meet Agent Carter’s costume designer, Gigi Melton. This woman was a wealth of interesting information. She told me things about designing costumes that absolutely blew my mind!

First, the costume designer’s goal is to make everyone look absolutely true to the period the show is set in. In this case, Agent Carter is set in 1946. Melton has clearly become an expert at textiles, clothing construction and styles of that era.

The costume designers know that the Great Depression then WWII both occurred shortly before Agent Carter’s time period. Because of that, fabric was scarce and men’s ties were made with a minimal amount of fabric. There were no linings, no extra folds or seams to waste fabric. After Gigi Melton explained this, it totally made sense that she would actually be able to recognize the exact year a tie was made!

Photo credit: Marvel

Photo credit: Marvel

Melton and her team also made a bunch of fantastic inspiration boards to highlight key colors and just feelings that they were attempting to capture for each character. Getting a glimpse of these inspiration boards would be interesting. Being able to study them in detail was spectacular!

Then we moved into the SSR office and were set free to explore and take it all in.

Marvel's agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

I don’t know why, but I always assume almost everything on a set is fake. Like, I think props are made from styrofoam and furniture that looks heavy is actually made of plastic. I’m. always. wrong!

I learned that every effort is made to keep the set authentic. That means actual vintage typewriters, phones and all office supplies were sourced and found to use instead of creating replicas. It was all super interesting!

set of agent carter

Photo credit: Marvel

I think the magic of Disney/Marvel/ABC trips like these is that bloggers like me are treated like professionals while being given an ultimate fan experience. Example: In the midst of all the information about costumes and props and how the set is used, the Marvel executives let us all have our picture (by the Marvel photographer) taken at Agent Peggy Carter’s desk!

blog trip agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

The absolute icing on the cake of the set visit was actually meeting Hayley Atwell, who plays Agent Peggy Carter on Marvel’s Agent Carter.  In addition to taking photos with all of us, she was so kind and answered plenty of questions about her background, her costumes and much more!

On describing the character of Agent Carter, Atwell said, [Agent Carter is] capable, she’s intelligent, she’s vulnerable and she’s living this double life, having to juggle so many things at once. 

Based on what I’ve seen of Agent Carter, I love her description and really think it’s spot on! I can’t wait to see more of Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter!

Check out this teaser to get a better idea of how amazing Marvel’s Agent Carter is:

Be sure to follow Marvel’s Agent Carter on these social media channels to stay on top of all the details:

  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Facebook
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Twitter
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Tumblr
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Pinterest
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Google +

All photo credits: Marvel

Disclosure: Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for the press trip and all experiences encompassed in it. 

An Exclusive Look Inside Marvel’s Agent Carter!

exclusive marvel's agent carterexclusive marvels agent carter

I’ve been waiting for this day for almost exactly two months: It’s the day Marvel’s Agent Carter premieres on ABC, and it’s also the day I can start sharing the exclusive details on Marvel’s Agent Carter that I learned on the last ABC and Disney press trip I was on!

One reason I like the entire Marvel cinematic universe that Disney is doing is because of the empowered females. Yes, it’s dominated by males, but the women created by Marvel definitely show that females are powerful. Plus, nothing makes me want to jump out of my seat and pump my fist like watching an awesome woman kick butt as well or better than any man around 🙂

exclusive marvel agent carter quotesThis is all leading to my crazy excitement over Marvel’s Agent Carter, a show created by some of the best storytellers around that features the toughest leading lady you’d ever want to find.

exclusive agent carter interviews

Photo credit: Marvel


About Marvel’s Agent Carter:

It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad.

Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark.

Who is Agent Peggy Carter?

Agent Peggy Carter (played by Haley Atwell) has a background that will likely be familiar to some of you. She first appeared in the 1940’s as the love interest of Steve Rogers in Captain America. It was Agent Peggy Carter who Steve Rogers spoke his last words to before his plane crashed at the end of the film.

After Captain America, Agent Peggy Carter and all of her girl power glory were showcased in Agent Carter, her own Marvel One-Shot short film on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray. Peggy Carter has since appeared in a handful of flashbacks on ABC’s hit series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

All of this has been leading up to Marvel’s Agent Carter, the new series that’s appearing during the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mid-season break!

I sat down with Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, and Louis D’Espostio, Co-President of Marvel Studios, to learn more about the how Marvel’s Agent Carter came about and why it’s a show we all shouldn’t miss.

exclusive agent carter

Jeph Loeb and Louis D’Esposito | Photo credit: Marvel

Make no mistake, Jeph Loeb and Louis D’Esposito are absolute forces in the entertainment industry. To see them both speak with such passion for this product and such clear admiration for Haley Atwell, who plays Agent Peggy Carter, was enough to hook me before I saw a single clip of the show!

If you’ve seen the Marvel One-Shot Agent Carter, you’ll notice that the television show doesn’t follow exactly the same story as the short film, which ends with the beginning of S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead, the show goes back all the way to the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve).

Loeb and D’Esposito explained that they wanted to show the journey to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead of a making a television show that looked a lot like it’s modern-setting counterpart.

They also said starting a show with Agent Carter running S.H.I.E.L.D. would “put her in a position where she’s already empowered. For us, the Marvel hero has to overcome something in order to be an even better hero. It’s a more interesting challenge.”

When asked if we were going to see more of Agent Carter in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we were told, “I think it’s safe to say that it’s all connected.”

This led to the question of Marvel Easter eggs in general (who doesn’t love them?!?). “We love planting Easter eggs,” said D’Esposito, “but we don’t want to turn into an Easter egg farm.” Meaning, they carefully evaluate and place each little surprise and connection to make sure it doesn’t overpower what the audience should be focused on.

I screened extended clips of the first and second episodes during the interview, and I was beyond impressed with the show. I’m definitely going to be watching Agent Carter tonight, and you should, too!

Check out this teaser to get a better idea of how amazing Marvel’s Agent Carter is going to be:

Be sure to follow Marvel’s Agent Carter on these social media channels to stay on top of all the details:

  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Facebook
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Twitter
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Tumblr
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Pinterest
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Google +

All photo credits: Marvel

Disclosure: Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for the press trip and all experiences encompassed in it. 

Top 5 Reasons to Watch #Galavant: Joshua Sasse, Alan Menken and More! #ABCTVEvent

exclusive galavant no spoilers

reasons to watch galavant

Back in November 2014, Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for a little Disney press trip that I might have mentioned one or two times 🙂 The trip was amazing in a ton of different ways, and I’ve been waiting to share my exclusive experience about ABC’s new show, Galavant!

‘Galavant’ is a medieval musical comedy that follow sthe adventures of Galavant, a dashing hero who is determined to reclaim his reputation and his “Happily Ever After” by going after the evil King Richard, who ruined it the moment he stole the love of Galavant’s life, Madalena.

The episodes will chronicle Galavant’s journeys (and the twists and turns that go along with them) through musical numbers composed and written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

As soon as I found out I was going to get an inside look into Galavant, I found this teaser trailer:

As a gigantic musical theater fan, it’s no surprise that the little video blew me away. It also left me wanting so much more, including details on how I could convince everyone else to watch Galavant with me!

After my meeting and interviews with these people, I have tons of reasons why everyone will want to watch Galavant! Here’s who I had the pleasure of interviewing:

  • Alan Menken: Academy and Tony Award-winning composer of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors and more.
  • Glenn Slater: Grammy Award-winning lyricist of Tangled and stage adaptations of The Little Mermaid and Sister Act: The Musical.
  • Dan Fogelman: Writer from films like Tangled, Cars, Cars 2  Bolt. 
  • Joshua Sasse: Stage and film actor with roles in various films, television shows and musical theater productions.

5 Reasons to Watch Galavant:

1. The concept!

One YouTube commenter put it perfectly:

“So, if Monty Python and the characters from The Princess Bride walked into Disney World, this is what would happen, right?” 


Dan Fogelman, the writer for Galavant, also said, “If you like Princess Bride, Game of Thrones and Monty Python, you’re more likely to like this show than those that don’t.”

2. The music!

When I first read about Galavant my inner 14 year-old was squealing. Alan Menken is the composer for this show. He’s the man responsible for making the music that shaped my musical history.

alan menken galavantDreams of playing in the orchestra for scores from films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid motivated me to play the French horn and play it well. That music was also the gateway to my theater fandom.

As it turns out, Alan Menken creates more magic than can actually ever be used. I learned that the volume of his compositions far exceed what can ever be used. The thought of all that music left on the cutting room floor makes me want to cry a little bit, but I can’t wait to hear everything that was kept. Since there are 33 musical moments in just eight episodes of Galavant, so there will be plenty to listen to!

3. The scenery! 

Every episode of Galavant is filmed on location in England and the scenery is real. Remember, the show is set in Medieval times. That means castles. And the castles that you see in the show are real. You’ll be seeing a lot of true historic sites as you watch Galavant.

4. It’s written with families in mind! 

Galavant was written with the understanding that families would be watching it together.

That’s not to say that there’s not humor aimed at adults. But Dan Fogelman said, “We try to make adult jokes that kids won’t understand. It’s adult humor that adults can watch, but hopefully there’s nothing that crosses the line.”

I think that kind of humor is something we see in a lot of contemporary animated films, and it’s fun to be on the side of getting both meanings!

5. The cast and guest stars! 

Galavant is played by the incredibly charismatic Joshua Sasse, and we were lucky enough to meet him:

galavant joshua sasse spoilers

Further, the eight episodes that are showing this month are packed with guest stars we all know and love. Watch Galavant and you’ll be seeing: Weird Al Yankovic, John Stamos, Ricky Gervais, Hugh Bonneville and Rutger Hauer among the talented cast!

As I stated at the beginning of this post, Galavant premieres January 4th at 8:00 pm EST and you can watch it every Sunday night in January!  

Follow Galavant on social media to stay caught up with all the news!


Photo credits: Staci Salazar and ABC Television.

10 More BIG HERO 6 Gifts! #BigHero6Event

big hero 6 gift ideasEarlier this month I wrote the Top 10 Big Hero 6 gifts for all ages. I still love everything on that list.

Now, after my Disney press trip and all sorts of amazing Big Hero 6 swag, I have even more Big Hero 6 gift ideas to share!


It’s only been a few weeks since I posted the first list of Big Hero 6 gifts, and I’m surprised that a lot of of those items are out of stock or no longer available online. If you see something you like, especially if you’re planning on buying one of these items for a holiday gift, buy it while it’s available!

10 More Big Hero 6 Gifts: 

1. Big Hero 6 Baymax Pop! Vinyl Figure by Funko

2. Baymax Face Hooded Pullover

3. Big Hero 6: Hiro and Tadashi

4. Big Hero 6 Baymax Mech Plush

5. Disney’s Big Hero 6 3-D Jigsaw Puzzle

6. Big Hero 6 Baymax Winter Hat

7. Disney’s Big Hero 6 Baymax Rolling Backpack

8. Disney’s Big Hero 6 soundtrack on cd

9. Disney’s Big Hero 6 Deluxe 9-Figure Play Set

10. Big Hero 6 Customizable Baymax Messenger Bag

Have you seen Big Hero 6? Which one of these products is your favorite?

Be sure to check out my post all about Disney INFINITY 2.0 and the brand new Big Hero 6 figures for the game!

Disclosure: Disney flew me out to LA to for a Big Hero 6 press trip experience. All opinions are honest and my own.